An analyst on park avenue

We know that Cornelia Wilbur first got in touch with Schreiber in 1962. Soon afterwards she introduced the writer to Sybil. To Schreiber, Sybil seemed constrained and remote, but Schreiber says she attributed her behavior to her illness. What made Schreiber decide to pursue the project was Wilbur's reputation as an analyst with a large Park Avenue practice. And the therapist was willing to provide a wealth of raw material for Schreiber to draw on a compilation of case notes taken from no less...

Highlights and the implications of the tape recordings

The tape recordings can be broken down into ten section headings 1. Labeling Sybil as a multiple personality. Initially, Wilbur tells Schreiber, she had no idea Sybil Sylvia was a multiple. In recounting Peggy's emergence the first personality to do so to Schreiber she makes it sound like she was completely caught off guard, even flummoxed So I said hello, and I, as I recall it, I said, 'Hello Sylvia,' and she said, 'I'm not Sylvia, I'm Peggy, don't you know the difference ' That was the first...

Freud and hypnosis uncovering false memories

But Doctor, I'm not asleep, you know I can't be hypnotized. Those half-apologetic, half-taunting words hung in the ears of Sigmund Freud one afternoon in 1909. They had just been uttered by one of his patients, whom he knew he could cure of her symptoms if only he could induce her to enter a state of deep hypnosis. To bring that about, Freud, then thirty-six years old, had repeated over and over again, You are feeling drowsy your eyelids are getting heavier soon you will be asleep. The patient...

Seminal Cases of Multiplicity

Boston nerve specialist played the detective in relentlessly pursuing the multiple minds which for years befogged the mentality of Miss Beauchamp He tells in a recently published volume of the pranks and torments practiced by his patient while in one of these subconscious states, which were painful and embarrassing to her when conscious as another personality Dr. Prince's problem was to find the real self of his patient and to drive away its tormentors which he did by most drastic treatment and...

Projection of their own guilt of being a fraud to others

FLORA SCHREIBER And he was a terrible fraud in that respect. 03 07 35 20 And of course the way he had kept mother from going to a doctor and kept mother from appearing in public when she had a baby, and when she was pregnant. The whole thing is so out of line with his own sexual behavior. 03 09 16 12 I told him so. I think it's crap. 03 09 10 06 No, she isn't going to make anything except out of what KNOCK ON THE DOOR . . . There's your man . . . about what she earns and, if anything, this...

Sexuality

As Freud gathered more experience in combating resistance, he began to gain a clearer understanding of why it existed, and what it was really directed against. He found that patient after patient began eventually, after much resistance had already been overcome, reluctantly to provide associations of a sexual nature. Particularly frequent were recollections of sexual experiences dating from childhood, often of sexual mistreatment at the hands of parents or other close relatives. The patient...

Brief History of Multiplicity

Multiply sensitive minds and you will multiply good and evil. who, in the .midst of opposition to hie christian bfelloios, was sudd ixy struck blind, dttmr and deaf and after el ohtees days was sl'ddenlt and comport* iy restored, tllk prk9enok of kindreds of persons, in the t christian oiiapkl, at westerly, on the 15tji of noyrm ier, 1 57, wm. 6. robertson, steam frotter. 6 main street,

Eve whitechris costner Thigpen and Clerkley 1957

One of the best-known and extensively documented and spectacular cases of multiple personality was the one recounted by Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley in their The Three Faces of Eve. The two psychiatrists originally reported the case in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology in 1954 which was expanded into a book. It was later made into a popular movie. The authors referred to their patient by the pseudonym Eve White to protect her identity. About twenty years later, however,...

Thomas hanna 1905 Sidis and Goodhart 1905

Many cases of multiple personality disorder typically are characterized by the occurrence of trauma that then appears to triggers dissociation. The case of Reverend Thomas Hanna fits this pattern. In a case recounted by Boris Sidis and Simon Goodhart in 1905, Hanna suffered a traumatic head injury after falling out of a carriage. When the victim awakened several hours later, another personality called Tom had appeared. What makes this case unusual is that the predominant personality Thomas not...

The crucible of the sixties

In my opinion, the book and film versions of Sybil can, at one level, be understood as a social dream, i.e., symptoms of social distress and psychopathy of everyday life. (I have elaborated on this theme at some length in my book Manufacturing Social Distress, Chapter 5, Dreams That Money Can Buy.) The Sybil case is a quintessential example of how phony facts create phony problems that in turn create phony solutions. Sybil is a triggering mechanism in the natural evolutionary development of...

