A recent article published in Psichiatria e Psicoterapia [Nijenhuis ERS (2014). Ten Reasons for classifying conceiving and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder as a dissociative disorder. Psychiatry and Psychotherapy 33, 74-106.] has provided strong theoretical and empirical support to the reconceptualization of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a dissociative disorder. In fact, Nijenhuis’ theory of structural dissociation represents an important advance in the understanding of dissociative processes. However, both theoretical and empirical research suggest that dissociative processes are potentially related to many psychiatric disorders, and not only to PTSD and dissociative disorders as it is fixed by specifity constraints of Nijenhuis’ model. Therefore, in this commentary we suggest (on the basis of epistemological considerations, theory and research) that a transdiagnostic dimension of dissociation, as a mental process, should be considered within a theory of structural dissociation. Furthermore, a wider consideration for the role that dissociation might play in many psychiatric disorders can be crucial for clinical practice.
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