Author Aims to Dispel Myths About Dissociative Identity Disorder
Dissociative identity disorder (DID), previously known as multiple personality disorder, is a misunderstood and often underdiagnosed condition. A new NASW Press book, Diagnosing and Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Guide for Social Workers and All Frontline Staff, can help both new social workers and experienced frontline staff who may be new to DID.
The author, Gregory L. Nooney, has worked in community mental health centers for most of his 35-plus years as a social worker/therapist. He says he has discovered that an overwhelming number of those clients experienced complex childhood trauma and have attachment wounds.
“Many experience life-disruptive dissociation and meet criteria for DID,” Nooney explained. “I am passionate about dispelling myths about this condition, which are rampant in the media, in the dominant culture, and unfortunately in many cases, within the professional mental health community itself. Unless the dissociative experiences of these clients are acknowledged, therapeutic treatments are unlikely to be successful.”
Despite ample evidence to the contrary, there remains a deeply entrenched belief that DID is a rare condition, the author noted. “Consequently, when doing assessments, clinicians do not ask the right questions,” he said. “Due to the frequency of co-occurring disorders among clients with DID, it is often easier to focus on those conditions than to face the fears that erupt when acknowledging the suffering of early complex trauma and the anxieties often produced when encountering someone with multiple identities.”
It is also true that clients with DID are understandably reluctant to reveal the reality of their situation unless they feel confident they will be acknowledged and respected, he added.
Nooney said key takeaways from the book include:
- The fragmentation experienced by clients with DID is a result of an elaborately creative process to successfully survive serious childhood trauma
- If you’ve known one person with DID, then you’ve known one person with DID. Clients with DID are as different from one another as are clients with other diagnoses
- You will never be bored in working with a client with DID
- It is a moral imperative for therapists working with clients with DID to be steadfast in working on their own past trauma issues, and to be dedicated to ongoing self-care
- It is an honor to be trusted by a client with DID
- Healing is possible for clients with DID
- Persons with DID may be your neighbors, co-workers or family members.
Leadership is Essential to Success at Any Social Level, Author Says
John E. Tropman is the author of the NASW Press book, Successful Community Leadership and Organization: A Skills Guide for Volunteers and Professionals, 2nd Edition. The latest edition adds more detail, including introductory chapters on the idea of community itself.
Tropman said leadership is essential to success at any social level, including family, community, state, and nation. However, most people do not know how to do lead or are hesitant to step forward. The book addresses the common concerns and problems of local community leaders and organizers and provides an easy-to-use set of skills and techniques that will enable leaders to implement best practices in their community work.
Organization and leadership within the community are essential, and the practical guide will help individuals become more involved in community leadership. The second edition is divided into four sections:
- Essential Elements of Community Organization: Helping Communities Toward Positive Change
- Taking Leadership in Community Groups
- Conducting Effective Community Group Meetings
- The Rewards of Community Leadership
The text primarily focuses on leading community meetings and arriving at high-quality community decisions. Techniques are provided that will help community leaders, organizers, and groups at work, church, or school elevate their processes to the high end of the quality continuum.
NASW Press products are available in print and ebook format at naswpress.org.