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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Our remarkable nervous systems provide us with multiple ways to survive overwhelming experiences by disconnecting from our emotions, bodies, surroundings, thoughts, or actions. When this occurs during childhood it can lead to the cutting off of memories and parts of self from the presenting self. This can lead to a dissociative disorder marked by persistent zoning out, emotions that come out of nowhere, and critical or even cruel thoughts towards the self. Dissociation is highly treatable.

— Allison Grimes, Counselor in Cambridge, MA

I have experience with, and passion for working with people who struggle with dissociation including Dissociative Amnesia, Depersonalization / Derealization, OSDD, and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). https://praxisthriving.com/dissociation

— Kristen Henshaw, Licensed Professional Counselor in Austin, TX
 

I work with people who may experience derealization, depersonalization, and/or don't feel connected to body, space, and/or time. Dissociation is a spectrum that ranges from very mild symptoms through to forms of dissociative identify disorder. The important thing to know is this is what we humans do, you're not crazy! Some of us may need more help to feel grounded and/or present. Incorporated practices of trauma informed yoga, mindfulness can help us gently reconnect.

— Teresa Petersen, Clinical Social Worker in Houston, TX

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
 

Our remarkable nervous systems provide us with multiple ways to survive overwhelming experiences by disconnecting from our emotions, bodies, surroundings, thoughts, or actions. When this occurs during childhood it can lead to the cutting off of memories and parts of self from the presenting self. This can lead to a dissociative disorder marked by persistent zoning out, emotions that come out of nowhere, and critical or even cruel thoughts towards the self. Dissociation is highly treatable.

— Allison Grimes, Counselor in Cambridge, MA

Whether it is one event or repeated dissociative episodes, dissociation can be frightening. Clients with dissociative problems may feel like they are robots moving through their lives, face extreme energy loss, and may have problems with memory.

— Whitney Davison, Therapist in Lee's Summit, MO
 

Our remarkable nervous systems provide us with multiple ways to survive overwhelming experiences by disconnecting from our emotions, bodies, surroundings, thoughts, or actions. When this occurs during childhood it can lead to the cutting off of memories and parts of self from the presenting self. This can lead to a dissociative disorder marked by persistent zoning out, emotions that come out of nowhere, and critical or even cruel thoughts towards the self. Dissociation is highly treatable.

— Allison Grimes, Counselor in Cambridge, MA

Our remarkable nervous systems provide us with multiple ways to survive overwhelming experiences by disconnecting from our emotions, bodies, surroundings, thoughts, or actions. When this occurs during childhood it can lead to the cutting off of memories and parts of self from the rest of oneself. This can lead to a dissociative disorder marked by persistent zoning out, emotions that come out of nowhere, and critical or even cruel thoughts towards the self. Dissociation is highly treatable.

— Allison Grimes, Counselor in Cambridge, MA
 

The human mind is amazing, amirite? When we feel overwhelmed and just can.not.deal, the brain is like "OK cool, let's check out of here." There are benefits to doing that. Conversely, we might start to check out so much, we don't learn how to deal with the stress triggers, and start losing out on life. I will teach you skills that help you cope so that you can be present in your own life.

— Rashida Black, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Oceanside, CA

PTSD and dissociation go together like 'peas and carrots'. Most therapists are unaware of dissociation and do not know how to recognize or treat it. I assess all my clients for signs of traumatic dissociation, which can be relationally caused as well as caused from abuse and traumatic events. Healing proceeds through grounding and connection. I do not consider dissociative capacity pathological; it is a natural human gift found in abundance in highly creative and spiritual people.

— Susan Pease Banitt, Clinical Social Worker in Portland, OR
 

I work with complex dissociative disorders, including other-specified dissociative disorder, DID, and depersonalization/derealization to help clients heal from trauma that may have fragmented their memories or identities in order to cope. I have had advanced training in modalities to help clients slowly piece their lives back together and be present to the world at their own pace - learning to separate the past from the present.

— Kelli Spencer, Licensed Professional Counselor in SANDY SPRINGS, GA

I have a strong interest in supporting folks who experience dissociative processes, intrusions, and/or identities. Have you ever felt disconnected from your own body/sensations, emotions, or experiences? Dissociation is a brilliant strategy developed by our minds to cope with, and escape from, intolerable experiences. I am interested in working with folks to safely reconnect to their lives while honoring these strategies.

— Alison Dowd, Licensed Professional Counselor in Chicago, IL
 

The thing about dissociative disorders is that they hide, so it is likely that you may come to see me for depression or anxiety, and when we meet, you might have been previously diagnosed and treated for all kinds of disorders. It's okay, we will figure it out. It takes a lot of time and perseverance, but the worst is behind you.

— Chelle Epstein, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Miami, FL

I specialize in working with clients with DID and understand how a creative coping mechanism for surviving trauma can affect life in the present. People with dissociative disorders often seek counseling when they have distressing symptoms like PTSD and flashbacks, identity confusion, depression, anxiety, and self esteem issues. I assist my clients in improving internal communication, learning grounding tools, and addressing other symptoms and issues to facilitate a happier life.

— Alix Amar, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Lilburn, GA
 

I have been working with dissociative disorders since i began my work as a therapist. I have worked with a range of dissociative presentations from numbness and feeling out of touch with one's body to more complex presentations. I am constantly sharpening my skills and improving what I know about this disorder and how to help individuals heal more effectively.

— Catherine Keech, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA

The dissociative spectrum is broad and goes all the way from being "in the zone" to Dissociative Identity Disorder. Dissociation is a natural phenomenon and we all do it to a degree. For some of us, this natural protection kicks in so much that it begins to disorder our lives. By combining trauma-informed theory with IFS techniques, I am able to help clients normalize the dissociation process and gently gain more control over their experience by healing their emotional parts.

— Lara Dubowchik, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Highland Park, NJ
 

You may spend much of your time in a fog or distracting yourself with daydreams. You may have a pattern of spending a lot of time avoiding real life by being on the internet, reading books to escape, or zoning out in front of the television. You may have been told that you sometimes don’t seem ‘fully present’ and people in your life ask you to pay more attention to them. You might be experiencing a form of dissociation. Dissociation can be a form of protection from past negative experiences.

— Rachael Bain, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Indianapolis, IN