Living with Multiple Personalities: The Christine Ducommun Story

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9780984308156: Living with Multiple Personalities: The Christine Ducommun Story

Christine Ducommun was a happily married wife and mother of two, when-after returning to live in the house of her childhood-she began to experience panic attacks and night terrors. Says the author, "I sought therapy and there I discovered, to my shock and horror, that I had been sexually abused at the hands of my father at a very early age. I surely didn't want to believe it. But as my mind began to release bizarre flashbacks, my alters began to show themselves. Suddenly I lived a life even I couldn't understand: I was a devoted mother, wife and church leader but also a convicted thief, a promiscuous alcoholic and a prescription drug addict. Things got much worse before they got better." Eventually diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), Christine's story details an extraordinary twelve-year ordeal of coming to grips with the reemergence of competing personalities her mind had created to help her endure her early years. Therapy helps to reveal the personalities, but Christine has much work to do to grasp their individual strengths and weaknesses and understand how each helped her cope and survive her childhood as well as the latent influences they've had in her adult life. Fully reawakened and present, the personalities struggle for control of Christine's mind and her life tailspins into unimaginable chaos, leaving her to believe she may very well be losing the battle for her sanity. Christine's only hope to regain her stability was to integrate each one's emotional maturity while jettisoning the rest, until at last their chatter in her head could cease. This task, taken on by her gutsy therapist, proves to be the major struggle of her adult life. It takes her on a journey that few with her disorder have the courage or fortitude to travel. A candid look at the effects of sexual abuse, this "elegant" book shines a bright light on the fragility of the mind and the durability of the spirit. A story of courage, healing, identity and hope-a triumph of the human spirit.

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About the Author:

Christine Ducommun works privately with other victims of Dissociative Identity Disorder

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Agreeing to write the foreword for this book caused me to review both Christine's and my own journey with Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D.). My training did not focus on helping people with what was then called Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). Indeed, it was more common to debate whether the disorder existed at all than to discuss treatment methods. What I was taught and was able to find in my own review of the literature suggested that the therapist should determine which one of the personalities was the 'core' or primary personality and direct most efforts to assisting this personality. It was thought that the other personalities were less important and 'complete' than the core personality and, indeed, were termed 'alters' in much of what I was taught and read. Somehow the alters would eventually agree to 'die' or to stop taking executive control of the person's mind and body. I could not see how they would agree to do so. There was a significant lack of research into the topic. Therefore, there was no evidence-based manner in which I could see to proceed. The prevailing theories about how to treat patients with D.I.D. did not strike me as sensible. I was not clear on how I should proceed to assist these people. This did not sit well with me.

I first became aware of Christine Ducommun when her therapist at the time contacted me for a consultation. She described an adult woman who was manifesting a child personality and wondered whether it would be potentially harmful to engage in play therapy with the patient in the child persona. While not certain in my response, it seemed sensible to me that if a child personality would be more comfortable receiving therapy in a play setting that it would likely not harm her. What my training did very well was encourage me to focus on the person in therapy and to provide the safest and most comfortable environment that I could in order to facilitate personal exploration. It was with this in mind that I recommended play therapy for the child personality. Christine's initial therapist consulted with me regarding her care a few more times before she ultimately retired, leaving Christine without a treatment provider. It was also around that time that Christine was charged with criminal offenses that were committed by another of her personalities. It was in this context that I agreed to become her primary therapist.

Early visits were focused on the establishment of trust and the creation of a safe and comfortable treatment setting. It was difficult for Christine to trust anyone at that time, much less a large and imposing man in a position of authority. Rather than use prevailing theories on treating DID, I determined to treat each of her personalities as complete people unto themselves. That is, while I recognized that none of Christine's personalities could be considered complete, functional people as each had a specific set of skills and abilities while almost completely lacking others, each still needed to be valued as individuals. For me it was a matter of respect. In fact, I determined to call each of her personalities 'selves,' rather than 'alters,' and to treat each as if they were separate patients. This approach seemed sensible to me and was well-received by Christine.

Once I became familiar with most of the selves that made up Christine's dissociative system, the task became to increase cooperation amongst them. D.I.D. is associated with powerful amnestic barriers between many of the selves. Some individuals within the system feel unable to manage certain kinds of situations, for example, an angry confrontation. When faced with an angry confrontation, people with DID switch to a self who is more comfortable and able to manage such situations. In this way, individuals in the system are able to avoid situations that cause them to feel fear or discomfort. I encouraged Christine's selves to share experiences. That is, I encouraged selves to 'look through the eyes' of the self who was in control at the time so that they would be exposed to a wider range of experiences and so that they would learn that they could tolerate and manage emotions and could share skills amongst themselves. In this way, selves could gain mastery and confidence.

Finally, it was important for misunderstandings and conflicts amongst the selves to be mediated. With strong amnestic barriers there is the potential for powerful mistrust. The actions of some selves are difficult for other selves to accept, for example aggressive, criminal or sexual behavior to a highly moral and virtuous self. This can contribute to selves opposing and demonizing other selves. In Christine's care it was important to help her selves to recognize that each self has an equal right to exist and an equal right to determine their own course in life. As the selves shared experiences by looking through each other's eyes, the need for amnestic barriers decreased and differences between the selves gradually diminished until we were left with a single individual—Christine.

