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“Personality”

 

 

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Page Contents: Introduction / The Illusion of Identity: “Ego States” / Personality Disorders / Treatment for Personality Disorders / Dissociative Disorders / How DID Begins / Why DID Happens / Diagnostic Problems (DID vs. Borderline Personality Disorder vs. Psychotic Disorder; self-mutilation) / Treatment Issues

 

The
 
Problem
 
With
 
“Personality”

IHE French psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan, taught that all desire is the “ desire of the Other.”  [1]  In plain language, this means that most of our unconscious life Jacques Lacan is a product of a variety of external social influences. The concept of personality, therefore, although a common term in psychology, really doesn’t mean much because any person is really composed of many diverse, fragmentary—and generally illusory—images of “self.” In the midst of such chaos, psychology can’t heal a personality so much as help a person recognize all these illusions.

These normal fragments of personality are often called ego states, a term derived from the clinical hypnosis work of John & Helen Watkins. In contrast, Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) is an abnormal condition in which the personality becomes so fragmented that some of the various parts cannot even communicate with each other.

MPD, now known in diagnostic terminology as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), has a fascination as well as a mystery about it. For example, it’s possible to recognize each different personality, or “alter,” from just a few words—in the same way that it’s possible to recognize instantly the voice of a person calling on the telephone. On the other hand, no one can understand the process by which the human brain can create and hold separate and distinct each different personality.

Nevertheless, in spite of the things we don’t know, several things can be said to help you understand something about normal and abnormal “personality” phenomena.

 


 

Ego
 
States:
 
The
 
Illusion
 
Of
 
Identity

As I said before, we should first realize that no one has a truly single, or unified, personality. For the most part, what psychologists talk about as “identity,” although a useful construct, is a complete illusion. Simply consider, for example, that the scientist who works in the lab is a quite different “person” from the parent who plays with the children, who is again a completely different “person” from the intimate husband or wife. Still, this is all one and the same “person.” As I said above, these different qualities of personality have been called ego states.

Sometimes, we notice this by saying something like, “I saw so-and-so at the company picnic over the weekend, and when he was playing with the children he showed a child-like side of himself that I had never seen before.” There is nothing abnormal about this except the fact that we don’t notice such things more often.

  

Occasionally you might hear about a person who commits a crime or is implicated in a scandal. Friends and family may rush to the defense, saying “It couldn’t be true! He is so nice and so devoted to his family.” Well, sad to say, it could very well be that a lewd or criminal ego state exists side-by-side with the pillar-of-the-community ego state. Therefore, a person’s behavior in one situation does not “prove” anything about the rest of his or her life.
 
One point to remember here is that even though the motivation for one’s behavior may be unconscious, an ego state is not a dissociative experience. Therefore, when acting from a particular ego state one is still aware of the behavior itself.
 
This all goes to show that unless your values embrace all your ego states you will always be vulnerable to the “snares” of corruption. It takes considerable discipline to communicate with and heal all the aspects of your personality so as to live a truly honest and spiritual life.
 
Unfortunately, all too many people in this world don’t want anything to do with such discipline. And so we have the on-going problem of apparently upstanding members of the community hiding—and denying—their secrets. Secrets, for example, such as child abuse.

  

 


 

Personality
 
Disorders

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) [2] describes several types of Personality Disorders which might be diagnosed. Mind you, the disorders and their descriptions that follow are not my own ideas; they have been created by the American Psychiatric Association, and they are the mainstay of all contemporary psychotherapy that functions on the concept of psychiatric diagnosis.

  

A NOTE ABOUT PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING
FOR PERSONALITY DISORDERS

Although psychological testing might be used to aid in a psychiatric diagnosis, most personality tests are best used in forensic applications. For clinical purposes, a competent psychologist can diagnose any of the personality disorders just through a clinical interview. Moreover, in regard to psychotherapy, simply knowing the personality disorder diagnosis does little to explain the nature of a person’s unique, individual problems.
 
Note also that “popular” tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Enneagram, often used in educational and corporate personnel settings to assess personality “types,” have little clinical use to a competent psychologist and are best reserved for entertainment.

  

Cluster A Personality Disorders

Paranoid Personality Disorder refers to a “pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent.”

