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.

Meet the specialists

I have had extensive trauma trainings in multiple modalities and have the skills to help clients deal with all levels of dissociative symptoms. I regularly receive consultation from a more experienced EMDR therapist to insure that I am providing safe and effective treatment for my dissociative clients.

— Michelle Raine, Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

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

Dissociation, derealization, depersonalization, Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), and psychogenetic non-epileptic seizures.

— Heather Martz, Clinical Social Worker in Denver, CO

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

Dissociation can manifest in a variety of ways, all of which can feel disconcerting and overwhelming. I have extensive training and experience in working with individuals who feel 'outside themselves' and not fully apart of their day to day lives.

— Morgan Grace, Psychotherapist in Austin, TX

I have experience with dissociative disorder, as well as well as extensive training and certification in treating them. I also produce a podcast about trauma and dissociation, and have learned from leading researchers through these experiences. I am a member of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), and currently work for the ISSTD as training coordinator.

— Emily Christensen, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in ,

I have been working with impacts of trauma , dissociation, and plurality for 20 years. I approach dissociation holistically and integrate mind, body, and community work as feels right. I welcome all aspects of your self(s) and identities as we work together to communicate, share, and build comfort and connection. I integrate EMDR, IFS, and somatics as we navigate the mechanisms adapted along the way to be in and keep moving through the world.

— Rachel Robbins, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA

Dissociative disorders are often missed in individuals. They may experience checking out for periods of time, memory blanks, intense moments of anger, feeling that the world is not real, or not feeling like themselves all the time. Everyone has dissociative experiences, but some individuals are too familiar with dissociation, to the point where they feel they are not in control of themselves. If dissociation is undiagnosed, it can often impede treatment progress.

— Heather Towndrow, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Price, UT

Being embodied allows us to experience all of our emotions, and tap into our holistic intelligence, in a way that brings out the best in us. Yet, many who grew up in abusive and neglectful homes learned the only way to protect themselves was to leave this crucial, vital awareness behind. We also live in a society that encourages intellectualization, robbing us of our heart-felt humanity. I work somatically to address this, getting clients out of the "talking chair" and engaging their whole self.

— Inga Larson, Counselor in Denver, CO

I have experience in inpatient and outpatient settings working with broad Dissociative Disorders. Most of my experience is with Dissociative Identity Disorder helping either newly diagnosed clients or clients that have been diagnosed for a longer time. I also have experience working with Depersonalization/Derealization and helping clients reconnect with their bodies and emotions.

— Jeremy Cooper, Licensed Professional Counselor in Richardson, TX

It's natural and adaptive to avoid pain, but if we deal with it separately for too long we can lose touch with who we are. What was once a highly adaptive, life -saving strategy becomes a secret prison of shame and doubt. It's easy to get lost in the many faces that were created to survive. I see you and look forward to being a safe place for you to find peace, clarity and wholeness.

— Kerry Ogden, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

If you have experienced intense life events, you may be familiar with experiences like chronic forgetfulness, regularly "zoning out," feeling out of place in your body, or feeling emotions that seem to come out of nowhere. These may be related to dissociation, a symptom that I believe many therapist fail to screen for when treating clients. Some clients who have been in therapy for years with little to no improvement may be stuck behind dissociative symptoms.

— Summer Dowd-Lukesh, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Fontana, CA

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 attended multiple trainings on working with dissociative disorders and participate in an ongoing consultation group for therapists working with dissociative disorders. I have worked with individuals with symptoms of derealization and depersonalization and I have treated multiple people who have Dissociative Identity Disorder.

— Stephanie Holtgrefe, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in West Chester, OH

I take more of a family therapy approach to working with folks who experience multiplicity. When working with alters/selves, I focus on highlighting everyone’s strengths, similarities, and shared goals. I encourage mutual respect and healthy communication. I hold space for trauma, and assist in co-creating better time management. I also focus on conflict resolution, healthy grounding and coping mechanisms, and safety.

— JS Very, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Mendocino, CA

Dissociative disorders are often missed in individuals. They may experience checking out, memory blanks, intense moments of anger, feeling that the world is not real, or not feeling like themselves all the time. Everyone has dissociative experiences, but some individuals are too familiar with dissociation. If dissociation is undiagnosed, it can often impede treatment progress. Knowing about your dissociation traits will help you understand your responses better and empower you in your healing!

— Heather Towndrow, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Price, UT

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 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'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 Goodwin, Licensed Professional Counselor in Atlanta, GA

I have a strong background in childhood trauma and advanced training and experience in the treatment of dissociative spectrum disorders. I deeply honor persons who have had to struggle with dissociation, and I have years of experience to benefit you.

— Dr. Jill Klingler, Psychologist in Cincinnati, OH

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 am uniquely trained to treat dissociative disorders, specifically DID. Let's work together to build unity and teamwork within your system.

— Delaney Dixon, Counselor in Richardson, TX

The world with DID can be terrifying, confusing and unmanageable, leaving most feeling scared, alone, and that life is not worth living with this condition. This condition is often misdiagnosed and patients often spend time in and out of hospitals never getting better. I specialize in helping with the correct diagnosis, and creating safety for the system making life more manageable with less symptoms. If you or a loved one may be suffering from DID due to trauma please call for more information

— Tammy Barnes, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Murfreesboro, TN

Dissociation is a brilliant way to escape when nothing else was available. I have so much respect and compassion for folks with dissociative abilities. Together, we can figure out how you can use this as a gifting without it getting in the way of your life.

— Rachel Slough-Johnson, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Onalaska, WI

I have advance training in Dissociative Identity Disorder.

— Sandi Bohle, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern in Pasadena, CA

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