Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type



School for Social Work


Multiple personality-Treatment, Psychotherapist and patient, Psychotherapists-Psychology, Dissociative identity disorder, Multiple identity disorder, Exploratory, Experiences


The purpose of this exploratory study was to collect qualitative data to examine what social workers describe as their experience working with clients who fit the diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). This study interviewed twelve licensed therapists through in person, phone, and skype interviews. These interviews explored the experience of their clinical work and its impact on them personally. Seven major themes were identified from coding the narrative data: the challenges and rewards of treatment, characteristics of the population, characteristics of the clinicians, treatment structure, what treating their first client with this disorder was like, misconceptions, and places current research is missing. The findings of this study highlighted current and evolving treatment perspectives, the general misconceptions about the disorder, and the importance of training all mental health professionals how to screen for and treat clients with this disorder. While the sample was limited in size and scope, the study results added to the current limited body of research on Dissociative Identity Disorder and provided some direction for future research.




iii, 76 pages. M.S.W., Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Ma., 2016. Includes bibliographical references (pages 61-66)

Included in

Social Work Commons