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Primal Therapy and Dissociation

The chemical definition of dissociation is the breaking apart of a molecule into its basic elements. H20, for example, can be dissociated into two hydrogen atom and one oxygen atom.


Since dissociation implies the assembly of something (which can then be dis-assembled), the term ‘dissociation’ as it is used in psychology is misleading.


We know that a complete experience (molecule) is built up from bits and pieces of experience (the basic elements of the molecule). This assembly requires high level information processing (consciousness). However, during traumatic experience, these bits and pieces of experience never get high-level processing. This means that those bits and pieces of traumatic experience never got assembled. If this is the case, how can a traumatic experience get dis-assembled (dissociated)?


I suggest that it would be easier to understand the primal process if we dropped the term dissociation. Rather: the primal process is an attempt to associate the many elements of our traumatic experience…something that ordinarily happens, but not during trauma. So, we’re not trying reverse the effects of dissociation. We are trying to make association happen…for the first time.



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