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Therapy for Dissociation and Dissociative Disorders

Dissociation in and of itself is not pathological; for example, a common and normal form of dissociation occurs when we are driving and arrive at our destination without remembering the trip. Many people who have experienced trauma and PTSD will experience some form of dissociation.  People who have experienced complex trauma (C-PTSD), especially if it occurred during childhood, are very likely to experience dissociation, and may possibly also meet criteria for a dissociative disorder. 

Some indicators you may experience dissociation include:

  • Life feeling dream-like or unreal

  • Finding it extremely difficult to stay 'present'

  • Feeling like there are different sides to you (some that you may not like)

  • Feeling like you flip into different states very quickly (feeling okay then suddenly becoming angry or shutdown/withdrawn)

 

Some more complex symptoms of dissociation can include:

  • Gaps in memory (including not remembering large parts of your childhood)

  • Chronic pain or other physical symptoms with no medical explanation

  • Experiencing very nasty or critical internal dialogue

  • Experiencing feelings or thoughts that feel like they don't belong to you

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How We Can Help

Dissociation is extremely important to address in therapy, as it is often entwined with trauma, PTSD and complex trauma (C-PTSD) and can impact effectiveness of trauma therapy. For this reason, our therapists have completed extensive, advanced training in treating dissociation. For clients experiencing dissociation, we use Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) where applicable, in conjunction with interventions and approaches including:

  • Schema Therapy

  • Mindfulness

  • Internal Family Systems Therapy (and other 'parts' approaches)

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

  • Compassion-Focussed Therapy (CFT)

  • Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

  • Dialectical-Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

If this information resonates with you or you would like to know more, contact us now. 

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