Do You Often Feel Confused or Distracted?
Have traumatic experiences caused you to feel disconnected from yourself? Do you sometimes feel disoriented, have trouble remembering things or experience lapses in time that you can’t explain? Maybe you often feel distracted or like you’re zoning out? Or, perhaps you hear voices in your head and you’re not sure where they come from. Do you ever feel like you don’t know what’s going on or end up in places with no memory about how you got there? Do you feel out of control? Do you wish you could get it together, feel
rounded and whole and be able to explain your feelings and experiences to others?
Living with a dissociative disorder can be a very confusing, frustrating and even frightening experience. Dissociation is a numbing response that’s often associated with people who have experienced repeated trauma. Because terror and shame in the moment of trauma are too overwhelming to process, your mind naturally dissociates to cope. This tactic of “going away in your mind” inhibits experiences from being fully integrated into consciousness. You may often experience sensations such as not feeling present in the moment or watching your body from the outside. The experience of dissociation, while it’s an attempt to protect you, can make it hard to maintain relationships, engage in work productively and leave you feeling like there is something very wrong with you.
Dissociation is a Natural Response to Overwhelming Emotions
Dissociation is the hallmark response to overwhelming emotions arising from traumatic experiences. Although this is common among survivors of trauma, diagnoses of these disorders over the years have sadly been sensationalized, diminishing the legitimacy of them. But this disorder is not only real, but can inhibit your ability to feel balanced and in control. If you often feel numb, have frequent memory disturbances or feel outside your body, you are not crazy and you are not alone. You may be dealing with a very common and real disorder. If you often feel confused—like you don’t know why this is happening to you—an experienced and compassionate trauma therapist can help you understand dissociation, manage symptoms, process your trauma and live a more balanced, empowered life.
The Treatment of Dissociative Disorder Can Help You Understand and Heal The Impact of Traumatic Experience
In nonjudgmental sessions, we will work together to explore and address the dissociative experiences and its origins. This work can be difficult because survivors often struggle to talk about their experiences and express emotions such as shame, fear, and anger without dissociating. However, as we build a relationship, we will explore avenues that feel most comfortable for you, making our work together effective and secure.
Throughout our sessions, we can help you begin to understand why you dissociate and what causes patterns of behavior. You can learn how traumatic experiences from your past influence your life today and why coping mechanism such as dissociation come up when you experience fear, shame or anger, or even at times when no danger in present. Dissociation is an automatic response and together we will learn to anticipate and manage this symptom.
This work is collaborative and often long-term. At Core Psychotherapy Center we believe in authenticity and transparency and create the safest environment possible. We’re committed to providing a space for you to express your emotions, thoughts and concerns. If dissociation happens in session, we will practice grounding techniques to help you stay in the present moment. Dissociative disorders are complex and often take time to understand and heal from. But, with the help of a knowledgeable and compassionate therapist, you can begin to understand where these symptoms stem from and learn how to better manage them. Dissociative disorders are multi-faceted, but what with help you can learn to recognize these feelings and live a more connected and balanced life.
Core Psychotherapy Center has therapists who are experienced and knowledgeable in working with people diagnosed with dissociative disorders. For instance, Dr. Grace Tomas-Tolentino has 20 plus years of experience helping trauma survivors and 15 years in treating dissociative disorders. She is a board member of the Northwest Illinois Group of the International Society for The Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), and is certified in clinical hypnosis through the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH).
Although you see the benefit of therapy for dissociative disorders, you still may have questions or concerns…
I’ve seen therapists before that didn’t believe me. How will you be different?
There is a lot of controversy in the mental health field concerning the validity of dissociative disorders. From years of experience working with these disorders and trauma survivors, we know dissociation to be a very real experience. After working with a therapist who may have questioned your experience or may not have had experience working with trauma and dissociative disorders, we commend you for continuing to seek help and healing. We’ve seen many clients whose previous physicians or therapists didn’t focus on or even acknowledge their dissociation. Dissociation is often tied to overwhelming emotions of shame and fear and delegitimizing the disorder only makes it worse.
My problems are severe. I’m afraid that I can’t be helped.
Many survivors who experience dissociation as a way to cope with trauma are afraid they won’t be able to manage symptoms, achieve stability in their lives or feel in control. However, considering therapy shows your willingness to understand how this disorder influences your ability to function and feel balanced. In sessions, we will work collaboratively to understand the meaning of your trauma, the impact those experiences have on your everyday life and how you can move forward. There is always hope for healing.
Whenever I talk about my trauma, I don’t feel fully there. Can therapy still help?
In sessions, we will practice techniques to help ground you when experience flashbacks or dissociation. We will work together in helping you manage overwhelming emotions and begin to explore your traumatic experiences with less reliance on coping mechanisms such as dissociation.
Take Back Control – Starting Today
If you have questions about dissociative disorders or specifically, dissociative identity disorders, please call Core Psychotherapy Center today at 847-240-5080 to learn more or make an appointment. We offer a variety of options and resources for survivors of trauma.