Thesis Title

Graphic Communications: A Case Study of a Dissociative Identity Disorder

Graduation Date

Spring 1997

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Granting Institution

Notre Dame de Namur University

Program Name

Art Therapy


This thesis addresses a client's perspective on dissociative identity disorder (DID). It is a case study of the experience and the intervention of art as a useful therapeutic tool. Issues addressed include: DID's historical roots, the therapeutic process within the clinical setting, the psychodynamics of the attending doctor over a 12-years period, the art process and its significance according to John Allen's (1988) three-stage serial drawing technique.

This thesis is also my case study and includes my feelings regarding clinical books about DID, books by those with DID telling their stories, and the impact of the media regarding the disorder. I discuss what it was like to be locked up in state hospitals in two different states, and what treatment I received at each. 1 offer suggestions regarding the treatment of DID by the medical community, and how the hospitalization experiences of patients with DID could be more positive.