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Splitting Self


Recently, I have seen an increase of young and teenage clients claiming to have multiple personalities. They talk about the person who is "bad" and the person who is "kind." There is a person who is "beautiful" and the one who is "ugly." They have names for each personality and share how each of them shows up in different situations. They are aware of each of these personalities and can blame each one for the actions and behaviors expressed in each moment. An example might be someone who blames their "ugly" self for yelling at their younger sister. Or they may have feelings of shame placed on them by a parent for their poor grades, unkept room, and failure to do the dishes. The explosive resistance to the perceived unfair criticisms can be blamed on the "bad" personality that allows them to express their frustration and blame another for the outburst. Later, when the child has calmed down, the "good" personality shows up and apologizes for the "bad" behaviors of the other personality.