The free association technique

Freud took the first step toward solving his problem by recalling an almost casual observation he had made on his visit to the Nancy Clinic. A subject had been hypnotized, made to experience a number of the common hypnotic effects, and then wakened from the trance. Upon awakening, the subject had no recollection of what had occurred in the trance a single case of posthypnotic amnesia. Freud had been surprised, however, when the hypnotist placed his hand on the subject's forehead and said, Now...

Early case histories looking for ansel bourne in all the wrong places

The earliest case histories of multiple personality disorder coincide with the earliest literature on mesmerism, later referred to as animal magnetism and hypnosis. This is not coincidental since there is an intrinsic relationship between them, especially as they relate to the discovery of various altered states of consciousness. I will discuss Mesmer and hypnosis in more detail in Chapter 5 but for now you should keep in mind that most of the early case histories that have come down to us are...

Ansel bourne Bourne 1872

In October 1857, a carpenter by the name of Ansel Bourne left his home in Rhode Island, and set off for a nearby town. He never made it. As he was traveling he was suddenly seized with an idea to attend a religious gathering. His mind kept telling him to go to the Christian chapel. He then began to feel dizzy, sat down, and apparently lost consciousness. He was taken home in a carriage after examining him, his doctor reported that he was perfectly insensible. Having had partial amnesia, the...

Mary beauchamp Prince 1905

Mary Beauchamp is one of the three best-known cases of multiple personality in American medical history. (The other two are Eve White and Sybil Dorsett.) We owe the account of Mary's case to Dr. Morton Prince, a Harvard-educated physician who taught at the Tufts College Medical School in addition to pursuing a private practice. Prince was intensely interested in the new developments in psychology, including the use of hypnotism as a therapeutic tool. (He later founded the highly respected...

Bifurcation of Self

If they were on the line, they may have even met. He wants to meet a lot of women. She has multiple personalities. Advertisement on the side of a New York City bus Our investigation of MPD DID has proceeded along several paths, some running parallel, some converging, and some that simply peter out. Whatever path we've pursued, though, certain themes recur. For one thing, MPD DID cannot be considered a subject of examination for psychology alone because it is both a product whether intentionally...

Publication of SYBIL

Until the publication of Sybil, the best-known modern account of a multiple was The Three Faces of Eve by Corbett Thigpen and Hervey Cleckley. It was a successful book when it appeared in the late 1950s and had a second life as a film in 1957. But the phenomenon of popularizing MPD as embodied in a spectacular case actually extends back much further to the early years of the twentieth century. In 1905 Morton Prince published a book that, like Eve and even more sensationally Sybil, enjoyed...

The criminal illusion of an experimental principle the primal scene

Freud may have invented the notion of the primal scene but it was Wilbur's inspiration to appropriate it to account for Sybil's condition. On the tape in my possession the therapist describes to Schreiber just how important she believes the concept is to the narrative. And this business of the primal scene. And Sybil being forced to sleep in the same bedroom with her fucking parents. They screwed in front of her, Schreiber chimes in, her voice shaking in anger. She could see because her crib...

Felida x 1887 Azam 1892

What we know about Felida X comes from a summary of the case by Dr. Eugene Etienne Azam which appears in the Dictionary of Psychological Medicine. Before Azam plunges into his description of the now-famous Felida X, he makes reference to another case of what was termed dual consciousness, which was described by Robert Macnish in his very popular 1816 book, The Philosophy of Sleep. Macnish's dual consciousness case, Azam contends, was the first to his knowledge that had ever been published. The...

Morton prince

Morton Prince initially became interested in the problem of multiple personality disorder when he tried to relate the psychological and physiological aspects of MPD and hysteria, especially when it entails the use of hypnosis. Prince was particularly impressed by Janet's early work, although he felt that it was necessary to go beyond Janet by formulating a physiologico-anatomical basis for the psychological phenomena in Janet's work. His attempt, as he would be the first to admit, was purely...

Animal magnetism and its links to mpd

During the nineteenth century, the problem of multiple personality was for the most part compatible with and influenced by a more romantic view of human nature than its eighteenth century predecessor. The popular literature of the period flooded the minds of the public with fascinating macabre psychological novels that dealt with various aspects of mind brain stories about human beings' moral problems, including sanity and identity. The most popular of these novels, such as Mary Shelley's...

