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Narratives of dissociation : insights into the experience and treatment of dissociation in individuals who have been sexually abused in childhood Hirakata, Pamela Elizabeth

Abstract

A narrative research design was used to obtain an in-depth understanding of the experience and treatment of dissociation in seven individuals who had a history of childhood sexual abuse and engaged in moderate to high levels of dissociation. Through a holistic-content analysis (Lieblich, 1998), seven major themes emerged--disconnection to self, others, and the world; gaps in time, space, and memory; the dissociative process; personal meaning and insight; tools and techniques; challenging the dominant paradigm; and the therapeutic relationship. Significant contributions include: (a) redefining dissociation from the perspective of those who dissociate; (b) challenging the dominant discourse that views dissociation through a lens of pathology; and (c) highlighting the critical role of the therapeutic relationship in the treatment of dissociation.

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