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The Brain in Defense Mode: How Dissociation Helps Us Survive

Anastasia Pollock, LCMHC, ‘The Brain in Defense Mode: How Dissociation Helps Us Survive’, https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/the-brain-in-defense-mode-how-dissociation-helps-us-survive-0429155, GoodTherapy.org (April 29, 2015)

Goal in therapy

Dissociation occurs when someone disconnects from some part of himself or herself or the environment. (…) Dissociation is something we all do, and it is a vital part of our ingrained survival system. (…) The goal in therapy is not to eliminate dissociation completely, but rather to help the brain and body to update to the current circumstances. (…) If no danger currently exists, helping the brain and body to learn how to be safe would be one part of treatment. Working toward being able to maintain awareness of the present moment, body sensations, emotions, surroundings, etc.—also known as mindfulness—is one way to start to address dissociation, especially prior to any trauma work that needs to be addressed.

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