Adult Treatment Guidelines

Guidelines for Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder in Adults (2011)


The International Society for the Study of Dissociation (ISSD), the former name of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), adopted the Guidelines for Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder) in Adults in 1994. However, the Guidelines must be responsive to developments in the field and require ongoing review. The first revision of the Guidelines was proposed by the ISSD’s Standards of Practice Committee 1 and was adopted by the ISSD Executive Council in 1997 after substantial comment from the ISSD membership.

The second revision of the Guidelines was requested and approved in 2005 based on the expertise of a task force of expert clinicians and researchers 2. The current revision was undertaken by a new task force 3 in 2009 and 2010 after input from an open-ended survey of the membership.

The current revision of the Guidelines focuses specifically on the treatment of dissociative identity disorder (DID) and those forms of dissociative disorders that are similar to DID. It is intended as a practical guide to the management of adult patients and represents a synthesis of current scientific knowledge and informed clinical practice. There is a separate Guidelines for the Evaluation and Treatment of Dissociative Symptoms in Children and Adolescents (ISSD, 2004) available through the ISSTD and published in the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation. The American Psychiatric Association (2004) has published Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Patients with Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which may be relevant to the treatment of DID

These Guidelines are not intended to replace clinical judgment. However, they summarize expert consensus concerning safe and effective treatment for DID patients. Where a clear divergence of opinion exists in the field, the Guidelines attempt to present the different points of view about the issue. The Guidelines strive to be as free as possible of bias toward any theoretical approach to treatment.

2011 Revised Adult Guidelines

The correct citation for this revision of the Guidelines is as follows: International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation [Chu, J. A., Dell, P. F., Van der Hart, O., Cardeña, E., Barach, P. M., Somer, E., Loewenstein, R. J., Brand, B., Golston, J. C., Courtois, C. A., Bowman, E. S., Classen, C., Dorahy, M., ̧ Sar,V., Gelinas,D.J., Fine,C.G., Paulsen, S., Kluft, R. P., Dalenberg, C. J., Jacobson-Levy, M., Nijenhuis, E. R. S., Boon, S., Chefetz, R.A., Middleton, W., Ross, C. A., Howell, E., Goodwin, G., Coons, P. M., Frankel, A. S., Steele, K., Gold, S. N., Gast, U., Young, L. M., & Twombly, J.]. (2011). Guidelines for treating dissociative identity disorder in adults, third revision. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 12(2): 115–187.

Address correspondence to:
International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation
4201 Wilson Blvd 3rd Floor
Arlington, VA 22203