Document Detail

Multiple personality: psychoanalytic perspectives.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7275499     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Multiple personality, which played a central role in psychiatry and psychology in the era of Janet and Prince, also attracted the interest of Freud and Breuer, and was utilized by Freud as a model for some of his early formulations. Later, with his distancing from Breuer and rivalry with Janet, and with the growing emphasis upon repression at the expense of dissociation. Freud's interest in multiple personality diminished. This change is reflected in the relative neglect of the topic in psychoanalytic literature. It is suggested, however, that psychoanalysis needs and is able to deal with this phenomenon, and several contributions are suggested as potential foundations: Freud's later thought on identification and on splitting; Fairbairn's work on object relations and ego splitting, which may be recast in terms of the representational world; Kernberg's writings on borderline personality organization; and Kohut's formulation of 'the vertical split'. Three recent cases of multiple personality are presented, and an attempt is made to analyse their development and dynamics. Severe deficits in mother-child relationship are evident in all three, and are seen as the primary source of splitting. An intense and unresolved compensatory oedipal involvement, followed by loss, leads to the open appearance of the split. The separate 'personalities' represent complex crystallizations of part object representations which evolve into split self representations. In view of the developmental arrest which can be observed, the therapeutic strategy suggested is not based on confrontation and interpretation of the distortions and denial involved, but rather on developing faulty ego functions and empathically strengthening the fragmented self.
E Berman
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The International journal of psycho-analysis     Volume:  62     ISSN:  0020-7578     ISO Abbreviation:  Int J Psychoanal     Publication Date:  1981  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1981-11-22     Completed Date:  1981-11-22     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985179R     Medline TA:  Int J Psychoanal     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  283-300     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Freudian Theory
Mother-Child Relations
Multiple Personality Disorder / psychology*
Oedipus Complex
Psychoanalytic Theory*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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