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The Art is an Anchor: Grounding Directives in Trauma Treatment

As a therapist I spend a lot of time finding and then utilizing safe places for my clients to rest in and catch their breath during trauma work. When we are approaching and then entering the memories, feelings, and sensations associated with trauma, it can quickly feel overwhelming if not outright terrifying. The experience of reliving the trauma to any degree can take us over for an unknown period of time, leaving us flooded and unable to function normally. This is why teaching and practicing grounding tools, also called self-regulation skills, is such an essential part of trauma resolution work.

The best grounding tools are body-centered in some way, because it is most often the body's response to recalling trauma that is so painful and overwhelming. Breath awareness, mindfulness of body sensations, and focusing one's attention on neutral zones in the body or the environment are essential grounding exercises. This post will be focusing on bringing art into grounding exercis…

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