Peaceful Impact Publisher

Downloadable resource for #ECMH2019

Disso ry, The Finnish Association for Trauma and Dissociation


Trauma causes many kinds of symptoms: attention deficits, absent-mindedness, blackouts, addictions, panic attacks, eating disorders, physical pain and numbness, difficulties in trust, hallucinations, depression and fatigue. Considering this diversity, it is unsurprising that trauma patients get multiple varying psychiatric diagnoses on the way. Apparently, there are as many trauma symptoms as there are different individuals and life experiences. The diversity of symptoms also reveals great similarities in the everyday adversities of traumatized individuals.

We asked the members of the Finnish Association for Trauma and Dissociation to write about living with dissociation disorder – the symptoms they are dealing with and the treatments and resources they have discovered. The material was brought together in this handout to share experiential knowledge for peers, family members and professionals working with trauma survivors.

In this paper, as many individuals as possible are allowed to speak with their own voices – how those living with dissociative disorders experience trauma symptoms in their particular lives. By this, we wish to illuminate the diversity of trauma symptoms and share valuable resources. An experiential data bank of trauma and dissociation symptoms is needed, because it is common for dissociative disorder to get buried by inaccurate diagnoses. By sharing experiences, trauma survivors also improve their personal knowledge and skills around their own trauma symptoms. We are empowered by peers.

PDF format, 41 pages
Resource also in Finnish @

Mai Peltoniemi

Master of Social Services, experiential researcher, President of the Finnish Association for Trauma and Dissociation.

Mai is a social work professional, a brave fighter of taboos and stigma. Combining expertise and experiential knowledge, she is reviewing the conventional roles and relationships within the field of healthcare and social work in a refreshing way. Mai has been developing a model of therapeutic community for addicts, improving the effectiveness of treatment and producing success stories in drug addiction recovery. Mai’s theoretical specialization involves the methodology of critical social work. Her personal studies combine expertise and experiential knowledge, drug addiction and emotional trauma, and social work and psychotherapy. The consequences of emotional trauma affect us professionals as they do our clients. The unnecessary hierarchies that often still exist in the mental health care systems should be dispersed. We can meet each other openly and with compassion. The knowledge and understanding of the theories about emotional trauma and structural dissociation can help us do that. Mai has authored an autoetnography about her recovery from emotional trauma

Carita Kilpinen

Entrepeneur, graphic designer & trauma survivor

Carita is a mother of two and the Operating Partner of Peaceful Impact Publisher. She considers herself fortunate in many respects, most importantly due to her personal path of treatment and recovery from a trauma-induced dissociative disorder but also having to encounter a less unfortunate case in her closest circle. Carita got into proper trauma psychotherapy at the verge of adulthood, and her treatment was not centered on pharmacotherapy and diagnosis. Later, as the question of diagnosis emerged, being diagnosed with DID was serving her rehabilitation. Carita is one of the authors in the English book Five Survivors, a Hundred Lives – Stories about Trauma and Dissociation. Carita is also featuring in the short Documentary about Trauma and Dissociation.


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