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Home    >    Diagnosing and Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder
Diagnosing and Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder
A Guide for Social Workers and All Frontline Staff
Gregory L. Nooney
ISBN: 978-0-87101-572-3. 2022. Item #5723. 202 pages.
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Earn 7.5 CEUs for reading this title! For more information, visit the Social Work Online CE Institute.

Dissociative identity disorder (DID), previously known as multiple personality disorder, is a misunderstood and often underdiagnosed condition. Whether you are a new social worker or an experienced frontline staffer who is new to DID, Diagnosing and Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder is the resource that can help.

Clinicians are often too cautious about asking the right questions or believe the disorder is so rare that they do not accept what is being presented to them by the client. In turn, clients may mask their distinct internal identities if they sense that they will not be heard, understood, or believed. Further complicating matters, it is often newer clinicians working in underfunded community mental health centers who will encounter DID clients, many of whom have never sought treatment, have experienced unsuccessful or even harmful treatment, have learned to survive through problematic behaviors, or are experiencing co-occurring disorders such as addiction.

Using case studies, diagnostic tools, and clinician self-care, Gregory L. Nooney demonstrates how to confirm a DID diagnosis and establish a therapeutic relationship; assist the client in developing internal communication, cooperation, and co-consciousness; mitigate the risk of breaking dissociative barriers too quickly; manage the risk of rapid switching and decompensation, including suicidal risk; and lead the client from emotional rigidity and chaos to integration. Fortunately, because of the brain’s plasticity and the effectiveness of trauma-specific treatments, healing is possible even for individuals who have experienced severe childhood trauma and attachment wounds. Though the challenges of diagnosing and treating DID are vast, the rewards of helping this misunderstood and underserved population are enormous.
About the Author

Chapter 1: Setting the Stage
Chapter 2: Trauma
Chapter 3: Attachment
Chapter 4: Dissociation
Chapter 5: Dissociative Identity Disorder: History and Prevalence
Chapter 6: Diagnostic Process
Chapter 7: Treatment Challenges
Chapter 8: Treatment Process, Phase 1: Stabilization
Chapter 9: Treatment Process, Phase 2: Trauma-Specific Work
Chapter 10: Launching Forth

Appendix: Sample Treatment Plan
Greg Nooney has worked as a therapist in the mental health field for more than 35 years. During that time, he has worked with hundreds of clients with severe trauma and dissociative symptoms, including many with dissociative identity disorder. He holds a master’s degree in social work from Loyola University in Chicago and is licensed in the state of Iowa as a licensed independent social worker. He is an adjunct instructor for the University of Iowa School of Social Work and Western Iowa Tech Community College. He has led numerous workshops and trainings over the years. He retired from a 10-year stint as the director of Burgess Mental Health in Onawa and continues to provide therapy and supervision on a part-time basis. He is available for workshops, trainings, and consultations and can be contacted through his website at He is married with four adult children and resides in Sioux City, Iowa.
Diagnosing and Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder was reviewed by Nicole Marcum for the journal Social Work.

Gregory Nooney’s book Diagnosing and Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Guide for Social Workers and All Frontline Staff is a huge welcome to literature on the topic of dissociative identity disorder (DID). Nooney provides an in-depth understanding of the vast complexities of DID and strongly encourages the absolute necessity to remain educated on DID, for successful outcomes with clients. Though retired, Nooney utilizes his 35 years of experience and research in the mental health field to continue providing education to the social work and other professional fields.

I have always been interested in what society historically referred to as “multiple personality disorder,” now known as DID. I have read various books and watched movies both fictional and nonfictional based on persons with DID, and I remain intrigued to the workings of the brain and how it attempts to cope with extreme trauma. As I continue to learn about DID, I have naturally asked myself whether I, along with the clinical teams I have worked with in various mental health settings, could have misdiagnosed or provided the wrong type of treatment to clients. I will be forever grateful for Nooney’s discussion of psychotropic medications being prescribed to DID clients and how a prescriptiod can be harmful to various alters within the system. Throughout the book, Nooney continues to emphasize why it is vital to stay up to date with professional development for successful client outcomes.

Read the full review. Available to subscribers of Social Work.
Earn 7.5 CEUs for reading this title! For more information, visit the Social Work Online CE Institute.