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“Not with me you don't”: A story of narrative practice and dissociative disorder

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This paper discusses issues relating to therapeutic practice based upon the narrative metaphor. A case of someone suffering the effects of Dissociative Identity disorder is used to illustrate the difficulties that clients can experience with the “expert” knowledge conception of therapy. The value of the “respectful” and “non-expert” emphasis of Narrative Practice emerges even when the therapist believes that he or she lacks expertise in the client's apparent “condition.” Three themes emanating from the case form the basis for the discussion: the client's experience of being recruited into accepting the diagnostic label of Dissociative Identity Disorder; the effects of being forced to accept a contract to eliminate self-abusive behaviour; and the therapist's dealing with a gun in the therapy room.

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The authors wish to thank Jon L. Ogden for his assistance with the transcriptions of the video material.

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Gallant, J.P., Brownlee, K. & Vodde, R. “Not with me you don't”: A story of narrative practice and dissociative disorder. Contemp Fam Ther 17, 143–157 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02249310

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Key words

  • family therapy
  • narrative therapy
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder