Family Enrichment Center of Seattle

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Multiple Personality and Dissociation

Author(s): David L. Calof


Multiplicity Personality and Dissociation: Understanding Incest, Abuse and MPD, 1993, Parkside Publishing. By David L. Calof with Mary LeLoo

In this book, originally a three-part interview in the newspaper Journey, David L. Calof answers a series of questions designed to provide information about abuse issues, multiple personality disorder, and dissociation.

When reading this intelligent book, one feels like a participant in the conversation with Calof, psychotherapist, clinical consultant, and editor of Treating Abuse Today. The interview covers subjects such as rage, containment, partners, families of origin, and the difficulty the psychotherapeutic profession has had accepting and understanding MPD. (Calof characterizes those who do not believe in MPD as individuals who have trouble comprehending the magnitude of violence toward children in our society.) He also speculates about multiples in prison and about what happens to multiples who do not receive proper treatment.

Other issues, which usually are not discussed in books about multiplicity, are considered here: how therapists respond to the horrific accounts they hear; how pessimistic Calof is about what is happening in our culture concerning child abuse, a topic he speaks passionately about; and how abundant is the denial of abuse.

Finally, Calof discusses techniques for containment of rage; how survivors can prepare for confronting the details of their abuse; and how people can develop and achieve healing.
—Review by The Sidran Foundation Bookshelf

Other Reviews:
“…therapeutic wisdom on the subjects of abuse, dissociation, and MPD [DID]…tells the truth boldly and makes complex processes understandable.  This book is essential reading for therapists and survivors.” —Joan A. Turkus, MD, Medical Director, Center for Abuse Recovery and Empowerment, The Psychiatric Institute of Washington, DC.
“…an intelligent interview with one of the field’s most thoughtful and skilled therapists…Calof’s compassion and social conscience shine through.  Survivors of sever childhood trauma and their supportive others, as well as professionals, will find this book helpful and affirming.” —Barry M. Cohen, MA, ATR, Co-editor, Multiple Personality Disorder from the Inside Out.

“…this book…is candid, informative, and stimulating…I learned not only about this important content area…but also about how this capable and ethical clinician translates theory into practice.” —Eliana M. Gil, PhD, author, Outgrowing the Pain.

“I read this book while I was coming to terms with my own diagnosis of MPD. For the first time, I didn’t feel like a freak, but rather, a person who had survived my childhood the best and only way that I was able. This is an excellent book to answer may questions that the patient wants to ask, but doesn’t know how to formulate. It is also a tremendous help for family members and others who wish to try to understand the diagnosis. —Review by