Being Well Podcast: How to Deal with Dissociation

Being Well Podcast: How to Deal with Dissociation

When we’re presented with challenging circumstances it’s natural for us to cope with them through a wide variety of behaviors. Many of these coping mechanisms have both positive and problematic aspects, and today we’re going to be exploring one of the most common of these: dissociation.

It’s normal for us to have a relatively continuous experience of reality. This happens so seamlessly that we usually aren’t even aware of it. While it’s normal for our sense of self to grow and change over time, there’s usually a pretty continuous sense of who “you” are that extends in a largely unbroken line into the past. In much the same way, automatic functions like our senses and memory create a continuous experience of the world around us. When this automatic process breaks down, we experience dissociation.

On today’s episode we’re exploring dissociation in detail, including what it is, the function it serves, the experiences that can lead to dissociation, and what we can do about it.

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Key Topics:

2:00: What is dissociation?

9:35: “Fragmentation and separation.”

11:45: Recovered and implanted memory.

17:45: Why do people dissociate?

22:10: Common symptoms of dissociation.

29:30: The risks of over-pathologizing.

31:40: Coming into your own life.

36:20: Growing self-worth as an antidote for dissociation.

40:15: Challenges of mindfulness for dissociation.

43:00: Focusing on an aspect of experience.

46:30: Enjoyment as a grounding experience.

48:55: “Our nature is to be associated.”

51:30: Recap

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