Schizoid Personality Disorder refers to a “pervasive pattern of detachment from social relationships and a restricted range of expression of emotions in interpersonal settings.”

Schizotypal Personality Disorder refers to a “pervasive pattern of social and interpersonal deficits marked by acute discomfort with, and reduced capacity for, close relationships as well as by cognitive or perceptual distortions and eccentricities of behavior.”

Cluster B Personality Disorders 

Antisocial Personality Disorder refers to a “pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others.”

Borderline Personality Disorder refers to a “pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity.”

Read a short discussion about treatment for BPD

Histrionic Personality Disorder refers to a “pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking.”

Narcissistic Personality Disorder refers to a “pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy.”

Cluster C Personality Disorders

Avoidant Personality Disorder refers to a “pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation.”

Dependent Personality Disorder refers to a “pervasive and excessive need to be taken care of that leads to submissive and clinging behavior and fears of separation.”

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder refers to a “pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control, at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency.”

  

Sometimes, a person is described as having an Anal Personality or as being anal retentive. Dr. Sigmund FreudThese terms derive from Freud’s philosophy of psychoanalysis and his theories about psycho-sexual development; the terms are not DSM-IV diagnoses. Rather, they are descriptive phrases which are used quite freely today—and often without regard for their technical, psychoanalytic meaning.
 
These terms actually derive their meaning from the process of toilet training. Sometimes, for their convenience, parents want toilet functions to happen on schedule. And sometimes a child doesn’t want to cooperate; he or she can “hold back” these functions for his or her own satisfaction. Healthy development requires that the child and the parents work out these conflicts peacefully, in a fair give-and-take of assertiveness. If, however, the child feels resentful because he or she always has to give in to the parents’ demands, he or she can end up with an “anal personality”—that is, the child will appear to be generous but will actually (unconsciously) want to retain and hoard things out of a fear of losing them to the demands of others. As the child grows up, he or she will have the tendency to fall into this hoarding mentality as a defensive way of coping with an emotional crisis. So someone will say, “He/she is so anal retentive!” (Of course, in free usage, the term anal retentive can be used of someone without any knowledge of that person’s unconscious motivation; in this case, the term probably doesn’t mean much more than “selfish.”)

 
Passive-Aggressive Personality is another Freudian term. It refers to a person who gives the appearance of being cooperative and yet whose continual procrastination and dawdling are really an unconscious manipulation reflecting hostility. The underlying dynamic here is spite, a desire to retaliate against those who are perceived to be hurtful. In their own eyes these persons may see themselves as victims of circumstances beyond their control, but all their unfortunate failures—which ultimately block the plans of others—are unconsciously contrived.

  

 


 

Treatment
 
for
 
Personality
 
Disorders

When the DSM-IV describes the symptoms of the various personality disorders, it consistently refers to the “pervasive pattern” of those symptoms. This indicates that personality disorders do not just pop up overnight, like mushrooms after a rain; instead, the symptoms have well-developed roots reaching deep into the unconscious.

Accordingly, the treatment for a personality disorder will take considerable time. A few sessions of cognitive-behavioral treatment will likely not have much effect on deeply rooted unconscious conflicts. In fact, this very fact explains why mental health insurance companies often refuse to pay for any treatment when an Axis II diagnosis (a personality disorder) is the primary diagnosis.

Now, some personality disorders are by definition, so to speak, almost impossible to treat. Individuals with Paranoid Personality Disorder or Antisocial Personality Disorder, for example, will simply avoid any hint of mental health treatment. Treatment for Narcissistic Personality Disorder can have its own problems, in that the narcissist will often feel superior to the psychologist providing the treatment.

Nevertheless, treatment for personality disorders can be effective, given the necessary time and money.

In general, the treatment will focus on overcoming all of your many unhealthy psychological defense mechanisms that have been built up over a lifetime of emotional pain. This will be accomplished primarily through genuine, honest emotional encounters with your psychologist. In essence, the psychotherapeutic work all depends on the integrity of the psychotherapeutic relationship, through which new, psychologically healthy interpersonal behaviors and healthy boundaries will replace old, unhealthy defense mechanisms.

