#1 Common DID Myth

Myth # 1: It’s easy to spot if someone has DID (Multiple Personalities)


This (like this picture) is what you’d expect if you believe the depictions of DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder), former MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder) in movies or TV. They are weird looking, weird behaving, and easy to spot. And if you take the latest movies featuring a main character with DID (Glass, Split) you better be careful, because THEY are lethal on top of being weird.

I’ve just released the psychological thriller GIRL FROM THE TREE HOUSE about Elise, a woman with multiple personalities who’s fighting for her sanity and freedom as she is accused of murder. A friend of mine said the other day, “Watch out, soon you get a movie contract for the book.”

I had to disappoint her because, movies especially, sell bizarre, exaggerated, sensationalized portrayals with heaps of horror, blood, preferably good looking young girls stabbed to death…and perhaps even a landing of an alien spaceship thrown in. So I’m not staying awake waiting for Hollywood to knock at my door.

The reality of living with DID is much more mundane, much more subtle. Often friends, colleagues, or neighbors don’t have a clue. Even professional health providers don’t always notice. People with DID can spend years in the health system without being diagnosed. Co-morbidity is high among them. Topping the list are severe depression, PTSD, eating disorders, and substance abuse. If treatment focuses on the latter, the person with DID will not get much better.

My aim with my book is to debunk the myths about DID and show the heartwrenching and heartwarming struggle they call ‘life’ as well as show pathways of recovery…all wrapped into a thrilling plot. Sorry, no human monsters, no silence of the lambs. The ordinary, daily life delivers excitement enough.


I think I achieve it, going by the reviews that are coming in, for example:

What an incredible story! Stepping into the world of a person with multiple personalities was fascinating. This psychological thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat. Beautifully written, hauntingly powerful, and a true testament to the power of the human spirit. Highly recommended. (Leeanna Morgan, USA Today bestselling author, BookBub)

Easily the best book I’ve read about DID (dissociative identity disorder, or multiple personality disorder) with clear insight into how, why and when the personalities surfaced and interacted with each other, and how it affected the life of a young girl in New Zealand.
This helped me understand much more about how the disorder can consume the mind and life of people and how their emotional well being is further constrained by society’s stigma and their own fear of being hospitalized.
Well written and engaging, I look forward to the next book in this new series.
Thank you to the publisher and author for sharing this e-book ARC for review. (Dorie, Goodreads)

What do you think? If you haven’t read it yet, get your copy and let me know if I achieved what I set out to do. I love hearing from you.

How To Build Trust

Davinci How can you go about building trust? When you don’t trust anybody at all, it might seem like an unachievable task. I want to look at building trust from a practical, pragmatic point in the hope that it might give you some hands-one ideas how to go about it. Trust will develop in any group or team when

•    The team is successful and reaches the goals they set themselves
The most important pointer for people in recovery is that they achieve progress. Without having a sense that things improve it will be difficult to keep being motivated. When everyone becomes aware that progress is achieved, they will not only trust the process, but also trust each other and the ‘team-leader’.

Continue reading

Trust and be Trusted

Hands-onpsychopathy-2 As some of you may know, I am in the process of putting all my material about DID and recovery into a book form, so that ideas explored in this blog, from my practice, and from research (my own and others) can be integrated to form a functional whole. As I was working on that project over the weekend, I started thinking about trust and the meaning of trust for Multiples.

Stripped of all it’s bells and frills, trusting another person means that we believe they will act according to the positive expectation we have of him or her. To some degree, trust seems always to be linked to making a leap of faith. And if people have been hurt, when they feel their reasonable expectation of care, respect, support, or appreciation has not been met, trust becomes more shake. In most cases it’ll take some time and some doing for trust to be re-establish.

Continue reading

Finding the Right Therapist

Freud's Sofa I read this morning a post by Emily that inspired me to write about finding the right therapist. Although things had gone well for her (it seems) something wasn't right and she stopped with that therapist.

How do you know that you have found the right therapist or counsellor? Wouldn’t it be ideal to have a check-list that you can tick off when you set out to find a therapist? Sadly, it doesn’t work like that. I spent years of researching how services shape the recovery from sexual abuse; and here is what I found out:

Continue reading

Trusting Self and Others

Happy Child The crucial condition under which MAKING HUMAN CONTACT became possible was Repairing Broken Trust. While having dealt with trust issues in the early stages already, they again formed a pivotal part in this phase. Trusting oneself as well as trusting others had to be revisited and reworked. Herman states that by having established a safe haven through therapy “the person is gradually able to expand the level of contact with the wider community” (1992, p. 162). Clients started to engage with other people and to form relationships.

Continue reading

Letting Down Protective Walls

The Wall Another strong indicator for Repairing Broken Trust was when clients were able to let down their protective walls. Being able to be open to new experiences, to trust self and others, was a crucial condition for Making human contact.

"(What happened to your wall?) In some areas it’s still there. Not so thickly, it gets narrowed and I guess it gets more transparent. And in some place it’s not there at all. – Reconnecting, yeah, like learning to have a so-called normal whatever normal is, normal as in having an intimate relationship with somebody, having good friendship with somebody, having a relationship with your family, work relationship" (Carol).

Continue reading

Switching: The Shifting Sands of DID

Eureka-Sand-Dunes-4 Shifting sands was another indicator for living Behind Block Walls. One of the most prominent symptoms of DID was the shifting between personality states, or 'switching’ as DID clients call it. In the early treatment phase clients are often unaware of switching personalities. They were just as puzzled by their shifting as other people who came in contact with them. The fragmented self-system became a structural component of the wall that surrounded DID clients. 

Continue reading

Re-Connecting With The Community

FBeach The last stage of CONNECTING, the main concern of DID clients in the therapy process, required from clients to MAKING HUMAN CONTACT. For that they needed to overcome their fear of other people, to develop trust, and to learn how to relate. Once clients had processed enough of their traumatic experiences and had gained a sufficient sense of themselves as a person, once the internal chaos and conflict had decreased, their need for MAKING HUMAN CONTACT moved into the foreground. They became aware that they had been living most of their lives Behind Block Walls.

Continue reading


Integration The consequence of the processes described in the stage COMING TOGETHER was to arrive at a sense of Integration.This came about when the client better understood what experiences the different personality parts had carried for the person and how traumatic events had shaped their tasks, beliefs, and behaviours. Integration occurred when the traumatic memories have been disseminated amongst all parts of the person and the related affect became re-associated.

Continue reading

Integration: A Life-long Process

Integration Integration is a complex and difficult to define concept that embodies a certain movement over time, even though it is situated in the stage of COMING TOGETHER as a consequence suggesting a point of completion or conclusion of a process. Integration is a life-long process associated with the forming of everyone's identity. In each person's life there will be numerous events and stages that need to be integrated and that impact on her/his sense of identity, such as motherhood, old age, an accident, or a serious illness.

The word integration is a nominalization, a grammatical construct that changes a verb (to integrate) into a noun (integration). As such it is a distortion by linguistically representing a process as an event (Bandler & Grinder, 1975). It is of major importance to offer DID clients the opportunity to reconnect with the ongoing dynamic process of life, and help them to understand integrating as a process, a living dynamic phenomenon in every person’s life-journey.