25 years have passed since multiple personality disorder was reclassified as dissociative identity disorder in 1994. But not much seems to have changed when it comes down to actual help for those who suffer from the disorder. Hence this year, we will post multiple articles here, to address some of the past and current problems. This week the topic of name calling, to do or not to do?
We already created a video on this topic in the past, posted below. Its a topic close to our heart, only because we run into this problem over and over again. Professionals who refuse to call us by name. (And/or professionals who misgender us on purpose.)
The haunted Self states their answer pretty clearly on page 308:
The only critique i can have to this statement is that i don’t think a patient should have to insist. If a part introduces their selves with a different name, use that name. If a therapist introduces themselves to me with their name, they also don’t have to insist on me using their name instead of Dr Who right? And the same goes for gender, even if their is less specific information on this. It’s quite simply rude to mis-name or mis-gender someone. Especially after they have introduced themselves. Ask and don’t assume, please.
The quotation above is from treating trauma related dissociation in chapter 10.
I think i could write a book just on that one sentence haha, but i will spare you all. Please do not let it become a power struggle. How sad if a whole therapeutic relationship failed because you could not bare to call someone by their preferred name or gender. Or because you had a preconceived notion that it will make us dissociate more even if that is not based on scientific facts or case studies. Actually it works very grounding for our system be called by our individual names. We feel we are being taken serious. We feel respected. We feel safer. It leads to the working alliance with all parts of the patient. Last but not least, the shared common reality of the present is the name the patient presents with at that time. The common reality of the present is not a dead name given by people from the past.
We hope this clears up the question once and for all. If parts insist, please call them by their chosen name and by their gender. Thank you, in name of all Plurals with names.