Ep 17 How to Use the Dissociative Table Technique with Dissociative Clients

Ep 17 How to Use the Dissociative Table Technique with Dissociative Clients

In our previous episode, we delved into the conference table technique, an interweave that can effectively address stuck processing in therapy. 

Today, we will be focusing on its application with dissociative clients, introducing a variation known as the dissociative table. This technique, initially introduced by psychologist George Fraser in 1991 and later updated in 2008, offers a unique approach to help clients recognize their internal ego states.

Unveiling the Inner World of Dissociative Clients

For individuals with dissociative disorders, such as those with distinct alter personalities, the presence of these alters may remain unknown or hidden. The dissociative table technique can serve as a powerful tool to raise awareness and facilitate recognition of these dissociated parts. 

By employing strategies aimed at fostering interaction rather than integration, therapists can help clients establish communication, cooperation, and co-consciousness among their different parts.

Respecting the Importance of Alters

A crucial aspect of working with dissociative clients is acknowledging the significance of all parts and alters. Each alter emerged as a coping mechanism in response to trauma, and they all play vital roles in the client’s life. 

While the ultimate goal is to alleviate the burden carried by traumatized alters and reduce their activation, the dissociative table technique does not enforce integration, fusion, or the elimination of any alter. Instead, it focuses on nurturing communication and cooperation among them.

Laying the Groundwork: Stabilization and Psychoeducation

Before diving into the dissociative table technique, it is essential to establish a solid foundation with the client. This includes providing psychoeducation about the nature of parts and what they may look like in dissociated individuals. 

Grounding exercises are also crucial to ensure that the client can safely navigate in and out of the trance state induced by the technique.

Prioritizing Consent and Safety

When working with dissociative clients, who often have a history of severe trauma or attachment ruptures, it is vital to prioritize consent and safety at all times. Therapists should give clients ample opportunity to express their comfort levels and exercise enthusiastic consent. 

Slowing down the process and checking for genuine agreement are essential steps to ensure the client’s well-being throughout the therapeutic journey.

Inviting Clients to the Dissociative Table

To initiate the dissociative table technique, therapists guide clients to imagine a neutral or positive conference room table, where they feel safe and comfortable. By inviting all aspects and parts related to the client’s traumatic experiences into this space, therapists create an opportunity for these parts to emerge and communicate. 

It is not uncommon for a part to take the forefront and speak directly to the therapist, allowing for profound and transformative therapeutic work.

Empowering Change and Transformation

The dissociative table technique has the power to change lives. By creating a space for parts to come forward, therapists can facilitate healing conversations and gain insights from different aspects of the client’s inner world. 

If you want to learn more about this technique or explore its potential in your practice, reach out for further discussions and guidance. Together, we can expand the number of skilled clinicians equipped to support clients with dissociative disorders.

Join the Conversation

If you have any specific questions or topics you’d like me to elaborate on in future episodes, we encourage you to connect with us on Instagram or visit our website. Your curiosity fuels our passion for sharing knowledge and promoting therapeutic growth. 

Additionally, if you’re interested in working with dissociation or seeking consultation for certification, our website provides details on various ways to collaborate and learn with me.

Remember, the power of the dissociative table technique lies in its ability to transform lives. Let’s embrace this important work together and empower more clients on their healing journey.