Dream analysis can be especially helpful in this work, as long as the analysis avoids any standardized “cookbook” meanings, and as long as the analysis avoids “spiritualizing” the dreams as some sort of mystical insights. Dreams generally provide powerful images of interpersonal functioning that, when properly understood, can guide you into correcting your psychological mistakes.

It can also help if you do anything you can to disentangle yourself from the social illusions of the ego. Personality disorders have their essential basis in defending ego “identity” and protecting it from interpersonal threat, so you will benefit much to learn, as the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan taught, that “I” is an illusion. Instead of filling yourself with repetitive assertions of what “I want” and what “I need” and what “I deserve” and what “I fear,” turn your attention to what you can give to others—that is, to all the emotionally wounded individuals in this world—through personal sacrifice and prayer. This, after all, is what true love is all about, and personality disorders, in one way or another, do their psychological best to maintain your fear of love.

 


 

Dissociative
 
Disorders

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) [2a] describes several types of Dissociative Disorders which might be diagnosed.

Dissociative Amnesia refers to the inability to recall important personal information, usually of a traumatic or stressful nature. This amnesia, from the Greek term meaning a lack of remembering, is far more extensive than ordinary forgetfulness.
    Dissociative Amnesia would not be diagnosed if the amnesia did not cause a major disturbance to the person’s life or if it were due to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., drugs or alcohol) or a general medical condition, such as Alzheimer’s disease, a head trauma, or epilepsy, for example.

Dissociative Fugue refers to a sudden, unexpected travel away from home with the inability to recall one’s past, leading to confusion about one’s identity—or even the assumption of a new identity.
    Dissociative Fugue would not be diagnosed if the symptoms did not cause a major disturbance to the person’s life or if they were due to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., drugs or alcohol) or a general medical condition.

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formerly called Multiple Personality Disorder, has several diagnostic features:

The presence of two or more distinct identities, each with its own unique, and enduring, way of relating to the world and self.

At least two of these identities recurrently take control of the person’s behavior.

An inability to recall important personal information to an extent that is more than ordinary forgetfulness. Classic examples are finding new clothes in your closet which you don’t remember buying; finding yourself in a place or situation and not being able to remember how you got there; having a complete loss of memory for what happened in the previous few days.

DID would not be diagnosed if the symptoms did not cause a major disturbance to the person’s life or if they were due to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., drugs or alcohol) or a general medical condition.

Depersonalization Disorder refers to the experience of feeling detached or estranged from one’s self, but with reality testing intact; that is, you know what is happening, but you don’t feel like you’re experiencing it yourself or don’t feel like you’re experiencing it in your body.

  

Sometimes, symptoms of this sort can be experienced while dreaming or while in hypnagogic (i.e., dream-like) states such as deep hypnosis or meditation; in such cases, dissociative symptoms will be transient and should not cause a major disturbance to your life.

  

Depersonalization Disorder would not be diagnosed if the symptoms did not cause a major disturbance to the person’s life or if they were due to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., drugs or alcohol) or a general medical condition, such as mild aortic valve insufficiency (AI) or minimal coronary artery disease (MCAD), for example.

 


 

Dissociative
 
Identity
 
Disorder:
 
How
 
DID
 
Begins

To begin with, the entire concept of DID is controversial. Skeptics claim that the whole thing is a product of social influence, about as real as “hysteria” was for Freud. But skeptics, with all their logical pragmatism, tend to make judgments as sweeping as the gullible who will believe anything. Noting many instances of fraud and deception, the skeptics sadly discount the real cases. DID may not be as prevalent as some misguided psychotherapists claim, but real cases do seem to occur.

Genuine cases of DID apparently occur as a result of severe, on-going emotional, sexual, or physical abuse. At present, this is not a scientific fact, just a strong guess. We also know that DID does not seem to happen as an adult response to trauma; for example, men who have been tortured for years in POW camps apparently do not develop DID. (Adult trauma, however, might bring out other personalities if the adult had developed DID in childhood.) The process seems to begin only in children. This makes sense, because childhood is the time of life when personality in general develops in all of us.

So the best guess is that the on-going trauma of abuse, which happens during childhood, just when personality is developing, somehow causes alternate, distinct personalities to form. And, unlike ego states, the alternate personalities can, and usually do, exist completely out of awareness of the “main person” or of each other. It is as if the alters live in isolated compartments with no communication among them.

