This morning I had a session with my therapist that made me think of something that might be quite useful– how to work with therapists who don’t believe in DID.
Let me say up front that this isn’t the best case scenario. It’s just that finding therapists who believe in DID is a difficult task, and most of us have had to deal with that problem at least once. My therapist is amazing. Yes, she has some theories about our treatment plan that are a bit odd, but she’s made me feel safe and allowed me to talk about the bad stuff. I’m incredibly grateful for that. Still, she doesn’t believe in multiplicity (or SRA for that matter) and I’ve come up with some strategies to help make the best of that.
First, I have an internal group meeting before every session. Anyone who wants to can bring up issues they’d like to discuss. In session, they can borrow my voice and talk through things. The agreement is that there will be no blockages in memory, though. Everyone involved must be present for the discussion with the therapist. It would rather defeat the purpose to work out the memories only to find someone else holds another piece. And of course, I remain present for all of it. Alters are still alters. In the end, I’ve got to deal with the outcome, and when or if all the internal people are integrated, I’ll still be here. As my best friend said this afternoon, it all happened to me. The internal people did their jobs in taking things as needed so I could survive, but it was still me. For that reason, it’s very important that I stay present in the sessions.
The main problem I’ve had has been allowing the kids to work through their things. Referring to myself as ‘we’ in session doesn’t seem odd– I could be referring to other *external* people who were present for whatever situation we’re discussing. Breaking into the mindset of a very upset four year old, on the other hand, can’t be explained away quite so well. Our adaptation for that has been letting the kids talk to the internal adult who takes care of them, and then letting her translate (using my voice) to adult words for the therapist. After session, upon getting to a safe place, the kids are allowed to talk more freely and process in as appropriate a way as possible.
Working with a therapist who believes in and knows how to work with multiplicity is by far the best way to go about healing, and I intend to do that eventually. For now, though, I’m doing the best I can to make my time with the therapist as effective as possible. Of course, these strategies don’t always work out as planned, but it feels paradoxically good and horrible to be working on the memories anyway.