What is Dissociation and how can counselling help?

Dissociation is a state of psychological disruption. An individual might have a split in their consciousness, their perceptions, and so on. Dissociation resembles psychosis in that it involves a detachment from reality. However, people who are dissociating are often aware of their detachment, while people having psychotic episodes may not be similarly aware.

Dissociation can become an issue when it works as a long-term defense mechanism. Someone may dissociate in an unconscious effort to protect themselves from overwhelming stress. Severe cases may lead a person to develop alternate identities or amnesia. When dissociative behaviour becomes unavoidable, it may qualify as a mental health diagnosis.

Counselling seeks to help ground people and prevent this frequent dissociation. Through a treatment plan that is personalized for you and the symptoms you are experiencing, your counsellor will help you discover the cause of your dissociation and come up with ways to stay grounded and present.

How does Dissociation Counselling work?

A wide range of therapies are used for dissociative disorders. It generally involves you talking to the therapist about your condition and related issues. You counsellor will them help you understand the causes of the condition and find coping strategies to cope with stressful situations.

Other treatment options that have been proven to help dissociative disorders include creative art therapy, somatic therapy, sensorimotor psychotherapy and other trauma-informed approaches. With the help of a qualified counsellor, these methods can help you shift out of dissociation into a more embodied sense of self, and into greater presence in a way that will improve your life.

Most of the time the person who is dissociating does not realize it is happening, the key strategy to deal with dissociation is grounding, meaning connecting back to the here and now.

Some strategies you can use to help ground someone include:

  • Firmly get attention to make eye contact (call out, snap fingers, wave hand).
  • Make direct observation about state of dissociation (“Seems like you spaced out, where did you go?”, etc.).
  • Have the person talk about where they are currently, what they are doing.
  • Ask the person to do something grounding (“Name 5 things you see, feel, or hear”, “Count how many blue items you can see”, etc.)
  • Give something grounding to do: calming smell (e.g.lavender), eat a piece of candy describe it, push feet into the ground, get up and move around

Who can Dissociation Counselling benefit?

Dissociation counselling can benefit people who are experiencing the follow dissociation symptoms:

  • 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.

Book Dissociation Counselling in Langley, BC

    Dissociation Counselling in Langley BC (Location)

    Dissociation Counselling Locations:
    301 – 23189 Francis Ave, Fort Langley
    113- 3195 Granville St, Vancouver