This thread is very interesting and I have a few thoughts to share based on my own personal experiences.
This is so helpful to hear for me because I get completely where you're coming from. T has (amazingly) now allowed me to email. Will see how it goes. Can I askwhat you do if the content of the emails you sent is something you don't feel ok to address in session (for the reasons mentioned). Do you discuss this with T? Does she ask if you want to go through them? Does that mean parts don't get heard?As someone also diagnosed with OSDD, the emailing has been a critically important aspect of my healing journey. Not only to help stabilize my-selves during times of crisis, but to share things with T I was unable to verbalize as well as giving parts the ability to communicate with T (since I have little control over my switching and parts are not always available in session to work through what’s going on for them). T may or may not respond to the emails, it’s always up to her and her discretion.
I imagine these are all ideas your T brought to therapy? Up till now the thought of doing a journal has worried me because I know I may leave it around and my son may get his hands on it. I'm going to try the Joplin App that @Sideways mentioned to get around that... I'm still wondering how a journal will work out for me as it's not apparent to me who is talking... but maybe this will become more obvious through actually doing the journal...We also utilize our journal daily and share writings, art, personal objects, etc. with T so all parts can be heard/seen/acknowledged and have an opportunity to unburden and grow…as well as to strengthen internal communication and collaboration.
She sounds incredibly well experienced your T. I can see how you've received a multi-modal therapy approach...I know how intense and difficult it's been for you but also I can see how far you've come and the progress you've made since the beginning of the year...As far as scheduling, we meet for 1-hour every other week, 2-hours on the alternating weeks, and have group session twice per month. If I am struggling, I can request additional sessions (which T grants if she has them available) and I have a back up T (another therapist in her same office) in case I need support if T is not available (if she’s sick, out of town, or I am in crisis). The 2-hour sessions were absolutely needed for successful EMDR sessions.
Discussing the boundaries is so important. I think my T could possibly do a bit more on this. Though he may have done and I've forgotten. I feel I'm pretty good with boundaries.T has been flexible with me and all these arrangements have kind of come into place organically. We have discussed boundaries and there are things I don’t do (like calling her on the phone) or only do very minimally (like texting).
Good to hear. I find this validating myself.T has said a few times (usually when I’m apologizing for emailing her because a lot of shame still lives there for me), that it’s actually been necessary for us to have that mode of communication between sessions because of how much is going on for all the parts.
I have to pay for my therapy- there isn't anything else on offer unless I apply through the NHS to attend a clinic 3 hours away (or do remote sessions). Neither of which I think is possible. Face to face is so important to me.I suppose if emailing wasn’t an option I could arrange to have 2-3 sessions per week instead, but financially that’s not really an option for me.
I think for me, although parts have been present in session before, they've never taken over like they did (ironically) last session. I think this is a long process.I agree with this. It took about 8 months before T started to really consider I may actually have a dissociative disorder and just over a year before she gave me the OSDD diagnosis. My trauma was well hidden from me (and T) until things started to just ooze and/or explode out. It took a long time before my parts were able to front in session.
Interesting IFS helped given the notion that it has the capability of derailing the system. But I guess your Ts have good trauma awareness.I believe I’ve been able to make significant progress pretty quickly because my parts have been acknowledged and connected with early on in treatment (even just starting with an IFS modality before my DD diagnosis).
Invalidation of my thoughts and feelings has been a massive issue for me my whole life within my family. I shouldn't need others' validation but when I get it helps me heal alot. Like T's Acknowledgment of his part in last weeks session and apologizing.I disagree with this to a certain extent…yes, we cannot always get validation and sometimes it’s more problematic for us to look for it where it’s not available or if it’s regarding something that should NOT actually be validated…but sometimes it is 100% absolutely necessary for our healing.
Kids who have their feelings reflected back to them gain a confirmation of their perspective in the world. If you come from a family where this didn't happen, or you were told you were wrong in your perspective, your feelings, you can't develop that sense of self... self trust... hold true to yourself despite disagreements etc...
