Dissociative Disorders

Dissociative disorders (DD) are mental conditions characterized by disturbances or breakdowns of memory, awareness, identity, or perception. Typically, dissociative disorders occur as a coping mechanism for the brain to deal with a situation too upsetting for the conscious mind to process. Dissociative disorders are thought to be primarily caused by trauma or abuse, causing the individual to escape reality in involuntary and pathological ways. They can also be caused by things like stress or substance abuse. There are three main types of dissociative disorders: 1. dissociative amnesia and/or fugue: selective amnesia of a specific time, person or event. 2. Dissociative identity disorder: an indistinct or distorted sense of identity. 3. Depersonalization disorder: a feeling of being detached from yourself. If you think you may be suffering from a dissociative disorder, reach out to one of TherapyDen’s experts today.

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Meet the specialists

Dissociative disorders are more common than many realize. Because I specialize in trauma, and dissociation is a very common and primal response to trauma, I have training in this area, with sensitivity to complex trauma, RA, and other somatic trauma responses.

— Anya Surnitsky, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in ,

I have observed dissociative symptoms can often be overlooked in treatment, even though this is a typical response to complex trauma. I have participated in multiple trainings related to dissociation, including receiving the Certificate of Complex Trauma and Dissociation through the ISSTD in 2023.

— Alisa Huffman, Clinical Social Worker in Seattle, WA

My expertise is in treating complex trauma and dissociative disorders. I have a particular subspecialty in treating Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). I use egg state/parts work and I have extra competence in using the progressive EMDR approach for dissociative disorders.

— Rae Cuffe, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Miami, FL

Dissociative disorders, including DID, are at times hotly debated, even amongst mental health professionals. I have experience working with clients who have been diagnosed with DID, and you can expect empathy, support, understanding, and an approach that is tailored to you and not a blanket approach to your diagnosis.

— Fiona Crounin, Licensed Professional Counselor in , TX

I have an Advanced certificate in Dissociation Studies through the Institute for Creative Mindfulness.

— Angelique Gutekunst, Licensed Professional Counselor in Bethlehem, PA

I am certified in trauma and trauma informed stabilization treatment. This is a parts approach that uses polyvagal theory and the structural dissociation model which helps people struggling with dissociation and fragmentation to become more present and aware.

— Kelly Price, Licensed Mental Health Counselor

I've worked with depersonalization and derealization of dissociative disorders as well as alternate identities of dissociative identity disorder, all a form of detachment and dissociation due to trauma. With the challenging nature of these disorders for clients, I feel much respect and admiration is due for their creativity in coming up with necessary survival skills and resiliency. We work to find safe ways to track, ground, and communicate between parts of the self.

— Kelley Collins, Licensed Professional Counselor in ,

I have training in depth psychotherapy, EMDR, and DBT, which can all be used to help people progress in their recovery from dissociative disorders. I have experience working with people who are diagnosed with dissociative disorders.

— Kristen Hornung, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Encinitas, CA

Trauma is full of painful memories, feelings and body sensations, and any number of things can trigger those. It's natural for us to not want to feel or remember what happened. This can result in dissociation where we "check out" to varying degrees. This however can make it difficult to live our lives, engage in meaningful relationships, succeed in our jobs, and even participate in therapy. I have experience working with dissociative disorders to help you feel more present.

— Ashley Klein, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX

I welcome all systems! You will not be judged for how your brain works.

— ayom ament, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate

I am trained in AIR (Adaptive Internal Relational) Network Model which emphasizes in the treatment of complex trauma and neuro-dissociative states.

— Ruben Meza Maldonado Jr, Psychotherapist in Fridley, MN

As a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, my focus is on working with dissociative disorders, including Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly called "multiple personality disorder"). In this work, you and I will focus on decreasing the effects of the dissociation on your present day life rather than on remembering the details of the traumatic events, which could be re-traumatizing. We can't change the past, but we CAN change how it affects you now.

— Alicia Polk, Licensed Professional Counselor in Belton, MO

I have training and experience working with folx living with complex dissociation, structural dissociation, depersonalization and derealization.

— Chelsea Williams, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate in Bellingham, WA

Dissociation is not a dirty word. I have years of personal and professional experience working with dissociative responses and focus on normalizing the experience, building skills to minimize it when it is unhelpful, and helping folks let go of the shame that often comes with it.

— Esha Mehta, Social Worker in Greenwood Village, CO

I use a parts based method (AIR Network) to work with those with dissociative abilities. I believe that our bodies are designed to protect ourselves and the resilience of the human body to come up with techniques that help them survive abusive environments.

— Bethany Thomas, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Minneapolis 55418, MN

Dissociation exists on a spectrum, and can be an intelligent survival strategy implemented to deal with trauma, significant pain or stress, or overwhelm. Helping survivors with dissociative symptoms and experiences, I utilize a trauma-informed and neurobiological lens - including structural dissociation model, sensorimotor psychotherapy (somatic), and mindfulness.

— Krystal Ying, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Santa Rosa, CA

Complex trauma or traumatic histories are at the heart of dissociative disorders. People often struggle in fear, feeling broken, and as if there are not in control of themselves or their lives. You may feel alone, isolated, unwanted, and worthless. But there is hope for change and healing. I work with all kinds of dissociative disorders, and have a major focus on working with individuals living with Dissociative Identity Disorder. If you are struggling with DID-- please reach out.

— James Nole, Counselor in Seattle, WA