Two Simple Techniques That Can Help Trauma Patients Feel Safe

One of trauma’s most insidious effects is how radically and completely it can take away someone’s sense of safety.

That’s why it’s crucial to create a safe space when working with patients who have experienced trauma.

But that’s only part of the equation.

According to Peter Levine, PhD, there’s a very important follow-up step – it’s about resourcing patients with techniques they can use to help themselves feel safe – even when you aren’t there.

Peter shows us one way to do it in this short video. Check it out – it’s about 6 1/2 minutes.

What techniques have you found effective in helping patients feel safe? Please share your comments below.

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184 Comments

  1. Jean says:

    I use EFT. Tapping. When I am really stressed I hold the tapping points and breathe. It helps. I also like what Peter showed us too.

  2. Tracie says:

    As adoptive mother of a boy who was severely abused until age 3 months, we have always squeezed his arms and legs to help him calm down. It’s nice to have that approach validated, as it has always worked for him. He even asks for it. He needs lots more help, and any advice is always welcome!

  3. Tanya says:

    Thank you very much, Ruth. I am not a therapyst, but I went through a severe trauma in my childhood. Over 20 years of dealing with the aftermath of it, I tried many different techniques. Most of them did not help at all, but there were few that helped a lot. One of the techniques is holotropic breathwork created by Dr.Stanislav Grof. It literally brought me back to life!

  4. Melissa Sepe Chepuru says:

    So helpful. Simple and yet deeply useful as well as intuitive. Love Peter Levine.

  5. Yes, being able to find and feel the sense of safety in the body is so important. I also find that pushing against something gently, like pushing the two hands into the wall two feet into the floor, even pushing the two hands against each other, can support a sense of body boundaries and container, enhancing presence.

  6. Chintana Luke says:

    I would like to know if there is a psychologist that work with post traumatic disorder in Southern California
    Thank you

  7. LaRae says:

    I am grateful for this information. I use eye contact and scent to help with dissociation. I also use acupressure points and the NADA Protocol for ear acupuncture which I am trained in to help traumatized people in session.

  8. Dagmar says:

    Thankyou again Ruth and Peter for providing me with a reminder of how to help traumatised clients develop ways of containing their own emotional reactivity and strengthening their own resolve and independance outside the therapists room.

  9. StellaMorgana says:

    I keep a dish of stones in my office that clients can choose one to hold while they talk with me. I also have a bowl of stress toys they can squeeze.

  10. Irene Marie Erckert says:

    Thank you so much for these tools. My only caution would be that with my clients who also have eating disorders touching the belly with a hand would be triggering for them. I love the first technique and just body as container is helpful

  11. Michal Osier, MA, LPC says:

    Most of my work has been based in Trauma-Focused CBT (Cohen and Mannarino), which has proven highly effective in working with trauma that occurred after age 5 or so, when the client has attained verbal fluency. Pre-verbal trauma, however, is by definition unreachable through language and therefore unavailable for integration. I’ve been researching body-based interventions for pre-verbal trauma. I will add these to my repertoire, thank you.

  12. Ambika says:

    I have found it effective when I ask them to be aware and connect to their sensations without actually labeling them. Focusing on the breath and being aware of the thoughts gives rise to the suppressed emotions. The therapist needs to be adept in handing the situation. EFT of course is also very supportive. Being aware of he ‘container’ I must use it. Thank you and I am grateful for the learning.

  13. hazel Rose Coleman says:

    Thank You.

    Sometimes it’s the simplest things that we forget to use, demonstrate or teach that are the most effective. Our bodies contain all that we are; our thoughts, emmotions, memories, all that we have experienced since conseption. Why do so many therapist not include the whole person in their work?

    Hazel

  14. Learning about their personal power and their mind body relationship is enormously helpful. People who feel traumatized feel helpless, and powerless; demonstrating the ind body relationship with biofeedback often helps people realize the power of their thoughts. Without those instruments available in the therapy room, hypnosis can prove to the client the power of their minds to calm their body and tap into the resources for relaxation, comfort and healing. In my Mind Mastery Course i teach how to gain conscious control of the mind body relationship and how to employ that control wisely.; they learn a one breath technique to take command of their emotions and body. Also self hypnosis is an incredibly powerful self help to that I teach all of my clients. I make it simple and quickly applicable.

