Dissociation & DID Treatment - EMDR Psychotherapy 

What is Dissociation?
Dissociation is sometimes referred to when people have undergone extreme experiences of trauma. There are considered to be various types of dissociation, some of which occur normally in everyday life. A simple example may be when we are so focussed on a task that we forget everything else and are subsequently extremely surprised at the passage of time. Daydreaming may also be described as a kind of mild dissociation as it is a detachment from the reality of the present moment.

Dissociation can also be more serious insofar as it becomes a severe detachment from certain physical and emotional experiences, ranging from mild to extreme and sometimes involving amnesia. Whilst it might be possible to carry on with your life and function reasonably well, it eventually becomes apparent either to yourself or to others that all is not well. If there are continued and repeated episodes which disturb everyday life professional help is needed.

Detaching from reality often became a way of coping starting in childhood as a response to repeated trauma - even mild trauma - or neglect.

The 5 main types of dissociation are:

Identity Confusion
Identity Alteration

Please see MIND's information on Dissociation by clicking here.

And also explore here: International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation.


What is Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) & its Link with Trauma?

The following is an extract taken from the following very useful website, to inform you or people you know who might be suffering from Dissociation's worst presentation called DID, which can arise as a result of repeated and disturbing trauma:

PODS | Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Survivors

"DID is almost exclusively caused by repeated childhood trauma in the absence of appropriate parental support and is a way of coping with that trauma, rather than being a lifestyle choice or simply a variation of ‘normal’ experience. The personality is experienced in a disconnected way via separate ‘parts’ or ‘alters’ because of conflicts between those parts, and a failure in psychological development to ‘integrate’ or join together the different facets of personality, memory, identity, behaviour and feelings.(This is not the same as schizophrenia though may be confused with it).

It is important to realise that the different parts of the personality in DID usually exist because of painful conflict and because of the unbearable intensity of the sufferer’s feelings. A large part of recovery from DID involves resolving these conflicts so that there is no longer any need for each part to remain separate causing knowledge and emotions to be partitioned off in discrete sections of the mind. This is the essence of ‘parts integration’ — bringing together parts of the self that have become and remain separate.

People with DID exist on a huge spectrum. Some are able, at least most of the time, to maintain both a family and work life and may even do so brilliantly. Others are severely disabled by their condition and in the absence of adequate treatment have little or no control over the trauma-based parts of their personality and their switching between these parts. One of the enduring legacies of childhood trauma and abuse is the difficulty in managing feelings (affect regulation); in addition, given the insistent, pervasive nature of intrusive dissociative symptoms such as flashbacks, as well as difficulties with sleep, it is hardly surprising that daily life can be extremely difficult for someone with DID.

There is however a very positive prognosis for people with DID. With the right treatment —which is generally held to be long-term, individual, outpatient-based, phase-oriented psychotherapy — there is a very good outlook for  recovery".

EMDR can be part of an effective phased ongoing treatment plan to help with the integration of these inner split-off parts of the personality which have formed as a result of traumatic experiences.

Please see my homepage - click here - for links to useful articles about EMDR by Dr Francine Shapiro (the originator of EMDR) and also see the carousel on the page called "Books" for a list of my chosen useful books for the laymen. These books can be ordered via this website at no extra cost to you.