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Altered States/Dissociation
Record Type: Review   ID: 3

Dissociation: Clinical and Theoretical Perspectives

Lynn, Steven Jay, & Rhue, Judith W. (Eds.).

 This collection of 21 original essays was compiled in response to the growing numbers of persons consulting therapists "who present with dissociative experiences, histories of abuse and post-traumatic stress reactions, and even with perplexing symptoms that suggest multiple personality disorder" (p. xi). The editors’ aim was to produce a handbook on dissociation that would be based on research and grounded in theory. Part I consists of 7 chapters that provide "Theoretical and Research Perspectives." Part II consists of 9 chapters on "Diagnosis, Assessment, and Treatment Perspectives," which closes with Stanley Krippner’s "Cross-Cultural Treatment Perspectives on Dissociative Disorders," an important paper which sets forth adaptive and maladaptive aspects of possession in association with specific cultures. He also describes extreme phenomena, such as possession by discarnate entities and multiple personality, and cultural differences and similarities in regard to them. Part III consists of 4 chapters presenting "Issues and Controversies" centered on whether or not seeming memories of child abuse and multiple personality can be socially constructed and whether dissociative pathology is caused by trauma. Although published in 1994, at this writing (late 1996) this book is already often cited, as it should be. It is basic reading not only for clinicians and investigators of dissociative phenomena but for those with a serious and scholarly interest in exceptional human experience. This work emphasizes the pathological aspects of dissociation but the research and theory presented can also be related to the life-potentiating aspects of dissociation that are concomitants of exceptional human experiences, many of which occur in dissociative states
Publisher Information:New York: Guilford, 1994. 477p. Chap. bibl; Index: 463-477
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