Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Psychology


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Professor Alison Garton


Progress in the study and treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) has been hampered by ideological debate regarding its validity. This is particularly the case when patient's suffering from DID also report ritualistic abuse. Part of the difficulty has been that past studies have not established independent checks to assess whether alters are artefacts introduced by therapeutic bias. This study addressed this issue by using independent judges to test the validity of a patient being treated for DID who claimed ritualistic abuse. The judges were 16 clinicians with an average of 21 years experience in their respective disciplines. The study also examined the development and treatment of alter personalities through a detailed examination of case material. The patient had been in continuous therapy with the author and treatment had been conducted using the self psychology model. The study involved three phases.