And this lack of communication points to one characteristic of a genuine case of DID: fear and embarrassment about having other personalities. In contrast, those individuals who show up on TV talk shows, touting their “diagnosis,” raise the most suspicion of having ulterior motives, such as a craving for attention and money, to be seen by others as “special” and different. 

  

I will point out here that some writers have claimed that all persons with DID have been subjected to “Satanic ritual abuse” (SRA). In my opinion (theological background and all) this is nonsense.[3,4] There are some who do formally practice satanic worship, but there are a lot of pitifully misguided, sometimes outright perverted, adults who don’t need the excuse of “ritual abuse” to inflict pain and suffering on children.

But in the end, the “truth” of any traumatic memories—whether fully conscious all along or recovered after the fact—doesn’t mean much in regard to psychotherapy. As long as the main personality turns away from perversion and self-indulgence (the very things which define satanism in the first place) and, like a shepherd protecting the flock, learns to embrace real love and forgiveness as the core of life for all the alters, then there is nothing to despair—and nothing to argue about.

  

So, despite all these controversial issues, it can be said simply that child abuse leaves you with a confused mass of ordinary human emotions. But this confusion can feel so painful that your primary defense will be to “get away” from it all and to turn your back on values such as love and forgiveness. Thus you will find yourself in a living hell with recourse to nothing but empty human solutions of anger, bitterness, and fear.

If, through proper psychotherapy you have the courage to face those emotions, tease them apart, and understand how each one affects your behavior, then there is real hope. Otherwise you will spend the rest of your life reacting automatically and blindly to your emotions, blaming others and feeling victimized by circumstances that are really of your own making. Because, as hard as it sounds, when you turn away from true love in the first place, it’s your choice, and yours alone. It may be a tragic mistake, influenced by ignorance and fear—or even the social pressure of “programming” or brainwashing—but, at its root, it’s still your free choice. And, being a free choice, it can be remedied by your freely turning back to what you turned away from in the first place.

 


 

Why
 
DID
 
Happens

As to why DID happens, again there are only guesses from clinical stories. Apparently, childhood abuse is so frightening, even life-threatening, that the main personality of the child cannot deal with it, and is so overwhelmed that it dissociates (“spaces out”) and lets another personality take over. We just don’t know exactly what happens in the “taking over” part. It might begin simply as a sort of frantic daydreaming that, in repetition, leads to a well-defined alter. But, to be honest, we don’t even know exactly how a regular personality forms anyway. (Note that dissociation is a completely different process than repression.)

 


 

Diagnostic
 
Problems

I have had DID patients cautiously ask me what a “Borderline” is, and, on further inquiry, I have discovered that they have been diagnosed in the past as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) but never knew what it meant. I have also seen, when working in residential treatment, patients diagnosed as Schizophrenic when, in hindsight, I believe they were more likely DID.

Borderline Personality Disorder applies as a descriptive term to a person who, among other things, is characterized by:

Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

Unstable relationships

Impulsivity (usually involving drugs or alcohol)

Recurrent suicidal attempts

Difficulty controlling anger

Self-mutilation

Read a short discussion about treatment for BPD

 
Schizophrenia refers to a Psychotic Disorder marked by delusions, hallucinations, incoherent speech, and disorganized thinking, among others.

Delusions are false beliefs about external reality that are maintained despite obvious proof or evidence to the contrary. Some examples are beliefs that one’s thoughts are being broadcast for others to hear; that one’s thoughts are being inserted into one’s mind by outside forces; that one is being attacked or conspired against by others.

Hallucinations are sensory perceptions that seem real but that occur without stimulation of the relevant sensory organ. (Illusions, often confused with hallucinations, are misperceived or misinterpreted sensory perceptions. For example, shadows may seem to take the shape of a physical form, or trickling water may seem to be the sound of a voice.)

 
In my experience, some clinicians tend to settle on a diagnosis of BPD rather quickly when they first hear about suicidal gestures, drug or alcohol abuse, and self-mutilating behaviors such as cutting and burning. Unfortunately, these symptoms also can occur as a result of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Therefore, a clinician must investigate the matter thoroughly and decide if the person being diagnosed really has the manipulative, demanding nature so characteristic of BPD. It is my opinion that BPD is a mis-diagnosis in many cases.

