Traumatic Dissociation: An Exploration

Esther Akerman, Pace University


Psychological research highlights the importance of the dissociative process to the post-traumatic reactions and associated sequelae. This study explores and describes the manifestations of the dissociative process through clinical presentations and analyses of the character development of literary heroes. Specifically, this study explores three phases of the dissociative process: peritraumatic dissociation or the alterations of consciousness occurring during traumatic experience, structural dissociation of the personality subsequent to traumatic exposure, and the maintenance of such forms of dissociation. This study provides a theoretical framework toward understanding trauma cases, informing case conceptualization and clinical practice. Although this study was limited by its qualitative and descriptive modality and by its focus on psychodynamic processes, this exploration can provide the basis for future empirical research in this area and more nuanced psychotherapeutic interventions.

Subject Area

Counseling Psychology|Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Akerman, Esther, "Traumatic Dissociation: An Exploration" (2015). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3663338.



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