The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist


An examination of structural dissociation of the personality and the implications for cognitive behavioural therapy

Simon Harpera1 c1

a1 Maple House Business Centre, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, UK


The aim of this review was to ascertain whether an examination of the theory of structural dissociation of the personality (TSDP) and its treatment may lead to recommendations in the treatment of dissociative identity disorder (DID) and other trauma-related disorders utilizing CBT. An analysis of the neurobiology of trauma will aid this process. The literature review considers a variety of literature on TSDP. Several themes were identified which suggested that dissociation refers to a structural dividedness of the personality and that there is a psychobiological pathway for all trauma-related disorders. Additionally the role of bottom-up vs. top-down processing was explored. Recommendations for the treatment of trauma-related disorders using CBT have been made.

(Received November 02 2010)

(Accepted March 09 2011)

(Online publication April 14 2011)


c1 Author for correspondence: Mr S. Harper, Maple House Business Centre, Bayshill Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL54 5JS, UK. (email: