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

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
 

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 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 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

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
 

Dissociation is an incredible skill that helps a person survive horrible things. It's time to come back into your body and move past the things that happened.

— Seal Dwyer, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in St. Cloud, MN

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
 

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 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
 

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

— Heather Martz, Clinical Social Worker in Denver, CO
 

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 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 specialize in working with individuals who experience dissociation related to childhood trauma. I believe that many psychiatric diagnoses are manifestations of early unresolved trauma and attachment trauma. I use evidence-based trauma treatments to heal the inner child and help my clients achieve their goals.

— Anne-Marie Brown, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Boca Raton, FL

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