Likewise, it should be determined if the person really has the disordered thought process and hallucinations of Schizophrenia. For example, is the person hallucinating or is she “hearing voices” of the alters? Is there really a thought disorder, or is she disorganized because of constant, unknown, or uncontrolled switching between alters? It makes a big difference.

And speaking of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, just as symptoms of PTSD can be confused with BPD, so too the dissociative symptoms of PTSD must not be mistakenly diagnosed as genuine DID. As I said above, DID is rare, while PTSD is being diagnosed more and more these days, for an increasing variety of reasons.

All in all, then, a clinician who relies just on past diagnoses and superficially observed behaviors can make a tragic mistake.

  

Remember also that, from the patient’s perspective, some alters do not want to be discovered and will quite happily lead the clinician as far astray down the garden path as possible.

  

Finally, consider the legal issues of diagnosis as well, for exaggeration of symptoms—and outright fakery—should never be overlooked as an attempt to avoid responsibility for one’s actions.

 


 

DID
 
Treatment
 
Issues
 

The best advice I can give is first to find someone who understands the things pointed out above. Treatment then depends on building up enough trust in each other to speak frankly about things previously kept secret, and to give voice to the emotional pain of your memories.

I also have the ground rule that all parts of the personality will be listened to and valued equally, and that no parts will be “killed off” or disavowed.

“The stone the builders reject will become the corner stone of the new creation.”

This rule applies even to the most destructive and frightening personality parts—for these parts are usually the ones who bear the most pain and therefore need the most help. A threatening attitude by one part usually serves as a defense against a feared betrayal of trust, as in “I’ll hurt myself before I let you close enough to hurt me.” The whole process takes courage for both the psychotherapist and the client.

For example, during the psychotherapeutic process you will experience many emotions that are similar to the emotions you felt as a child. Disappointment. Anger. Confusion. Feeling misunderstood. Feeling devalued. Feeling abandoned. Many different events—some of them just chance occurrences during psychotherapy (for example, a key to the restroom not in its proper place; a session cancelled because of the psychotherapist’s illness; etc.) and some of them deliberate therapeutic interventions by the psychotherapist (for example, a charge for a missed session; an interpretation of a dream that touches a truth you don’t want to hear; a calculated decision not to respond to an e-mail message; a declined invitation to a wedding or graduation; etc.)—will trigger these emotions.

This triggering process is technically called transference.

So, when you feel an emotion in psychotherapy, the therapeutic task will be to name it as an emotion and understand it as an emotion—not get caught in it as if it were your helpless destiny. For if you get caught in it, you will feel like a victim and will blame the psychotherapist for your pain, and the entire therapeutic process will feel like judgment and criticism. And then, in deep bitterness, you will want to “get away” from the psychotherapy just as you wanted to get away from the original emotions as a child.

Fusion

Some persons talk about “fusion” in regard to the effect of the psychotherapy process. I really don’t know exactly what this means, and I think the persons who use the term aren’t sure either. As I said earlier, no one has a “singular” personality, so the best that can be hoped for is a reasonable communication and cooperation among various parts of the personality.

In its dynamic sense, fusion really means nothing more than allowing your pain to diffuse across all parts of the personality so that you are united in accepting the pain. One of the greatest difficulties in doing psychotherapy with dissociative states—or ordinary ego states, for that matter—is that the one part of the personality who holds the deepest pain is usually feared by the other parts. And in the fear, of course, comes disavowal. But only when such a part is recognized and accepted with forgiveness can there be any hope of real healing.

 


 

Gratitude
 

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Notes:

1. Jacques Lacan, “The subversion of the subject and the dialectic of desire in the Freudian unconscious.” In Écrits: A selection, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: W. W. Norton, 1977).
   
2, 2a. American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 1994.
   
3. Putnam, F. W. (1991). The Satanic ritual abuse controversy. Child Abuse and Neglect, 15, 175–179.
   
4. Ganaway, G. (1989). Historical truth versus narrative truth: Clarifying the role of exogenous trauma in the etiology of multiple personality disorder and its variants. Dissociation, 2, 205–220.

