In healthy development and psychic life, we are fleetingly and vaguely aware of what Bromberg (2003) calls self-states. These states are pieces in a ‘functional whole, informed by a process of internal negotiation with the realities, values, affects, and perspectives’ of others (Bromberg, 1996, p. 512); when all goes well self-states, even when in conflict with one another, function in relationship to other parts of the self to produce a sense of ‘me-ness’. Troubling collisions among self-states, moreover, are inevitable and may lead to affect dysregulation. For Bromberg, each ‘self-state has its own task and is dedicated to upholding its own version of truth. Each is a piece of a larger-than-life enterprise designed’ (2012, p. 30) to sequester parts of the self. Bromberg sees dissociation, not as a defensive mechanism or a pathology, but as necessary to a sense of coherence and maintenance and continuity of the self.
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