Traumatic Dissociation: Neurobiology and Treatment

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Eric Vermetten, Martin J. Dorahy, David Spiegel
American Psychiatric Pub, May 3, 2007 - Medical - 398 pages

Traumatic Dissociation: Neurobiology and Treatment offers an advanced introduction to this symptom, process, and pattern of personality organization seen in several trauma-related disorders, including acute stress disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the dissociative disorders. Our understanding of traumatic dissociation has recently been advanced by neuroimaging technology, empirically-based investigation, and an acknowledgment of its importance in psychopathology. The authors of this volume tie these findings together, tracking the condition from its earliest historical conceptualization to its most recent neurobiological understanding to provide even greater insight into traumatic dissociation and its treatment.

Bringing together for the first time theoretical, cognitive, and neurobiological perspectives on traumatic dissociation, this volume is designed to provide both empirical and therapeutic insights by drawing on the work of many of the main contributors to the field. Opening chapters examine historical, conceptual, and theoretical issues and how other fields, such as cognitive psychology, have been applied to the study of traumatic dissociation. The following section focuses specifically on how neurobiological investigations have deepened our understanding of dissociation and concluding chapters explore issues pertinent to the assessment and treatment of traumatic dissociation. The interacting effects of traumatic experience, developmental history, neurobiological function, and specific vulnerabilities to dissociative processes that underlie the occurrence of traumatic dissociation are among some of the key issues covered. The book's significant contributions include A review of cognitive experimental findings on attention and memory functioning in dissociative identity disorder An appreciation of how the literature on hypnosis provides a greater understanding of perceptual processing and traumatic stress Ascertaining symptoms of dissociation in a military setting and in other situations of extreme stress An outline of key issues for planning assessment of traumatic dissociation, including a critique of its primary empirically supported standardized measures An examination of the association between child abuse or neglect and the development of eating disorders, suggesting ways to therapeutically deal with negative body experience to reduce events that trigger dissociation A description of neuroendocrine alterations associated with stress, pointing toward a better understanding of the developmental effects of deprivation and trauma on PTSD and dissociation A review of the relation of attachment and dissociation A discussion of new research findings in the neuroimaging of dissociation and a link between cerebellar functioning and specific peritraumatic experiences

Useful as a clinical reference or as ancillary textbook, Traumatic Dissociation reorganizes phenomenological observations that have been overlooked, misunderstood, or neglected in traditional training. The research and clinical experience described here will provide the basis for further clinical and theoretical formulations of traumatic dissociation and will advance empirical examination and treatment of the phenomenon.

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Selected pages


Relationship Between Trauma and Dissociation A Historical Analysis
Attachment Disorganization and Dissociation
Memory and Attention Processes in Dissociative Identity Disorder A Review of the Empirical Literature
Relationships Between Dissociation and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Perceptual Processing and Traumatic Stress Contributions From Hypnosis
Neurobiology of Trauma Dissociation
Translational Research Issues in Dissociation
Neuroendocrine Markers of Early Trauma Implications for Posttraumatic Stress Disorders
Psychobiology of Traumatization and TraumaRelated Structural Dissociation of the Personality
Contemporary Implications for Assessment and Treatment
Psychiatric Approaches to Dissociation Intergrating History Biology and Clinical Assessment
Psychological Assessment of Posttraumatic Dissociation
Dissociative Identity Disorder Issues in the latragensis Controversy
Applications of Innate Affect Theory to the Understanding and Treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder
Trauma Dissociation and Impulse Dyscontrol Lessons From the Eating Disorders Field
Treatment of Traumatic Dissociation

Symptoms of Dissociation in Healthy Military Populations Why and How Do War Fighters Differ in Reponses to Intense Stress?
Peritraumatic Dissociation Time Perception and Cerebellar Regulation of Psychological Interpersonal and Biological Process
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptom Provocation and Neuroimaging Heterogeneity of Response

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Page 212 - Neural correlates of memories of childhood sexual abuse in women with and without posttraumatic stress disorder.
Page 178 - DS (1994). Subanesthetic effects of the noncompetitive NMDA antagonist, ketamine, in humans: Psychotomimetic, perceptual, cognitive, and neuroendocrine responses.
Page 28 - Spiegel D, Hunt T, Dondershine HE: Dissociation and hypnotizability in posttraumatic stress disorder. Am J Psychiatry 145:301-305, 1988 Stutman RK, Bliss EL: Posttraumatic stress disorder, hypnotizability, and imagery.
Page 178 - Marmar CR, Weiss DS, Schlenger WE, et al: Peritraumatic dissociation and posttraumatic stress in male Vietnam theater veterans.
Page 190 - Ursano RJ, Fullerton CS, Epstein RS, et al: Acute and chronic posttraumatic stress disorder in motor vehicle accident victims.
Page 257 - Spiegel D, Cardena E: Disintegrated experience: the dissociative disorders revisited. J Abnorm Psychol 100:366-378, 1991 Spiegel D, Hunt T, Dondershine HE: Dissociation and hypnotizability in posttraumatic stress disorder.
Page 254 - Fuchs, E. (1997) Neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the adult tree shrew is regulated by psychosocial stress and NMDA receptor activation.
Page 212 - Charney, DS (1999). Neural correlates of exposure to traumatic pictures and sound in Vietnam combat veterans with and without posttraumatic stress disorder: a positron emission tomography study. Biological Psychiatry, 45, 806-816.
Page 65 - ... presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states (each with its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and self) B.

About the author (2007)

Eric Vermetten, M.D., Ph.D., is Head of Research for Military Mental Health at Central Military Hospital and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University Medical Center Utrecht in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Martin J. Dorahy, Ph.D., is Clinical and Research Psychologist at the Trauma Resource Centre, North & West Belfast Health and Social Services Trust, and Research Tutor in the School of Psychology at The Queen's University of Belfast in Northern Ireland.

David Spiegel, M.D., is Jack, Lulu, and Sam Wilson Professor at the School of Medicine, Associate Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Medical Director at the Center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford University in Stanford, California.

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