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Get the Facts about Traumatic Dissociation from Associated Counselling

Dissociation is the Removal of Painful Information

Associated Counselling has extensive experience working with individuals experiencing traumatic dissociation. Dissociation is about the removal of information. It is our last line of defense in our survival instincts; it is a natural occurring tactic.

Under certain circumstances and at certain ages, especially when individuals are faced with life-threatening trauma, the mind begins to protect itself by disconnecting from the body, viewing events from outside of the body, and blocking out the memory of the traumatic events. Dissociation occurs when people disconnect and separate from all or parts of their bodily perceptions, thoughts, emotions, memory and/or identity.

The Dangers of Chronic Dissociation

Once it has occurred, traumatic dissociation is difficult to “turn off.” With children, the ability to run away or fight off a predator is not that great. Therefore, with children dissociation tends to come easier – if this life-saving tactic is not corrected by an adult, the dissociation can continue to keep going and result in someone who is chronically dissociating. Because this tactic is about a lack of awareness, many people who dissociated as a child might continue their dissociation into adulthood and may not even be aware of it.

Recognize the Symptoms of Dissociation

The symptoms of dissociating are:

  • Memory issues or a disconnection from your memory

  • Disconnection to one’s body & body sensations

  • Disconnection to one’s emotions

  • Disconnection from one’s sense of self

  • Feeling disconnected to one’s body and/or thoughts (confused thinking)

  • A disconnection to one’s surroundings (feeling like you don’t belong, that the world is not real, seeing things from outside yourself)

  • A disconnection or puzzlement of who one is

  • A disconnection or shift in role or identity, along with sudden changes in behaviour, such as a different voice, use of different names, or disconnection of yourself and or loss of control over one’s self

  • Dissociation is an escape from the full sensorium of experiences during a stressful or traumatic event. To follow this logic, the more stress, the more dissociation might occur


The Successful Treatment of Dissociation is Possible

With over 30 years of research, the treatment of traumatic dissociation is possible and beneficial. Many people who have had few therapeutic successes may have dissociation occurring. When a person is finally treated for traumatic dissociation, often there is success and feelings of healing. For more information about dissociation, please view our helpful resources section with links to several organizations dedicated to dissociation research and treatments.

Experienced, caring therapists
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