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Disassociation: it’s not cute to fake it to make it, Sis


In the realm of mental healthcare, disassociation tactics play a pivotal but often overlooked role. Disassociation refers to the psychological defense mechanism where an individual detaches from their thoughts, feelings, memories, or even their own identity. While disassociation can serve as a coping mechanism in times of extreme stress, it can also be a hindrance to effective mental health treatment. In this blog post, we delve into the various disassociation tactics encountered in mental healthcare and their impact on both patients and professionals.

1. Denial and Avoidance:

One prevalent disassociation tactic involves denial and avoidance of distressing thoughts or memories. Patients may consciously or unconsciously suppress painful experiences, hindering the therapeutic process. Mental health professionals must skillfully navigate through this resistance to foster a safe environment for exploration.

2. Intellectualization:

Intellectualization is another tactic where individuals distance themselves from emotions by analyzing situations in a detached, rational manner. While this may provide temporary relief, it can impede emotional processing and hinder the establishment of genuine connections in therapeutic relationships.

3. Depersonalization:

Depersonalization, a form of disassociation, involves feeling detached from one's own body or emotions. Recognizing and addressing depersonalization is crucial in therapeutic settings to ensure that individuals can reconnect with their emotions and regain a sense of self.

4. Dissociative Amnesia:

Dissociative amnesia is characterized by memory loss, often related to traumatic events. Mental health professionals need to be adept at recognizing signs of dissociative amnesia and work collaboratively with patients to uncover and process these buried memories.

5. Therapist Disassociation:

It's important to acknowledge that disassociation can also manifest in mental health professionals. Therapists may unconsciously distance themselves emotionally from challenging cases as a self-protective measure. Supervision, peer support, and ongoing training are essential to address and prevent therapist disassociation.

6. Mindfulness and Grounding Techniques:

Counteracting disassociation involves introducing mindfulness and grounding techniques. These tools help individuals stay present, fostering awareness of thoughts and emotions without becoming overwhelmed. Incorporating these techniques into therapy can empower patients to confront and process challenging experiences.


Understanding and addressing disassociation tactics are integral to providing effective mental healthcare. By recognizing the signs and employing therapeutic strategies, both patients and professionals can work together to navigate the complexities of disassociation and foster genuine healing. It is through this collaborative effort that mental healthcare can truly become a transformative journey towards well-being.

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