Overview of the Collective Heart Model: Assumptions, Stages, Goals, and Techniques
The Collective Heart model is based on three fundamental assumptions. The first is that every individuaL no matter how damaged and fragmented at the level of personality, has an intact inner core that, once potentiated, can guide the individual to a state of harmonious functioning. A significant feature of this guidance is the unique timetable that determines the pacing of the healing process. The second fundamental assumption is that severely traumatized, fragmented clients typically need assistance with mobilizing this inner core, or collective heart, and this assistance involves exposure to therapeutic techniques in the context of respectful prolcssional relationship. The third assumption is that highly dissociative clients have easy access to the guidance of the intact inner core. Their trance-proneness, often a liability as it leads to confusion and impaired functioning, can be transformed into a rare asset when they learn to enter an altered state of consciousness at will to experience internal guidance in a vivid, sensory manner. These three assumptions suggest an approach to
the treatment of DID that is cautious, paced, and empowering. Treatment follows the three-phase structure consistent with the emerging standards of care summarized in chapter 2.