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  • This blog provides a forum for discussion of therapeutic technique, including cognitive behavioural and psychodynamic technique. The focus of the blog is on psychotherapeutic technique and issues in the room rather than case or theoretical discussions. At the bottom of each post is a comments section. Feel free to make any comments you like. Please remember this blog is a public forum.

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  • Chris Allan is a clinical psychologist and Director of the Psychology Clinic at the University of Wollongong. He has a strong interest in both cognitive and psychodynamic therapies and an ongoing fascination in the interaction of technology and psychology. His interests are varied and include martial arts, playing guitar, cooking, chess, clothes, poetry and computer gaming. He is married with two children two dogs and a budgie.

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Hi Chris, I really enjoyed seeing your post about multiplicity and I felt compelled to share my experience. I believe that we are all naturally multiple. I think of ego states as somewhat distinct personalities. We can shift from feeling momentarily scared because someone nearly ran us of the road, to shaking our fist at the culprit, to feeling guilty for our outburst, to self-forgiveness and understanding… When we shift much about us changes. Our physiology, our thoughts, our feelings, our neurochemistry, the way in which we filter information from the outside world, all changes. The difference between healthy multiplicity and unhealthy multiplicity is the extremity of parts, not necessarily the amount. Folks who are classified with DID have parts or themselves that, because of more severe trauma, are more extreme and often unconscious of each other. And whereas many of us have access to Self, which is the calm, compassionate, and centered conductor of this inner orchestra, those who have suffered more than the average bear tend to have more extreme parts which overshadow and prevent access to the Self. The usefulness of this approach is many fold. The cutting edge and wide-spreading model which has taught me a lot about multiplicity is called Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS). IFS integrates psychodynamic principles, family systems theory, and the Eastern traditions into a very collaborative, empowering and non-pathologizing way of healing. There’s more information about this model found here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/106.html I look forward to reading other comments about this subject and would love to dialogue about it. Noah :) P.S. I just found your site. It's great and can't wait to explore it more.

Just Me

Hi there! I'm having trouble on this post understanding your use of the term "borderline." You seem to be talking about people with borderline personality disorder, but it's not clear. (For the record, the shorthand term for this group that I like much better is PBB -- people with borderline behaviors. Truth is, a person with borderline personality disorder is not her/his diagnosis -- "a borderline" -- as much as a person with the diagnosis ... ;)

I understand your observations about doing therapy with people with multiple facets of their personalities -- love the metaphor of doing family therapy within a single person's brain. But are you suggesting that inherent in the diagnosis of BPD is an element of split or multiple personalities?

I know I have many facets of my personality, and I talk about facades I wear and ways I try to contort myself into behaving and being the person that I perceive others to be. And I know this is a defense mechanism (though I prefer to call it an offensive mechanism, within all the possible meanings of offensive!).

But I have never considered myself to have multiple personalities, or to suffer anything like the feelings and issues related to people with DID, for example.

Do I suddenly have another facet of my personality disorder to understand and explore? God help me!


I just wanted to say that it does seem problematic (as others have already hinted at) to conflate "parts, aspects, object or persons."

Surely, saying that a brain contains several different people is not at all the same thing as suggesting that a single person is complex and has many aspects to their personality.

I say this from experience, as there are several people who live within this brain (we are "naturally multiple," as Noah above phrased it) and each of us who live here has a many-faceted personality which is *separate* from everyone else's many-faceted personality. Sometimes, we talk to ourselves, just like anyone else - and that is distinct from talking to each-other, which we also do.

This is maybe not completely relevant to a discussion of Borderline Personality Disorder, but I can hardly imagine that conflating BPD with multiplicity helps either party - rather, it simultaneously dismisses the reality of the separateness of multiples while confusing a complex personality with separate people.

"Inner voices" and "internal dialogue" are not at all the same thing as separate individuals.


Psychology is really very wast topic, so i am in a learning phase to understand this.

Cure Panic Attacks

These examples are helpful because they make me feel like I am not alone. I also see whether certain treatment options are successful; which is very motivating

family therapy

I recently came across your blog and have been reading about family therapy. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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Cleo Pascal

Dealing with people with Multiple Personality Disorder is yes, troubling. I have read and seen some cases on television and on the internet. There was this one that I watched in Crime Scene Investigation channel where the murderer was found to have MPD. He was interviewed several times by the persecutor and he gives different answers every time -- it made the case to be difficult to solve. In one of the videos shown, while alone in the room, he was moving in a disturbing manner. One of the things I have learned is that people with this kind of illness is somewhat deceiving. They are very good at pretending and making stories depending on which people they are dealing with. I still believe that proper treatment can actually cure this. Some patients just need natural health therapy, I think.

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thanks. we are looking forward for your new comments!

Calvin Klein

thank you1

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