Psychopathology: Theory and Practice
The treatment of complex trauma and dissociative disorders applying a theory of structural dissociation
In this audio presentation, Dr Onno van der Hart explains dissociative disorder as an acute disintegration of the personality into sub-systems, as a result of severe child abuse. In this complex psychological structure each dissociated part or sub-personality has its own sense of self, however rudimentary, with a first-person perspective. Over time, these parts may develop fresh characteriztics via ‘secondary elaboration’. These fragments or ‘emotional personalities’ (EPs) coexist with an apparently normal personality (ANP) that functions in daily life. Dr Onno van der Hart proposes that complex dissociation of the personality is maintained by a series of inner-directed phobias. Clinical issues of integration and stabilization in a phase-oriented treatment are considered.