The United States of Tara: A Thanks From the International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation

Dispite hilarious distortions of a serious “mental illness” that is painful for those believed to be suffering from it, the foremost authority for research, study, and dissemination of information – the ISST-D still thanks Steven Speilberg. Speilberg is appreciated for bringing public awareness just after they state that this show is largely a misrepresentation. Richard Kluft, MD a member of the ISST-D is one of the show’s consultants.

Is Richard Kluft displaying a conflict of interest, supporting educational information about MPD/DID, shooting for fame, or doing what he can to collect a hefty paycheck from Speilberg? You decide.


Thank You!

“The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation is grateful to Showtime, Inc., Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw, screenwriter Diablo Cody, actress Toni Collette, and the supporting cast and producers of The United States of Tara for their portrayal of the complicated, confusing, and sometimes desperate life lived below the visible surface of an everyday person with dissociative identity disorder. As Richard P. Kluft, M.D. noted in the special educational video produced by Showtime on their website (and available on this website, above), only a small percentage of people with dissociative identity disorder have the classical presentation of obvious switching from one personality state to another. Most people with this disorder go to work, raise families, and struggle to live their lives while healing from the painful emotional wounds of their earlier years. Too often, public discussion of dissociation and dissociative disorders is sensationalized. This is a public Thank You to Showtime, and all involved, for increasing interest about an important psychological disorder. We hope this increased interest results in improved treatments, and better lives for our patients, their families, and our communities!”

“The views of Showtime Inc. and the production team of the United States of Tara, are  their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of ISSTD or its members.  The ISSTD website provides accurate, current scientific information about Dissociative Identity Disorder.”

Retrieved 3/15/11. ISST-D Thanks Steven Speilberg

Books: How Multiple Personalities Can Be Created

Acocella, J., Creating Hysteria: women and multiple personality disorder, 1999.

Brainerd, C.J. & V.F. Reyna, The Science of False Memory, 2005.

Dawes, Robyn M., Everyday Irrationality: How Pseudo-Scientists, Lunatics, and the Rest of Us Systematically Fail to Think Rationally. 2001.

_____ House of Cards: Psychology and Psychotherapy Built on Myth. 1996.

Dineen, Tana, Dr., Manufacturing Victims: What the Psychology Industry is Doing to People. 2000, 3rd. Ed.

Fairlie, Jim, Unbreakable Bonds: ‘they know about you Dad’ (2010) Austin & Macauley Publishers

Goldstein, Eleanor, Farmer, Kevin. True Stories of False Memories. 1993.

Hirstein, William, Brain Fiction: Self-Deception and the Riddle of Confabulation. 2005.

Lalich, Janja, Take Back Your Life: Recovering from cults & abusive relationships.

Kilby, Jane. Violence and the Cultural Politics of Trauma. 2007.

Klein, Naomi. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. 1993.

Lifton, Robert J. , Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of “Brainwashing” in China. 1961.

Lilienfeld, Scott O., Steven Jay Lynn, John Ruscio, and the late, great skeptic Barry L. Beyerstein. 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior

Loftus, Elizabeth, Memory. 2nd Ed. 1980.

__________, Eyewitness Testimony. With a New Preface  by the Author.1996b.

Loftus, Elizabeth & Ketchem, Katherine, Witness for the Defense: The Accused, The Eyewitness and the Expert Who Puts Memory on Trial. 1992.

____________,  The Myth of Repressed Memory: False Memories and Allegations of Sexual Abuse. 1996a.

McHugh, Paul R. M.D., Try to Remember: Psychiatry’s Clash over Meaning, Memory, and Mind. 2008.

Maran, Meredith, My Lie: A True Story of False Memory. 2010.

Mercer, Jean; Sarner, Larry; and Rosa, Linda,  Attachment Therapy on Trial: The Torture and Death of Candace Newmaker. 2003.

Nathan, Debbie & Snedeker, Michael, Satan’s Silence: Ritual Abuse and the Making of a Modern American Witch Hunt. 2001.

Nathan, Debbie. Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case. 2012

Ofshe, Richard, Watters, Ethan, Making Monsters: False Memories, Psychotherapy, and Sexual Hysteria. 1996.

Pendergrast, Mark, Victims of Memory: Incest Accusations and Shattered Lives. 1995.

Piper, August Jr., M.D.. Hoax and Reality: The Bizarre World of Multiple Personality Disorder. 1998.

Schacter, Daniel L., Ed., The Cognitive Neuropsychology of False Memories. 1999.

Schnider, Armin. The Confabulating Mind: How the Brain Creates Reality. 2008.

Tavris, Carol & Aronson, Elliot. Mistakes Were Made (but not by me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts. 2007.

Wassil-Grimm, Claudette, Diagnosis for Disaster: The Devastating Truth About False Memory. 1996.

Watters, Ethan & Ofshe, Richard. Therapy’s Delusions: The myth of the unconscious and the exploitation of today’s walking worried. 1999.

Whittier, Nancy. The Politics of Child Sexual Abuse: Emotion, Social Movements, and the State. 2009.


