Problems, problems. Treating dissociative identity disorder.  If it isnt one thing, its another


A hallmark of trauma is the failure to develop a normal, narrative memory of the traumatic extent. In lieu of a coherent tale, fragments of the event that are the unprocessed sensations and feelings acquired during the trauma remain in memory. In DID, memory is further disrupted when alter personalities coalesce around individual memory fragments and either reenact conflicts or disown them. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) accelerates information processing and facilitates the integration of fragmented traumatic memories. A strategy for using EMDR to integrate traumatic memories in patients with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is presented and technical considerations for its implementation are discussed. The importance of using a staged-specific approach to incorporating EMDR and of fractionating the trauma work (fractionated abreaction) is stressed. To the extent that alter personalities often are based on memory fragments, integration of traumatic memory facilitates personality integration. EMDR may be a superior method for working with traumatic memories in that it appears to enhance memory integration and reformulate cognitions concomitantly.






Steven Lazrove

Original Work Citation

Lazrove, S. (1997, July). Problems, problems. Treating dissociative identity disorder. If it isn't one thing, it's another. Presentation at the 2nd EMDR International Association Conference, San Francisco, CA



“Problems, problems. Treating dissociative identity disorder.  If it isnt one thing, its another,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 29, 2021,

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