 
Additional Resources
 
Dissociation:
Dissociative Disorders  from THE MERCK MANUAL, Sec. 15, Ch. 188.
International Society for the Study of Dissociation
 
Ego States:
Ego State Therapy  features online “reprints” of articles by John & Helen Watkins.
 
Lacanian Psychoanalysis:
Lacanian Links
The Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis  in the San Francisco Bay area, offers training in Lacanian psychoanalysis.
The San Francisco Society for Lacanian Studies  provides lectures and information about Lacanian psychoanalysis.
 
Multiple Personalities:
Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ACSA)  is an innovative psychologically based support group recovery program that offers workshops, peer-guided and professional-guided support groups, and a guidebook.
All About MPD/DID  provides information from a professional viewpoint; you might want to compare it to what I have said.
DID, offers some Catholic theological opinions about treatment for DID, along with information about Mary Magdalene, a reputed Biblical multiple.
Many Voices, an international self-help site for DID clients and their therapists, provides “words of hope for people recovering from trauma and dissociation.”
Mental Health Matters  provides “user-friendly, mental health information services for everyone with an interest in mental health, mental illness, psychology, psychiatric disorders, emotional well-being and personal growth.” It is maintained by a DID adult survivor of childhood abuse.
MPD/DID Resources  provides links and information about MPD and child abuse. Written from a survivor’s perspective.
 
Personality:
Malignant Self Love – Narcissism Re-Visited  — by Sam Vaknin, PhD, provides a comprehensive source of free information about Narcissistic Personality Disorder and the social effects of pathological narcissism.
Personality and Consciousness  — although oriented to selling books, this site also has a section for information about major personality theorists.
 
Personality Types:
Personality Type Summary
 
Psychological Assessment:
Buros Institute  —their “test reviews are evaluations of the tests, not the actual tests themselves.”
TestLink   “The ETS Test Collection includes an extensive library of 20,000 tests and other measurement devices from the early 1900s to the present.”
Mental Health   from Serendip provides numerous links to resources for information on psychological assessment.
The Web Psychological Club  has several online psychological tests available for your entertainment. You won’t find copies of any of the standard professional tests online, however, for two reasons: (a) because the tests are copyrighted, and (b) because the security of the tests must be maintained.
 
Schizophrenia:
Schizophrenia.com  provides “all the valuable and accurate information on the disease schizophrenia.”
Schizophrenia And Related Disorders  from THE MERCK MANUAL, Sec. 15, Ch. 193.
 
Self-injury:
Secret Shame  provides information about self-mutilating behavior so common in DID.
Self-Injury in Adolescents - AACAP Facts For Families  from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP).
 
Skepticism:
Skeptic’s Dictionary: multiple personality disorder
Skeptic’s Dictionary: the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Skeptic’s Dictionary: enneagram
 
Trauma:
Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ACSA)  is an innovative psychologically based support group recovery program that offers workshops, peer-guided and professional-guided support groups, and a guidebook.
The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)  provides a forum for the sharing of research, clinical strategies, public policy concerns, and theoretical formulations on trauma in the United States and around the world through its education and training programs and its various publications.
Mental Health Net: Self-help Trauma, PTSD, and Stress Resources  is a comprehensive listing of trauma, PTSD, and stress information and self-help resources online.
The National Center for PTSD  provides information about PTSD research and a PILOTS data base linked to the world’s largest collection of traumatic stress literature.
The National Organization on Male Sexual Victimization (NOMSV)  “is dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and elimination of male sexual victimization.”
Suicide and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)  provides information about suicidal thinking and PTSD.
Trauma Information Pages  provides a comprehensive listing of trauma support info, disaster info, and related mental health issues on the Internet.
 
For additional information concerning protecting your child from child abuse or drug abuse, contact the following clearinghouses:
National Clearinghouse for Child Abuse and Neglect
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Information
 
Related pages within A Guide to Psychology and its Practice:
Anger
Death—and the Seduction of Despair
Depression and Suicide
Diagnosis in Clinical Psychology
Family Therapy
Fear
Forgiveness
Honesty
Identity and Loneliness
Legal Issues
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Psychological Testing
Questions and Answers about Psychotherapy
Repressed Memories
Sex and Love
Spiritual Healing
Spirituality and Psychology
Terrorism and Psychology
The Unconscious
 
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