Freud argued that dissociation disorders were neurons that were extreme and maladaptive. He also specified three levels of consciousness: the conscious, preconscious, and unconscious. The conscious includes experiences that the individual is aware of. The preconscious includes memories or events that are readily available. The unconscious is the container for memories and emotions that are threatening to the conscious mind and as a result may be repressed. Bringing unconscious memories to the conscious awareness is a major therapeutic task.
To cope with anxiety, a person who develops dissociative identity disorder must have a means of dealing with the situation. As a result, ego defense mechanisms are formed to reconstruct reality. When defense mechanisms are used frequently, it creates pathological disturbances, and individuals avoid reality through the use of them. Common defense mechanisms that are used by individuals who suffer from DID includes repression, which often serves to remove painful material from conscious awareness and regression, the ability to revert to a previous stage of development.
One of the leading treatments for dissociative identity disorder is psychodynamic therapy. Psychodynamic therapists helps patients with dissociative identity disorder search their unconscious in hope of uncovering forgotten experiences and bring them back to the consciousness. The goal of psychodynamic psychotherapy is to change a person’s personality and character structure. The patient tries to resolve unconscious issues and find a better way of dealing with the problem. There is also an emphasis subjectivity and self-awareness of the self. The most common approach to psychoanalysis is the emphasis on bringing resolution of problems through the exploration of unconscious material.
Psychoanalysis is usually conducted with the patient lying on a couch and the analysts sitting behind the chair. The average number of sessions per week is four, although there can be more or less. Some of the techniques offered in psychoanalysts include free association and interpretation of dreams. Free association is when a patient talks freely, to relate everything of which they are aware, unconscious material arises for the analysts to examine. The content of the conversation can include feelings, thoughts, memories, sensations, and recent events. Lying on a couch allows the patient to have free-flowing associations. The job of the analysts is to listen for unconscious meanings or disruptions that mat relate to material that is anxiety provoking. In psychoanalytic therapy, dreams are significant to uncovering important unconscious material and providing insight for unresolved issues. By examining dreams, fears, wishes, wants and needs can be revealed. Freud believed that some memories are unacceptable to the ego that they are repressed and are often found in symbolic forms in dreams. Through analyzing the dream, the analyst encourages the patient to free...