Here is the Abstract and First Chapter of my Dissertation for my Doctorate from August 2012. Please check it out. Its about a shared understanding of Psychology/The Western-Medical Model and a more Cultural and Spiritual Understanding based on our understanding of Dissociation/DID and Possession/Incorporation/Mediumship. Enjoy!!!! 🙂
This theoretical study explores the possibility of integrating cultural and spiritual experiences into the current psychiatric descriptions of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illnesses (DSM-IV).
A review of cross-cultural literature across the world reveals a body of anthropological research demonstrating cultural interactions between spirituality and mental health. These experiences are sometimes congruent with and sometimes beyond the scope of the experimental scientific perspective, yet they hold significant meaning and roles in the experiences of each culture. To further understand and distinguish health from pathology, a need arises to incorporate this new dimension into our current DID definition. These cross-cultural experiences have similarities and symptomologies which we associate with our current understanding of Dissociative Identity Disorder, yet, as well, phenomena that are essentially different, healthy and humanizing as well as pathological.
A review of the history of DID (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder), evidences an initial interest in spiritual phenomena for understanding dissociative properties by prominent nineteenth century psychologists. However, at the turn of the century, the field relocated its interests to an experimental model of scientific inquiry, a model strongly influencing the DSM-IV and our current description of DID. The reemergence of DID in the late twentieth century, energized global consciousness, brought a new interest to the disorder, but it continued to be defined exclusively by the bio-scientific paradigm. Cross-cultural explanations of dissociative phenomena were beyond the parameters of this paradigm.
The goal of this dissertation is to better understand DID through an integration of theoretic models, contributing to a more effective clinical response to this human experience.