HomeBlogServicesTipsKey Qualities to Look For When Choosing a Dissociative Identity Disorder Therapist

Key Qualities to Look For When Choosing a Dissociative Identity Disorder Therapist


This article will help guide individuals with Dissociative Identity Disorder and their loved ones in identifying the essential qualities of an effective therapist, empowering them to make informed decisions for optimal therapeutic outcomes.


Dissociative identity disorder is a complex mental health condition where individuals have two or more personalities that try to control their behavior at various times.

Dissociative identity disorder can cause severe memory gaps and other problems that interfere with daily life. Moreover, it can affect friends and family members. Individuals with multiple personalities might experience up to 100 “alters,” each of which could have separate ways of interacting with the environment, different ethnicities, genders, and even interests.

Thankfully treatment is available, which can help individuals manage their symptoms. However, individuals with dissociative identity disorder and their loved ones must find therapists who specialize in DID.

Symptoms of DID:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Disorientation
  • Delusions
  • Memory loss
  • Substance abuse
  • Thoughts of self-harm
man with dissociative identity disorder

Why is specialized therapy crucial for individuals with DID?

A qualified dissociative identity disorder therapist is crucial for individuals with DID. Dissociative identity disorder often results from physical or sexual abuse experienced during childhood. It can also manifest as a response to a traumatic event. No matter the cause, the condition is a way for individuals to distance themselves from that trauma.

Given the highly sensitive nature of the causes, it’s crucial for individuals with DID to find specialized therapists who can be patient, offer empathy, and ensure that they feel comfortable during treatment.

Equally important is a highly qualified and experienced individual who understands how to work with alternate personalities and can be patient in understanding how each personality might interact differently during a therapy session.

Key qualities for therapists specializing in dissociative identity disorder

Knowing how to find a therapist for dissociative identity disorder can be difficult if you don’t know what key qualities to look for.

Experience and Education

Figuring out how to find a therapist for dissociative identity disorder starts with reviewing their experience and education. If you are worried about the quality of service you might receive, see where they went to school. Ask whether they are therapists specializing in dissociative identity disorder or have another specialty.

Not all therapists or psychiatrists are the same. Some specialize in one type of mental health disorder. Others might specialize in family practices, working with children or adults. Find out what you need and find dissociative disorder therapists who are a good match.

Empathy and Patience

Empathy and patience are key to working with dissociative disorder. When reviewing the potential candidates for your treatment, it is important to talk with them, maybe even meet with them, to see how much patience and empathy they have.

Don’t work with someone you aren’t comfortable with or someone who is too authoritarian in their practices.

Psychologist listening to her patient

Communication Skills

Good communication is key in treatment. So when you look for a dissociative identity disorder therapist, ask about their communication options. Some therapists will offer:

  • Online booking for appointments
  • Options for online therapy sessions
  • Phone numbers to call for help or information
  • Email addresses if you need to keep in touch
  • Secured client databases or portals where information can be viewed

Boundaries and Professionalism

Good therapists specializing in dissociative identity disorder will set boundaries. They will make this clear when you first meet. But the boundaries are an extension of their professionalism. Having a professional therapist means they won’t try to be your friend or text you late at night just to say ‘hi.’

They will take your treatment seriously, hold you to your goals, and be prepared for your sessions.

Updated Knowledge

Information changes as new studies are produced, and new techniques are approved. If you are looking for a dissociative identity disorder therapist online:

  • Review the types of treatments they use
  • Check whether they prescribe medication
  • Ask if they use updated studies to alter their practice where necessary

How to find a therapist for dissociative identity disorder

Check Licensing

Guidelines vary from state to state on licensing, so make sure that the therapist you choose has the training and licensing for the state in which you live. This is especially important if you are looking for a dissociative identity disorder therapist online; if a practitioner provides online therapy, they still need a license to operate in the state where you live, not just where they are located.

Many state databases provide information on their licensing requirements, and some offer online resources to find dissociative disorder therapists in that state.

client and therapist holding hands

Use Online Databases

One way to find a dissociative identity disorder therapist is to use reputable online databases. Psychological associations maintain databases where you can search by location and specialty.

Talk to Your Doctor

Federal law requires health insurance companies to cover the cost of mental health treatment. However, many insurance companies will not pay for therapy until you receive an official diagnosis or talk to your primary care practitioner.

The benefit here is that most doctors can provide you with referrals to dissociative identity disorder therapists. In fact, many health insurance companies have dedicated behavioral departments for mental health information, including finding practitioners who are in-network and, therefore, fully covered by your insurance policy.


If you know someone who has gone to therapy, ask them how satisfied they were with their therapist. While it might not be a dissociation therapist, many mental health professionals have a vast network of professionals, so you can ask that therapist for a referral for a dissociation therapist.


Don’t be afraid to call each of the dissociative disorder therapists you are interested in. Find out if they are familiar with the most common evidence-based therapies for your disorder. See what experience they have; one dissociation therapist might have a history of working with older adults or families.

Summing Up

Not all therapists work in the same fields or with the same mental health conditions. If you need to find a therapist, find therapists specializing in dissociative identity disorders. Without the right type of therapist, you risk not getting the help you need. Don’t be afraid to prioritize your mental health and advocate for your therapeutic needs.



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