  15. Anneka Skirrow says:

    Anneka Skirrow says:

    Have just tried these exercises with two boys, one felt comfortable and the other struggled with the holding/hugging experience but was ok with the hand on forehead and chest. This was interesting for me to observe as the second boy is one who struggles with contact and so would need a “looser” type containment I am guessing. Have you ever observed something like this?
    Thank you for these tips I can see that they would fit with a number of my clients.

  16. Anneka Skirrow says:

    Have just tried these exercises with two boys, one felt comfortable and the other struggled with the holding/hugging experience but was ok with the hand on forehead and chest. This was interesting for me to observe as the second boy is one who struggles with contact and so would need a “looser” type containment I am guessing. Have you ever observed something like this?

    Thank you for these tips I can see that they would fit with a number of my clients.

  17. Sandi says:

    Awesome,,, will,remember these … Felt good using them right now,,, my trauma was 8 years ago when I had major surgery in another province and our home with my home based business hair salon burned down,,, I was a basket case,,, most people didn’t get how messed up I really was,,, these tech would have been awesome! I will use it on my hairdressing clients who have issues! Thank you I really can feel the need to be safe when everything is taken away your brain is just trying to maintain a tiny bit of normal…. And when it can’t it just short circuits and the dr give you meds to sleep that turned out to be tranquilizer ,,yikes… My hubby is gone my adult child will not speak I am at an all time loss,,,, God is my main strength amen

  18. Terry says:

    Thanks, this is so important, especially to set this up before leaving the therapist’s office.
    Thank you.

  19. I love these tangable, DOable, simple calming techniques; I will share them with clients starting today.

  20. Z'eva Singer says:

    thank you so much

    I am waiting for a mother of a 3 yr old to come into my office for the first time. The child reportedly had a birth defect in her kidneys and has had infections since birth. She is old enough for a surgery to rectify the situation, said the mother on the phone yesterday. Mom reports that her daughter is very anxious and has asked me to see her child. The soothing holding described (and shown by Peter Levine) will, I’m sure, be a very loving and useful way for mom to calm her own anxieties and to model for her child. The tapping is best utilized, I’ve found along with a song and can be a fun way to allow the energy to flow for a young child.

  21. cynthia suarez says:

    I have a client struggling with trau.a and eating disorders. Ive had her map out some of her feelings when she is feeling anxious, and she’s identified many areas that were discussed in the video. I’m hoping to use these techniques to help her gain some control between sessions. Thanks!

  22. Sandra says:

    I am all about giving information and tools. We all need ways to care for ourselves… especially when we experience trauma. Thank you so much for these simple techniques. I can see they would be effective and easy to remember. Very helpful.

  23. Mariette Maclurcan says:

    I find these quick easy body practices so useful. It’s a matter I think of giving a few different ones over time, so they can choose the one that most suits them or swap them as suited. This also gives a sense of agency.

    Another good practice is: crossing arms over so that the hands are on the opposite upper arm and then patting oneself with the hands.
    I Look forward to hearing other tools people use

  24. Mary says:

    A technique I often teach clients is to place one hand flat on the upper chest, the other on the belly. As them to breathe normally and observe which hand is moving most. If it is the chest hand, have them experiment and find a way to breathe with the belly (diaphragm) doing the work. Some have to work hard to do this. Teach them that they cannot hyperventilate if breathe with the diaphragm, it simply cannot move that fast. Preventing gasping and hyperventilation can help prevent panic attacks if started soon enough.
    Have the client practice breathing with hands in place once or twice a day. Many find if very soothing and an aide to sleep.

  25. Sandra says:

    Thank you, very useful techniques.

  26. Dr. W Bethea says:

    I appreciate the techniques used in Peter’s video
    I will use them with my clients immediately as well as with myself
    Thank you again

  27. Hi Ruth, I love Peter Levine and the simple way he demonstrates simple but profound ways of working with the body. I have worked with the body and the chakra system for twenty-five years and one of the things that I found very helpful to ground the body is to massage and squeeze the feet and push into them and into the ground. And then tap, and massage the legs, and rub them down as if you were soothing a frightened horse.

    Another way to ground is to hunker down on the earth and put the palms of your hands flat on the earth or the floor and breathe rocking gently from side to side.

