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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201293 Find in a Library
Title: Not Necessarily Politically Correct Reflections and Thoughts on Approaches to the Treatment of Traumatic Material in Dissociative Identity Disorder Patients (From Critical Issues in Child Sexual Abuse: Historical, Legal, and Psychological Perspectives, P 175-214, 2002, Jon R. Conte, ed. -- See NCJ-2
Author(s): Richard P. Kluft
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 40
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter first offers a critical analysis of the recent proliferation of literature cautioning mental health professionals to be careful of creating false memories of childhood abuse in their patients, and second offers observations of practical therapeutic practices in the face of such a backlash.
Abstract: The author begins by reviewing the problems associated with the study of dissociative identity disorder (DID) patients’ and their accounts of traumatic experiences. A vast majority of DID patients offer accounts of severe childhood abuse, but most of these claims are met with skepticism, and even overt disbelief, despite the fact that studies have indicated genuine childhood trauma in these patients. The author then turns to an analysis of empirical investigations that point to the possibility of uncovering both true memories of childhood trauma and false, but believed-in, memories during therapeutic interventions. The implications of these findings in terms of how to proceed with therapy are explored. The author discusses his personal experiences of treating trauma patients, with an eye on overcoming the controversy surrounding false memories in an effort to provide the best therapeutic care for the DID patient. The author contends that rather than make recommendations about how to treat such patients, he is merely sharing his experiences in treating traumatized individuals. He further offers a cutting critique of those who do make recommendations about patient care, claiming that many making recommendations are not practitioners who treat DID patients. In conclusion, the author cautions mental health professionals to not be scared away from offering sound therapeutic work to DID patients by the debates surrounding false memories of childhood abuse. The legitimate clinical needs of trauma patients should overshadow timidity in the face of controversy. References
Main Term(s): Child abuse
Index Term(s): Psychotherapy; Treatment; Victim reactions to crime
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