What is dissociation?
Dissociation refers to a mental state or occurrence in which individuals feel detached from their surroundings, thoughts, and emotions. It can result in a sense of disconnection from one's own identity and even lead to gaps in memory upon returning from a dissociative episode. Symptoms may include altered perception of time and space, emotional and physical numbness, a hazy or distorted immediate environment, and a feeling of unreality or being in a dreamlike state.
A Logging Dissociation Worksheet is a valuable tool that can assist individuals in understanding and managing their dissociative experiences. This worksheet aims to provide structure and guidance for individuals to track and analyze their dissociative episodes effectively.
This tool aims to empower individuals to take an active role in their healing process and develop personalized coping strategies.
Check out this video if you want to access a tool for assessing dissociation:
How to use the Logging Dissociation Worksheet:
If you’re a therapist or an adjacent healthcare professional handling patients who experience dissociation, you can use our printable Logging Dissociation Worksheet as part of your treatment plan.
The worksheet is divided into several columns. Each column has a guide question that they need to answer. Here are the questions:
- What happened before you started dissociating? What triggered your dissociation?
- The patient will write down all the incidents or situations that triggered them to dissociate. They should be as descriptive as possible.
- What did you feel and think about while you were dissociating?
- The patient will write down what they started thinking about and what they felt while dissociating. People experience dissociation frequently. Some get lost in their own imagination (daydreaming), some start experiencing flashbacks, and some feel like they’re having an out-of-body experience. As with the first column, the patient should be as detailed as they possibly can.
- Were there any bodily changes/sensations and behavioral changes while you were dissociating?
- The patient will write about what they noticed in terms of their behavior and body while dissociating. Did they start to feel light-headed? Did their heart start pounding? Did they become self-destructive?
- Did you find ways to cope? If so, how did you cope?
- The patient will write about how they coped when they started dissociating. This is an optional part because some people don’t even remember what happened when they dissociated, and some don’t even cope because they don’t know what to do. If left blank, you should help your patient by planning and suggesting what they can do to cope.
Logging Dissociation Worksheet Example
Our Logging Dissociation Worksheet is in landscape format. It’s divided into four columns based on the question. Each column is divided into sections so patients can write about more than one incident or situation that triggered them to dissociate. Here is what it looks like:
If you like what you see and believe this is an excellent way to gauge what usually triggers your patients to dissociate as well as what they think about, feel, and do when they dissociate, feel free to download our free dissociation worksheet PDF and add it to your roster of therapy tools!
When is it best to issue the Logging Dissociation Worksheet?
It is recommended to introduce the Logging Dissociation Worksheet to your patient once you have progressed through a significant portion of the therapy program. By this stage, you would have already established a comfortable and trusting therapeutic relationship, creating a safe and non-judgmental environment.
During earlier sessions, you would have discussed dissociation with the patient, educating them about its nature and effects. These initial steps are crucial to ensure that the patient comprehends the concept of dissociation and feels confident in sharing their experiences with you.
Encouraging patients to engage with the Logging Dissociation Worksheet during this stage of the program is essential because it increases their receptiveness to your guidance and insights when reviewing the completed worksheet together.
One part of the worksheet involves exploring how they cope with dissociation, providing a collaborative opportunity for both you and the patient to work together. While this section is optional, some patients may not have established coping mechanisms for their dissociation experiences.
In such cases, it presents an ideal chance for you to introduce and teach them coping skills and suggest various methods to try, allowing them to assess which strategies work best for them during dissociative episodes.
What are the benefits of using the Logging Dissociation Worksheet?
It can help professionals understand their patients better.
Since the Logging Dissociation Worksheet asks patients to write as descriptively as they possibly can, therapists or adjacent healthcare professionals will learn about what normally triggers the patients to the point that they dissociate, what they tend to think about and feel, and what they tend to do while they dissociate. It’s essential to know these things because the professionals will be armed with the knowledge to help them determine what kind of support they can provide for their patients.
It can help patients understand themselves better.
Those who suffer from severe dissociation are overwhelmed by their experiences that they might not even have the capacity to properly interrogate why these things happen to them. The Logging Dissociation Worksheet allows them to find the emotional distance they need to properly think about what causes them to dissociate and what happens to them exactly whenever they do.
Becoming aware of it all is half the battle. If they can understand what factors cause them to dissociate and what normally happens when they’re dissociating, they’re basically setting the groundwork to develop ways to cope healthily and to determine what they can do to work through the root causes.
It will allow patients and professionals to create coping strategies together.
The Logging Dissociation Worksheet leaves room for the therapist to be involved in completing the worksheet. Let’s stipulate that your patient has no coping mechanisms for their dissociation. Or maybe they have, but they’re not healthy. The last portion of the worksheet can be the jumping point for the therapist to think of ways that the patient can take to cope better with their bouts of dissociation and see if they are effective.