Psychiatric Maladies, the DSM, and Self-Deception

People don’t usually set out to copy or mimic medical or psychiatric symptoms and then fake a particular illness. When they do, it is easier to understand and identify.

Women who believe they have multiple personalities do not necessarily set out to develop symptoms associated with this psychiatric malady – although that is exactly what occurs. They are not usually malingerers, or otherwise intentionally trying to deceive others. They are misled by the psychiatric industry into a belief system and a lifestyle wrought with pain and psychic distress that is in need of medical services.

The problem is the self-deceptive aspect of believing in an illness that does not exist yet is reinforced by the powerful and influential psychiatric profession, practitioners, insurance companies who pay for the treatment, and its inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (listing of psychiatric disorders) – DSM IV.

The DSM is a list of psychiatric symptoms. A disorder’s inclusion in this publication is not “proof” that it exists. The DSM was created so practitioners could list and follow psychiatric symptoms – it is not a diagnostic tool. It was not designed for that purpose, yet most do not understand the circumstances under which the DSM came into existence and mistakenly think the DSM legitimizes their illness because of its inclusion.

I am repeatedly deluged with passionate arguments from women who claim they have multiple personalities who use the DSM as “proof” that their condition is real and, therefore, that it exists. Wrong. Inclusion of MPD/DID means nothing of the sort.

Ferris Jabr eloquently addresses self-deception in his article, “Self-Fulfilling Fakery: Feigning Mental Illness Is a Form of Self-Deception.” He states that, “by pretending to be sick, people can convince themselves they really are.”

Regarding MPD,  however, I would say that by believing to have alter personalities, convinces women that they have this psychiatric condition – which leads to defending its existence.

Ferris Jabr’s full article at, July 28, 2010.

International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation (ISSTD)

The International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation (ISSTD) considers itself: “the premier organization for clinical teaching about complex trauma and dissociation.”

For several decades, this organization has defined multiple personality disorder/dissociative identity disorder & trauma. The Board of Directors consists of the most distinguished and influential, psychiatrists, psychologists, and masters level mental health practitioners in the fields of adult and child multiple personality disorder, dissociation, & trauma.

For that reason, it is important to include it in this blog for several reasons:

  • at its core, is the belief in the existence of multiple personality disorder/dissociative identity disorder.
  • mental health care professionals look to it for guidance, information, workshops, conferences, and continuing education credits.
  • patients are directly impacted by their opinions and theories.
  • it is a website where the general public goes for information often to learn about the diagnosis of a loved one.
  • it is often viewed as a source of authority for students interested in trauma & dissociation for a paper, or as a professional focus.
  • to make the public aware of the existence & widespread influence of the ISSTD on the practice of psychology.

This organization had humble beginnings in the late 1980s and early 1990s and was solely founded to address what was believed to be a growing prevalence of multiple personality disorder assumed to be a result of childhood sexual abuse.

This blogger cannot locate a concise history of the ISSTD on the current website. In general, I find the website not user friendly making information difficult to find among the run on paragraphs packed with information that needs to be deciphered to comprehend. As an example, its history is interestingly not included in the about section. There is no history of section. 



Vision Statement

Social policy and health care will address the prevalence and consequences of chronic trauma and dissociation, making effective treatment available for all who suffer from the effects of chronic or complex trauma.

Mission Statement

ISSTD seeks to advance clinical, scientific, and societal understanding about the prevalence and consequences of chronic trauma and dissociation. Accessed 2/28/11.

Why I Say Dissociative Identity Disorder (multiple personalities) Doesn’t Exist

I consider the diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) the largest catastrophe the United States Psychiatric Industry has ever created at the expense of clients and their families.

No one is immune from the far reaching tentacles and potential destruction of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID – and that includes you.  It may not be You who succumbs to bad medicine, but someone else who did – making you the target of abuse accusations.

I say this manufactured-malady, originally named Multiple Personality Disorder, doesn’t exist because of personal experience. I was diagnosed with it after seeking treatment for depression. It was 1986, and I didn’t know there was a trend sweeping across America that believed buried memories of child sexual abuse and unspeakable torture was behind most emotional difficulties. My desperation to get well, and the vulnerability that went with it, let an unscrupulous doctor enter my life and change it forever. I became a near-tragedy of one man’s bizarre psychological theories borne in his perverted mind. Don’t let it happen to you.

My swift descent into the grisly world of multiple personalities, replete with forced memories of abuse that never happened, was not of my mind but orchestrated by an insane psychiatrist with gruesome delusions that took me years to discover. I thought I was receiving cutting-edge treatment, but discovered that multiple personalities didn’t exist any more than the bizarre memories I was encouraged to recall under duress, sequestration, narcotics, and truth serums.  The cooperative delusions of my psychiatrist, art therapist, and hospital staff nearly killed me as my health deteriorated and my body broke down from traumatic and violent therapeutic sessions and prescribed narcotics.

Instead of writing a long-winded personal history, I encourage you to read posts and articles on my blog about a wide range of topics that often stem from the mental malady of Dissociative Identity Disorder.

My memoir has literary representation. I will keep you posted as the publishing wheel turns.

You are invited to engage in discussions and arguments, or just read.

Thank you for stopping by, Jeanette

rev. 12-05-13

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