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Dissociation

Culture, Mind, and Body

Edited by David Spiegel, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-0-88048-557-9
  • Item #8557

Description

Dissociation challenges many comfortable assumptions. Dissociative phenomena are often stark, extreme, and vivid. The identities of individuals with dissociation disorders shift between apparent opposites. Their pain is ignored. Trauma victims report floating above their injured bodies. Are these arcane, dramatic, or staged events, or does dissociation underlie some fundamental aspect of mental organization? Is dissociation the product of a troubled mind or a key to understanding the structure of consciousness and the mind-body relationship?

Dissociation: Culture, Mind, and Body is the first book to combine cultural anthropology, cognitive psychology, neurophysiology, and the study of psychosomatic illness to present the latest information on the dissociative process. A variety of leading experts in each of these fields bring their knowledge on the unique role that dissociation plays in moderating social and psychological effects on the body. Dissociation: Culture, Mind, and Body is an invaluable resource for every student of dissociation and is designed for professionals in cross-cultural psychiatry and the influence of the mind on the body. Dissociation: Culture, Mind, and Body includes

  • New theories of dissociation
  • New measures of dissociation
  • New evidence of the physical effects of dissociative processes

Contents

Dissociation: The Phenomenon. Dissociation, defense, and the unconscious. Dissociated control, imagination, and phenomenology of dissociation. Measuring Dissociation. Studying the interaction between physical and psychological states with the Dissociative Experiences Scale. Systematizing dissociation: symptomatology and diagnostic assessment. Culture and Dissociation. Pacing the void: social and cultural dimensions of dissociation. Culture and dissociation: a comparison of ataque de nervios among Puerto Ricans and possession syndrome in India. Dissociation: Mind and Body. Dissociation and physical illness. Physiological correlates of hypnosis and dissociation. Conclusion.

About the Authors

David Spiegel, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Director of the Psychosocial Treatment Laboratory at Stanford University School of Medicine, in Stanford, California.

Our new nomenclature, DSM-IV, has new diagnoses and new symptoms in the criteria for these, and dissociation figures more prominently than in DSM-III. But this book goes far beyond such descriptive classifications. The wide range of phenomena that could be labeled as part of a set called dissociative experiences are considered in relation to possible etiologies. Biological, social, and psychological aspects of causation are considered and, above all, the linkages that may be possible between each realm of determining influences. It is this kind of multifaceted rethinking of even our basis for describing mental events and social behaviors that can start a new era of scientific study of the cause of psychiatric signs and symptoms. Join in the dialogue: reading this book is warmly recommended!—Mardi J. Horowitz, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco


For those trying to understand the processes leading to dissociation, this book provides a valuable overview of knowledge to date of the cognitive, sociocultural, psychometric, and physiological aspects of dissociation, as well as descriptions and definitions of the varying phenomenology of dissociation. I recommend this book highly to anyone interested in the topic of dissociation.—Judith Hammerling Gold, M.D., F.R.C.P.C., Past President, American College of Psychiatrists


In this book you will find not so much complete agreement as thoughtful examination of intersecting issues and, hopefully, a useful integration of the related cultural, mental, and physical aspects of dissociation.—David Spiegel, M.D., From the Introduction

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