The use of imagery in phase 1 treatment of clients with complex dissociative disorders

van der Hart, Onno
January 2012
European Journal of Psychotraumatology;2012, Vol. 3, Special section p1
Academic Journal
The "standard of care" for clients with complex dissociative disorders and other complex trauma-related disorders is phase-oriented treatment. Within this frame, therapeutic progress can be enhanced by the use of imagery-based therapeutic techniques. In this article, the emphasis is on their application in phase 1 treatment, stabilization, symptom reduction, and skills training, but attention is also paid to applications in phase 2 and phase 3 treatment. Many of the existing imagery techniques are geared toward clients becoming more able to function in a more adaptive way in daily life, which, however, requires the involvement of various dissociative parts of the personality. Such collaborative involvement is also essential in the later treatment phases. Therefore, understanding the dissociative nature of these disorders is helpful in the judicious application of these techniques.


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