Assimilative processes in a client with borderline personality disorder: Tracking internal multiplicity over the first ten sessions of therapy

TitleAssimilative processes in a client with borderline personality disorder: Tracking internal multiplicity over the first ten sessions of therapy
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsKramer, U, Meystre, C, Imesch, C, Kolly, S
JournalJournal of Psychotherapy Integration
Pagination144-159
Date Publishedjun
Abstract

The assimilation of problematic experiences as operationalization of internal multiplicity has been studied as change processes in psychotherapies of different client populations. However, there is little research investigating the assimilation processes with a particular focus on clients with borderline personality disorder (BPD), as they engage in treatment. Internal multiplicity describes the presence, within the person, of different centers of experience, called inner “voices.” These may result from unresolved traumatic experiences associated with BPD. The current study is a theory-building case study, which aims at understanding the evolution of internal multiplicity in a short-term treatment over 10 sessions for a client with BPD, aiming at engagement in long-term treatment. The case, Louise, presents with a high potential of internal conflicts, showing 4 antagonistic problematic voices. The intensive assimilation analysis of these voices, with regard to the dominant voice, suggests that their assimilative change tends to pass from chaotic multivoice cacophony to a structuring 2-voice dialogue (i.e., a mutual elaboration of the conflicts). Our results underline that internal dialogue between previously opposed voices may be a productive way for clients with BPD to evolve in therapy and use their internal multiplicity as a resource. Narrative details and illustrations are presented to document Louise’s change processes over her process of engagement in therapy.

URLhttp://psycnet.apa.org/journals/int/26/2/144/
DOI10.1037/a0040044
Refereed DesignationRefereed