Finding a Therapist that Understands Dissociative Disorders

By Polyfrazzlemented

A lot of people ask how to find a therapist that at least believes that DID/OSDD are real things, and has some amount of competence in that area.

It's not easy. It's easier in some places than others. We have to go to the next county to see one. And even if you find one that considers themself a specialist and is up-to-date on the research, they might be the type that pushes integration and thinks that system members are just broken pieces of the "real" person. But there are three places that are good places to start.

Psychology Today:

Psychology Today is probably the biggest, best-known database of therapists. They do record whether people list dissociative disorders as a specialty. But, they don't let you search by it in their interface. You have to trick it into giving you that information.

To do that, first search by your location. If you want to look in New York City, for instance, you'll type "New York City" into the search bar, click on it when it comes up, and you'll end up on a URL like this: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/ny/new-york

If you want to search by other things, like insurance, click on what you want to search by in the left hand menu. If you're looking for one in New York City that takes Medicaid, click on "Medicaid" and you'll end up at a URL like this: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/medicaid/ny/new-york?sid=1523459178.5871_19666

If your URL does not have a question mark in it already, append "?spec=20" to the URL. The first URL would now look like this: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/ny/new-york?spec=20

If your URL does have a question mark in it already, append "&spec=20" to the URL. The second URL would now look like this: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/ny/new-york?sid=1523459178.5871_19666&spec=20

This should now give you what you're looking for, filtered by whether they list dissociative disorders. You might not find anything, and have to widen your location range and criteria. I recommend making your criteria as wide as possible. People who say they don't take your insurance might be able to do out-of-network, or might not have updated their page, so they're still worth contacting.

ISSTD:

The ISSTD (International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation) maintains a database of therapists that affiliate with them. It's here. You'll probably find fewer people here than on Psychology Today, but there may be some that aren't listed on Psychology Today but are listed here.

Sidran Help Desk:

The Sidran Institute also maintains a database, but it's not searchable. You have to go here and email them telling them where you are and what you're looking for. They'll probably take a week or two to get back to you, but will email you a list of people.

If Nothing Works Out:

The ISSTD recommends emailing someone in your general region if you can't find anyone you can reasonably get to; they might know someone who isn't listed.

If you've tried all this and it doesn't work out for you, you may have to do what a lot of systems do and find a therapist that doesn't specialize in this and educate them. Some systems find this works better than dealing with therapists who already think they know what they're doing but get it wrong.

Good luck.

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