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Understanding extreme states

Dissociachotic draws on many theories and concepts from Laing to Rogers, from the PTMF to Buddhist teachers, Frankl, Guerin, Travelbee, Schwing, indigenous knowledge and wisdom and existential meanings, Poly Vagal and trauma theories to spiritual and shamanic concepts and from original ideas and theories of Matt Ball

Dissociachotic: an alternative to pathologising human distress

Although initially conceptualised as an alternative way to understand extreme states often referred to as 'psychosis', Dissociachotic framework can be valuable to explain any perceived threat response as an alterative to the diagnostic and pathologising narratives in mental health systems 

Dissociachotic keynote talks

Matt Ball presents Dissociachotic ideas in Australia and internationally keynote presentations


Dissociachotic ideas have for part of a wider narrative understanding of human distress. Dissociachotic is featured in a number of publications 


Making contact with the human experience

Dissociachotic theory is an explanatory framework for the emergence and evaporation of altered states of experience.

Dissociachotic can be understood as the experience of animation and giving life to being at variance of companionship to self, in order for the survival of self in relationship to interpersonal threat from another. Dissociachotic provides a framework to respond to any state of distress.


The person experiencing a dissociachotic reality can be understood to be unconsciously putting the state of distress between themselves and the other as a process of developing and maintaining relationship in the safest way possible.


'In this process a co-existing shared experience can evolve: both people having different experiences of the same moment provides a bridge to connection.' (Ball & Picot)

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Dissociachotic videos

Dissociachotic: Seeing the non psychosis we share (ReAwaken Australia April 2019)

Dissociachotic Webinar (Victorian Transcultural MH series Aug 2020)

Dissociachotic: Seeing the non psychosis we share (ReAwken Australia April 2019) - Brief version

Psychotic or Dissociachotic: problems, alternatives, solutions (WAAMH conf Keynote Nov 2020) 

Reflections on Madness, Compassion and Love within the human to human relationship (TheMS keynote presentation, 2018)

Psychotic or Dissociachotic: Weaving together the threads personal and professional meaning (Te Au Maramatanga Conf  keynote, Nov 2019).

‘The interconnectedness that occurs through the process of growth within a loving, non-goal orientated relationship, leads to a negation of the need for an altered state to exist, to defend the threat of nihilation’ (Ball & Picot)
Keynote presentations featuring Dissociachotic - Nationally and internationally  
Publications featuring Dissociachotic 


Ball, M., & Picot, S. (2021). Dissociachotic: Seeing the non-psychosis that we share. Journal of Humanistic Psychology.

Ball, M.,  & Ritchie, R. Suicide Narratives. Retrieved December 7 2020 at:  https://www.humaneclinic.com.au/suicide-narratives

Raeburn. T., & Ball, M. Psychosis and schizophrenia In Foster, K., O’Brien, A., Marks, P., Raeburn, T., (2021). Mental Health in Nursing, fifth ed. Elsevier, Sydney.

Palmer, C., & Ball, M. (2018). ‘A biomedical view dismisses the human experience of trauma’. A Poster presented at the annual conference of The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses in Cairns, 24-26 October 2018. Conference Theme: Mental Health is a Human Right. Awarded Best Poster.

2021 -  ACNP National Conference - Keynote Matt Ball 

2020 - eMHIC Congree 2002.  6th Annual eMHIC International Congress - International Keynote Matt Ball

2020 - "A Disorder for Everyone!" - Challenging the culture of psychiatric diagnosis and exploring trauma informed alternatives in association with The Women's Centre Cornwall. Keynote Matt Ball 

2019 ReAwaken Australia Keynote

2019 WAAMH conference Keynote: Matt Ball 

2019 - LISTEN UP LISTEN LOUDER! - VMIAC Consumer Conference Keynote Matt Ball ​

2019 -The 6th International Conference of Te Ao Maramatanga - New Zealand College of Mental Health Nurses Inc. International keynote: Matt Ball

2019  ANMF (Vic Branch)/NMPHV Wellness Conference - Keynote: Matt Ball 

2019 Presentation at The Centre of Democracy, Adelaide - Matt Ball 

2018 THEMHS Conference Keynote Matt Ball