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New to treatment- how to treat splitting? co-conscious structural dissociation?

Discussion in 'Treatment & Therapy' started by Litha, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. Litha

    Litha New Member

    I've had lots of therapy in the past for depression/bipolar II, but I think a lot of my affective instability is actually due to CPTSD-- I dissociate through splitting in my intimate relationships, have amnesia for large chunks of my life, and have what sounds like structural dissociation with a highly functional ANP, an ashamed EP, and an angry EP.

    The problem with my past therapy is that it was not deep enough, didn't address these core issues. My therapists would just sit and listen to me rant on about my relationship, and nod empathetically.

    But I don't really know how CPTSD is treated. I keep reading these forums and people keep saying, "get yourself in treatment" but I don't know what that is. What modalities help with the symptoms I've mentioned? CBT and verbal ventilation don't seem to help me much. Thank you!
    Abstract, shimmerz, grit and 3 others like this.
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  3. Sietz

    Sietz I'm a VIP

    Maybe go to a therapist who specializes in dissociation?
    Seems like a big mess right now..

    I see structural dissociation as a practical tool to handle parts and treatment, not exactly the way you describe it.
    Which is fine, but I mean you might need help in figuring it all out.

    We all have parts, there are different approaches to how we see them. Structural dissociation is a way, there are others.
  4. MyWillow

    MyWillow Well-Known Member

    I agree with @Sietz

    I think it’s not always helpful to get hung up on modalities. As a scientist I really like the structural dissociation model. As long as it’s not applied to me lol

    You need a good T, experienced in trauma and dissociation. I really like my T (psychologist) but my level of dissociation in and outside of session came as a shock to me. Maybe to her? I’m not sure. Anyway she has just referred me to a psydoc and it’s been good so far. No meds. Just trying to get a handle on what’s happening. Slowing down big time. My T also does equine therapy so I think I’ll start that with her whilst I work with the psydoc. They’ve made it quite clear that they are happy to work together as my “team”. I nearly cried with relief.

    Best wishes to you :) x
  5. grit

    grit Active Member

    Responding to the above quote, I truly hope you find the right therapist. As others noted, it is really not so much of technique but human connection that heals.

    What you described there - the talking and nodding emphatically is a way to create safety for you and your inner child (sorry I did not understand some of the abbreviation you used so I will use inner child). In order to get you trust the process, the therapist needs to support you first so you can relax and allow another person to influence just as much as those who (caused this trauma) influenced you! A therapist cannot help if the body is on motion of survival (fight/flgith or freeze and fawn mode). So a lot of therapists spend time to make the body relax but just letting you off some steam but I will recommend rather than talking about your relationship, you focus on your feelings. (you have the power to pick the topic so pick topics you are curious to learn). Talking about others is good but it is waste of time and you are paying the session so focus on I and I feel and why I feel rather than he or she did this or said this... you may go further.

    IMHO, and from my own experience, having childhood trauma means two things: I got influenced too heavily from the abuser that I basically identified with her and now I have de-identify with her - this is a hard thing to do. It is like I was in prison and now I have to relearn every thing.
    My mother is a parasite living on me and I have to find all the little differences of her and I in order to free myself from the dependence on the trauma and the memory she created in my body and the control she exuded over me. This also means, I will have to accept some nasty traits from her that I probably cannot extract. After all my mother made at least 50% of me and had 100% of influencing me. accepting that side of her inside of me is like skinning myself but I am little by little taking in....not all at once - too hazardous for my health.

    The other part is, in order, to go through this kind of self and other excavation, one must truly let go what one knows. And that is the definition of insanity. But trauma is warding of insanity so in order to come out, one needs to allow insanity (an abused child should go insane naturally). I protected myself from insanity/annihilation and dissociated for survival reasons so I could save the body, I closed the mind. But now today, I have more control and resources to allow deep self-exploration and let all defenses down to see what I am afraid of. I think I can handle (chuckle chuckle) it is a process!

    My point to you is this. We are all different and I do not know for sure what will work for you but I think child abuse involves others abusing us and in order to recover we have to allow another person or people to help us heal with our willingness and humility as an adult. And finding that person is like finding a needle in haystack and I can really relate to your journey in that sense.

    I hope my comments make sense. It is a life time search to find the one and to allow him/her healing us. Very easy to say than done!
    Faith Andrews and shimmerz like this.
  6. joeylittle

    joeylittle Donation drive til August 1, donate today Administrator Generous $250+

    Do you have a clear idea of what your inciting traumatic incident is?
  7. shimmerz

    shimmerz My silence spoke a thousand words you never heard Premium Member

    This is brilliant. I had a stint with this very recently. It scared the shit out of me as I honestly thought I was going literally insane. My therapist explained just this quote to me. Thank god I feel I am coming out the other end right now.

    To the OP, my apologies for the derail. I wanted to speak to this. I suffer from co-consciousness, which is apparently a big positive step over losing that time - so good for you. I found for myself that the structural dissociation model helped me a ton. It allowed me to see that it wasn't 'all me' that was losing control. What that meant to me was that it was a more manageable problem than if my entire being was acting out the way it was.

    Many therapists talk about bringing big time conscious awareness to the differing parts, but that I didn't find was good for me so I stayed away from it. Instead I looked at the 'parts' of me - found that there were very distinct physical indicators that told me a part was 'driving me' and worked on those physical things.

    For instance, while I am invested in one traumatized part of me my right foot turns in. So I worked on trying to bring the foot back to normal and tried to feel what was happening that had that part present itself. So I guess I looked at the SD model as providing me with clues as to what each 'part' of me needed when I was noticing a somatic issue due to regression. This is where the co-consciousness came in incredibly handy. There is great value in knowing what is happening at the time even if you can't do something about it.

    There is tremendous value in getting into therapy -- with a therapist who really - truly gets what is happening to you. I currently have a T that has gone catatonic (like I did), who knows how it feels to experience feelings of impending annihilation, and has been through the shit show that has been my life. I would interview, honestly.

    Part of that therapy may want to include a conscious decision as to whether you want to integrate or not or if you want to stay split. Therapists are also necessary if you don't have a ton of support. They provide us an external frame of reference (for instance, one part that came out in me used to rub her/my eyes). Whoever helps you should have a very clear understanding of the role that somatics plays in trauma and how to incorporate that appropriately in your healing.

    CBT wasn't a help to me at all. I was still actively being stalked.harassed etc, but it may well be that more of your fragmentation needs to be sorted out first. I went through a CBT stage of healing but that was years into it.

    CPTSD usually involves some sort of attachment disorder stuff (this is my opinion and experience, not scientific fact). Whoever you go to needs to be up to speed on that as well. Developmental trauma was, for me, a very large part of this too. And really it involves the awareness that certain key developmental milestones weren't met due to chaos in the 0-5 year span.

    Sorry to be so chatty. No idea if this is helpful to you or not....
    Faith Andrews, grit and MrMoonlight like this.
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