previous page: 2.3.1 Personality Disorders
page up: Dissociation FAQ
next page: 3.0 Overview

2.4 Treating Dissociative Disorders


This article is from the Dissociation FAQ, by Discord (tina@tezcat.com) with numerous contributions by others.

2.4 Treating Dissociative Disorders

Updated 3/15/96

ISSD has published a formal set of guidelines for treating dissociative
disorders; it is now available at their site, which is at

[The following is the information that was here in lieu of formal
guidelines; these were summarized from a number of books addressing the
treatment of dissociation.]

Treatment has two goals: firstly, to allow the normal functioning of
a highly dissociative person, and secondly, to treat the underlying cause
of dissociation. These goals are generally interconnected and are dealt
with simultaneously.

Since most dissociative disorders result from extreme stress and/or
trauma, and are also exacerbated for that stress, teaching the highly
dissociative person to deal with stress is one method of treatment.
Learning to work around one's stress would seem to be essential in
reaching a plateau of functionality.

For deep-rooted trauma, hypnosis is often used to aid in the recall,
examination of, and transcendence of the past trauma. Dealing with the
memories of abuse, for instance, is vital in the recovery process.

In multiplicity, learning to communicate with one's personalities and
sharing of control and memory between the personalities is also vital.
Talking with individual personalities and encouraging them to cooperate
seems to be the easiest method of achieving this goal.

There is some debate as to whether complete fusion into one "whole"
personality is necessary to cure the disorders. For some, the goal is
instead integration into several, co-conscious personalities which
function together in the control of the body and in performing the
day-to-day functions necessary to live. For others, complete fusion
into one personality may well be necessary to achieve normal functioning.

Regardless of the course of treatment, it is usually long-term, taking
several years to achieve what the therapist considers normality.
However, once the dissociative person enters treatment for their
dissociation (as opposed to any associated disorders they may have),
treatment is almost always successful.


Continue to:

previous page: 2.3.1 Personality Disorders
page up: Dissociation FAQ
next page: 3.0 Overview