The United States of Tara is a darkly comedic television series whose intent is to entertain, not to educate. And yet, Tara unavoidably provides its audience with an informal ‘education’ about DID. Because education and awareness about the dissociative disorders are ISSTD’s primary goals, we will provide some professional commentary on each episode’s portrayal of DID. By doing so, we hope to provide the general public (and television critics) with a description of what is accurate and realistic in the United States of Tara, and what is not.
As the series begins, we approach it from a positive standpoint and an open mind. The producers and scriptwriters sought extensive consultation on DID from some of the world’s most prominent experts on DID, and interviewed and consulted DID patients as well. In addition, we anticipate that the United States of Tara will probably do much to increase public awareness of DID. We are not television critics, so we will not be commenting on the quality of the show or the performances of its actors. Our commentaries will focus primarily on two issues. First, we will identify the points at which Toni Collette’s television portrayal of DID is either consistent with or divergent from what occurs in most persons with DID. Second, from time to time we may comment on the treatment of DID depicted in “Tara,” and draw comparisons between what is depicted and what would take place in treatment conducted according to the ISSTD treatment guidelines for DID.