It is with great pleasure that I offer this foreword to a book that describes Christine's long and successful journey. It has been my great pleasure to know and work with her. I hope that her book provides encouragement and strength to others in similar circumstances. Recovery is possible. –Dr. Doug Jurgens

(Christine Ducommun Directors of the Board )

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Christine Ducommun
Published by Bettie Youngs Books, United States (2012)
ISBN 10: 0984308156 ISBN 13: 9780984308156
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Book Description Bettie Youngs Books, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. large type edition. 228 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.A mesmerizing journey inside the mind and life of a victim of disassociative identity disorder (DID). Christine Ducommun eloquently shares her story of her descent into madness, struggling to regain her sanity as four personalities compete for control of her mind and protect her from the demons of her childhood. A story of courage, healing, identity, hope, and love. ABOUT THE BOOK Christine Ducommun was a happily married wife and mother of two, when-after returning to live in the house of her childhood-she began to experience panic attacks, night terrors, a series of bizarre flashbacks, and noises in her head. Eventually diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID), Christine s story details an extraordinary twelve year ordeal of coming to grips with the reemergence of competing personalities her mind had created to help her cling to life during her early years. Therapy helps to reveal the personalities, but Christine has much work to do to grasp their individual strengths and weaknesses and understand how each helped her cope and survive her childhood as well as the latent influences they ve had in her adult life. Fully reawakened and present, the personalities struggle for control of Christine s mind and her life tailspins into unimaginable chaos, leaving her to believe she may very well be losing the battle for her sanity. Christine s only hope to regain her sanity was to integrate each one s emotional maturity while jettisoning the rest, until at last their chatter in her head could cease. A riveting story of one woman s decent into madness and how she was able to become whole again-finally, the director of her own life. Integration is the real victory. There have been other books done on the topic of multiple personalities, but what makes this one special is that few therapists focus on integration as the best way to treat the patient (because of the rigor, time and training involved). Ms. Ducommun s therapist focused on integration of her four alters and achieved it. This riveting personal memoir will appeal to: Readers who want to better understand the human psyche, and how it can protect a person s core from debilitating trauma. Men and women who want a clear and honest view of the still-misunderstood dissociative identity disorder (DID). Readers who seek better mental health, even if they are not trauma survivors, and want to understand the therapeutic process. Trauma survivors who might exhibit symptoms of DID but are unaware of their condition. Mental health professionals, to help them identify the characteristics of DID in high-functioning individuals in whom trauma is not readily apparent. Teachers, social workers and school administrators to identify students who might be traumatized at home or in school. . REVIEWS A powerful and shocking psychological drama that will be reminiscent to some of the Academy Award-winning A Beautiful Mind, this true story will have you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. Spellbinding! - Josh Miller, Producer, The Christine Ducommun Story (a made for TV movie) It is with great pleasure that I offer this foreword to a book that describes Christine s long and successful journey. It has been my great pleasure to know and work with her. I hope that her book provides encouragement and strength to others in similar circumstances. Recovery is possible. - Dr. Doug Jurgens. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780984308156

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Christine Ducommun
Published by Bettie Youngs Books, United States (2012)
ISBN 10: 0984308156 ISBN 13: 9780984308156
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Book Description Bettie Youngs Books, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. large type edition. 228 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. A mesmerizing journey inside the mind and life of a victim of disassociative identity disorder (DID). Christine Ducommun eloquently shares her story of her descent into madness, struggling to regain her sanity as four personalities compete for control of her mind and protect her from the demons of her childhood. A story of courage, healing, identity, hope, and love. ABOUT THE BOOK Christine Ducommun was a happily married wife and mother of two, when-after returning to live in the house of her childhood-she began to experience panic attacks, night terrors, a series of bizarre flashbacks, and noises in her head. Eventually diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID), Christine s story details an extraordinary twelve year ordeal of coming to grips with the reemergence of competing personalities her mind had created to help her cling to life during her early years. Therapy helps to reveal the personalities, but Christine has much work to do to grasp their individual strengths and weaknesses and understand how each helped her cope and survive her childhood as well as the latent influences they ve had in her adult life. Fully reawakened and present, the personalities struggle for control of Christine s mind and her life tailspins into unimaginable chaos, leaving her to believe she may very well be losing the battle for her sanity. Christine s only hope to regain her sanity was to integrate each one s emotional maturity while jettisoning the rest, until at last their chatter in her head could cease. A riveting story of one woman s decent into madness and how she was able to become whole again-finally, the director of her own life. Integration is the real victory. There have been other books done on the topic of multiple personalities, but what makes this one special is that few therapists focus on integration as the best way to treat the patient (because of the rigor, time and training involved). Ms. Ducommun s therapist focused on integration of her four alters and achieved it. This riveting personal memoir will appeal to: Readers who want to better understand the human psyche, and how it can protect a person s core from debilitating trauma. Men and women who want a clear and honest view of the still-misunderstood dissociative identity disorder (DID). Readers who seek better mental health, even if they are not trauma survivors, and want to understand the therapeutic process. Trauma survivors who might exhibit symptoms of DID but are unaware of their condition. Mental health professionals, to help them identify the characteristics of DID in high-functioning individuals in whom trauma is not readily apparent. Teachers, social workers and school administrators to identify students who might be traumatized at home or in school. . REVIEWS A powerful and shocking psychological drama that will be reminiscent to some of the Academy Award-winning A Beautiful Mind, this true story will have you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. Spellbinding! - Josh Miller, Producer, The Christine Ducommun Story (a made for TV movie) It is with great pleasure that I offer this foreword to a book that describes Christine s long and successful journey. It has been my great pleasure to know and work with her. I hope that her book provides encouragement and strength to others in similar circumstances. Recovery is possible. - Dr. Doug Jurgens. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780984308156

