Dissociation and Dissociative Disorders Reconsidered: Beyond Sociocognitive and Trauma Models Toward a Transtheoretical Framework

Steven Jay Lynn*, Craig Polizzi, Harald Merckelbach, Chui-De Chiu, Reed Maxwell, Dalena van Heugten, Scott O Lilienfeld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

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Abstract

For more than 30 years, the posttraumatic model (PTM) and the sociocognitive model (SCM) of dissociation have vied for attention and empirical support. We contend that neither perspective provides a satisfactory account and that dissociation and dissociative disorders (e.g., depersonalization/derealization disorder, dissociative identity disorder) can be understood as failures of normally adaptive systems and functions. We argue for a more encompassing transdiagnostic and transtheoretical perspective that considers potentially interactive variables including sleep disturbances; impaired self-regulation and inhibition of negative cognitions and affects; hyperassociation and set shifts; and deficits in reality testing, source attributions, and metacognition. We present an overview of the field of dissociation, delineate uncontested and converging claims across perspectives, summarize key multivariable studies in support of our framework, and identify empirical pathways for future research to advance our understanding of dissociation, including studies of highly adverse events and dissociation. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, Volume 18 is May 2022. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-289
Number of pages31
JournalAnnual Review of Clinical Psychology
Volume18
Early online date28 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • dissociation
  • dissociative disorders
  • posttraumatic model of dissociation
  • sociocognitive model of dissociation
  • depersonalization/derealization disorder
  • dissociative identity disorder
  • POSTTRAUMATIC-STRESS-DISORDER
  • MULTIPLE PERSONALITY-DISORDER
  • SLEEP-RELATED EXPERIENCES
  • IDENTITY DISORDER
  • CHILDHOOD TRAUMA
  • PATHOLOGICAL DISSOCIATION
  • COGNITIVE INHIBITION
  • STATE DISSOCIATION
  • UNIFIED PROTOCOL
  • SELF-REPORTS

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