EMDR — Transforming Stress and Trauma
• Enhancing Performance
Dissociation Therapy and Treatment
Short Simple list of possible dissociative symptoms:
- Not feeling “in” one’s body (depersonalization)
- Spacing out or blanking out (dissociation)
- Sense that the world is unreal or far away (de-realization)
- Inability to recall important information or events (dissociative amnesia)
- Confusion about who one is, as parts of self may see to “take over” at times (identify confusion, identity alteration, called “multiple personality” in the past)
Dissociation is a way of blanking out or escaping from a reality that is hard to tolerate. There is a spectrum, or range, from mild (relatively common) to extensive (relatively uncommon) dissociation. Extensive forms of dissociation may include the development of different parts of the self and, for some, different personalities included in the self.
Dissociation helps children survive overwhelming circumstances. It is utilized by infants as well as older children when they experience neglect or have primary caregivers who are emotionally out of touch. Their attachment to others becomes confused and disorganized. In addition to neglect and needs not being met, there is frequently abuse which causes greater dissociation. Thus, the work in therapy is a long, gentle process of treating a number of issues around unmet needs for attachment. When the client is strengthened, the abuse and neglect can be addressed.
A major goal in therapy for the older child or the adult who was neglected and/or abused in childhood is to learn to tolerate the intensity of emotions. This is ideally learned as a child through the consistent presence of safe adults. EMDR Therapists are trained in gentle means of building up the strengths of the client and helping him eventually process and clear the traumatic and dysfunctional beliefs, sensations, emotions and flashbacks that often arise with reminders of past experiences.
Therapy for dissociative clients means doing some of the growing up that was not supported or protected during childhood. The good news is that it is never too late to heal. Though it is hard work that requires patience and persistence, both clients and therapists who have walked that road together agree it is well worth the effort. Please call to get started today with a thoroughly trained EMDRIA-Certified EMDR Therapist specializing in treating dissociation.