Association v.s Dissociation

I want you to think back to a troubling time. Close your eyes and envision this moment of challenge for you. Take a moment to observe this instance.

Now, switch gears with me. Take a moment to look in the rear view mirror about a moment of joy or success. Can you see it?

I’d like to ask you about the two memories you just brought up in your awareness. I specifically want you to consider the frame of view in which you thought of these two events. When it comes to the moment of struggle, did you replay the moment through your own two eyes like you were experiencing it in real time? Or, were you watching from outside of your body like a movie?

What about the memory of joy and success? When you thought of it did you see it all over again through the lens of your actual vision? Or, did you take on the perspective like you were watching the memory on a TV screen as a movie with you being a character you could see in the bigger scene?

The perspective that looks like you’re in your own skin looking through your own eyes is called association. The movie version of perspective is called disassociation.

Naturally, you’re likely wondering what it means to use the perspective that you chose to take on. Is it good? Bad? There is great value in being agile in the perspectives you can take on. Both come with implications, however.

If, for example, you saw your negative experience through your own eyes, you may still suffer those emotions and feelings residually. At some point, you could benefit from being able to dissociate from those feelings and experience the memory, rather, from watching it like a movie. This is a key skill for treating PTSD, trauma, and phobias.

If you tend to associate and see you memories through your own eyes, you have a distinct valuable advantage to goal setting. The way you see your past through your own eyes is an incredible way to put your lofty goals in your vision and see your future reality clearly.

Remember, association and dissociation aren’t right or wrong. Both are useful tools if you can be aware. If you find one more challenging than the other, practice that perspective.


Logan Gelbrich


10/8/18 WOD

Find a 1RM Bench Press

Then, complete the following for time:
10, 9, 8… 1
DB Hang Squat Clean Thrusters (50/30)