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Please  talk about recovery in trauma work, the case of Kristin, and any of the videos or dissociative experiences presented.  Don’t forget to cite the readings and videos.

STEVENS RESPOND

The process of recovery for people suffering from severe trauma is a slow and arduous process. Therapist Kevin Hinkley briefly discusses a major difference between the treatment regiment for those suffering from dissociative personality disorder (MPD, 2011). For out-patients, the process of exposing early trauma which is often believed to be the catalyst for the slitting of personalities, is a rather slow and arduous process. Therapists must be very careful in exposing too much too soon if the individual cannot be monitored for their own safety. If a personality seeks to cause harm or to escape the memories than the persons welfare is potentially at grave risk. For in-patients there is a more controlled environment, and the therapeutic sessions can go deeper, more aggressive, and the person can be monitored and protected in the coming days as they work through the new trauma of resurfacing memories (MPD, 2011). Dr. Hinkley uses a number of different settings when dealing with different individuals. In the case of Gretchen, the child that experiences the trauma found comfort in a bed with comfortable pillows and soft light blue blankets, with a childs paintings on the wall by the bed. In other cases, they sit at a table, or in an open and comfortable arm-chair (MPD, 2011). Each environment is crafted to make each personality as comfortable as possible. Sodium amytal was also used to function as a truth serum, and effectively drew out voices that were otherwise difficult for therapists to summon (MPD, 2011). The hope is that by accessing these expressions of Gretchens consciousness the memories that are otherwise suppressed will come forward to be engaged and managed. These interactions are considered critical to the therapeutic process (Humphrey, 2005).

Humphreys (2005) has shown how children that experience trauma and grow into adults with dissociative personality disorder struggle to communicate through words that they otherwise didnt know at the age of the experience. In the case of Kristen and others, Humphreys (2005) has found success in the use of drawing for the individuals to express their thoughts, feelings, or memories (Humphreys, 2005). This process accesses the patients construct system, the individuals community of self-parts. These self-parts communicate beyond language, and the use of drawing allows an individual to express the characteristics of self-parts. Humphreys also applied the assimilation method in Kristens case, which seeks to link communities (voices that are somehow tied together) and sift through their qualities. Certain voices can be tied through meaning bridges, and in time hopefully dialogue. Through this dialogue therapists can better understand the complexities of the psychic circumstances around the dissociative experience. (Humphreys, 2005)

Other measures such as hypnosis has proven useful in some circumstances to open access to what are otherwise suppressed memories (Herman, 1997). Additionally, there are objects that therapists can invite their patients to hold onto, ribbons, ropes, or other objects that bring forth a certain sense of comfort, and perhaps open their willingness to talk or manage reoccurring memories (Herman, 1997).

REFERENCES:

Herman, J. (1997). Trauma and recovery: The aftermath of violence from domestic abuse to political terror.  New York, NY: Basic Books. ISBN-10: 0465087302 

Humphreys, C. L. (2005). The assimilation of anger in a case of dissociative identity disorder. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 18(2), 112.

Humphreys, C. L. (2005). Using Drawings to Elicit Nonverbal Constructs in Experiential Personal Construct Psychotherapy. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 18(4). https://doi.org/DOI:10.1080/10720530601074697

Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) Documentary. (2011). America Undercover. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0LNyXsErb8

 

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