Do any of these sound familiar? You might be experiencing dissociation.
When someone is dissociating, they are disconnected or detached from their environment and/or a part of themselves. You can dissociate (or detach) from certain emotions (e.g. anger, jealousy), needs (e.g. the need to be cared for by others), memories, thoughts, or your physical body. We all dissociate to a certain extent. Detaching from things can help us momentarily cope, but when dissociation happens more frequently or lasts for a period of time, it’s important to get treatment.
Dissociation is a coping mechanism that our brains develop to deal with things that are too overwhelming to face. Sometimes, people can dissociate when they subconsciously perceive a conflict with others. Other times, people can dissociate when something triggers a trauma. The gaps in memory, glazed eyes, feeling of disconnectedness, and so on can leave you feeling alone and not fully present in life.
In therapy, here are some ways we might begin to address your dissociation:
In addition to what was mentioned above, common signs of dissociation include:
More details about these symptoms can be found here.
It’s important to note that everyone experiences dissociation differently. If you think you dissociation, it’s best to speak with a mental health professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
In brief, dissociation is your brain’s coping mechanism to help you psychologically survive difficult situations. When your brain does not have the mental resources to cope with a difficult or traumatic experience, it can resort to disconnecting or dissociating from aspects of the incident to protect you from feeling more overwhelmed.
Read more about dissociation here.
Yes, emotional numbness can be a form of dissociation. Dissociation is a term used to describe a disconnection or separation between different aspects of a person’s experience, including their thoughts, feelings, and memories. Emotional numbness involves a decreased ability to feel emotions or a reduction in the intensity of emotions, which can be a form of dissociation.
Emotional numbness can be a way for the individual to disconnect from their emotions, which can help them cope with difficult experiences. It’s important to note that not all emotional numbness is a form of dissociation, and dissociation can take many different forms beyond emotional numbness.
If you have out-of-network benefits, your insurance may be able to reimburse you for approximately 50%-80% of each session after the out-of-network deductible is met.
Out-of-network psychotherapy coverage varies by carrier and policy. It can be confusing, but we’re here to help! If you aren’t sure whether or not you have out-of-network benefits, we can check for you. Just email your insurance card and date of birth to email@example.com
Meeting consistently and stably on a weekly basis will help build safety and trust, which is essential for the work to progress on a deeper level. Biweekly sessions impact the effectiveness of therapy.
Often, meeting less frequently results in a ‘catch up’ type of session and does not allow for the time, space, and emotional capacity needed to address what goes on beneath the surface.
Depending on the level of our work, there are also times when meeting two or more times a week is appropriate, and that will always come from us talking and making that decision together.
Therapy can last any time between a year to many more, as long as you are still progressing from our work. The length of therapy depends on what you want and need, and what you want/need can be fluid and dynamic.
Healing and personal growth is not strict or predictable. You can start off by wanting to address something very specific (e.g. “I want to feel less anxious”), but through our work together could realize a deeper meaning to these anxious symptoms (e.g. “I feel anxious because I am terrified of intimacy” to “I’ve had very familiar experiences of being emotionally suffocated when I was close to people”). Realizing these deeper long-standing issues may then shape the focus and length of treatment.
Regardless of why you are seeking therapy and how long you hope to be in treatment, it is important to remember that your thoughts and input are invaluable to me, and the pace and length of treatment will always be a collaborative discussion.
Anyone who wants a space to explore and discover more about themselves can benefit from therapy. If you’re unsure, try asking yourself these questions:
You may not need to know the full answer to these questions to try a few sessions. Sometimes, mulling this over aloud with a therapist can help you sort out your thoughts and answers. That’s also part of the therapy process!