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About Dr. Allison

Ralph B. Allison, M.D.
Presented at the
Eighth Regional Conference on Trauma,
Dissociation & Multiple Personality
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
April 22 - 24, 1993

	My role today is to discuss the effects on the therapist of
treatment, and this implies that there are both good and bad
effects.  I am put in the position of the person who asks, "I
have both good and bad news.  Which do you want to hear first?"

		In my days of private practice, one of my fiercest critics
finally confessed to me that he could not stand patients who
were manipulative and dependent.  Multiples are masters of those
two characteristics, but they proceed in ways that are not as
obvious as we might hope.  They have spent their early years
using their abilities coping with what they consider abuse by
those in their world, and they have become masters in using
mental instead of physical means of defense.  These methods are
very difficult to detect, much less deflect.  Since most of
society do not even recognize that they even exist, they are a
perfect means of sabotaging the enemy.  These patients come to
see much of society as the enemy and therefore subject to
preemptive strikes in the name of self defense.

	Usually the therapist is seen as a savior of the multiple, so
he/she is exempt from such attacks.  But inevitably, the
therapist will either fail to satisfy the dependent needs of the
patient or will be placed in the role of the villain via
transference.  Then the therapist becomes an unwitting victim of
the "defensive" methods the patient has been using all his/her



	Sapping was first used in this context by Karagulla in 1967
(Karagulla, S., Breakthrough to Creativity, DeVorss, Santa
Monica, CA, 1967) to describe the extraction of physical energy
from another person by the patient.  The sapper is a self
centered individual who feels too weak to exist all by
himself/herself, so he/she proceeds to suck energy from those
around him/her.  After I have been sapped, I barely have the
strength to write.  I will then sleep for about four hours; when
I am again full of energy, my family are ready to go to bed.  

	My second multiple, whom I shall call Gail, introduced me to
sapping when she told me, "Dr. Allison, you are so big and
strong.  I wish I could have some of your energy."  Feeling
gallant, I said, "If I knew how to give you some, I'd be glad to
do so."  Little did I know that such would later take place.

	One Saturday night, I was with my wife at a dinner party when
Gail phoned in a panic.  Since I had had to hospitalize her
several times for self destructive acts, and she never called
unless she was almost out of control, I left the party and drove
to her apartment.  She greeted me with outstretched arms,
grasping my hands with hers.  Then I saw that both her forearms
were bloody with multiple slash wounds.  I went to her bathroom
to get towels and found there the bloody pocket knife Laura, her
persecutor alter-personality, had used after Gail had called me.
 Right after the phone call, Gail had blacked out, and Laura
came out to punish her for giving in to her boyfriend who had
told her he didn't want her to come to a party with him that

	After wrapping her arms with the towels, I drove her to the
hospital where the ER surgeon agreed to suture the wounds on her
arms.  Since there were so many lacerations, I used hypnosis to
numb both arms and avoid multiple injections of a local
anesthetic.  To keep her arms in place, I sat by the operating
table with my fingers touching hers all during the 90 minute
surgery.  I felt fine all this time, and the surgeon was
grateful that he could suture away without worrying about the
need for more anesthetic.  The surgery went well, the patient
was well behaved, and finally bandages were applied to both arms.

	Now the crisis was now over, at her insistence, I drove her to
the party where her boyfriend was, and she persuaded him to let
her come into the house.  I drove back to my wife's party where
she handed me a plate of food.  I sat down to eat but could
barely lift the fork to my mouth.  Emotionally, I felt normal,
but I barely had enough energy to breath.  My wife told me I
looked tired and suggested we go home immediately. I must have
looked terrible to her since this was a very special occasion
for her, and she likes to stay to the very end of parties.  I
accepted her invitation to leave and slept most of the next day,
which was Sunday.  Monday, I was back at work feeling normal

	I believe that Gail sapped me the moment she grabbed my hands
at the door, as she felt powerless to deal with the threat of
Laura, who always complained how weak Gail was in dealing with
those nasty boyfriends she went out with.  I was her source of
strength, and she took all she could get, ignoring my need for
the same.  Since I continued to touch her fingers during the
surgery, she continued the process.  The imbalance in my own
system did not become apparent until I was back in the fold of
my own family and friends, when I could become dependent on my
wife.  Then my emergency system, which allowed me to do my job
at the hospital and drive home safely, gave way, and I felt so
weak I could go on no longer.

