Episode 62: Dissociative: Finding the Calm with Stacey Steinmiller

The term “dissociation” can drum up quite a bit of fear in people.  Many will immediately think of what we used to call “multiple personalities disorder” and respond: “Hey, I’m not crazy!” But in truth, we all dissociate from time to time.  

So what exactly is dissociation?  You might misplace your keys now and then or you might shut down in a heated argument with your partner, but how do we know if this is a disconnection from self?  From time and space?

It turns out, the clues are in our moments of calm, rather than the stressful ones.  Are we really experiencing calm?  Or, are we just checking out, numbing up?  

This week’s guest, Stacey Steinmiller, LCSW-R, specializes in dissociation and is here to clarify the meaning of dissociation with a high level of compassion and nonjudgment.  She explains how dissociation starts as a useful coping mechanism to stress and trauma, when things start to go awry, how practicing both calm and pleasant emotions are the key to finding agency when confronted with negative emotions, and what EMDR’s got to do with it.

Quoted in the Episode:

 “Once you're able to allow yourself to be in that positive feeling state, that gives you more agency to bring yourself from a negative feeling state to a positive feeling state.” Stacey Steinmiller

“Once you're able to allow yourself to be in that positive feeling state, that gives you more agency to bring yourself from a negative feeling state to a positive feeling state.” Stacey Steinmiller

 “Understand why you developed it, where it came from, what its purpose was. Understand that with compassion. And realize you don’t have to run that script anymore.” Stacey Steinmiller

“Understand why you developed it, where it came from, what its purpose was. Understand that with compassion. And realize you don’t have to run that script anymore.” Stacey Steinmiller

 "The treatment is learning how to be calm and tolerating being calm and, knowing nothing bad's going to happen if you allow yourself to be calm." Stacey Steinmiller

"The treatment is learning how to be calm and tolerating being calm and, knowing nothing bad's going to happen if you allow yourself to be calm." Stacey Steinmiller

 “We develop a false self to please the people around us, to fit in, to belong...then there's who we really are.” Rebecca Wong   

“We develop a false self to please the people around us, to fit in, to belong...then there's who we really are.” Rebecca Wong

 

Resources Referenced in this Episode:

”Man's Search for Meaning” Viktor Frankl

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing)

 

Where to find Stacy:

Authentic Self Counseling

 


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