What is structural dissociation?
It is normal to experience periods of dissociation such as tuning out, daydreaming or losing track of time. Structural dissociation occurs when there is a blockage between the self and the ability to access memories, emotions or experiences. This can sometimes be experienced as having limited access to childhood memories or losing periods of time in the present. Dissociation is protective in nature and naturally occurs when there is a need to be protected from a trauma that is being experienced. However, when dissociation persists beyond the traumatic event, it can impact the quality of life and relationships.
We learn to fully feel to heal, as an empowered adult dipping one toe into the past.
How does structural dissociation impact therapy?
It is important to understand the impacts of structural dissociation if you are working on healing from trauma. Trauma therapy may not be as effective if you are unable to access the memories associated with your traumatic experiences. You can relieve the impact of dissociation by working with the protective parts of your system that prevent access from the full self. Working with a therapist that understands the impact of structural dissociation is an important part of trauma therapy. Therapy sessions may include interventions to support orientation of the part that is blocking the access to the memories to the present time by utilizing grounding and sensory stimulation.