Critiquing the Requirement of Oneness over Multiplicity: An Examination of Dissociative Identity (Disorder) in Five Clinical Texts

Kymbra Clayton


In the health professions there is widespread agreement that dissociative identity is dysfunctional and needs to be cured. This position is based on the assumption that the healthy self is unitary and therefore multiplicity must be disordered. The cure, a requirement of oneness, is integration: the multiple selves must be unified into a single, integrated personality. To uncover themes and assumptions of this dominant approach to dissociative identity, five main texts were examined. From the many discourses identified, two central discourses were selected for further exploration. This paper explores how the identified discourses construct individuals with dissociative identity and how they inform and limit psychological theory and practice. Being exploratory, this paper offers a platform for further in-depth deconstruction and critical evaluation of the underlying assumptions and implications.

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Dissociative Identity; Clinical Psychology, Integration

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ISSN 1832-7931
Swinburne University of Technology