	Sapping of personal energy can occur in different ways.  Gail
did it through the means of touch.  Others will stare at the
victim and sap through the eyes.  Others will talk incessantly
and sap through the mouth.  Some use no obvious site of
attachment and are said to sap via the solar plexus.  

	Those who are psychic enough to see auras around others can
identify what is going on.  Dr. Karagulla learned about the
process when she went to social gatherings with women she met as
subjects for research in psychic ability.  At the parties, they
pointed out the various guests who were using the above methods
to sap energy from other guests and warned Dr. Karagulla to
avoid them.  When far enough along in therapy, my own multiple
patients have confirmed what I have described.  Naturally, they
hid this information from me as long as possible so that they
could use the technique on me whenever necessary.


	Another process commonly used by these patient is called
zapping.  This word comes from the comic book hero pointing his
index finger at the villain while a lightning bolt shoots from
his finger.  ZAP is written in bold print in the background. 
These patients have also learned how to zap people, which is the
opposite of sapping.  Whereas in sapping they remove something
(energy), in zapping they inject something into the unwitting
subject of their attention.

	Patients who have admitted to using these techniques claimed to
have "powerful minds."  If a person with a powerful mind
dislikes you, he/she has the potential energy to damage your
emotional stability and the soundness of your thinking processes.

	There are three kinds of zapping.  One type is emotional
zapping - the injection of negative emotions into another
person, making them angry, for example, when they have no
personal reason to be so.  Another type is ideational zapping -
the injection of a foreign belief system or thought pattern into
another, also known as brain washing, or, pardon the vulgarity,
mindfucking.  The third type is physical zapping - the causation
of physical injury in another by mental means.  I believe that I
have been subject to each type at one time or another.

	All of us therapists come in a human form and are not perfect
human beings without emotions of our own.  If we were truly
enlightened human beings, then possibly there would be no way
some one else could make us blow up with unreasonable anger. 
But we are not perfect people, and we come with a certain suit
of emotional clothing which can be used against us.  If we are a
little bit paranoid, we can be come very paranoid.  If we are
irritated, we can become very angry, etc.  So I suspect that the
reason I have reacted to these patients is that, in the process
of living, I have had my own emotions fairly out in front, and
patients could easily find a way to magnify them when they
wanted to punish me for dissatisfying them.

	My patient Liz was in a halfway house where only one of the
staff members accepted her multiplicity.  The others told her
she was playacting and could stop anytime she wanted to.  This
stirred up intense anger in her, which energized Barbara, her
angry alter-personality.  She knew that if she didn't neutralize
Barbara, she would get expelled from the halfway house, and she
had nowhere else to live.  On a Saturday afternoon, she called
and asked me to come out.  With the one supportive staff member
present, I used my technique for expelling anger energy into a
bottle I could then toss into the garbage.  I thought that I was
eliminating the danger Barbara presented by having Liz shed a
lot of her anger that way.  It seemed to work at the time as Liz
calmed down, and I was able to leave her in a state of

	The next day, the non-believing staff members came on duty and
her anger rose in her again, with Barbara in full blossom.  She
called me at home that Sunday at 6 p.m., and I came out again to
complete the project of neutralizing Barbara with a repeat of
the bottle routine.  I felt fine after leaving both times.

	When I got home that Sunday evening, I started folding the
family laundry, my usual weekly chore and something I really
don't mind doing.  My wife asked me very politely if I wanted
her to help.  I blew up at her in an angry rage, telling her
that I could fold clothes perfectly well and that I didn't need
her implying that I was incompetent.  She quietly took my tirade
and asked, "Why are you acting like this?  You haven't been this
way all week."  That struck home, since I knew I was being
irrational, but I couldn't help myself.  I thought, "What is
different?  Oh yes, I went to the halfway house yesterday and
again today to get rid of an angry personality.  She might have
dumped some of her anger on me and I brought it home. Well, if
that is so, I had better do what I teach multiples to do with
their excess anger."

	That night, when I went to bed, I laid there with my fingers
outstretched and thought about anger flowing out of my body
through my fingers into the universe.  I kept it up until I felt
I had discharged all that Barbara might have dumped on me.

