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As a psychology trainee, I have often had discussions about how my emotional reactions when with a client can be a useful indicator of various client factors present in session. Specifically, supervisors have suggested this self-awareness is particularly valuable aiding in the assessment and treatment of dissociative disorders based on a client’s level of connection (or disconnection).
Dissociation can be seen in the aftermath of traumatic events and can be experienced in a variety of ways, as there are various subtypes and symptomatic presentations of dissociative experiences (e.g., depersonalization, derealization; American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Research has suggested dissociation can occur on a continuum, with varying levels of pathological dissociation (Waller, Putnam, & Carlson, 1996).

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