    Another thing that brought me right back into my body was when the other facilitator I was working with got a group to work with dough, shaping it, tossing it in flour, moulding it, etc. Like children making patty cakes. It grounded me instantly and I felt safe and secure because my grandmother used to bake like that and I would play with the mixture. But any work with clay, clay and water, paint, etc. can be good as the material is outside the body when being in the body can sometimes feel overwhelming, focusing on clay, touching and shaping it can help the body to ground through the senses.

    Thank you for all the work you do.

  28. Valerie Heath says:

    Ruth,
    I would just like to thank you and your colleagues one more time for all your expertise. I have learned much and it has been reinforced in many ways that allow me to help myself live with my childhood PTSD. Thanks to Peter. I have his books.

  29. Nancy saslow says:

    I am a therapist, yoga and mindfulness teacher and acupressurist so I teach clients to focus on slow belly breathing with emphasis on lengthening the exhale to calm the nervous system. I show them Acupressure points similar to yours to calm the energy body, and gentle chair yoga or floor yoga poses for calming such as forward bends like child’s pose or seated forward bends or gentle twists all which calm the body and mind. I also love Faster EFT to quickly calm anxiety triggers and Jin Shin Jyutsu which is gentle acupressure and teaches holding each finger to calm each emotion associated with the energy pathway of each one. I have clients with panic disorders who find that just holding their index finger associated with fear in Chinese medicine helps them relax quickly! There are so many ways to help clients with calming their bodies and emotions! Thank you for all your work in this arena!

  30. Barbara Caspy says:

    Thank you Peter and Ruth! I’m going to introduce the techniques Peter demonstrated with my trauma clients. So far I’ve used grounding and breathing techniques, and looking around the room they’re in to take a reality inventory of where they are, so that they reassure themselves that they aren’t actually back in the traumatized situation.

  31. I am a reiki practitioner and work with a lot of ptsd and hospice issues. I am excited to share these techniques with my clients – thank you. I love the concept of reestablishing and remembering that the “container” has boundaries (even if they have been breached).

  32. Joanne Nemecek, LMSW says:

    I like this presentation – it is new information to me. I will try it with some with high anxiety. I have tried tapping with my clients – some felt it was helpful.

  33. Kath says:

    Thank you for sharing these techniques.
    I am a counsellor in a high school and I will be working with some of the children who were at the Manchester concert where there was a terrorist incident. I was worried what I could teach them to support themselves over the summer holiday period which is fast approaching and these techniques will be vital resource.

  34. MGG says:

    I like to use a breathing technique where you take one open hand and then take pointer finger of other hand and slowly trace open hand and breath in as you go up then out as you go down each finger .Also placing hands over heart and repeating ( 3 times each with deep breaths before beginning)I am calm,I am loved,I love myself,I am safe, breathing in between each group.I use these with preschoolers.

  35. F Toyota says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I recommend inviting Dr Richard Miller who wrote “iRest for healing PTSD” book. He shares so much wonderful and easy to follow tools there. Especially Inner Resource to feel Safe, Secure, and Wellbeing.

  36. Petria says:

    Would these work for children also after escalation caused by a fight flight response we often help children to reconnect and repair through a hand massage or feeding. It would be great to know of some simple techniques, for when they are already in fight or flight.

  37. Karen Cobb says:

    What if my patient is so traumatized that she is fearful of leaving her home?
    Can I use these techniques over the phone?

  38. As a 16-year Reiki practitioner, I very much appreciate the suggested hand positions. I had not previously thought of the left armpit variation but it makes a lot of sense.

    Touch is so important in restoring a sense of wellbeing. In my own healing, progress was glacial until I learned the Reiki protocol. Safe space is the first requirement of any effective healing.

    Thank you.

  39. Victoria says:

    Wonderful combination of simple self care techniques with descriptions of why they are helpful ie “for traumatised people there is a hole in their boundary … these body oriented techniques help the body to remember that it is the container”. Lovely. I will be sharing this today.

  40. Katharina Beraldo says:

    Excellent! Thanks for sharing!

  41. Cheryl Boucher says:

    Thank you for the video and tools to offer traumatized clients. I use a tapping technique with little kids called the butterfly hug. They cross their arms in front of them (palms facing inward to form the butterfly and then give themselves a hug. I invite kids to try both a gentle and firm hug to see what their body likes. While still in the butterfly hug position, they tap each arm with their hand one at a time while quietly repeating I’m safe – I’m calm. I find little kids develop a natural rhythm or cadence while chanting and their body’s rhythmically move with the cadence. I have seen kids in my office become relaxed in their body, face, and voice. The kid then teaches the care-giver the butterfly hug, which facilitates co-regulation.

