Asking a part to leave

Today we went to therapy for the first time in a month. It was hard walking in the door considering all that had happened. Not sure if it was the subject matter of the session, or the amount of dissociation that happened, but it felt like a really long session…

She started off with trying to find ways in which to give us more support. Getting other organisations involved in our care. Sort of made us feel like we were being too difficult and a hopeless case again! We know that we need other avenues of help – a therapist can’t be available 24/7. Also our Mental Health Crisis lines are useless, so the usual ways of getting that assistance aren’t available. So while we’re anxious about having to get to know more people and more people knowing about our craziness, we know it makes sense.

Then came the bomb shell. She thinks our internal house is rather crowded – we know of about 25 alters, not all of whom are active. We don’t need that many, why don’t we ask someone to leave?


She suggested it like it was nothing. Sort of like putting out the old chair you’ve had for ages that is kind of comforting, but isn’t really used anymore. She asked whose role within the system is no longer needed, their function no longer required. They would be the ones to be asked to leave.


How do you ask someone to leave?
How do you know their role is no longer required?
What if we ask the wrong part to leave?

She asked if we wanted to change… Of course we said “Yes”… Of course we want to change! We can’t keep on going like we are – we got drunk last week for the first time in about a year. We were tempted to go buy some more after this session with her 😦 We can’t go back to the alcohol.

But how do we chose who should go? What if they hold some memory or something that we’re not aware of that is vital for our healing or functioning?

It’s tempting to ask a part like Frank to leave. He’s angry, he’s nasty and he abuses other parts of the system. But he also protects us from some of the angrier states. He enforces the safety plans.

Just a mess…

Once we decide who should go, how do we ask them to leave? What happens? We could just fake the whole leaving thing, but we can’t do that.

Craziness piled on top of craziness…

Now playing: Sarah McLachlan – I Will Remember You [Live]
via FoxyTunes


11 thoughts on “Asking a part to leave

  1. Ask them to leave? Hmm. I can’t see how it would work like that, surely if it was that simple you’d have done it a long time ago?As for which part to leave, its difficult to say. I think personalities adapt to the situations they are in, there is no reason why one of the others (besides Frank) could take over an anger role.Its confusing. I’m curious to know what happens with this though.

  2. Glad we’re not the only ones confused! Was kind of weird how she put it – like asking an unwanted guest to leave. But how do you do that to something in your head? There’s so little contact between the parts that we don’t know what each of us does, so how do we know we’re making a good choice?Just confused!Trying to be calm about it all though… lol. NOT WORKING so far… lol.

  3. I really don’t see how you can just get a part to leave. But then, I’m not an expert. I know very little about DID, is it something that eventually has an end?Do you eventually just have one person that is ‘you’? I suppose essentially those alters all came from you to begin with, and somehow that they make up who you are. Just like with me I have a part of me that reacts in angry situations, a part that can cry, a part that is still a child, just not to the extremes. I assume that is ‘normal’? Hmm this really has me thinking. I should go ahead and do some kind of course in psychology or something. Hmmmmm. Anyways, as always, I’m here if you want to talk things through.

  4. Thanks Amy :)Still a bit confused about what she was meaning. Sometimes with the dissociation we only pick up parts of a therapy session. If we then dissociate another part does sections of the session and we may have no memory of it at all. But unless the change is obvious, to our therapist it’s still the same part present and understanding the context of what is being said.So we’re still a bit stunned about it all. But we’re hoping we’ve misunderstood what she wants.What we’re going to do is look at all our different roles within this life and bring that to the next session. It will help her understand what’s going on, and help us as well.It depends on the theory or healing model that you believe in as to whether a person with DID integrates their parts and becomes “one” with a broad spectrum of responses. Others believe that it’s more about working towards a point where the parts are working together, but still not integrated into “one”.Psychology is a scary field… open to all sorts of good and bad stuff!Take careSophie πŸ™‚

  5. Oh my gosh! I could not believe what I was reading. Like, even if you wanted to you could. Yeah, lots of luck. She’s missing something in her understanding of DID. I just wanted to validate your response. I have DID as well, and I would’ve reacted the same way. I’m still shaking my head……I can’t believe she said that….

  6. Thank you so much… Its good to know we aren’t over-reacting. We talked to her about it, but its obvious that she just doesn’t get it. In a clarification session, she used the word “eviction”! We could have a party to farewell the part, but it was an eviction. We could use another word if “eviction” was too strong, but the part had to go. Problem is that she’s one of the top clinical psychologists in the city where we live. Not sure what to do. On one hand she accepts DID, then on the other does this.

  7. Oh my gosh…..Honestly, I would look into finding someone else because this is really a no, no, no, no in DID therapy. Are you living in a small community?? You can do a therapist search for people specializing in trauma and dissociation using the ISSTD (International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation)website at I think I would betempted to tell her when she says we have to get rid of a part that no, I think we need to get rid of a therapist. We could have a farewell party.Secret Shadows

  8. Maybe I was too harsh and sarcastic concerning your T. I’m sorry. I am partially reacting to it through my own personal issues. It upsets my internal parts to hear that. I feel for you that you are facing this with your T. I personally think she is misguided on how to work with DID. How long have you worked with this T? Secret Shadows

  9. Hi Secret Shadows,Ohhh some of us really liked your first response πŸ™‚ As an indication of what we’re dealing with in trying to get help, there is only one therapist listed on the ISST-D site for the whole country!We’ve only been seeing her for about 13 sessions. Because of the way funding works over here, there is only going to be limited sessions as she is a more expensive clinical psychologist. So I think in some respects she’s trying to force things along quickly. But not in a helpful way. We’ve been in therapy for 3 years now and have yet to find anything or anyone that has been able to help us in moving forward. It’s getting frustrating and adding to those feelings of being too difficult and too much work to sort out.Thank you for your responses :)Take careSophie

  10. Hello, Castorgirl, and greetings from a fellow DID-Gemini.If I may make a suggestion … since you’ve mentioned in your comment thread here that you sometimes “lose” parts of your session due to dissociation, I think it would be a good idea to write down your questions and concerns and take them back to your therapist, and request that she clarify what she meant, letting her know what you heard, and that it was upsetting.My guess — which may be completely wrong — is that she may have intended to convey that not all of your alters are ready to engage in the work you need to do, and may need to be protected in safe spaces of their own (actually being “less present” for parts of your life) so that you have a clearer field to work on certain pieces of increasing function.One of my alters consistently hears this as “you want me to leave,” but that is not what my therapist means, nor is it unusual in DID therapy to have an alter step back or aside from certain triggering situations for a while. One of the great struggles of DID, as you obviously know, is that alters make our lives very difficult by reacting to things that are not actually happening. Learning how to remove alters from certan situations can make a difference as far as life management, and this may be what your therapist is talking about.If not, then yes, I think you probably need to reconsider therapists. But I think it’s worth asking for clarification, and explaining your fears, if you can.

  11. hi, we got really mad at ur therapist reading this!!!! how can u ask a part of the whole person to leave? that’s like saying gee, i am too big, i think i can do without my left hand…. i mean really!!!!!!u are all parts of u. u all belong. maybe u can have a bigger house with more space, but no one can go anywhere cuz its where they belong… its home!!!! an u have to be wanted in ur own home!!!!i hope is ok to write this, sorry we are so emphatic… hope is ok, thanks

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