Derealization Grounding in Session

LeiaFlower

Learning
I was wondering if anyone had any tips for combating derealization in session? I tried physical groundings like sand and ice cubes. However, it doesn't help as much. Every time I step foot in my current therapist's office I feel as though I'm entering a dream world that can easily switch to a nightmare if I'm not careful. I always feel emotionally shut down and hypervigilance during sessions. I have my first session with a trauma therapist coming up and I don't want to feel derealized in her sessions as well.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
my very first effective tool for this job was a rubber band around my wrist. before i reached therapy my dissociation was intense and habitual enough that something so subtle as ice or soft touches was not enough to bring me around. i needed something closer to a slap to break the cycle. after a few months or so of black and blue wrists i was able to segway to gentler grounding techniques like breathing techniques, ice, rubbing my fingers on my skin or grounding talismans like a worry stone.

steadying support while you find what works for you, leia.
 

oakleaves

Confident
Does mental grounding help? Counting, talking about something unrelated, describing what you can see? Or sensory like feeling your feet on the ground or describing the sensation of what you feel with your hands? Eg the chair is hard and cold. My therapist has done something called the flash technique in the past which can help to take the emotional intensity out of something so it is less overwhelming. Take care
 

LeiaFlower

Learning
Since dissociation techniques usually don't work for me I use things that are mentally stimulating that also grounds me in the present. We did one session where we played a game. This helped a lot. It took my mind out of a state of hypervigilance and derealization. For me, it feels more like a core belief that 'reality' is not real. However, it isn't psychosis due to the idea of it coming and going. It usually lasts for ten minutes or so unless I'm in session. In a session, it lasts the entire time. From the time I walk into the lobby until the time I get in my car to drive home. Anyways, thanks for the suggestions.
 

LeiaFlower

Learning
Sorry if it's not helpful. Just another thought that throwing and catching or something that combines mental focus with physical activity may help. Hope you find what works for you.
I actually haven’t thought about that, thanks :) I think this will actually be fun in session. Hopefully my uncoordination don’t cause me hit my therapist in the head lol but I’ll definitely will ask her if we can try this
 
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