Structural Dissociation – part of Cold Therapy together with other approaches to trauma and retraumatization.
Dissociation: integrative deficit, not defense (child has few active defenses), symptoms (psychoform and somatoform).
Integration and adaptive behavior depend on synthesis (association of all components of experiences and functions into meaningful coherent mental structures both episodically and across time) and realization (analysis and assimilation via personification and presentification – bring past and future to bear on present, mindfulness and reflexivity).
Depersonalization is failure in personification (semantic not episodic memory, see my vid).
Trauma reduces integrative capacity. In premorbid personalities with low integrative capacity, may lead to dissociation.
Action systems (inborn, self-organizing, self-stabilizing, and homeostatic emotional operating systems): 1. Guides daily living and survival of the species 2. Physical defense under threat (4 Fs) 1+2 = social defense against abandonment and rejection (haywire in BPD) and interoreceptive defense against mental content (=defense mechanisms, primitive like splitting or sophisticated like passive-aggression).
Charles Samuel Myers 1940 in acutely traumatized war veterans: AS1 linked to ANP (apparently normal parts) AS2 linked to EP (emotional parts of the personality). Myers called them “personalities”, but today we call them “parts”.
EP contains vivid trauma recall (FLASHBACKS) and vehement negative emotionality (fear, horror, helplessness, anger, guilt, shame – or listless, non-responsive, submissive – or derealized and depersonalized). They are linked to body dysmorphia and separate sense of self.
ANP represses traumatic memories and avoids triggers via amnesia, sensory anesthesia, restricted emotions, numbness, depersonalization.
ANP conditioned to fear EP and reacts to intrusion by altering or lowering consciousness, substance abuse, addictions, compulsions, self-mutilation (to silence inner voice of EP), phobias or mental action, of dissociative parts, attachment and intimacy, attachment loss, normal life and change, evaluative conditioning (associating neutral stimuli with negative or positive outcomes and feelings owing to prior association with negative or positive stimuli), diversion, estrangement.
Individual can have one of each (Primary SD), one ANP and two or more EP (Secondary), or multiple ANP and EP (Tertiary).
Both ANP and EP have rudimentary sense of self (“I”) and exclusive access to some memories (=identity, see my lecture to Rostov students).
Dissociative parts vary in degree of intrusion and avoidance of trauma-related cues, affect regulation, psychological defenses, capacity for insight, response to stimuli, body movements, behaviors, cognitive schemas, attention, attachment styles, sense of self, self-destructiveness, promiscuity, suicidality, flexibility and adaptability in daily life, structural division, autonomy, number, subjective experience, overt manifestations, dissociative symptoms (negative like amnesia, numbness, impaired thinking, loss of skills, needs, wishes, fantasies, loss of motor functions or skills, loss of sensation; or positive when mental content or functions of one part introduce on another part’s – psychotic/schizophrenioa like voices, nonvolitional behaviors, tics, pains; psychoform or somatoform=conversion symptoms).
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