Emma's Journey with Dissociative Identity Disorder
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Guest: Dr. Dan Siegel
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Daniel J. Siegel received his medical degree from Harvard University and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent and adult psychiatry.  He served as a National Institute of Mental Health Research Fellow at UCLA, studying family interactions with an emphasis on how attachment experiences influence emotions, behavior, autobiographical memory and narrative.

Dr. Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. An award-winning educator, he is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and recipient of several honorary fellowships. Dr. Siegel is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational organization, which offers online learning and in-person seminars that focus on how the development of mindsight in individuals, families and communities can be enhanced by examining the interface of human relationships and basic biological processes. His psychotherapy practice includes children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. He serves as the Medical Director of the LifeSpan Learning Institute and on the Advisory Board of the Blue School in New York City, which has built its curriculum around Dr. Siegel’s Mindsight approach.

Dr. Siegel has published extensively for the professional audience.  He is the author of numerous articles, chapters, and the internationally acclaimed text, The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are (2nd. Ed., Guilford, 2012).  This book introduces the field of interpersonal neurobiology, and has been utilized by a number of clinical and research organizations worldwide. Dr. Siegel serves as the Founding Editor for the Norton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology which contains nearly seventy textbooks.  The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being (Norton, 2007) explores the nature of mindful awareness as a process that harnesses the social circuitry of the brain as it promotes mental, physical, and relational health. The Mindful Therapist: A Clinician's Guide to Mindsight and Neural Integration (Norton, 2010), explores the application of focusing techniques for the clinician’s own development, as well as their clients' development of mindsight and neural integration. Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology: An Integrative Handbook of the Mind (Norton, 2012), explores how to apply the interpersonal neurobiology approach to developing a healthy mind, an integrated brain, and empathic relationships. The New York Times bestseller Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human (Norton, 2016) offers a deep exploration of our mental lives as they emerge from the body and our relations to each other and the world around us. His New York Times bestseller Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence (Tarcher/Perigee, 2018) provides practical instruction for mastering the Wheel of Awareness, a life-changing tool for cultivating more focus, presence, and peace in one's day-to-day life. Dr. Siegel's publications for professionals and the public have been translated into over 40 forty languages.

Dr. Siegel’s book, Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation (Bantam, 2010), offers the general reader an in-depth exploration of the power of the mind to integrate the brain and promote well-being. He has written five parenting books, including the three New York Times bestsellers Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain (Tarcher/Penguin, 2014); The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind (Random House, 2011) and No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind (Bantam, 2014), both with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., The Yes Brain: How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity, and Resilience in Your Child (Bantam, 2018) also with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D., and Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive (Tarcher/Penguin, 2003) with Mary Hartzell, M.Ed.

Dr. Siegel's unique ability to make complicated scientific concepts exciting and accessible has led him to be invited to address diverse local, national and international groups including mental health professionals, neuroscientists, corporate leaders, educators, parents, public administrators, healthcare providers, policy-makers, mediators, judges, and clergy. He has lectured for the King of Thailand, Pope John Paul II, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Google University, and London's Royal Society of Arts (RSA). He lives in Southern California with his family.

You can see his website HERE.

The website for the Mindsight Institute is HERE.

The parts of the brain video referenced in the podcast is here:

All About Attachment

We got to speak again with Dr. Peter Barach, who taught us all about attachment.

He tells the story of being in class with Mary Ainsworth (who developed attachment theory),who was a student herself of Bowlby (pioneer of attachment theory).

Attachment theory explains the infant-mother dynamic, emphasizing the importance of a secure and trusting mother-infant in healthy development.

John Bowlby (1907-1990) was a British child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, known for his theory on attachment. Key points to Bowlby’s theory include:

  • Infants are born already biologically wired to be cared for and attach to a primary caregiver;

  • Bowlby was influenced by Lorenz’s imprinting studies (baby ducks!);

  • Attachment behaviors are instinctive, which matters to trauma because those early attachment responses can be activated (triggered!) by conditions that threaten closeness or connection: separation, insecurity, and fear;

  • These innate behaviors are part of the survival instinct process;

  • The initial attachment experience serves a lens for all future relationships as the infant grows into a child and then into an adult; and

  • This initial experience provides an “internal working model” that serves as (1) a model of others as being trustworthy, (2) a model of the self as valuable, and (3) a model of the self as effective when interacting with others.

Dr. Barach then also explained the attachment styles identified by Ainsworth, through her strange situation experiment:

This research led Ainsworth to identify attachment styles that could predict behavior and patterns of relationship as the child grew older:

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This, Dr. Barach explains, plays out even with adults, like the model of Bartholomew and Horowitz here:

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Considering that different insiders may have different attachment styles, Dr. Barach discussed disorganized attachment as it applies to DID.

He also provided the example from the Robertsonresearch film “A Two Year Old Goes to the Hospital”. That link will take you to where you can purchase the entire film, but here are some clips:

Dr. Barach then shared with us a new book, Attachment Disturbances in Adults, by Dr. Daniel P. Brown, whom he heard after listening to the Therapist Uncensored podcast. Dr. Barach stated that Dr. Brown’s theory is about how CPTSD comes from disorganized attachment that is then followed by abuse. We have followed up by contacting Dr. Brown for an interview.

Many thanks to Dr. Barach for visiting with us again!

BIO:

Dr. Peter Barach attended Johns Hopkins University and the University of Michigan. He received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Case Western Reserve University. He is Clinical Senior Instructor in Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. Since 1984, he has been in private practice in the Cleveland area with Horizons Counseling Services. His clinical approach is relational and supportive. He specializes in working with people with dissociative disorders and adult survivors of trauma. He also works with depression and anxiety. He is also trained in EMDR and clinical hypnosis.

 Dr. Barach is the author of scientific and clinical articles on dissociation and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). He is a past president of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. Within the dissociative disorders field, he is known for having first highlighted the link between disordered attachment and the origins of DID. He also chaired the committee that produced the first set of treatment guidelines for adults with DID in 1993 and has participated in revisions of the guidelines. In addition to his writings on dissociation, Dr. Barach served as a script consultant for broadcast media and as a reviewer for several journals. He has also served as an expert witness in civil and criminal matters.

In addition to maintaining a private practice, Dr. Barach currently works for the Cleveland VA Medical Center, where he evaluates veterans who have applied for disability compensation. He is not appearing on this podcast as a VA employee. The opinions he expresses are his own and do not necessarily represent the Department of Veterans Affairs or its policies.

 You can see the website for the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation HERE.

 You can see the ISSTD Guidelines for Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder in Adults (Third Revision, 2011) HERE.

You can read his article Multiple Personality as an Attachment Disorder (Barach, 1991) HERE

His website for Horizons Counseling Services, Inc. is HERE