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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Abuse, particularly early in life, sometimes leads to dissociative experiences in an effort to make the situation more bearable. I have training and experience in helping people lessen dissociation and find ways of opening internal communication and integrate their life experiences.

— Dr. Sarah Edwards, Psychologist in Fargo, ND

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

I work with DID/OSDD and have received training on working with these conditions. I am an annual attendee of the Healing Together Conference on dissociative disorders where I have learned from both fellow professionals and people who have DID/OSDD. I primarily use Internal Family Systems Therapy in this work. I recognize that "reintegration" is not a goal for most people with DID nor is it necessarily the healthiest starting goal.

— Andrew Listvinsky, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in San Diego, CA

I work with DID/OSDD and have received training on working with these conditions. I am an annual attendee of the Healing Together Conference on dissociative disorders where I have learned from both fellow professionals and people who have DID/OSDD. I primarily use Internal Family Systems Therapy in this work. Whatever your goals, I hope to also help you better understand your system/parts/alters.

— Andrew Listvinsky, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in San Diego, CA

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

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

I have been trained and certified to treat complex trauma. Dissociation is one of the symptoms clients may have developed as a trauma response. With compassion and understanding I introduce how dissociation has played an important role in a clients survival and how to help a client reduce or manage these symptoms.

— Sharon Simpson, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor

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

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

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 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

I have eight years of experience in treating dissociative disorders, attachment issues, and complex PTSD.

— Scott Hoye, Psychologist in Chicago, IL

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 frequently work with systems, which some people call Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or being plural. My goal in working with systems is to provide consistent communication and cooperation among your parts (sometimes called "headmates" or other terms). I do not consider "integration" or dissolving a system (into a singlet) a legitimate, respectful, therapeutic goal. My goal is to facilitate collaboration, communication, and connection among dissociative parts.

— Georgie Kelly, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in SAN DIEGO, CA

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

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

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

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

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 ,