A major issue in the study of dissociation concerns the cross-cultural validity of definitions and measurements used to identify and classify dissociative disorders. There is also extensive debate on the etiological factors underlying dissociative experiences. Cross-cultural research is essential to elucidate these issues, particularly regarding evidence obtained from countries in which the study of dissociation is still in its infancy. The aim of this article was to discuss Brazilian research on the topic of dissociation, highlighting its contributions for the understanding of dissociative experiences in nonclinical populations and for the validity and relevance of dissociative disorders in the contexts of psychiatry, psychology, and psychotherapy. We also consider the ways in which dissociative experiences are assimilated by Brazilian culture and religious expressions, and the implications of Brazilian studies for the sociocultural investigation of dissociation. We conclude by addressing the limitations of these studies and potential areas for future research.
*Inter Psi-Laboratory of Anomalistic Psychology and Psychosocial Processes, Department of Social and Work Psychology, Institute of Psychology, University of São Paulo, Brazil; †Department of Humanistic and Clinical Psychology, Saybrook University, Oakland, California; and ‡Program of Health, Spirituality and Religiosity (ProSER), and §LIM23, Institute of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Brazil.
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