The English poet William Butler Yeats’ famous lines offer a perfect description of dissociation. While the ‘A’ in the logo stands for ‘attachment’, ‘TS’ for ‘traumatic stress’ and ‘Di’ for dissociation’, the ‘i’ in ‘ADiTS’ stands for more; it also can be seen as representing ‘identity’, the ‘individual’. The swirling orange lines forming the dot of the ‘i’ may represent emotional turmoil, confusion – traumatic stress, if you will. These overlapping circles can also be seen as parts of the self without – as in Yeat’s poem – any solid centre.
The figure on the left has a solid blue circle in the midst of orange ellipses. This makes it look a bit like an atom – a nucleus surrounded by whirling electrons. While appearing solid, the nucleus consists of separate neutrons and protons, which require each other to exist. It is not stable and cannot exist for long without the electrons circling around it. Likewise, a self, consisting of components which sometimes ‘fall apart’, can also not exist without the relationships that form and sustain it.
Finally, the blue circle within gives a feeling of solidity, safety – an ability to remain centered in the midst of turmoil or losses. Such a capacity results from secure attachment relationships and is also the goal of therapeutic approaches to trauma and loss.