“a Critical Examination of the Models of Dissociative Identity Disorder: a Synthesis of the Posttraumatic Model and the Sociocognitive Model”

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Introduction

Theories are used to define and explain the world around us. In essence, theories are frameworks for explaining various events or processes. (Baron & Byrne, 2003). Claude Levi Strauss (as cited in Fourie, 2001) maintained that a single logic underlies the structure of all theories. Seemingly contradictions between theories can be reduced to binary oppositions. Theories can thus be reduced to oppositional pairs that produce meaning. Therefore, according to Strauss, society can only understand and give meaning to processes through the contradictionary theories from which they emerge. Fundamentally then, a thesis is always followed by an antithesis, and at best, a synthesis of the thesis and the antithesis would result in the best theory of a phenomenon (Sternberg, 2003). Dissociative identity disorder (DID), formerly known as multiple personality disorder, is a dramatic condition in which two or more relatively independent personalities appear to exist in one person (Sue, Sue & Sue, 2003). Because of the complexity of the disorder, many theories have been developed to offer explanations for the cause of the disorder. As with most explanations for complex phenomena, these theories often clash or offer contrasting rationalizations. Controversy also surrounds the disorder because when the disorder became popularised in the 1970’s, the number of cases of DID rose from less than two hundred cases reported worldwide a year to six thousand cases reported each year (Milstone, 1997; as cited in Sue et al, 2003). Some clinicians believe that DID is relatively common but is underreported because of misdiagnosis, others believe that the prevalence of DID is overestimated because of reliance on questionable self-report measures (Sue et al, 2003). In a survey of psychologists conducted by Cormier and Thelen (1998; as cited by Sue et al, 2003), most psychologists believed DID to be a rare but valid diagnosis. Fifty three percent said they did not think the disorder



References: Baron, R.A., & Byrne, D. (2003). Social Psychology (10th ed.). Pearson Education, Inc. Chaves, J.F., Ganaway, G.K., Kirsch, I., Lilienfeld, S.O., Lynn, S.J., Powell, R.A., & Sarbin, T.R. (1999). Dissociative Identity Disorder and the Sociocognitive Model: Recalling the Lessons of the Past. Psychological Bulletin, 5, 507-523. Fourie, P.J. (2001). Media Studies: Content, Audiences and Production (Vol. 2).South Africa: Juta Education. Kihlstrom, J.F. (2004). Dissociative Disorders. Retrieved August 12, 2005, from Annual Reviews Web site: http://arjournals.annualreviews.org Maxmen, J.S McHugh, P.R. (n.d.). Multiple Personality Disorder (Dissociative Identity Disorder). Retrieved August 12, 2005, from: http://www.psycom.net/mchugh.html Micale, M.S., & Lerner, P Powell, R.A., & Gee, T.L. (1999). The Effects of Hypnosis on Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Reexamination of the Evidence. Can J Psychiatry, 44, 914-916. About Trauma: Dissociative Disorders Sternberg, R.J. (2003). Cognitive Psychology (3rd ed.). United States of America: Yale University. Sue, D., Sue, D.W., & Sue, S. (2003). Understanding Abnormal Behavior (7th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

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