Dissociative Disorder (DD)
Dissociative disorders are the brains way of a coping with a situation or incident too upsetting for the conscious mind to process. A person with a dissociative disorder escapes reality in involuntary and pathological ways. There are several types of dissociative disorders (dissociative amnesia, dissociative identity disorder, dissociative fugue and depersonalization disorder), all of which are thought to be caused by experiencing a trauma or abuse. Symptoms common to dissociative disorders include selective amnesia (of a specific time, person or event), depersonalization (a feeling of being detached from yourself), an indistinct or distorted sense of identity, and derealization (a feeling that something is off and the world and people around you are unreal). Individuals suffering from dissociative disorders often experience other mental health problems, like depression and anxiety. A mental health professional can help a person with a dissociative disorder to learn new ways of coping.
Local Experts in Dissociative Disorder (DD)
Often seen when someone has complex trauma, dissociative disorder can be challenging. I have training in and experience with working with this disorder. I work from an internal family systems-informed perspective.
DD is the result of severe and persistent childhood abuse that typically begins at or before the age of five; it commonly well-disguised both from treatment providers and trauma survivors. Dissociation is well-recognized as being a normal response to adverse experiences, however there are few providers with expertise in this area. As a trauma center, we must be well equipped and adequately trained
Dissociative Disorders are a coping response to severe, ongoing trauma that usually starts at a young age. Dissociation is the process of numbing out our thoughts, emotions, memories and body to avoid painful experiences. Dissociative experiences may range from blocking one memory to blocking out large areas of our lives and developing different personalities within a person in order to cope.
I specialize in both DID and depersonalization - complex strategies our minds use to help protect us from intense traumatic events. Sometimes this is experienced as an inability to concentrate or connect, a sense of being disconnected, numb, or unreal, or involve holding multiple identities inside you. No matter how you experience dissociation, we can work to build awareness, connection, & safety
I work with Gestalt approaches that focus on accessing different parts of the client’s personality and character and seek to integrate them. By working with the different parts of the client (such as the inner child, the teenager in us all, the student, the worker, etc.), the client can experience a wholeness.
I have worked extensively with dissociative disorder and multiple personality disorder.
It is natural and adaptive to avoid pain, but if it becomes automated we can lose the capacity to tolerate it difficult emotions. What was once a highly adaptive, life -saving strategy can become a secret prison of shame and doubt.
I have several years' experience working with people who have dissociative disorders.