Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D.
Dr. Gucciardi examines the conflicts between western “scientific” approaches to Dissociative Disorders (DD) and those of shamans and today’s spirit releasement approaches. She recommends that the task of therapists working with DD is to let their clients lead the way to “their own maps of their own psyches,” whatever that map might contain, because it is only there that healing can occur. Dr Gucciardi appeared in last year’s Journal.
Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), now called Dissociative Disorder (DD), has only recently been recognized as a separate disorder within the field of modern western psychology. When Freud’s theories reigned supreme in this field, most cases of dissociative disorders were misdiagnosed as schizophrenia. In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) officially established the legitimacy of multiple personality disorders and defined a separate diagnostic category for dissociative disorders. Since that time, there has been increasing research and clarification of the major differences between schizophrenia and dissociative disorders, including multiple personality disorders. The APA’s diagnostic manual of 1994, DSM-IV, recognizes dissociative disorders as psychologically-originated mental disorders, originating from psychological reactions to trauma and the stressors of life while schizophrenia is considered an organically originating mental disorder due to brain/nervous system chemical abnormalities.