142: HSPs & Complex Trauma Series: What is Dissociation?

“[Dissociation] can happen with anything that is overwhelming or intense and I think it is important, especially to those who are highly sensitive, to be aware of because it’s not just perceived danger or a lot of anxiety or stress. It can be something very positive that you actually want.” [9:20]    In this episode of Women In-Depth, Lourdes Viado and Carmen Schmidt Benedetti continue their podcast series on Complex Trauma and Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs). Today’s episode explores the coping mechanism of dissociation, diving into what it is, what causes it, and potentially how to avoid and combat dissociation.     Dissociation is a common coping mechanism for many people, but can be harmful for people who are HSPs and have experienced complex trauma in their lives. Listen as Lourdes and Carmen shed light on the signs of dissociation and possible tools to help keep you present.    In this episode you will learn: 
  • What is dissociation? [3:33] 
  • Why do we experience dissociation? [4:30] 
  • Biological responses that cause dissociation. [9:50] 
  • The continuum of dissociation. [11:35] 
  • How to distinguish between dissociation and anxiety, stress, or overwhelm. [17:15] 
  • Ways to cope with and respond to dissociation. [28:22] 
  Dr. Lourdes Viado is a psychotherapist for anxious and overwhelmed highly sensitive women in Las Vegas, Nevada.  She is a Myers-Briggs Typology Indicator (MBTI) Certified Practitioner and integrates Jungian psychology, mindfulness, neuroscience, and astrology into her work with clients.  She is also the host of the Women In-Depth Podcast: Conversations about the Inner Lives of Women, which has been downloaded over 450,000x in 107 countries.    Carmen Schmidt Benedetti is a psychotherapist for highly sensitive womxn in Sonoma County, California. She helps them to heal layers of unrecognized childhood trauma and create calm, balance and stability in their life. As a Certified EMDR therapist, Carmen guides adults in reframing their past from an empowered perspective, coming to believe they are ‘good enough’ and their needs and feelings matter    Resources:   Lourdes’ website: https://lourdesviado.com/   Carmen’s website: https://carmenschmidtmft.com/    Pete Walker, Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving