Journal of Traumatic Stress

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 413–429 | Cite as

Pierre Janet and modern views of dissociation

  • Frank W. Putnam
Special Section: Pierre Janet's Contributions To Traumatic Stress Theory And Research


Pierre Janet's numerous important contributions to the understanding of dissociative disorders grew out of his background in philosophy, psychology, and medicine. A religious and even mystical man, he tempered his lifetime studies of psychopathology with precise observation and rigorous documentation. Janet was the first to articulate the clinical principles of the dissociative disorders and to systematically explore and treat the traumatic memories underlying dissociated behavior. He pioneered the use of abreaction and age-regression hypnotherapy techniques for exploring hidden trauma. Our clinical understanding of the dissociative disorders and their treatment stems in large measure from Pierre Janet's careful and thoughtful investigations a century ago..

Key Words

Pierre Janet dissociation hypnosis multiple personality disorder post-traumatic stress disorder 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank W. Putnam
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Developmental PsychologyNational Institute of Mental HealthBethesda

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