Multiple personality is a little bit complicated, because it depends upon who messed the person up in the first place. You really need to know the model of the therapist that wrecked the person to begin with. I have never personally met a multiple personality that wasn't made by a therapist. That doesn't mean they don't exist, it's just that I've never met one. My guess is that there might be a few out there somewhere, but I'll tell you there aren't as many as therapists keep creating and bringing to me.
We became interested in multiple personalities years ago, and wrote to a man who had written a big paper about it. He invited us to come and meet one named Helen. She had about twenty personalities, but the cover name for everyone was Helen. And the fascinating thing was that all of her multiple personalities were more interesting than she was.
Her therapist had a very elaborate model of her personalities. She had an organization part: a part that was very organized and did secretarial work and all kinds of stuff like that. So I said "Well, get that one for me." The therapist had this great non-verbal analogue: he stood up and shouted "JOYCE! COME OUT, JOYCE!"and he hit her on the forehead, Bwamm! and she went through all these changes.
Brrnnnggnhhh! It was right out of the movies; it was really spooky. This guy does exorcisms on the helicopter pad at a Catholic college, and he's considered to be a respectable psychiatrist by people who think we are weird! In some ways he's very effective because he is so expressive, but I don't think he understands the full ramifications of what he is doing. He has anywhere from sixteen to twenty-two multiple personalities in his practice at any time, and he can't understand why the rest of the therapeutic community doesn't recognize the epidemic of multiple personalities that he has discovered!
So the organization part of this woman came out, and I introduced myself. Then I said "Most of these parts have amnesia for what goes on in this person's life. Being the organization part, I figure you would have kept pretty good track of it all." "Oh, yes, of course I kept good track of it." I said "Well, how did you end up with so many personalities?" And she said to me "It's as if there were a whole bunch of different parts and there was a round peg that went through the middle. And when I met Dr. So-and-so, he took the peg and pulled it
out." That is almost verbatim what she said to me, and this is a woman
who does not have a high school education.
She didn't think that this was bad, by the way. Her description was that he pulled the peg out so that they all became more apparent as separate personalities, and now they were going to go back through and make them all into one again. The tragic thing is that when he succeeded in integrating her, she had total amnesia for her entire life,
and was a drip as far as I could tell. She had these great parts. She had a sexy part that was just rrrnnnhhhl Another part told jokes and was really corny. Another part was very shy and coy. But when he "cured" her, she had amnesia for her entire life and she had none of the resources of any of those parts. She was just dull.
Now I don't think that you can wipe out parts. So I kept mentioning the names of the parts that I liked, and I got really great unconscious responses from her. They were still there, but they weren't fully available to her.
To do a good job with a multiple personality, I think you need to know the model of the therapist that created it. Some therapists' model of multiple personality is that you have all these parts and an unconscious that runs the program. That's one model, a very common one. The way you'd integrate that one is totally different than you would some other model. This guy's model was that there were three parts here and they had their own unconscious, and then there were two parts over here and they had an unconscious, and then there was an unconscious for these two unconsciouses, and so on. It was really stacked in levels. When you integrated, you would always have to integrate at the same logical level. My guess is that he didn't do that, and that is how he got so much amnesia.
Of course we're all schizophrenic. In fact, R. D. Laing is far too conservative when he talks about schizophrenia being a natural response. Evolutionarily the next step, which we're all engaged in, is multiple personality. You're all multiple personalities. There are only two differences between you and an officially diagnosed multiple personality: (1) the fact that you don't have to have amnesia for how you are behaving in one context; you can remember it in another context, (2) you can choose how to respond contextually. Whenever you don't have a choice about how you respond in context, you are a robot. So you have two choices. You can be a multiple personality or a robot. Choose well.
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