mental health, therapy, counseling and psychology terms glossary

Dissociation

Dissociation is a powerful internal defense mechanism in which conflicting natural impulses or threatening ideas and feelings are separated from the rest of one’s psyche.

What’s the difference between disassociating and dissociating?

Similar to disassociating, dissociating specifically relates to mental health and involves being disconnected from one’s reality or identity. Disassociate, on the other hand, refers to choosing to remove yourself from a situation or relationship.

We all have the power to dissociate, and it has saved many of us in different ways, i.e. when being attacked, your fight response is triggered and another side of you can come out or the mother who can lift a car to save her child in that moment. 

We all dissociate and people who have experienced more complex trauma in their lifetime tend to have higher levels of dissociation.

Check out blog What is Dissociation? When is it OK? Why Do We Dissociate? to learn more. 

At Claibourne Counseling, we offer caring treatment for individuals seeking validation and support!