Omg I get this so much @Renly is such a hard place to be in yourself... well done for getting through that awful part of it all...I'm not as far on as you... but I have definitely been affected by T's inability to look at my experience through the DD lens.. and I'll need to address with him - what he believes, how he can help according to what he believes... it's ironic that since learning more about his views, I've had a more natural internal communication with my parts to make sure adult me is present in this... it's almost kind of helped me to believe more in my system than before... which is quite telling for me...I started to believe I may have a DD before T was ready to give me the diagnosis, and sometimes I felt some unspoken resistance from her when I described my experiences (to be fair, some of my parts present as extremely high functioning and neither T nor I were aware that I was a survivor of trafficking/the extents of my traumas yet because I was not privy to those memories held by the other parts)…so T was being cautious because it’s not a label to throw out lightly…But sensing her resistance during this time period pushed me into huge feelings that I was actually insane and made me deny my parts/my experiences/what was really going on inside and caused more trouble for me. I was already struggling with massive feelings of denial and that contributed to it (hell, I still struggle with denial)…but it truly compounded my struggles.
For now I'll have to continue reaching out to other professionals who do know/understand more about it to guide myself... then bring this into therapy... though this will have to be addressed also with T
I'm beginning to see this. Thank you for writing it so brilliantly. In black and white.Denial underlies the nature of dissociative disorders, and until T openly and verbally validated my experiences and the presence of my parts, I struggled immensely to feel comfortable being 100% honest in expressing my experiences…the shame was overwhelming. And I denied my parts what they needed to start to heal. All parts need to be seen, heard, and validated.
It really isn't a joke. I know how much you've been through over the last year. You're very brave and incredibly strong to keep going.Yes, 100%. A few years in and it’s still immensely destabilizing. I’ve been connecting with 2 new parts across the last month or so (after establishing growing relationships with a handful of parts at this point) and although I know what to expect to some degree now, I’ve still be thrown into crisis. I still struggle with SI, SH, and out of control behaviors of the parts. It’s serious business and no joke.
Thank you for sharing your experience.This is a really complex question for me. Once I began actively practicing noticing myself and my inner experiences I (very slowly) started seeing what was really happening. I started noticing when I would switch and what those parts felt like in the front. Some parts talk to me verbally and we converse in my head, some parts it is a sense of “knowing”what they are saying (without words)….parts begin to feel other parts sensations/emotions/memories “oozing” onto them. Some parts only live inside (do not front) and the ones I hear inside have different voices. Usually, at the beginning of learning about a part, it’s just a sense of huge “overwhelm” and these scary feelings that I don’t know what’s happening. Then a lot of “automatic behaviors” are parts in action.
I'm really struggling with amnesia. The great thing about amnesia is forgetting all the hard stuff. I think that's one reason I could go back after last week's session. I knew more or less what had happened. But I couldn't access 2 (Sarah's) feelings.The main thing for me was to notice with curiosity. And sit with the not knowing yet. And then a little at a time my brain opened things up. It’s been chaos, messy, scary… but an ultimately rewarding experience when I started to know who the parts were, why they are here, and when parts started to learn to work together as a team instead of being at war.
I can see this... that's great you have that feedback and support.. you deserve it.Communication is foundational. And I’ve needed help (from more than just T, but her especially) to sort all this out. I (for the most part on most days) accept my diagnosis…the denial still exists sometimes. But…for the few people that know my diagnosis (my husband, siblings, a couple really close friends), they have said everything about me finally makes sense to them. They have words to explain what they have been seeing for years but didn’t understand. It’s harder for me to be in denial when others around me help me accept reality/my parts/my whole self.
I haven't told anyone about my diagnosis. I don't know where to begin without people seeing me as crazy...
I think I'm at this stage now... got to figure this out with him.. and be honest about my concerns that he doesn't seem to want to delve deeper into the diagnosis with me himself. Though after last session I think this may have changed.
yep thinking these are both possible options. But he can really only be my T. Help from the DD clinic would have to be on an adhoc consultation basis only.The only way to figure that out is through communication (and vulnerability…so scary)! So maybe that means you can make it work with him as is. Or maybe it’s T plus additional supports (adding xyz), or maybe that means seeing someone who specializes in dissociative disorders.
this is what's happening in real time for me...Feeling misunderstood and not validated by T feels so yucky, but it absolutely can be worked out and that’s part of the process of therapy.
Can't tell you how validating and helpful this comment is... thank you.And there is no one size fits all. You’ve got to figure out what works for you (all of yous).
Thank you so much @Renly ... your wisdom, experience and compassion have been helpful to a degree you don't even know...Wishing you the best as you sort through it all!
I wish you well too