chapter  12
12 Pages

Profound desolation: The working alliance with dissociative patients in an NHS setting

ByPETER WHEWELL

Some time ago one of the teams working at the Regional Department of Psychotherapy in Newcastle began to specialise in assessing and treating Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) patients. This specialisation attracted an increasing referral of such patients from around the Northern region, leading to the team moving entirely to treating BPD patients and renaming itself the Borderline Team. Among the referrals are severely disturbed patients, who would not have been traditionally assessed as being suitable for analytical psychotherapy, and within this group are a small number of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) patients, who also carry a diagnosis of BPD. Very little has been written about DID patients in Britain, and so the team was faced with a challenge both theoretically and in terms of organising a treatment setting.