	Later, I asked Liz' ISH what had really happened.  She told me
that the first time I tried to neutralize Barbara, it was
unsuccessful.  Barbara was furious with me and zapped me with
anger as I walked out of the halfway house.  Thus I had taken a
large dose of anger home with me that first day.  The next day,
I resented being called out again, but could not express that
resentment to a needy patient, so, when my wife set me off with
a benign question, it all came out at her.

	Ideational zapping is the implantation of ideas in someone's
mind without him/her knowing about it, and then he/she is
thinking in a way foreign to his/her prior belief system.  In
the case of women with hysterical personality traits, this is
most often used for sexual seduction, with the message being
that the sender is a greatly attractive sexy female who is more
than willing to fall into the male target's arms.  Of course,
this method can also be used with religious or political
beliefs.  (David Koresh and the Branch Dividians in Waco, TX may
be a recent tragic example.)

	One multiple patient of mine had created an evil monster of a
personality which sent such seductive messages for the purpose
of controlling men.  Once I introduced this young lady, who was
really rather dumpy looking, to two male associates of mine.  In
both cases, they were supposed to be involved in projects in
their respective professions.  According to her, in both cases,
after a brief introduction, she found them making passes at her,
even though consciously she didn't want them to do so.  In both
cases, she found herself having sex with each of them, and,
afterwards, neither man knew why he had done so.  Since I needed
to preserve the business relationship I had with both men, I
didn't dare ask them if they had slept with my patient, so I
cannot vouch for the accuracy of her reports.  But I have no
doubt that the process exists, since so many other patients have
described how they used this method on other people where I knew
of the results.

	The boyfriend of one of my multiples decided to do an exorcism
on her, without advice or consent from anyone else.  At the
time, she was advertising herself as a witch.  After he
attempted to exorcise what I considered to be a helper
alter-personality, he became a religious fanatic who called me
on the phone to invite me to become a member of the new church
he had just established.  When I refused, he approached a priest
friend of mine with the same invitation.  Next, he barged into
various church meetings to invite the members to desert their
church and join his.  Eventually, he returned home to Florida
where he continued his streetside prostelyzing.  His last
attempt at converting strangers was with a man on the street who
objected loudly to being bothered by this odd young man.  The
young man beat the stranger to death and was subsequently
sentenced to prison for murder.

	The ultimate in physical zapping is most likely voodoo death. 
In some way, these patients can cause physical injury to the
bodies of people they hate.  The seductress I mentioned before
told me of an episode in grade school when she had been pestered
by a boy on the school playground.  She complained to the adults
in charge but none were able to make him stop.  (In today's
world, her mother would have sued the school district for sexual

	One night, in desperation, she visualized him in his bed
asleep. Then she visualized his leg broken in several places as
her punishment of him. The next day he did not show up for
school.  His friends told her he woke up that morning with his
leg broken, and everyone assumed he must have fallen out of bed
in the middle of the night.  She felt very guilty about it and
had no doubts that she was responsible.

	Most therapists would say that she was only guilty of wishful
thinking, and they might assure her that she really had nothing
to do with his injury.  But how can they know for sure she
didn't?  I have seen too many other similar "coincidences" of
harm coming to an enemy of a multiple after the multiple spent
considerable time brooding over how to get even with the enemy
for all the harm done to her.

	One evening when, with a nurse, I tried to help Helen eject the
hostility of her latest nasty alter-personality.  We spent two
hours with her before she seemed to have expelled it into a
bottle. The nurse had a severe headache, and I was sapped of
energy.  When I tried to do another admission workup that
evening, my handwriting was small and cramped.  I barely had the
strength to drive home.  After going to bed, I became nauseated
and got up to go to the toilet.  Then I suddenly started
expelling fresh blood from both ends of my GI tract.  I fell to
the floor, unable to move.  My wife called for a doctor and
helped me into the car.  When we arrived at the Emergency Room,
my doctor admitted me to the ICU for the first of my 11 days in
the hospital.  The upper GI series showed an acute bleeding
duodenal ulcer.

