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stillsearching April 2nd, 2009 02:37 AM

dissociative states, how to get back out
Congrats on the release of your new book Sandra. It looks as though it might fill in a lot of gaps between therapists and clients.

I am writing about a question/problem I am having. I am not doing EMDR at this time and don't know when or if I can use it again. I am highly dissociative. This is a bit off topic perhaps but there have to be other people who have encountered the same problem.

I frequently switch ego states in therapy. I am respectful of my therapists time but my younger ego states don't know anything about time constaints and they just appear whenever. I am afraid that I can't control them within the magic "time" limit so I push them down or I fake it out as well as I can and leave the office. I try to get it together before I drive but sometimes I am a bit spaced. My younger ego states are feeling that they aren't being heard and they think the therapist doesn't like them and just wants them go away. He tried to push one down awhile ago when there wasn't enough time and now she has built a wall against him. It also seems to me that he is maybe "afraid" of them and how to handle them? LIke I might not be able to get back into my adult and he won't know what to do. I am not sure but I sense that this is part of the problem.

I know Sandra, I have to talk to him but it is getting harder and harder. I am frustrated and my ego states are feeling worse and worse about themselves, (as if that were even possible). There have been times when i couldn't get to an appointment because I was in a panic.

I realize that you only speak in general terms but you have probably come across something like this.

thanks for your time

Sandra Paulsen April 2nd, 2009 09:54 AM

Re: dissociative states, how to get back out
Thanks for your kind words.

It is all about gently appreciating and tucking in the kids. Neither therapist nor client should brute force them. Older parts can be with them between sessions so they aren't alone. They can be invited to say something before they go. The therapist must remain gentle but firm about the end of session, but make it clear it is a temporary tucking in, not a rejecting or pushing away. I explain in age appropriate language -- to the degree possible -- why we have to stop. I acknowledge the real issue - their hurt and sadness about not having a mommy (or whatever the truth is), and reaffirm that we will return to their stuff when the time is right. I express sadness that we have to stop.

This teaches about pacing and containment, strengthens older resources, resonates with their attachment pain.

There is a lot more to it, and I included extensive scripting about it, with cartoons, in the book. And now, so sorry, but it is time for me to stop. Anything that simply must be said before I go? There are clouds waiting with their motors running, and I'll wave goodbye.....

stillsearching April 3rd, 2009 02:11 AM

Re: dissociative states, how to get back out
Thank you for your reply Sandra. I will check out your new book. The problem with knowing too much for me is that one of my ego states tries to stay ahead of my therapist and anticipates which way he is going so she can sabotage things. I just don't have the control tht I need at this time. I don't know how to get my younger ego states to agree to get "tucked in bed", (they just do what they want to do), and I don't know how to get older ones to stay with them. It is all confusing to me and makes me feel so sad.

I realize that this is beyond the scope of this forum and I need to work with my therapist. I just needed some encouragement. thank you for your advice and your gentle reply. I will look for your book on Amazon. There is a link there where you can allow a preview of a few pages if your are interested in offering that option to people interested in purchasing your book.

Sandra Paulsen April 3rd, 2009 08:04 AM

Re: dissociative states, how to get back out
Tucking in (it's more ambiguous than "bed" - I never would add the word "bed" - too triggering for too many people -- is a practice that is someone complex, needs to be done kindly, and ---requires assistance from the outside, initially, until it becomes a habit.

In general, I don't know about you, sabotaging ego states need to be appreciated and understood for what they are trying to accomplish, which is usually safety in some sense. Sometimes they are loyal to a perpetrator, and need to be oriented to what life they are actually living, and whose body they are actually in. Again, needs outside assistance. Like have a tooth filled, hard to do yourself.

good luck!

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