• Dayna Sharp, LCSW

Dissociation: He Who Shall Not Be Named



This post is not necessarily about Dissociative Identity Disorder, and if you’ve ever seen the TV show “The United States of Tara”, that’s not exclusively or even necessarily what I’m writing about. Dissociation is something that we all do. Did you ever have the experience of driving and sort of found yourself tuned out, maybe listening to the radio, and suddenly you've arrived at your destination without any concrete memory of making specific turns? We’ve all done things like this, daydreaming, spacing out, tuning out, it’s a natural escape that we are all capable of.


Like many things, what dissociation looks like is a spectrum. And the most common way it becomes troublesome is when we try to cut off, disown, “forget”—dissociate—aspects of our experience.


Sometimes we feel things that are so powerful—terrifying, shameful, just plain dangerous—that they threaten to overwhelm our whole selves—our whole emotional, psychological system that makes up who we are. So in order to continue feeling like ourselves, in order to remain stable/regain a sense of stability, we might put them out of our mind. They become “He Who Shall Not Be Named”, and though the danger is distanced from us, it leaves a relentless shadow. Because we’re always afraid that it will re-emerge. These un-named become ghosts that haunt our inner experience (think anxiety, depression) as well as our relationships with others.


How Therapy Can Help


Therapy can give you the opportunity to create a safe space —a space in which there is no harm for real danger, either physical or emotional. A therapeutic relationship where you can grow to count on a consistent, dependable, capable and caring other to support you.


Therapy can can be a place where you can begin to name the un-namable. Because it’s likely the shadow will be there too. And the good news is that you don’t have to sit with it’s haunting presence alone. And the more you notice the ghosts, and the stronger your connection with your therapist, the less painful it is to name them. And once they’re named, accepted as part of you and your experience, the less haunted you will feel.


At Creating Space Counseling and Wellness, I can help you feel that there is truly nothing that can’t be named, in a safe and supportive space. If you’ve experienced trauma, we both know that you can survive. But I can offer a therapy that will help you to restore—or build—a sense of inner peace, dignity, and empowerment that will help you to feel how strong you really are.


Call today to schedule an appointment. 856-281–1664