Get The Most Out Of A DID Therapy Session

Who here likes throwing money away on lackluster therapy sessions? Not us! With Dissociative Identity Disorder therapy being so expensive and difficult to get, your system understandably wants to get the most bang for their buck with each session. Below are our tips for getting the most out of each of your DID therapy sessions. Let’s get started!

Come Up With A Plan

The best way to get a lot of value out of your therapy sessions is for your system to have a united plan for the sessions. As soon as your system is able to communicate (internally or externally), decide on an overall topic to focus on. Some ideas for therapy include:

  • Minimize fear of … (driving, cooking, talking to strangers, going to sleep, etc)
  • Help littles to feel safe and secure
  • Encourage persecutors to be protectors
  • Learn how to communicate with external people
  • Lower dissociative walls
  • Alter to alter conflicts

Your system can change your overall focus at any time so don’t stress too much about picking the perfect topic. Your focus will likely morph and change as you and your alters evolve and grow.

Even though the focus may change, having a united goal will make it so that every alter will know what to talk about if they end up fronting for a therapy session. Outside of therapy, each alter will have a good idea of what they can work on to help the system. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Use Email Whenever Possible

If your system can use an email to accomplish something with your therapist, always use emails. Doing this will save your system time and money from not having to discuss these things during a therapy session. Here are some things you can do through email:

  • Scheduling appointments
  • Getting homework
  • Clarifying homework
  • Request resources
  • Ask questions

Doing these things through email will also create a paper trail that any of your alters will be able to follow. This way, no matter who fronts, the information is easily available.

Start With A Quick Team Meeting

About five to ten minutes before therapy, have a quick meeting with your system to refine the therapy goal for that session and to collect any important updates for the therapist. In order to find your system’s therapy goal for the upcoming session, take the focus and see how it can apply to your system’s current situation. Here are some examples of session goals for different overall focuses.

  • Minimize fear of … -> How did your system handle fears since the last appointment? Will your system be coming in contact with this fear between now and the next appointment? In what way do you want the therapist to help your system with their fear at this time?
  • Help littles to feel safe and secure -> How are the littles all currently doing and feeling? Are any of the littles needing some extra TLC? Do any of your alters need help relating to the littles?
  • Encourage persecutors to be protectors -> Are any of the alters struggling with being kind to the system? Are any alters reverting back into unhelpful old patterns? Are any of the alters confused about why some things are unhelpful? Are any of the persecutors ready to learn how to be a protector?
  • Learn how to communicate with external people -> How are external relationships going for the system as a whole? How are external relationships going for each individual alter? What unique situations with external people are coming up soon for your system?
  • Lower dissociative walls -> How have the dissociative walls been since the last appointment? Have there been any specific situations where the dissociative walls were higher? Has anything been helping to lower the dissociative walls?
  • Alter to alter conflicts -> How are things currently between all of the alters? Have there been any flare ups or mending since the last visit? Are any of the alters interested in learning techniques for a specific issue?

By blending your system’s long term focus with your system’s current situation, your system will quickly make the progress that you’re all hoping for. Jot down the important points so that the fronting alter will be able to know what to talk about.

Pro tip: If your system has time, it can also really help to skim over the notes from the last therapy session!

Keep Session Appropriate For Every Alter

In order for your system to get the most out of your therapy sessions, only talk about things in therapy that every alter can participate in. It can be very, very easy for therapy sessions to jump into topics that are not appropriate for some of your alters (especially your littles). Keep all of your sessions child appropriate and (as best as you can) trigger free.

This will prevent some alters from feeling left out by not having access to the therapist and the same information as the other alters. Keeping the session appropriate for every alter will also remove the risk of inappropriate things from leaking to other alters. This will cut down on surprise flashbacks and triggers inside of the headspace.

In addition to a sense of unity and less triggers, keeping therapy sessions focused on topics that are appropriate for all alters will ensure that every alter will be able to work towards the system’s goals. This way, no matter who is fronting or where someone is inside of the headspace, every alter will have the ability to bring the system closer to the overall focus.

Encourage All Alters To Be There

Another way to get a lot of value out of your therapy session is to encourage all alters to be co-conscious for every session. While not everyone will want to come to each therapy session, simply inviting everyone will have a large, positive impact.

More alters at therapy means that there will be a more complete view of what is happening inside and outside of the system.

By most therapy sessions having as many alters present as possible, each alter will more clearly remember the appointments and will be able to better implement anything that is learned.

Pro tip: It’s important to lovingly invite alters to come to therapy; no coercion here! Everyone needs to have the right to come, or not come, to therapy in order for this to be effective.

Keep Notes

An easy way to get long term benefits from therapy is to take notes. The notes don’t have to be long or complex for them to be helpful; both today and in the future.

By keeping simple notes, your system will be able to more deeply remember the therapy session. There’s just something about writing things down that helps to cement them more firmly into your mind.

Pro tip: Writing anything down is an easy way to increase the likelihood of you and your headmates remembering it. Give it a try!

Your system will also be able to reference the notes whenever you want. This will make it much easier for your system to see where they have been so they can make an informed decision about where they’d like to go. Over time, you and your alters will be able to spot patterns, large issues, and areas of success.

To write simple and effective notes, consider including the following things for each session:

  • Current focus
  • Goal for the session
  • Date
  • Fronting alter or alters at the session
  • Updates for the therapist since the last session
  • Specific questions or things the system wants addressed at the session
  • Overview of what is discussed
  • Homework assignments, journaling prompts, etc until the next session
  • Date of next therapy session

Pro tip: As best as your system can, it really helps to fill in any missing information right after the therapy session is over. This way, the therapy session is fresh in everyone’s mind!

Review The Session Right Away

The last tip for getting more value out of your therapy sessions is to have a team meeting immediately afterwards. Depending on the subject matter of the session, planning on 5 to 30 minutes should be perfect.

During the quick team meeting, it helps to do the following:

  • Make sure every alter is okay and comfort as needed
  • Check to see that everyone understands what was discussed
  • Confirm that every alter knows what they should work on between now and the next session
  • Answer any questions
  • Fill in missing sections in the notes

Having a quick recap meeting right after will make sure that every alter is emotionally taken care of, that everyone know what to do, and that everything is clarified. By taking the time to do this will make sure that there are less emotional issues later, your system will be more unified inside and out, and that there is no confusion running around. Pretty great, right?

What Next?

Now that your system knows how to get the most out of your DID therapy session, where can you go from here? If your system needs help knowing the traits of a great Dissociative Identity Disorder therapist, you can read about that here. This article will help your system to know what red flags to watch for with your therapist and this article will go over our road map to healing.



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