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Reflections on the treatment of dissociation from a client-centered perspective

ARTICLESmulders, Marijke - 44–4 (2006)

SUMMARY

In this article we emphasize the importance of an adequate diagnosis in trauma related dissociative disorders. When combined with a personality disorder, the right diagnosis becomes even more important.
For clients that suffer from early childhood trauma, the therapeutic process needs to be structured along the lines of a phased approach. In the first phase of the therapy the therapist, together with the client, must aim to stabilize and reduce the symptoms. Only then he can initiate the next phase, that is directed towards processing the trauma. But in this phase as well the therapist, again in cooperation with the client, must guard the stability. The diagnosis of a dissociative personality disorder often leads to discussion, and in therapists frequently sparks the thought that they should use a totally different approach. However, the brunt of the work with these clients demands 'regular' psychotherapeutic labor.

KEYWORDS

dissociative disorders, processing of trauma, client-centered psychotherapy, inner dialogue