Integration: Working Together

Handshake For many clients Integration is achieving a functional working relationship of the different personality parts. Some are unable to envisage themselves as becoming one person.

Unification. Yeah, because that was scary. When I met that lady who said how it was to become one, it freaked parts of me out. Because we thought, well, were would we go? And then I thought that’s not me. We are not going to become one, we will become 15. And we will all work together…Because the person I was before and the people we are now are two totally different things. And that’s what we want. We want; I don’t know whether it’s total integration that we are working for. We just want everybody to be able to feel the same way about everything (Krista 2/6).

Those DID clients who want to achieve a state of all the parts ‘working together’ believed that the elimination of amnesic barriers between personality parts and striving for a mutually agreed upon goal would be needed for the to reach their goal. Putnam (1989) made the distinction between integration and fusion, whereas integration was seen as a “more pervasive and thorough psychic restructuring” (p. 301) while fusion was defined as a more preliminary process that ideally leads to full integration.

It has been my experience in clinical practice that once the traumatic material is processed and co-operation and co-consciousness has been achieved, a process of integration will take its course independently from what the individual wants. Like a ball that rolls downhill, integration will take its course. However, the level of integration achieved has different greatly from person to person.

I don’t know whether I want to be a singleton, but I want to be able to – instead of having to say to the person who can read this book and digest this information go and do it please,  – I just want to be able to do it. …And that’s what I want. I want everyone to work together…become a team (Ruby 1/22).

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