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Dear T.

I am a professional and though I don't treat presently anyone with DID, I believe that any therapist holds the ethical responsibility to know their limitations.  With that said, I also believe that any therapist DID or not can only be as effective as the work they have done themselves in therapy.  We can only be as healthy for others as we are ourselves. 

By virture of asking the question, speaks of your willingness to be honest and open.  Supervision with another therapist or supervising therapist would help you handle these questions as well.  Be sure your disclosure is with someone whom you can trust and safe.  You have to be present with your clients and if this isn't happening then you might want to rethink with whom you can provide therapy too. 



Dear T.,

I have just heard of Many Voices and am very grateful to have read your sharing.  I am a person who has been blessed with 14 years of recovery, who has a masters degree in developmental clinical psychology and also a MDiv, who is very high functioning, who has never been psychiatrically hospitalized, and who lives and does my professional work in a rural area.  I was diagnosed three years ago as having D.I.D.  I do not have anyone inside who urges me to cut.  I do not have internal perpetrators.  My therapist says that I am "exceptional," among people with D.I.D. (that makes me feel MORE alone--where do I fit or belong?)  My therapist says that I have been a victim of severe, chronic abuse (by both parents) starting very early in my life. I am not sure why I have had the strengths that I have had.

I am grateful to hear of your accomplishments, and also to hear of you as a person.  In part, I am grateful because I am so lonely.  I have many friends, but only a few of them know that I am so different from others inside, that I have this diagnosis.  I agree, we must be so careful (especially in an area with a low population, or when in professional circles) to say anything about this aspect of who we are.  The risk is so high.  We had enough secrets in our childhood.  It is difficult to have more, as adults. 

I love your idea of an internal counselor.  One of my inner teenagers think that sounds kind of cool.  I had another solution, starting about ten years ago.  It took a lot of courage, but we decided to call the major adult of the time "Mommie."  She got adopted as mommie by many of the rest of us.  She/I is a good mommie.  She is not violent. She has good boundaries.  She respects us, and listens.  She takes care of us.  It took a huge breakthrough (with a previous therapist), to see with my eyes and believe with my hearts that a mommie person can be something other than violent and enjoying inflicting pain.  So it helps to have an internal mommie.

Recently, things have been very very rough, by my standards.  Our hearts break.  No hospitalization, no medications, but we are so aware (because this is the 12-step way) that it is comforting and helpful to share experience, strength and hope (and sometimes weakness and despair).  That sharing provides perspective and a sense of not being alone.  I do not have perspective. I truly feel alone.  I do not have a friend with DID, who is not on disability, who is professionally respected, who is a steady human being, who I can turn to with questions like, "What do YOU do when you hate going to your therapist?  If you have great grief about missing time (the Rip Van Winkle phenomenon), how do you manage your grief?  Tell me your horrors, and, also, how do you survive positively?"  It would make such a difference to be able to hear some of this from others.  I have been suicidal recently.  I keep positively reframing these feelings, but they are still there--a lot of loss.

I am the fine mother of three children, the youngest of whom I just packed off to college.  The second is in law school, the third writes science textbooks.  They all know I have DID and accept me/us and love me.

I have read the other printed responses to your sharing.  For me, getting enough sleep would definitely not be enough for the children not to emerge! 

I hope you are doing well. Take Care.



Dear T.,
I've got to wonder why so many MPD/DID people decide on psychology as a profession? Is it because you have a personal understanding of how things feel or is it in hopes of actually understanding your own situation?
At any rate, I'm a recovered MPD. Not currently in therapy or in need of any anymore. I currently have a common low stress to me type job. But there was a time when I held a very responsible position with the govt. One personality went to work and did a good job but occaionally kids would get triggered out and it became scary to think that they could get triggered out at work and I could do little about it. After a long time I learned that the kids got triggered out when we were tired. So I started making sure that we got enough sleep, food and the basic necessities of life. I started listening to them in order to find out what they wanted ( etc.). Just listening to them helped. As time went on conversations were sometimes held and agreements made and eventually we all blended together. I learned some parenting skills to use and that should have been used a long time ago and I learned why the kids were the way they were. They eventually either grew up or just fell asleep but they're not triggered out anymore and don't 'steal' time away. They're still there but not as vocal.
I'm not sure I've answered your question but I hope it's helped some.       
Signed HB



