Our Approach

Knowledge and Therapeutic Approach

Intake forms from therapists were evaluated considering their awareness of dissociative disorders and their approach to working with them.


Due to the correlation, being trauma-informed is required with a therapist treating dissociative disorders.


Dissociative disorders such as DID/OSDD are complex, though there are many misconceptions. Those within this directory were screened for accurate understanding.

Internal Family Systems

IFS is commonly thought to be used for DID, though there is a distinction between a conceptual "part" and an alter. See more below.

The Whole Person

Everyone in a DID system is an alter, including the host. All roles are important and valid.

Internal Family Systems (IFS)

IFS and Dissociative Identity Disorder

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a therapy approach that recognizes that all people have multiple parts of themselves, even those without dissociative identities. IFS posits that there is a core Self underneath these parts, which conflicts with the way many DID/OSDD systems experience themselves.

In our support groups, numerous DID/OSDD systems have shared their experiences with IFS therapy. Many have felt invalidated by IFS therapists treating the host identity as the core Self and all other identities as parts that need to step back to make room for the host to live life. Additionally, some felt that their fully elaborated identities were flattened by IFS’s labels. IFS’s language was created to describe facets of the self, not the wholly independent self-states that are characteristic of dissociative systems.

When creating our directory, as with all of our services, we aim to center the experiences of the communities we serve. IFS can be a valuable therapeutic tool, but like any other framework, it’s not going to fit every client. We want to create a directory of clinicians who understand that DID is not merely an extension of IFS, but a broad spectrum of experiences that have not been adequately served by existing therapeutic frameworks.