	I had been having periodic epigastric cramping for a number of
months and was on too many committees, traveling to too many
meetings while coping poorly with the peer objections to my work
on the psychiatric ward.  So I was a prime candidate for
trouble.  When I questioned the patient after my recovery, she
claimed that what I had thought was an unpleasant
alter-personality was really the spirit of a witch who had died
in England in 1890.  The patient claimed to be possessed by this
witch.  When I had angered the witch by trying to interfere in 
her activities, she became quite angry at me and struck back,
aiming her attack at my already ulcerating duodenum.



	In my days of private practice, my hospital setting was a 14
bed ward in a general hospital, where I was a contracted by the
patients to treat them.  My primary loyalty was to the patient,
not to the hospital or it's nursing staff.  We did have an
experienced psychiatrist hired by the hospital for that role.

	Naturally, there was a range of attitudes on the part of the
nursing staff regarding my MPD patients.  Some were skeptics who
saw them as manipulating me unmercifully.  Then there were those
nurses who had themselves experienced psychic phenomena and
could identify with some of the experiences these patients
reported.  They were similar to the patients in their mental
mechanisms, but they had had healthy, loving parents and had
been raised in stable homes.  You might call them "healthy
hysterics."  They became the "good" nurses, while the skeptics
became the "bad" nurses.  The inner polarity of the multiples
led them to polarize the nursing staff into these groups, with
no tolerance for individualism.

	The problem was solved by the closing of the psychiatric ward
due to financial difficulties.  By that time, I was ready to
leave town, and I took a job with a county mental health clinic.
 I hoped to avoid all such entanglements with troublesome
multiples, but one of my first clinic patients became my Ph.D.
thesis on the subject.  She had to be hospitalized repeatedly on
a private psychiatric ward that contracted with the Mental
Health Service.  Here again, the polarization occurred, since
the two psychiatrists on the ward played into the "good-bad"
dichotomy.  One of the psychiatrists was very courteous with my
multiple and accepted my diagnosis without argument.  When he
admitted her, we were able to cooperate and resolve problems
amiably.  But when his partner was on duty, that man called her
insulting names, such as "just a manipulating hysteric," at
which she rebelled, creating an alter-personality who actually
thought I was him at the next office visit and tried to beat my
brains in with a flower pot.  For that reason, I never saw her
without a bodyguard.  I never could get him to act more
professionally, as she just seemed to rub him the wrong way. 
The only solution was to hospitalize her in the medical ward of
the old county hospital and treat her there myself.  The trouble
with that arrangement was that I already had a very busy clinic
schedule and very little time was left over in my day for
hospital rounds, too.


	When I was in private practice, the hospital peer review
process required that the case of any psychiatric patient
hospitalized for two weeks had to be reviewed by a committee of
two psychiatrists and a psychologist.  The purpose was to
determine if plans for treatment were reasonable and were being
carried out.  The accuracy of diagnosis was not the basic reason
for the review.  Yet, when I presented the case of a multiple,
the first issue usually debated was the accuracy of my
diagnosis.  The intensity of the discussion left little time for
debate on the nature of the hospital treatment.  The chairman of
the Peer Review Committee had been an office associate of mine
for two years, and he had made my life difficult.  He did not
like my multiple patients, and they did not like him.  Now he
was the Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry.  After hearing
reports of a few cases of MPD at peer review meetings, he
appointed a special committee to review my work and report back
to the department with recommendations.  During the next ten
months, I was subjected to various meetings in which I tried to
explain what I was doing and what results I was getting. The
committee reviewed no charts, interviewed no patients and talked
to no ward nurses.  The Chairman gave them his opinions,
unsupported by any factual observations of either my diagnostic
or therapeutic techniques.  His opinion was that I was
unorthodox and unethical, but I could never find out just what
he considered to be orthodox or ethical in the diagnosis or
treatment of MPD, since he never diagnosed or treated any
patient with MPD.

	The committee finally recommended restriction of my hospital
privileges, but the hospital medical director told them that
would create a liability risk for the hospital.  He knew I could
sue the hospital for restraint of trade since they had no facts
to support any actions against me.  Fortunately for me, the
department voted against any sanctions.  In return, I agreed to
admit MPD patients only on an emergency basis, which was the
reason for most the admissions all along.


