How To Know If Your Therapist Believes In Dissociative Identity Disorder

Since so many Dissociative Identity Disorder systems seek out therapy, it’s important to know what makes a good therapist. While this article goes in depth about what makes a good D.I.D. therapist and this article covers red flags to watch out for with your therapist , there is one trait that every therapist working with systems should have in common: they should believe in your diagnosis!

While this article is mostly a set of guidelines and things to watch out for, the most important thing is to go with your gut. If you or any of your alters feel like something is off, trust that feeling! Let’s go over some of the big tip off’s that your therapist may not believe in your DID.

**Pro tip: While the best thing to do is to ask your therapist outright, some individuals won’t be forthcoming even when asked directly. If you believe your therapist is lying to your system, that’s a massive no-no!

They Don’t Have A Strong Trauma Background

Since Dissociative Identity Disorder is rooted in trauma, a professional with limited trauma experience is less likely to be well versed in the effects of trauma. While being inexperienced with trauma does not necessarily mean they don’t believe in your system’s DID, it is something to be aware of. Trauma informed therapists are much more likely to understand and believe in DID.

**Pro tip: We think that no matter what kind of therapy a system is in (marriage, food, etc), their therapist should have a strong trauma background. Trauma changes the way a person reacts to things so it’s important that your system work with professionals understand the way you and your headmates view the world.

They Have Little To No Experience With Dissociative Disorders

Can you imagine talking to an English teacher when you need help with your calculus homework? Or seeing a heart doctor when you have a broken leg? Receiving treatment from a therapist with no dissociative disorder background is kind of like that.

Depending on their field of specialty, they can still help still help your system. Just be aware that you won’t receive as much help from them as you would with a professional that also has experience with dissociative disorders.

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They Speak In Hypotheticals

When you believe what someone has told you, you don’t speak in hypotheticals about it; you take it at face value. If your therapist has said anything like the following about your dissociative experiences, there’s a possibility that they don’t believe in your DID.

  • “Something like that would be an interesting experience.”
  • “I wonder what would make someone feel that way.” (In reference to having alters in your head)
  • “How interesting that you felt like that.”

Pro tip: So much of communication is in someone’s body language and tone of voice. Use your best judgement to decide if they’re doubting your experience or asking a genuine question.

They Want You To See The Alternatives

The fact of the matter is that Dissociative Identity Disorder can sound really, really out there to people that don’t have professional or intimate experience with it. That doesn’t mean that it’s not happening; it just means that it can be hard for them to grasp it. If your therapist repeatedly encourages you to look for different reasons for your experiences and implies that your DID isn’t happening, be cautious.

Personally, my system has had therapist say things like:

  • “Hum, maybe you felt like you were being controlled because you don’t want to be responsible for what happened.”
  • “I wonder why you would feel like you’re sometimes a little girl.”
  • “Maybe you wish you could be more assertive and having an ‘alter ego’ helped you to do that.”
  • “You are in charge of your body. It may feel like someone else is controlling you, but you are the boss.”
  • “Does it really make more sense to you that a monster lives inside of you? Don’t you think you were just really upset?”

Pro tip: If your therapist is saying things like this to your system, it’s important to remember that your thoughts, feelings, and experiences are valid. Their lack of belief does not change your reality.

They Say You Need To Make Up Your Mind

If your therapist is trying to help you decide which “you” to be, that is a big sign that they don’t believe in your DID. Any therapist with an understanding of your Dissociative Identity Disorder will not try to make you pick sides, deny your alter’s existence, or will them away.

  • “You simply have to decide who you want to be.”
  • “There aren’t multiple people inside of you; just multiple sides of you. Everyone has that.”
  • “So who is the real you? The scared little boy, the assertive VP, or the shy one? It all depends on what you want to be.”
  • “Lots of people have distinctly different personalities. Your job is to merge them into the person you really are.”
  • “There can’t be multiple “yous”. There can only be one Beyonce.” (Yes, a therapist seriously said that to us!)

What Next?

Now that you know how to spot a therapist that doesn’t believe in your Dissociative Identity Disorder, where can you go from here? Check out this article about red flags to watch out for with your therapist. This article goes over the traits of a great DID therapist. Read this article to learn what your system can do if you can’t get a therapist right now. Check out our growing list of courses to see if anything can help you in the meantime!