Lynn Mary
Karjala, Ph.D.




Dr. Lynn Mary Karjala is proud to announce the publication of her new book

"An essential addition to the library of any psychotherapist working with dissociative patients; a valuable resource for trauma survivors and loved ones."

"A significant contribution."

Dr. Lynn Karjala unravels the mystery of dissociation in this "must-read" book for psychotherapists who treat the aftereffects of trauma, as well as for trauma survivors and their loved ones.  In simple and clear language, she explains the connection between dissociation, trauma, and the devastating physical and psychological symptoms that stem from them.  The major trauma-related diagnoses, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, or MPD) are discussed.  She offers a thorough description and understanding of the three phases of trauma treatment, with an eminently practical guide for using the Quintessential Safe Place to minimize the terrifying experience of retraumatization by the flooding of traumatic feelings and thoughts.  There is an engaging description of the "critical voice/protectors," a very active internal process aimed, among other things, at derailing treatment and preventing the patient from experiencing any hope of recovery.  Finally, there is an introduction to mind-body techniques and their application to the treatment of trauma.

Although the book takes most of its examples from cases of severe trauma, the same concepts and treatment approaches apply to any degree or type of trauma.  Even people who have no history of physical or sexual abuse and who only experienced the typical kinds of "everyday trauma"--such as criticism, ridicule and bullying--can benefit from reading this book.  

An excerpt from Chapter 1 explains the outline of the rest of the book:

"The purpose of this book is to help you understand the ins and outs of dissociation, both as a positive coping mechanism and as the cause of various kinds of disorders.  Chapter 2 explains in greater depth what dissociation is and how it relates to other kinds of coping mechanisms.  It includes ideas about how and why dissociation develops and why some people have a much higher dissociative ability than others.  Chapter 3 discusses the differences between traumatic and nontraumatic memories and the leading theory about the origins and consequences of those differences.  Chapter 4 describes different levels of dissociation and the kinds of disorders that can arise as a person’s use of dissociation becomes more extensive. 

"Chapter 5 focuses on the most extreme form of dissociation, which is now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder, or DID.  This is the condition that used to be called Multiple Personality Disorder, or MPD.  As you’ll see in this chapter, the change of name was not merely cosmetic.  Rather, it reflects a new and different way of thinking about dissociative disorders, one that I’ve found enormously helpful in my work as a therapist.

"By looking at dissociation in its most extreme form, we’ll be able to see and understand dissociative phenomena more clearly.  However, it’s important to remember that we all use dissociation.  We all have parts or aspects of ourselves that perform certain roles and functions.  In fact, we have many of the same kinds of parts and aspects that people with DID do.  By understanding how the parts function in a DID system, where they’re more distinct and obvious, we’ll also be able to recognize the same functions in their more subtle forms as they occur in the rest of us.  

"Chapter 6 explains one of the most important of these functions:  the critical voice/protectors.  Every one of us has a critical voice, and for most of us it's very powerful.  It influences many of our thoughts, feelings, and actions.  Its ultimate purpose is to protect us from being hurt.  Unfortunately, because it's formed early in life, it thinks like a 4-year-old.  It sees the world in all-or-nothing, black-and-white terms and makes rigid rules about how things "should" be.  It's also hope-phobic, because disappointment is so painful.  It doesn't believe that anything can ever get better, so it's very resistant to any kind of change, even in therapy.  In someone with DID, there may be many critical voices.  Although they're often quite harsh and punitive, they're called protector parts to acknowledge their positive purpose.

"Chapter 7 discusses the treatment of trauma and the dissociative disorders.  The three-phase model, considered the standard of care in trauma treatment, is presented.  Within the three phases of containment and stabilization, memory processing, and self and relational development, there’s a variety of excellent visualization tools that can be used to further the process of therapy.  Several of those tools are described in detail in Chapters 8, 9, 10, and 11.  Lastly, Chapter 12 discusses some of the new, alternative techniques that come out of the field of mind-body medicine.  In my experience, these powerful new techniques—especially when combined with good, traditional therapy—can significantly enhance the effectiveness of the therapeutic process.  Again, it’s important to note that all of these tools, both conventional and alternative, work just as well with patients who have lesser degrees of trauma as they do with patients who have DID."

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Taming Trauma Beasties:  Helping Children Confront Trauma and Heal is Dr. Karjala's second book, co-authored with Dr. Mary M. Gallagher.  To read more about this book, on the treatment of trauma in children, click here.



Further information about Dr. Karjala is available at