	What happens to the therapist's family while the therapist is
treating multiples?  I know of one psychiatrist whose multiple
patient called him every evening at home.  Finally, he asked his
teen age son to talk to her instead.  After a year of these
calls, the son went into a mental hospital acting like a
multiple, and the psychiatrist and his wife were in continuous
couple therapy to deal with the difficulties between them.

	My wife put up with many evenings when I would come home tired,
depressed and sure I was being pushed around by everyone.
Because of the constant demands these patients put on me and my
attempts to do the "right thing" by making house calls and
emergency room visits more frequently than other psychiatrists
might have, she felt threatened and cheated, with good reason.
Since most of these patients were women, she warned me that I
was being manipulated more as a man then needed as a physician. 
In retrospect, she was right more often than I care to admit.


	The mother of my second multiple was a nurse at the local
medical center.  Even though I had only good words to say about
this lady, her guilt about possibly causing her daughter's
illness was transformed into blaming me for making her daughter
so sick.  She conveniently forgot that it was she who referred
her daughter to me after the young lady stuck a knitting needle
all the way through her wrist in a suicide attempt.  She told
the doctors with whom she worked her complaints about my
terrible treatment of her daughter, but one of the doctors was
kind enough to tell me what she was saying about me to all who
would listen.  When her daughter eventually committed suicide,
the mother urged the surviving husband, a severe alcoholic, to
file a malpractice suit against me for wrongful death.  His
attorney told my attorney that he intended to try me on my
reputation, not the merits of the case.  My attorney reminded
him that the case still had to have merits, regardless of the
mother's view of my reputation.


	Psychiatrists generally have a low malpractice risk, and most
of the time the reason for a suit is for the same sort of
mishaps that occur to any patient in a hospital.  I have been
sued three times in my life, and all suits occurred during the
same year.  Two of the three suits were because of patients with
MPD.  Yet, in none of the three cases did the patient complain
of the quality of my services.  In the case just mentioned, the
patient committed suicide because her alcoholic husband had left
her after she had been hospitalized twice when new hostile
alter-personalities took over her body.

	Another suit came about because an unlicensed psychologist
brought a female multiple to me for hospitalization.  She
insisted that he continue to see her in the hospital, since she
was in love with him.  To get her into the hospital at all, I
agreed to let him visit when I made rounds each day.  I
discovered that her core personality was a hidden three year old
girl who, according to the ISH, could come out only if we could
find her new mother and father figures to whom she could relate
in today's world.  The head nurse agreed to be the new mother
figure.  After much discussion, the "psychologist" was accepted
by the ISH as a suitable father figure.  He did alright only as
long as I was present when he visited her, and she matured to
the age of 19 before I considered her ready to go home to her
husband and two children.  Then the psychologist started
shifting roles from father figure to therapist, and he was a
terrible therapist.  When he came to visit her in the evenings
when I was not present, he told her she had to resume sexual
relations with her husband as soon as she arrived home.  But she
did not feel she knew the husband well enough even to date him,
since she had only met him there in the hospital.  To obey her
"father," she created a new personality who could have sex with
her husband after discharge.  The "psychologist" continued with
such bad advice while treating her at home that she attempted
suicide twice.  She finally returned to my care in the hospital
and made a complete fusion, without his help.  

	After discharge, she filed a malpractice suit against the
"psychologist" and won $30,000.  He countersued me, claiming
that I was an unfit supervisor of his therapy, when I was not
his supervisor at all.  He also filed suit for libel, claiming
that I instigated the malpractice suit, which was not true.  He
kept the suits on file, with no hearings ever, for four years,
before his attorney could convince him to drop it.

	Since I have been out of private practice, I have been
consulted on three malpractice suits against psychiatrists by
ex-patients who had MPD.  All involved the violation of
reasonable boundaries between therapist and patient, with
alleged harm to the patients.  There is much to be said on this
subject, but I do not yet understand why it seems so easy for
therapists of all persuasions to justify the novel relationships
they get into with patients with MPD that they would avoid with
any other patients.  My best guess it that these patients, who
can shift roles at the blink of an eye, expect us therapists to
change roles just as fast.  We try to accommodate, thinking that
it is good for therapy to be flexible and adaptable.  Since the
patient has little sense of what is "proper behavior," they
accept the therapist's bending the rules and feed into the
therapist's need to be all things to all patients, at least in a
solo private practice.  In addition, the patient's telepathic
abilities may make them more adept at knowing the therapist's
emotional weaknesses and capitalizing on that knowledge.