Rachel baker 1814

Carlson, 1968, and John Douglas, 1815) The case of Rachel Baker, a twenty-year-old woman from Onondago County in upper New York State, was one of the earliest cases to appear in the American medical literature on multiple personality disorder. The case was first written up in the form of an 1814 pamphlet by Charles Mais entitled The Surprising Case of Rachel Baker, who Prays and Preaches in her Sleep. The pamphlet made her both famous and a subject of considerable...

The book and the movie a comparison

Predictably, the stories told in Sybil the book and Sybil the movie are somewhat different. The reasons for the contrasting views may be due to theatrical and artistic differences, as well as the author's and director's wishes to portray a specific story. Although few of these changes significantly affected the overall story they shed some light on the different ways in which this tale was spun. Before I describe some of the similarities and differences between the book and the movie I should...

Marceline Janet 1907

We owe our knowledge of the case of Marceline to an account of Pierre Janet. The parallels between her case and Azam's Felida are striking. Marceline suffered from severe recurrent hysteria. Janet described Marceline as an emaciated bedridden woman, incapable of standing or even urination. Because she couldn't eat or urinate normally, Janet attempted hypnosis in order to see if that would help. She responded well to the hypnosis, regaining her mobility and urinating without difficulty. There...

The Case of Sybil

Rome had to wait for the coming of Greek artisans in the second century B.C., at which time the Sibylline Books also arrived from Cumae in the south an ancient holy site founded by the Greeks as early as the eighth century B.C., and celebrated particularly for its oracular cave, where the Sibyl prophesied of whom Virgil wrote in Ecologue IV. The old woman incumbent visited the city with a bundle of nine prophetic books of which three were purchased and buried for safekeeping in the temple of...

Mary reynolds 1811

The case of Mary Reynolds seems to be the earliest case of multiple personality ever reported. William James, in his Principles of Psychology (Holt, 1890), gave a rather detailed account of it, with a bow to the original chronicler, a Dr. Weir Mitchell. This dull and melancholy young woman, as James described her, lived with her family in the backwoods of Pennsylvania. One morning in 1811, when she was about eighteen, she failed to get up at her usual time. Members of her family went to her...

Mollie fancher Dailey 1894

Known as the Brooklyn Enigma, Mollie Fancher was alleged to have exhibited five distinct personalities. Around the age of fifteen, Fancher developed what her doctor labeled nervous indigestion. Doctors recommended horseback riding as a treatment. The therapy didn't work as intended in May 1864 Fancher was thrown off her horse. Her head hit the pavement and several of her ribs were broken. In spite of the blow to her head she appeared to recover. A year later, while climbing down from a...

John charles poultney Franz 1933

Three popular books about cases of MPD appeared in the twentieth century Three Faces of Eve, Sybil, and Shepherd Franz's Persons One and Three. The latter case, which involves one John Charles Poultney, is less clear-cut than most documented cases because it is based on the chronological record his physician Dr. Franz maintained rather than on any serious investigation of the differentiates between the two personalities John Poultney and Charles Poulting. Amnesia characterized this case as it...

What hypnosis isand is not

Hypnosis is widely misunderstood, no doubt in large part because of the myths perpetrated in movies and other popular media. How many times have we watched a young man or woman being put under as their eyes follow the metronomic swing of a pocket watch Hypnosis has often been derided as not real because it takes place in the mind. It doesn't fit the American medical model, which is mechanical and reductionist. Hypnosis, in other words, seems like just so much hocus-pocus, without any...

What did gall actually believe

Phrenology was opposed by leading figures of the time including Johann Friedrich Herbart (1891) who felt that it did not primarily stress the unity of the mind and Pierre Flourens (1846) who derided it because it ignored the unity of the cerebrum itself. Meanwhile, Gall admitted that he did not originate the idea of the brain as organ of the mind, but rather that he had provided new and specific empirical evidence for it. Nevertheless, Flourens was to Gall as Hamlet was to his mother he had to...

Prelude to a mystery

We don't know what we don't know, said Wittgenstein. But nobody seems to know that and there's a concerted effort to prevent anyone from finding it out. Most cases of multiple personality appear essentially to represent the organism's efforts to live, at different times, in terms of different systems of values. In the 1960s when this social dream was created there existed a mood of manic desperation, which eventually gave rise to the coun-tercultural revolution. Authorities in psychology, such...