  42. Good simple practices that I will use this week:)
    Practical, easy and repeatable techniques that give clients a sense of boundaries, containment and comfort are all good ones to try!

  43. Miram Futterman says:

    B”H

    this was wonderful. Along with SE I also work with Jin Shin Jyutsu and there are alot of self help tools to give over to clients. the breath, holding fingers… holding under both arm pits to calm the CNS

    thank you

  44. Welmoet says:

    Thanks so much for this video – useful and insightful. The fact that it creates awareness of the body, the boundaries of which which can help restore & contain the effects of trauma and/or even just our run-a-way thoughts… this is super!

  45. Sarah Gregory says:

    Thank you, that is very useful, very comforting and soothing I’ve found helping clients become really aware of their bodies very helpful, and staying fully present.

  46. Rachel Forsyth says:

    So grateful for this information
    Very helpful.
    Very simple.
    Very useful.

  47. Theresa says:

    Nice ideas, thank you! I teach some of my very anxious clients tapping techniques to help them self-soothe. What seems to be most effective is tapping right left, right left with middle three fingers on the pressure points on each side of the upper chest, about an inch below the collar bone. Or tapping the same way on their thighs. I also use a ‘container’ guided meditation that guides them to put their fears, concerns in a container to be accessed ‘as needed’. I will try your new ones. Thanks.

  48. Jude Christensen, BA, LMT, Expert J.F. Barnes Myofascial Release Therapist, Reiki II, acupressure says:

    To take three conscious breaths:
    Focusing on the breath, allow your belly to soften as you fill first your belly, then expanding your rib age, and your chest. Breath in for a count of seven, hold for three, then release anything that is ready to let go for a count of eight.

  49. Gary Whited says:

    When triggered, I often ask the parts of my system that activate in reaction to the trigger to sit beside me, if they can and want to, to walk next to me, to be as near as they can and want to be in order to have a direct experience that I am here, right here, and right now. This often brings a sense of space opening or a sense of calm settling into me, and then I am on my way to more balance and deeper listening to myself and parts of me, as well as to whatever and whoever is around me.

  50. Joyce says:

    Thank you!

  51. Allison Benton-Jones says:

    I love these two techniques. I am grateful for the video demonstration, can’t wait to share with adult, teen and Kid clients!

  52. Brenda says:

    Thank you! I really appreciate these helpful hints that can be used with clients. I also practice what I teach my clients and can see that these will be helpful!

  53. Valerie Feeeley says:

    I also like 3- second self-calming tools – great beginning self sooth skills for traumatized people. ( also grounding)here are examples:
    • Three Deep Breaths – Close your eyes and take a deep breath, filling the bottom of your lungs for at least three seconds, then slowly exhale. Repeat twice.

    • Pectoral Door Stretch – Place your elbow and forearm on the edge of an open door frame, making sure elbow is placed just shy of shoulder height. Stretch chest forward. Hold for three-five seconds and repeat twice with both arms.

    • Posture Break – Sit up tall, focus on your shoulder blades and move them back towards your spine and each other, then push them down for five seconds, relax and repeat twice.

    • Wall Angel Exercise – Sit on the floor against a wall. Lean your back flat against the wall, put your arms straight down by your side, then raise the arms up brushing against the wall and up making a ‘T’. You may lift your arms further up as long as you can maintain a flat back against the wall.

    • Muscle Tension Release – Lightly roll a tennis ball where you feel tightness in your muscles for five seconds (don’t roll on bone or tendon). This works well to release tension in the shoulders. You can use a wall to expand your reach.

    • Release Tension Headaches – Focus on the jaw to release tension headaches. Unclench teen, allow the jaw to relax. Small ice pack along the jaw can help reduce pain as well.

    • Take a Little Walk – Get off your chair and take a quick deliberate walk. This will help increase circulation and get your body moving during the day.

    • Music/Dance Break – Play 30 seconds of music and move or dance. Try to just let go completely if you have a private space in which to do so. This will put you in a great mood!

    • Hand Massage – Use the thumb of one hand and press around the palm of the other. Then expand attention to the whole hand. You can do this in any venue. Add lavender-scented lotion for extra relaxation!