Hi T,
    Having MPD/PTSD I can relate to your feelings ....I have been seeing the same therapist for almost eight years. I was first dx manic-depressive/ultra cycling... then after three yrs the truth came to the surface. Having said all that my therapist was not going to continue to care for me because the new dx was not her expertise but she decided to stick with it. To her
credit I am doing so much better and now she is seeing another MPD patient. for your career I will say this.... I have found that unless a therapist has worked through her own issues she can only take his/her clients as far as she has gone herself. This is not a judgement-- only what I have experienced in my own healing journey.

I have been exposed to other clinical situations and I could always tell if they hadn't done their own work. I think you will have to decide what you need to do for yourself as far as healing goes. Trying to heal others when you may need to yourself seems kind of dubious. Remember first and foremost do no harm, secondly you may have to look long and hard at your clients. Maybe you could treat lighter cases until you have healed yourself and once you have done that, what a blessing you would be to those with this dx. You would know it from the inside out and wouldn't that be wonderful? As others have pointed out, there aren't many who will take on this dx let alone really know what it is like to have walked in those shoes.
Who knows how far you would go and the good you could do? When all is said and done only you can decide what path is right for you and find a balance meeting your own needs while trying to meet the needs of others. Be patient,
kind and loving to yourself and it will spill over to all those you come in contact with...

I hope that this has helped and please accept it with the caring with which it was given....

Exanimo, D.M.


Dear T.,

I think your situation is very interesting. I can't imagine a better person to counsel DID's or MPD's than someone who has "been there." So then, do you feel you have achieved stability or integration? What is your focus as a therapist? Do you make yourself available to the MPD or DID population?

My understanding is that, along with borderline personality individuals, MPD's or DID's are possibly the least popular kind of client for most therapists because of the weight of effort and responsibility that they demand. I congratulate you for your evolution and your accomplishments. I am most interested in learning how you are using the good that has come of your life to benefit those who have not had such good fortune and are in similar shoes.

Best, A.F.J.


Hello Dr. T.,
As you are a therapist in a rural area, I think your writing suggests you want suggestions and opinions. 

I am not a therapist but am currently seeing one.  You are human.  You need help.  You can over-come this over a great period of time like I myself am trying to do.  You can continue your work while receiving the help you need.  You know and understand your problem.  Having DID should have no impact on your work, as you will be working with the part of yourself concerning your job.  I do this myself.  I keep myself in my job mode and make out just fine. 

My therapist has mentioned to me he has ADD.  He did not need to tell me this, but made me think he understands and I know he is also human.  He did tell me a few other things about himself which made me confide in him even more because he was being very honest and open with me.  I know there are many therapists who mention nothing about themselves (which is their business) but with him revealing a little about his personal life I understand the obstacles he had to overcome. 

I trust my therapist completely.  This is not to suggest in any way you should reveal yourself  to your clients (as some may not understand) but getting the help you need can be a huge asset.  Down the line, you may want to study DID and the treatment for it.  You can be a benefit for others with DID.  Did you know there are not many therapists who deal with this disorder?  Been there, done that can be beneficial for others who need to deal with DID. 

My therapist studied DID and attended many workshops to learn.  He has told me most therapists deal with separate parts to help them to integrate.  He believes this helps the client to feel better but not actually get them better.  He treats his clients as one, since they are such.  He says there is no hard scientific proof as to which method is best. 

I am currently in college and last semester took General Psychology and learned how scientific/mental solutions need to work together.  I am hoping in the near future, someone, somewhere will study DID more extensively in the scientific field along with the mental field to weld something together. 

Anyway, keep going as you are and continue to receive the help you need.  Never be ashamed you need help.  Remember you are human, not God.  This WILL make you a better therapist in the long run.  Really! 
Good Luck and Take Care,