THE PARENTING EXPERIENCES OF MOTHERS WITH DISSOCIATIVE DISORDERS

Authors

  • Lynn R. Benjamin,

    1. Private Practice
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    • a

      Lynn R. Benjamin, MEd, is a clinical member and supervisor of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, a certified parenting trainer and supervisor, and a family therapist in private practice in Dresher, PA.

  • Robert Benjamin,

    1. Livengrin Foundation
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    • b

      Robert Benjamin, MD, is the Medical Director of Livengrin Foundation, Inc., Bensalem, PA, and is in private practice in psychiatry and family therapy in suburban Philadelphia.

  • Bruce Rind

    1. Temple University
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    • c

      Bruce Rind, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Temple, University, Philadelphia, PA.


  • This research was supported by Northwestern Institute of Psychiatry, a division of Progressions Health System, Inc., Fort Washington, PA. The authros wish to thank the hospital and all of the women who so willingly participated in this study. For reprients write Lynn R. Benjamin, MEd, 12 Mayo Place, Dresher, PA 19025-1228.

Abstract

This article presents a qualitative analysis of the experience of parenting of mothers with dissociative disorders. This analysis was performed to complement the quantitative analysis of problems of mothers with dissociative disorders that Benjamin, Benjamin, and Rind (1996) presented previously. They found that the functioning of these mothers, as well as their subjective experience of mothering, was poorer that that of either clinical or nonclinical control mothers. Our goal was to provide a clearer, richer picture of their problems in parenting. Using the mothers' own words, we describe how the five symptom areas of dissociation (amnesia, depersonalization, derealization, identity confusion, and identity alteration) impeded their parenting efforts. We conclude with a discussion of the necessity of addressing parenting in the treatment of client-mothers with dissociative disorders.

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