When it comes to accelerating your healing with Dissociative Identity Disorder, many systems turn to therapists. But what makes a good DID therapist? What are the things your system should be looking for? When so much time, energy, and money are involved, it’s totally understandable that systems are cautious about finding a poorly matched therapist. In this article, we’ll be covering what makes a great D.I.D. therapist so if your system is looking for a quality Dissociative Identity Disorder therapist, let’s get going!
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.
Makes Everyone Feel Comfortable
One of the most important traits for anyone in a system’s life is for the system to feel safe and comfortable around them. With a therapist, it’s vital that your whole system feel at ease when they’re working together. Your system will be in a very vulnerable state with this person. Does everyone in your system honestly feel comfortable with them?
Therapy can obviously get very uncomfortable at times but that’s not the same as being made uncomfortable by a person. You and your alters need to feel safe enough to open up about some very harsh things so it’s important that everyone feel safe and secure with your therapist.
Unfortunately, most D.I.D. systems have a great deal of experience with untrustworthy people. This leads to many alters either not knowing how to trust at all or being very slow to trust. That’s all fine!
What’s important is that a system’s therapist be trustworthy. Your headmates will be able to tell the difference between something being off and the alter their self being cautious. It’s ok if you or your alters are slow to trust. It’s NOT ok if anyone thinks your therapist is untrustworthy. If anyone in your system is sensing dishonesty, keep looking.
**Pro tip: It can be really easy to dismiss an alter’s concerns as being “paranoid” when they sense something and you don’t. Encourage your system to respect each other’s gut reactions. While it’s possible that your headmate is incorrect, it’s far more likely that they’re perceiving something that you are missing.
Believe In Your D.I.D.
While you’d think that a therapist believing in Dissociative Identity Disorder is a given, it’s surprisingly not. Despite the fairly large number of systems that have been professionally diagnosed, some therapists still don’t believe that D.I.D. is “real”. A quality D.I.D. therapist not only believes in the existence of the disorder, they believe that you have it and that your system’s experiences are valid.
**Pro tip: At one point, our system had a therapist that did not believe in D.I.D.. To quote her, she said “I can’t believe there’s that much evil in the world. I just can’t.”
Many people struggle with believing that things like that happen to children. A professional not believing in D.I.D. has more to do with their internal struggle with the state of the world than it does with their professional opinion on the way the brain works.
Specialize In Trauma
Any therapist working with an individual with Dissociative Identity Disorder should be very well trained in trauma. D.I.D. can not exist without a root in trauma so every system has at least some trauma. A therapist without extensive trauma training will be unable to give a system the support that they need.
Trauma also changes the way you view the world. One individual with trauma and another without trauma doing the exact same thing can mean two very different things.
It’s important that your therapist be very comfortable and confident when working with your system’s trauma so they can accurately assess your situation and give your system useful guidance.
Works Well With The Unique Needs Of Your System
In addition to being well trained in trauma, a great Dissociative Identity Disorder therapist is also able to help with the unique needs of your system. For most systems, that means, at the bare minimum, being able to work well with child alters, different types of anger, and suicidal ideation. Every system is unique and your system’s therapist should be able to work with all of the individuals in your system.
Believe In Teamwork
Currently, many Dissociative Identity Disorder therapists practice therapy that works towards integration. This is an outdated model that has next to no benefits and has many drawbacks.
Rather than work towards integration, a great D.I.D. therapist will help your system learn to be a team. They may describe themselves as family therapists for systems. A therapist that believes in teamwork will treat all of your alters with respect and equality. Those are two great things that will lead to more cooperation and happiness inside of the headspace!
Welcome All Alters To Therapy
If you’re seeing a Dissociative Identity Disorder therapist that believes in teamwork, they will most likely allow all of your alters to come to therapy. There are some therapists that work towards teamwork but will not work every alter. It’s important for overall system cooperation, respect, and love that all alters be welcome at therapy.
This means that they’re allowed to speak to the therapist themselves, bring up topics for discussion, ask questions, and receive one on one attention. While some D.I.D. therapists that believe in teamwork do not allow this, it’s very important overall for the system that your therapist encourage any alter to attend therapy.
Encourage Your System To Steer
At the end of the day, therapy is meant to help your system live their best life. In order for everyone to be on board with any potential changes, your system needs to be in control of their healing journey.
A good Dissociative Identity Disorder therapist will not just allow, but encourage, your system to make choices that feel right to your system. This means they will work with your system when it comes to setting the number of sessions your system feels is right, covering topics of concern, speaking to certain alters, and things like that. A quality D.I.D. therapist is able to mesh their insight with your system’s experiences to help all of your alters meet their goals.
Now that you know the traits that make a great DID therapist, what can you do to keep making big improvements for your system? You can learn the quick and easy way to come to terms with your DID here. This technique combined with your DID therapist will take your system far! If you’re new to DID, check our our course Diagnosed With DID to jump start your journey!