    • Valerie Heath says:

      Thanks for sharing. I get a lot of this from JinShinDo. Very helpful here.

  54. Valerie Feeeley says:

    love it – and agree completely.

  55. Kimberly says:

    Thank you for this information. I plan on using it with the prison population with whom I work. I teach Trauma-Informed, Mindfulness-Based Yoga Therapy.

  56. Alex Jones says:

    As always, so simple, but yet, very effective. Much needed tools to assist clients immediately in feeling sense of safety.
    Awesome.

  57. This is a part of the daily practice of self care for Reiki practitioners and meditators. There are many possible positions but I found two are especially helpful.

    For people who have whirling thoughts placing your hands very lightly around the ankles or feet helps the mind to settle down.

    Another way to create calm is to place one hand on the forehead and the other under the back of the head (occipital lobe).

    Self care only begins with a position or technique. The next step is to notice where one feels the need for touch and to place the hands very lightly.

  58. Sarah C says:

    Thank you and everyone else for their comments and reminders of helpful, useful techniques to create safety.

  59. Yes! Actually forwarding this email to reinforce what has been taught in therapy sessions. Sometimes I think my patients think I am woo woo making these body connections up. It’s nice to have experts affirming that trauma focused treatment is a little different from talk therapy. Thanks again for these snipets!

  60. L Elliott says:

    I’m a working actor and auditions and acting jobs can cause my mild anxiety to become high, subconsciously perceiving these situations as extremely or “unsafe.” I know in my mind that I’m perfectly safe, but my body often experiences some pretty serious stress reactions. I’ve been fairly successful in calming myself with breathing exercises in the past, but these touch exercises are immediately effective for me–literally within seconds. This will be very helpful in the coming weeks as I finish filming a feature length movie that addresses child abuse. Thank you for sharing this.

  61. Barb Petsel says:

    Thank you-Very helpful- I love tools and strategies my clients can use independently! I will use these with my clients who have been traumatized by grief relating to a home invasion, murder, or suicide. I also have found “butterfly tapping” to be helpful (crossing arms so left hand is on rt. upper arm and right hand is on left upper arm, and then patting alternatively) seems to be helpful. Also the usual things such as imagery of a “safe, comfortable place- smells, tactile, sight, auditory senses used. I appreciate this information!!!

  62. Amanda says:

    Love the reminder about the container and identifying the boundaries for clients. They are both helpful techniques.

  63. Katie Garnett says:

    I have used a couple of techniques that clients have expressed feeling soothed by. One is called Earth, Wind, Water, Fire. Earth is “where am I – sitting in chair, etc,” Wind is taking a belly breath and feeling your shoulders relax as you breathe out x 2, Water is finding the saliva in your mouth and swishing it around, and Fire is imagining yourself in a ring of fire, totally safe from all. I have substituted boulders/mountains etc for folks who have been traumatized by fire.
    The other is the healing light visualization. Thank you so much for these two suggestions and the connection to containment and boundaries. I think it’s so empowering for clients when they can learn to self-soothe and be present.

  64. Thanks. I paricularly liked the hand under the armpit technique. Very soothing. I used simple deep breathing technique of 7-11. Breathe in to count of 7 and out to count of 11.

  65. Nancy says:

    Thank-you. I will try these with my son. Regards

  66. Gayathri says:

    tha k you very much for sharing this video.

  67. Georg Gombos says:

    Very helpful, thank you!

  68. Sally bowcock says:

    Thank you? That’s really helpful. I use the tapping gently all,over sometimes at the end of a traumatic session, especially with children, to bring them back into the here and now and into their bodies. It’s helpful,to,think of if as affirming and recognizing their own boundaries and containment too. Thank you. I will try all of these when it feels appropriate.

  69. Dharma Paul says:

    Thank you. This film and related comments were helpful. I found one person’s distinguishing between a body-self & a soul-self interesting. There is something in all the remarks about tailoring to the particular client’s needs &, in tandem one would hope, that client’s more fluently tuning into those needs.

  70. Deborah says:

    We take pts to our yoga studio

  71. Caro says:

    Thank you, I will try these techniques out with my clients. Breathing, grounding and naming are the most frequent methods I use. Also some whole body focusing yoga techniques.

