Thursday, July 26, 2007

View of Essences by an Essence

In a recent e-mail from a lady with MPD by my definition, she quoted her own ISH/Essence as saying this about her role as Essence:

"[My ISH] told me that being an Essence can be very challenging and sometimes less experienced ones miscalculate how their charge will react. She believes “administering” anxiety in response to a charge’s misbehavior is an art form unto itself. Some Essences simply “up the ante” each time their charge misbehaves and by doing so they are actually fueling the flames rather than leading their charge toward a more suitable course of action. But in order to provide a charge with positive reinforcement, the charge must do something positive. Some Essences have to wait a very long time before this happens.

"She likens being an Essence to playing chess. Some Essences see many, many moves ahead. Others are less successful at anticipating how humans will react."

So you can see by this that there are various grades of competency of Essences. Such has been my teaching by the CIE who supervise them. Thus there is no guarantee that one Essence will behave exactly like another might in the same situation, so different outcomes are to be expected. Fortunately, I have found that the most talented Essences have been assigned to my patients with the most complicated forms of MPD, sometimes called Complex DID. If they were not so talented, their "charge" would die from the abuse to which they have been exposed. Then the whole scenario might have to be replayed in a subsequent lifetime. Such a waste of lifetimes!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Certification of Therapists of Multiples

In the latest edition of the ISSTD News (May 2007), the president, Catherine C. Classen, PhD, writes about whether or not to create a "certification program for professionals in the field of trauma and dissociation to provide evidence of their knowledge of the field."
She wants members to consider the value of a certification in "Complex Posttraumatic and Dissociative Disorders." She describes three possible kinds of certification -- Knowledge based, curriculum based, and a certificate of attendance or participation.
Benefits she lists are:
1. "Identification and creation of a body of knowledge for our practice and field."
2. "Provision of some assurance of general and then continued competence in the field."
3. "Elevation of the credibility of practitioners."
4. "Establishment of standards for those who practice in the are of trauma and dissociation."
5. "Elevation of the credibility of our field."
6. "Protection of our clients/patients and the public."
7. "Generation of increased revenue for the ISSTD."
Those of you who are members of ISSTD will have received this newsletter and can read the details in it. I assume that others who are interested can go to the website and get it from there.
As one who went through the trauma of passing my "Boards" in Psychiatry, I know what it is like to study for and pass one of these kinds of tests. Fortunately I personally am retired, so I don't have to contemplate it for myself. But I am wondering what the thoughts and views might be for those of you who are either prospective or present dissociative patients, or trying to be a therapist for such patients. Consider the pros and cons which you see in this proposal, which I hope you will read about before giving me any knee jerk reactions.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Dr. Ralph Allison - History and Experience

During a 33 year professional practice as a Board Certified Psychiatrist, I became an expert on diagnosing and treating patients with “other selves,” commonly called “multiples.” The original label was Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) but that has officially been changed to Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). I did not agree with that change and refuse to go along with it, preferring to use MPD for one group of patients who made their first alter-personality before age six. I use DID for those whose first “alter” was created from age six onward. I developed a treatment plan for multiples, which I wrote in my first book, “Minds In Many Pieces,” published in 1980. I added a chapter and published a second edition in1999. This covers my early career in treating multiples in Santa Cruz, California.

After 14 years there, I moved to Davis, CA in 1978, where I met more multiples while working for the Yolo County Mental Health Service. I wrote a long manuscript about the care of Marie, my most exotic multiple whom I treated to integration in my three years there. That story is called “Memories of an Essence.”

In 1981, I moved to Los Osos, CA, and worked in a state prison, California Men’s Colony, in San Luis Obispo, until my retirement in1995. During my retirement, I recently wrote my last manuscript, called “Michael, My Essence.”

I have had this website up for about a decade now and have responded by e-mail to many requests for information, including quite a few from multiples themselves. While those conversations should remain private, I am now adding this blog to allow others who want to discuss what I have learned on this subject to better interact with me and help educate those who read what is written here. I have been through plenty of controversy in this field, which is as controversial as any in psychology or psychiatry. There are some therapists who believe there are no such patients as multiples, while others consider them liars and prevaricators. Most such patients have a high degree of talent with imagination, it is true, so such critics may have good reason for their skepticism. This is due, in part at least, to the tendency of other therapists to believe that every “other self” is an alter, and therefore diagnostic of MPD/DID. That is not true, in my opinion, and I hope correspondents will bear with me while I try to explain how other “intelligent entities” can borrow such a patient’s body and talk to us “singletons.” Such realities make this a complicated field of study, but I think I have a fairly good handle on it, after this much time and experience. I also had some very good teachers, my patients and the “other selves” who borrowed their bodies to chat with me about their version of reality.