Associated and dissociated positions are two different ways for the brain to process information. Having access to both of them is important because they have different qualities suited for different situations. Systemhelse.no takes a look at the important flexibility of having access to both processors.
In an associated position one sees oneself from the “inside out.” Being associated often means that you are “in the moment” with your full attention and energy trained on a specific matter at hand. In an associated position you are fully engaged. Are you processing your positive experiences while “Super Engaged”?
In a dissociated position one see oneself “from the outside”. A situation is experienced as though it were a scene in a film. Your perspective changes to a broader angle, allowing you to observe your actions from a distance. This strategy is preferable when you are gathering information about the bigger picture, which often means that you are detached—“Super Cool.”
Observing yourself from the “outside ” allows you to access other types of information and become aware of another viewpoint than being engaged “inside out.” When big changes are being made in life, they often are preceded by insight from a “helicopter perspective” or dissociated position. To observe oneself from a meta-perspective provides important insights that are not accessible from the associated position. Imagine yourself flying in the sky and observing things from a distance. What do you see? Can you access different information as compared to experiencing your environment from “inside” yourself?
Are you drawing on both processors, being Super Engaged when that’s preferable and Super Cool when that’s needed? What would happen if you became more flexible, choosing the right perspective for the right situation? Do you ever consciously change perspective to become aware of important information about yourself and your surroundings? Using both Super Engaged and Super Cool processors in the right situations increases the quality of your experiences and facilitates the right actions. The brain shifts between Super Engaged and Super Cool naturally. Everyone already has the two processors and subconsciously shifts between them. Learn to use the right processor at the right time until judicious reliance on one or the other becomes automatic.
Ole Haslestad, November 13, 2013