Applying the Schema Therapy Approach of Edwards’ Case of Kelly to Patients With Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID): The Cases of Susie and Anna
Keywords:corrective emotional experience; Early Maladaptive Schema; Imagery Rescripting; Schema Therapy; Schema Mode; Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID); case study; clinical case study
David Edward' case of Kelly is a vivid demonstration of the power of Schema Therapy to address the present day emotional difficulties of Kelly, an individual with a background of traumatic childhood experiences. The therapy drew on Kelly's imagination and emotional memories to elicit distinct child-parts (called child "modes" in Schema Theory) of herself emerging from that traumatic background. Specifically, Edwards' interventions involved entering Kelly's inner world and therapeutically interacting with her modes. While Kelly's problems were primarily limited to her inner experience rather than to her behavioral functioning, I have found that Edwards' approach with Kelly applies to the cases I see who are much more seriously disturbed than Kelly. Specifically, I see cases with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), who share the experience of childhood trauma with Kelly, but whose behavioral lives can be chaotic and highly disturbed, sometimes requiring hospitalization. In this commentary I will briefly describe Edwards' Schema therapy model exemplified in the case of Kelly and illustrate the value of the model as applied to two cases of DID, Susie and Anna, that I have seen.
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