System Speak: Dissociative Identity Disorder ( Multiple Personality Disorder )Episode 9Season 4
Guest: Peter Barach, PhD
Guest: Peter Barach, PhD
By Emma Sunshaw • View the Website

Dr. E interviews Peter Barach, PhD, past president of ISSTD. Dr. Barach is the one who linked disordered attachment to DID, and he also was on the committee that produced the treatment guidelines for DID. He opens by sharing his own story of learning about DID. He explains about hypnosis, as well as EMDR, and why this is helpful with trauma and dissociation. They discuss the impact on survivors of managed care, the changes in graduate schools education, and the False Memory Syndrome. They talk about the Plural Positivity World Conference, and why it matters in bridging the gap between clinicians and survivors to bring healing to the systemic wound caused by those issues. It's a positive discussion even from differing perspectives, and a beautiful place for beginning conversation as a united community. He explains how he defines trauma and dissociation, and what is important in treating it. They discuss the phenomenon of time seeming to speed up or slow down around trauma. He shares about connecting with clients through shared moments of communication, being present in his own body and sensorimotor responses, and helping his clients do so as well. Dr. E reviews some context of our diagnosis, which has been shared already in previous episodes, including the deaths of our parents and the impact of DID diagnosis on her clinical practice. They discuss self-care as well and what good therapy looks like and what you can talk about in therapy, and that it's critical to change therapists if you feel it isn't safe or helpful. Dr. E links this to ACE's and repeated traumas as survivors re-enact traumas with bad therapists, not just domestic violence situations. Dr. E also shares about working with adolescent sex offenders early in her career, and they process the triggers of that experience in the context of (S)RA survivors who were forced to act out abuse as part of their own abuse. They close with a discussion about integration and why functional multiplicity is part of the process - and what the risks are for stopping therapy at that point rather than continuing. He shares some case study stories in this episode: a veteran with phantom leg pain, a woman in a psychiatric hospital due criminal charges, and an outpatient client who presented with a little girl. There may be some aspects of these stories that are triggering, due to the trauma related to causing DID, but those aspects are not focused on or discussed in depth.

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