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Book Description Bettie Youngs Book Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 300 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 6.0in. x 0.9in.Christine Ducommun was a happily married wife and mother of two, when-after returning to live in the house of her childhood-she began to experience panic attacks and night terrors. Says the author, I sought therapy and there I discovered, to my shock and horror, that I had been sexually abused at the hands of my father at a very early age. I surely didnt want to believe it. But as my mind began to release bizarre flashbacks, my alters began to show themselves. Suddenly I lived a life even I couldnt understand: I was a devoted mother, wife and church leader but also a convicted thief, a promiscuous alcoholic and a prescription drug addict. Things got much worse before they got better. Eventually diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), Christines story details an extraordinary twelve-year ordeal of coming to grips with the reemergence of competing personalities her mind had created to help her endure her early years. Therapy helps to reveal the personalities, but Christine has much work to do to grasp their individual strengths and weaknesses and understand how each helped her cope and survive her childhood as well as the latent influences theyve had in her adult life. Fully reawakened and present, the personalities struggle for control of Christines mind and her life tailspins into unimaginable chaos, leaving her to believe she may very well be losing the battle for her sanity. Christines only hope to regain her stability was to integrate each ones emotional maturity while jettisoning the rest, until at last their chatter in her head could cease. This task, taken on by her gutsy therapist, proves to be the major struggle of her adult life. It takes her on a journey that few with her disorder have the courage or fortitude to travel. A candid look at the effects of sexual abuse, this elegant book shines a bright light on the fragility of the mind and the durability of the spirit. A story of courage, healing, identity and hope-a triumph of the human spirit. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780984308156

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Book Description Bettie Youngs Books, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. large type edition. 228 x 152 mm. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. A mesmerizing journey inside the mind and life of a victim of disassociative identity disorder (DID). Christine Ducommun eloquently shares her story of her descent into madness, struggling to regain her sanity as four personalities compete for control of her mind and protect her from the demons of her childhood. A story of courage, healing, identity, hope, and love. ABOUT THE BOOK Christine Ducommun was a happily married wife and mother of two, when-after returning to live in the house of her childhood-she began to experience panic attacks, night terrors, a series of bizarre flashbacks, and noises in her head. Eventually diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID), Christine s story details an extraordinary twelve year ordeal of coming to grips with the reemergence of competing personalities her mind had created to help her cling to life during her early years. Therapy helps to reveal the personalities, but Christine has much work to do to grasp their individual strengths and weaknesses and understand how each helped her cope and survive her childhood as well as the latent influences they ve had in her adult life. Fully reawakened and present, the personalities struggle for control of Christine s mind and her life tailspins into unimaginable chaos, leaving her to believe she may very well be losing the battle for her sanity. Christine s only hope to regain her sanity was to integrate each one s emotional maturity while jettisoning the rest, until at last their chatter in her head could cease. A riveting story of one woman s decent into madness and how she was able to become whole again-finally, the director of her own life. Integration is the real victory. There have been other books done on the topic of multiple personalities, but what makes this one special is that few therapists focus on integration as the best way to treat the patient (because of the rigor, time and training involved). Ms. Ducommun s therapist focused on integration of her four alters and achieved it. This riveting personal memoir will appeal to: Readers who want to better understand the human psyche, and how it can protect a person s core from debilitating trauma. Men and women who want a clear and honest view of the still-misunderstood dissociative identity disorder (DID). Readers who seek better mental health, even if they are not trauma survivors, and want to understand the therapeutic process. Trauma survivors who might exhibit symptoms of DID but are unaware of their condition. Mental health professionals, to help them identify the characteristics of DID in high-functioning individuals in whom trauma is not readily apparent. Teachers, social workers and school administrators to identify students who might be traumatized at home or in school. . REVIEWS A powerful and shocking psychological drama that will be reminiscent to some of the Academy Award-winning A Beautiful Mind, this true story will have you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. Spellbinding! - Josh Miller, Producer, The Christine Ducommun Story (a made for TV movie) It is with great pleasure that I offer this foreword to a book that describes Christine s long and successful journey. It has been my great pleasure to know and work with her. I hope that her book provides encouragement and strength to others in similar circumstances. Recovery is possible. - Dr. Doug Jurgens. Bookseller Inventory # LIE9780984308156

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