Authors: Diana Hunt and Vicki Jones , QLD
Event: 2008 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Responses to Complex States, DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER - PERSONAL STORY INTEGRATION/HEALING.
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: This paper looks at the process of integration following a diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). A case history will be presented, along with a brief explanation of DID, in which the emphasis will be on the healing process, with a particular focus on integration as one of the many options. Putman (1989) states that “a decision to remain multiple or to achieve complete integration is faced by virtually every person with DID”. In many cases, for a person with this diagnosis, their understanding of what integration means can fill them with fear. It can be perceived as a loss of familiar alters; of no longer having access to previous coping skills, and therefore being unable to manage in a seemingly dysfunctional world. Putman (1989) also explains that to the personality system, “fusion/integration may be considered as comparable to death”. Although the integration of alters is seen as the ideal outcome (Kluft, 2003), it must be emphasised that it is within the clients’ right to choose or refuse integration. A client may aim for, and be content with, a comfortable alliance within the system. As Kluft (2003) explains, rather than the unrealistic expectation of integration, some patients dealing with memories of traumatic events need supportive treatment which focuses on their personal comfort and safety.