	One of the positive aspects of treating multiples is the
opportunity to come to interesting places away from home and
meet therapists who have had equivalent experiences to mine and
realize that everything I experienced could not have been
iatrogenic.  How could these other therapists, whom I never
heard of, have such similar experiences with patients coming
from their own localities?  It has been reassuring to feel that
we were sharing something that might really be true, whatever
the word TRUE might mean.  

	When I have been dealing in hypnotherapy with a multiple, I
feel that I have to search in my mind, in whatever corner is
necessary, to find just how to speak and act, so that my next
move can be a positive one for the patient.  It is seldom that I
have read about or heard in a lecture just that particular
action that is needed for this patient in this situation.  When
I venture to try something that I think I have just invented,
and then find that these other therapists in other states have
found the same action to be useful with their patients, it does
give me added confidence.

	This then leads to the fun I have had learning about other
scientific disciplines, especially the anthropology of healing
processes.  No one in medical school ever taught us about
shamans and the history of shamanistic healing.  But when I
learned about them at the Anthropology of Consciousness
meetings, I realized that I had been acting very much like a
shaman of old, even to having my special tools which I took
along on house calls.  The most important difference was that I
had not gone through the initiation rites required of a shaman
nor the training by the senior shaman of the tribe.  So where
had I learned anything at all?  It was certainly not from my
peer psychiatrists who definitely thought I had several screws

	What I did learn in hearing about shamans and spiritualistic
healers of today was that they lived in constant contact with
entities of the spirit dimension of life.  I saw films of
doctors in Brazil who did psychic surgery which they believed
was really done by the spirit of Dr. Fritz, a dead surgeon from
World War I.  These surgeries were done without scalpels,
anesthesia or antiseptics, yet wounds allegedly healed without
infection.  Even one of the American born investigators was
initiated into being a shamanistic healer and was able to take
into him a great healing spirit which worked healing ceremonies
through his body for several years after he returned to the
United States.  Since he had not been born into the culture and
therefore had not been conditioned to be a believer, how could
it work, if only cultural belief is required?

	This awareness of help from above is mirrored in the creed of
Alcoholics Anonymous, with the concept of giving up control over
one's life to a higher power.  In medicine, we are taught that
the higher power is medical/scientific knowledge, and, that, if
we know enough, we are powerful enough to do anything as a
doctor.  But that source of power wasn't there when I started
dealing with multiples.  Yet, when I really needed to know how
to help a patient, the correct idea came to me.  Where did the
idea come from?

	In my case, one of my multiples identified my spirit teacher as
an entity named Michael who stayed behind my left shoulder.  The
concept sounded farfetched, but I liked the idea of such a
personal guru, so I began to mention Michael to other patients. 
The surprising thing was that they could see him, too, and
respected his authority.  The Inner Self Helpers of my patients
referred to him as the entity to contact when they wanted me do
something my ego objected to my doing.  I have no idea yet why
Michael might have such an interest in my being involved with
people with MPD, but that seemed to be the right thing to do, so
I did it.

	Since my childhood hobby was building model airplanes, my work
with multiples gave me the chance to build people out of the
dissociated parts into which they have broken.  The creative
urge I have to put together something new from raw materials, or
at least partially finished parts, is satisfied in dealing with
multiples in therapy.  Since I take pride in my craftsmanship, I
am happy to report that none of my successes has turned out
badly in terms of social behavior.

	The most important benefit which I think being the therapist of
a patient with MPD is that it provides each of us with the
opportunity to follow the pathway for which we are destined. 
For some reason, this field has attracted many spiritually
minded people.  Really good people are the best therapists of
multiples.  I enjoy knowing them.  Those therapists who are
arrogant, egotistical, pig headed and obstinate are not long in
charge of these patients.  

	For this reason above all, I am both pleased and challenged to
be here with you today, to rejoin those old friends of mine who
have maintained the course and to meet the newcomers who have
joined them in the last decade.  Thank you for the opportunity
to know all of you. 

  Copyright© 2022 - Ralph B. Allison