  72. Sue says:

    I work mostly with Children with a variety of Specific Learning Difficulty, whose trauma is rarely physical mostly as a result of bullying and self criticism resulting from a comparative sense of failure. Interesting I have not used these techniques but will try them. I regularly use listening to low frequency music such as Native American, Buddist chantis, Gregorian chants and The Listening Programme Sensory Integration CD

  73. Donna says:

    I completed the Sensorimotor training here in Belfast. I watch and develop my use of the techniques before I teach them to clients. I work with clients who have been traumatised during the conflict in N. Ireland, the ‘troubles’. These are invaluable with these clients. Thank you

  74. Elizabeth says:

    These practical and comforting techniques are very much appreciated and I will begin using them immediately….would love to have a toolbox brimming with these kinds of approaches!! Thank you so much Ruth and Peter!

  75. Tobias Schreiber says:

    Thanks for always sharing brief and effective methods of grounding. Somatic techniques reminds us of our center, it brings us present and interrupts the narrative. The narrative takes us away from who we are into the created story of who we are. Dr Levine is very wise.

  76. I liked the down to earth examples that may be less challenging to some clients where, say, trust is an issue. For my part, I ask clients to rehearse so that the uncomfortable experiences are articulated – a form of limited graded exposure. This assumes our work will not be re-traumatising and so pre-therapy contracting work is important here.

    Through this process, a client may connect an experience and begin to label the associated feeling and/or locate it in a place within the body. Through imaginal work, as well as body work, a client may then find the experience can be contained in ways they discover for themselves and often in ways not expected. This way of working is directly related to the thesis – The Feeling of What Happens as articulated by Damasio.

    This can be helpful for clients not practised in bodywork exercises – needing to approach the experiences a little indirectly.

  77. I work with traumatised clients and use Somatic Experiencing. These are very useful, and such simple yet effective tools. When people go into the trauma vortex they literally lose their sense of self and safety, frequently for even the smallest threats, real and perceived. Warm thanks to Ruth and Peter for spreading this knowledge!

  78. gabriela says:

    I totally believe and think these exercises are helpful since beside the aspect of the “boundaries” the patient is entering a conscientious relation with his body and is becoming aware, also in cases of traumatized clients they are so very often not present entirely, especially within their own body so these exercises help them literally get in touch with their body and also lean self soothing which is very very important for them! thank you so very much for everything you are doing! i think you are doing such a great work by giving us the possibility to watch so many interesting personalities and learn new things! Gabriela, Greece

  79. Jjane Joyce says:

    Thank you for those tips, especially the first two, I will try them out with some of my clients. Another tip I often suggest is , after my client has had a shower, especially in the morning, before work etc , that they consciously feel their bare feet on the floor and contact every part of their body with their towel while drying themselves, to help create a real felt sense of their personal boundary. I got this tip after a Sensotimotor Psychotherapy training with Dan Thomas, an excellent weekend on working on boundaries….

    • Marianne, psychotherapist and trauma therapist says:

      great tip the idea with the towel, thanks will add to my tool box! :-)

  80. Marife O haodha says:

    Hi Ruth and Peter,
    That was a very helpful 6 1/2 minute video! I am going to share those techniques with my clients. I find the techniques on containing (placing right hand under the arm near the heart and the left hand on the right shoulder) easy enough to impart to my clients. I would imagine them being able to use it even then they are standing in a queue at an atm or in a shop! Thank you so much!

  81. Heiko says:

    very useful, simple, good. thanks

  82. Marianne Seabrook says:

    These are very simple helpful techniques. Thank you.

  83. Brilliant! Thank you for sharing!

  84. Lily says:

    These are very familiar as I have trained as a somatic psychotherapist. I was interested to know if Peter has had some influence with Gerda Boyeson who worked with the body as a container. These techniques are very similar. Fantastic that the body is now so much more included in the work. I have also trained in a psycho-dynamic model and have worked in a long term model with trauma. Grounding in the relationship and grounding in the body are 2 very important tools in the work.

  85. Arch Tibben says:

    Thanks Peter, will try these techniques.

  86. Thanks for sharing these body safety techniques. Much appreciated.

  87. Rebecca Goodrich says:

    Thank you for this! I’m a therapy patient, and been very upset about the London Bridge attacks today, and these techniques helped. The explanation, about having a hole in my boundary/body, was illuminating.

