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Cooper B. Holmes

In: 21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 81: Dissociative Disorders

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Dissociative Disorders
Dissociative disorders

In this chapter, the focus is on a group of disorders that generates more controversy than any other diagnostic category, especially two of them: dissociative identity disorder, more commonly known as multiple personality disorder, and dissociative amnesia. Throughout this chapter I use the designations mental health field and mental health professionals rather than psychology and psychologists to reflect the wide diversity of professions involved in the controversy over these diagnoses, for example, psychiatry, social work, counseling, and, of course, psychology. The controversy is principally over the dramatic increase in the frequency of dissociative diagnoses since the 1970s, although some professionals also seriously question the legitimacy of these diagnoses. For example, some research indicates only about one fourth of psychiatrists believe multiple personalities ...

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