Dissociation : Vol. 2, No. 4, p. 243-249 : The Rehabilitation of Therapists Overwhelmed by Their Work with MPD Patients

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Title: Dissociation : Vol. 2, No. 4, p. 243-249 : The Rehabilitation of Therapists Overwhelmed by Their Work with MPD Patients
Author: Kluft, Richard P., 1943-
Abstract: It is generally recognized that the treatment of multiple personality disorder (MPD) may prove an arduous undertaking for patient and therapist alike. The literature is replete with descriptions of the impact of treatment upon MPD patients, but has been understandably circumspect about the effects of this process upon therapists. This discrete silence belies the intense concentration upon this aspect of work with MPD patients in workshop and consultation settings. Although the number of new therapists in the field continues to expand, it is well known that there is a much smaller, but not inconsiderable stream of clinicians who exit the field, and discontinue working with MPD patients. Furthermore, a larger group continues to work with MPD patients, but at a diminished level of effectiveness. This presentation will review some of the stressors inherent in work with MPD patients, and describe characteristic sequences in the reactions of those who work with MPD (e.g., front fascination with MPD and MPD patients to various expressions of withdrawal, the breakdown of empathy and rapport, the loss of an optimal therapeutic stance, and acting out in the countertransference). Several patterns of therapist distress will be noted. A model for diagnosing the problem areas of overwhelmed therapists will be described, and types of interventions targeted at the alleviation of the problem areas will be noted. Corrective measures will be outlined, in the framework of educational domains. Observations on the effect of rehabilitating the therapist upon the therapist's patients will be offered.
Description: p. 243-249
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/1498
Date: 1989-12


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