Mental Health America: An organization peddling treatment for multiple personalities

Alexandria, Virginia, USA

This organization was founded in 1909 and claims to be “the leading advocacy organization addressing the full spectrum of mental and substance use conditions and their effects nationwide, works to inform, advocate and enable access to quality behavioral health services for all Americans.”

My questions is: Why is the MHA supporting the diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) that treats multiple personalities? This mental malady continues to be steeped in controversy and has yet to show a track record of being an effective treatment. DID is known to be long-term therapy that takes years, and sometimes decades, of sessions that often make the patient worse. If treatment for DID is effective, where are the former patients?

I ask Mental Health America to take a closer look at the treatments they endorse because supporting a culturally produced pop-psychology trend lessens their credibility. Treatment for other dissociative disorders have science behind them and treatment modalities with a success record. Dissociative Identity Disorder, on the other hand, seems to have little more than never ending treatment and full-time patients.

The MHA lists the The International Society for the Study of Dissociation and Sidran Institute as resources. Most unfortunate.

retrieved 11-23-13


Leave a comment


  1. Michael J.Dowling

     /  11/23/2013

    To the anonymous writer:
    I represent an affiliate of Mental Health America. Not knowing if you are a Mental Health services recipient, a Mental Health Practioner or just trying to smear a well intended and proven Advocacy non profit for unpleasant reasons IE: -you are a member of a newer, less credible non profit with questionable outcomes and mission statement.
    Guess what I agree with you. My name is Mickey Dowling and am the President of the Mental Health Association of New Mexico.
    But it is only my opinion and this is not representative of our Agency.
    Ms. Debbie Plotnick who is the Senior Policy would certainly give you time and whatever was printed their was no intention to hurt.


    • Jeannette Bartha

       /  11/25/2013

      Hello Mr. Dowling,

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I’m a little confused because the beginning of your post is critical of me in a cutting manner and then you agree with me that the MHA is peddling treatment for multiple personalities. I am simply reporting on the practices and beliefs of the MHA, if you find it a smear, that’s a telling opinion that says more about you than it does about me.

      I agree, the MHA is doing fine work, but when an organization adds to its treatment a category steeped in controversy, there is reason to inform the public. It makes me question the critical thinking and the obvious lack of research-oriented stance of its membership.

      If you had taken a few minutes to read this blog, you would know the answers to your questions. Like many therapists who treat multiple personalities through the diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder, it seems you skipped right to publishing an opinion rather than spending some time educating yourself about this blog.

      If the general body of the MHA is offering treatment for multiple personalities and supporting the diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder, are you informing patients that:

      – there is a high degree of controversy about the diagnosis and treatment?
      – the treatment has a poor record of improving patient’s lives?
      – that they are facing years and decades of treatment?
      – that the treatment has an extraordinarily high cost given the years of treatment?

      Informed consent is a patient’s right. Consumers of mental health services are usually in a state of vulnerability, confusion, and desperation when seeking help. You have a responsibility to educate them about the treatment for sale in your office.



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