Being outside an experience. Experiencing as a disaffected observer. Contrasts with association.

Every experience is perceived to happen at some point along a continuum of association vs. dissociation. Association is when the experience is felt to be part of you, or that you are part of the experience. You seem to be identified with the experience or connected somehow with it. Dissociation is when you feel you are watching, listening to or observing the an event from the outside.

The properties of association vs. dissociation are such a powerful component of any experience that we can transform the experience itself. This is true of past experiences, our present moment experience, and even a future possible experience.


Association is useful when you want to feel more connected or one with a present pleasant experience, a past powerful experience, or a future desirable state.

The language of association is:

  • Step into _______
  • Try ______ on for size
  • See what you saw, hear what you heard and feel what you felt when ______
  • Turn up the volume, make it bigger and brighter!


Dissociation is useful when you want to feel free from past pain, present stress, or when there is a future goal toward which you want to be motivated.

The language of dissociation is:

  • Move away from _______
  • Float above _______
  • Move around to the other side of _______
  • Observe yourself in that situation again doing _______
  • Shrink that image, dim it, make the voice further away