When you’re part of a system with Dissociative Identity Disorder, it can be incredibly difficult trying to figure out what to do first. It can feel like there are a million and one things that have to be done and they all have to be done ASAP. Healing can feel like an impossible challenge. In this article, we’re going to lay out the nine overall steps your system needs to take to start healing as a family. Let’s hop to it!
**Pro tip: Everything is laid out in the order that works for most systems but every system is unique. Do what works best for your system family!
WARNING AND DISCLAIMER
Because of the nature of D.I.D., it’s possible that something in this article could be triggering to your system. Please use caution and your best judgement when reading this article. Safety first!
Disclaimer: We are not doctors, therapists, or mental health professionals. We’re just a bunch of alters that are speaking from personal experience to help other systems live their best lives.
The first step is for your system to be professionally diagnosed. This is an optional first step but it’s one we highly recommend. While it’s definitely possible to go on the rest of your healing journey without seeing a DID therapist, it can be extremely validating to have an official diagnosis. Being professionally diagnosed will also make the next step much easier.
**Pro tip: If your system is looking for a therapist, see this article will help you spot a good DID therapist. If you’re unable to get therapy, this article will help your system while you wait for therapy.
Come To Grips With Your Diagnosis
This is an absolutely critical step. Before you or your system can effectively move on, you need to understand that you have D.I.D.. Now, as you may already know, your brain has hidden this fact from you for most of your life for your own protection.
In order for any of the steps to work, you need to first prove to your brain that it’s safe for you and all of your alters to know about your diagnosis. This article goes more in depth on how to convince your brain to let you accept your diagnosis. Once your brain stops hiding your D.I.D., all of your alters will quickly come to terms with the diagnosis.
Change The Way You See Your Headmates
Raise your hand if you’ve ever thought the following:
If you or any of your headmates are struggling with thoughts like these, it’s important that you improve the way you see your alters. Click here to watch the free video “Change The Way You See Your Headmates”. By the end of the video, you’ll have the tools you need to go further on your healing journey.
**Pro tip: If one of your alters is having these kinds of thoughts but they’re not willing/able to watch the video, that’s ok! If anyone in your system watches the video, the information will be floating around inside the headspace for whenever your headmate is ready for it.
Meet The Alters
You can’t work with someone if you don’t know who they are or anything about them. Once you’re aware of your diagnosis and you’ve changed your view on your headmates, it’s time to meet them. You may already know a few of them here and there and if so, that’s great!
Get to know all of your alters and let them get to know you. This course goes over how to find your headmates and how to get to know them. Your headmates are going to be with you for life so use this as an opportunity to bond with them in a meaningful way!
Craft An Internal Home
Your system’s next step is to craft an internal living space, culture, and communication system. Your whole system will need to work towards creating an internal home and atmosphere that you’ll all love. Physically, your headmates will be closer inside the headspace and that will lead to more and more emotional closeness for the whole system.
Become A United Front
The next step is to get everyone on the same team. With such unique personalities, mindsets, experiences, and beliefs, it’s no wonder that it sometimes feels like your body is being pulled in a million directions!
Once you know everyone in your system and you’re physically near each other, it’s time to start finding common ground and developing team work. Your system will need to learn how to understand and appreciate a wide variety of ideas coming from your alters and then mesh them into one agreed upon plan. Becoming a team will eventually lead to your system becoming a family.
Become Of One Mind
Next, your system will want to work on getting everyone on the same page. This means making sure that every alter can safely front at all times. This doesn’t mean that every alter has to front; just that every alter can safely do the essentials if they’re ever fronting. Your system will work on how to teach every alter (especially littles!) how to be prepared for a wide variety of fronting situations.
Control Triggers and Switching
After every alter in the system can safely handle the basics, it’s time to tackle a big, but essential, topic: triggers and switching. Your system will work on the essentials of helping each of your alters to master both trauma triggers and switching. Triggers and switching don’t need to control your system; your system can learn to control them.
Your system will need to learn how to prevent triggers when possible, and how to manage them when they come up. Your system will also need for all of the alters to learn how to soothe internal and external alters if they’re ever triggered.
Your system will need to learn how to switch in and out. In addition to this, each alter will need to learn how to put up a shield that will prevent them from being triggered or co-conscious when they don’t want to be.
Release The Past
After you’ve completed every other milestone, it’s finally time for your system to learn how to heal from your past be learning how to release it. Your alters will learn how to lessen the intensity of triggers and how to eventually make them stop all together. Your system will learn a better way to move on from the traumas holding you back.
Now that your system knows the overall steps to take to heal, what can you do to get started? If you haven’t found a DID therapist yet, this article will go over the traits of a good Dissociative Identity Disorder therapist. If you’re not able to get into therapy right now, this article will talk about what to do when you can’t get therapy. Both articles will help get your system started on the path to healing!