This essay distills a quarter century of experience as a psychotherapist with clients who use dissociation as a strategy for coping with traumatic events and stressors. My most challenging professional developments have resulted from my therapeutic errors—errors that demonstrated either ineffectiveness or the reinforcement of defenses that result from the methods of interrogation, confrontation, and explanation and the techniques of behavioral change, redecision, and reparenting. When using these methods and techniques, we as psychotherapists often fail to value the client’s sense of vulnerability and perceived need for self-protection; we fail to respect the client’s integrity in constructing his or her system of making meaning, and we fail to realize how our interventions may increase the client’s sense of shame for having his or her experiences and defenses.
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Erskine, R. G. 1993 Inquiry, Attunement, and Involvement in the Psychotherapy of Dissociation. Available at https://www.integrativetherapy.com/en/articles.php?id=28. Last accessed April 2023