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Multiple Racial Identities

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What are your thoughts about the implications of the complexity of identity, and what is the best way to utilize the information learned about each cultural group when working with an individual with multiple identities, particularly racial identities, in counseling/therapy?

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Based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR, [APA, 2002]) definition, Dissociative Identity Disorder is characterized by an identity that appears fragmented, rather than suggesting a separate personality (p.519). Further the DSM describes Dissociative Disorder that does not meet clinical criteria for the clinical category as "Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise specified, which includes de-personalization accompanied by de-realization (not perceiving reality), and prolonged periods of dissociation and intense coercive persuasion. (i.e., brainwashing, or thought indoctrination while captive. Thus, given the DSM's (2002) definition on multiple identities that do not reflect a clinical syndrome, individuals who have been culturally ostracized and socially marginalized would be included in this definition.

Spanos (1996) maintains that the concept of multiple identities has been handed down from Freudian psychoanalysis. According to Spanos, since the 19th century, there has been an increase in reported cases of Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) with most involving 3 or more personalities (e.g., Coors, et al as cited in Spanos, 1996). However, as Spanos points out, despite the high rate of MPD that has been reported in studies, and those reported by clinicians who support MPD, other studies indicate that the rates of MPD are low (Merkey & Burbich, 1975 as cited in Spanos, 1996). Spanos report finding no cases of MPD among 89 patients, who were diagnosed with Dissociative and Conversion Disorders. He further adds that MPD appears ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the concepts of multiple identities in counseling therapy. The complexity of identity, and the best way to obtain information concerning particular cultural groups relative to multiple identities are discussed in 899 words.

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