  88. Elisa Lobo Neese says:

    I love to learn and watch these tips Ruth. Thanks so much to you and your collaborators for sharing your knowledge and experience with all!

  89. Very interesting! You literally checking the integrity and cohesion of the boundary.

  90. When a person, client or myself, feels a physical-emotional pain in the chest and belly, it is soothing to hold a pillow tight against the whole front of the body, hugging and being hugged at the same time. Of course, another human being to embrace heart to heart, and not in a hurry, is wonderful too, but for many people, rare.

  91. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for the body techniques. Therapist directed, I have used tapping on myself which feels very loving and comforting. I have also found myself naturally squeezing my shoulders and arms which produces a calming effect but I didn’t know that was a technique! I sort of stumbled on to it. I am definitely going to incorporate all these suggestions into my work with myself and patients. Thank you so much Peter and Ruth for this opportunity to learn from you both. Ruth, I really like these extra lessons brought to our attention by your emails to us. Thank you again.

  92. Maggi MacGregor says:

    I did the exercise. what was different was the position of the left hand. it made a difference if it was positioned on my bicep or my shoulder. the shoulder was much more comforting.

  93. Norma Silver says:

    This helped so much. Thanks. One of my techniques as a patient is recording my therapy sessions (with the therapist’s permission) and just knowing I can replay the session help me to get reentered at home.

  94. Kim Kuehner, Ph.D., LP says:

    Thank you for even more skills to teach our clients. I also use grounding through present moment five senses a lot. I also have clients put both feet on ground and visualize Earth holding them safely. Sometimes simply teaching a client to look around in all directions and see if there is any danger at the moment.

    just a few…
    k

  95. Jeanette says:

    I have shared similar ideas with my patients but this is very helpful to get the variety of ways to lay hands on.
    I also appreciate the “wait until you feel the shift” which to me is perhaps the most important teaching of how to tune into your own body. Thank you so much for sharing this – will start implementing asap.

  96. Karen Mees says:

    I find the hand over heart very helpful for many clients, resource I learned at an EMDR training. Thank you for the input on body and boundaries. This gives me a new direction to resource some clients! Great video.

  97. Chiara says:

    Very nice technique, it felt really good

  98. Maja says:

    I really recommend The Roll Model work by Jill Miller:

    http://www.therollmodel.com/

    There is a section in her book about people using the method to work with their own bodies after suffering trauma.

  99. yehudit dakosta says:

    Thank you so much for the excellant techniques, they really help restore a feeling of safety.
    I wounder what would you use to help wash or eliminate pictures of trauma that keep coming back and revive the past fear.
    I use the tapping and washing techniques.

  100. Genevieve Braem says:

    left domestic violence in november 2015 after an anxiety crisis in march 2015 followed by a double pulmonary embolism in may 2015 where the ex-husband left me alone at emergency and left the family to go (after 5 years of not working, me as the breadwinner of the family) working at 3,000kms from here. I was diagnose on 5/6/15 with major depression and finally I got a huge breakdown at the office on 17/6 (our 20th wedding anniversary :( ! and was sent by my doctor to hospital at severe depression with suicidal ideation. I had lost 13kgs in one month, could sleep 90 min per night. He refused to come back and left the kids 6 weeks alone when he put me in respite house for 2 weeks and 1 month in psy ward. Nothing changed, I hadn’t yet digged enough in myself. Finally I realised who I was in november 2015. I’m the daughter of a mum who committed suicide when I was 3 years of age. Dad has never spoken about her and I found that he’s the reason of her ordeal, I found that I was abused by my own brother when I was 14. I threw litterally up when I realised that. But nothing changed till the moment we got again a fight in front of the kids and I realised how selfish he was in his sentence. I realised in a flash how much I had been controlled and abused by him : he used my inheritance before the mariage, took us from Belgium to Australia, over budgeted a renovation, stopped working pretending he was able to finish by himself, lied to me about payment of school fees etc and etc.
    When I found out everything (and later more when I realised that our arrival in Australia was a pure escape from the Belgian fiscal administration)

    Yes it took me a lot of courage to get out since he became not only emotional, economical, socially (isolation) but physically abusive at the end. Police was involved several times and he turned my two kids (18 and 15) against me (my daughter taking me by the throat when refused internet telling me “mum you would be better to commit the same as your mum so that we will get rid of you, my son bashing the front door while I put its stuff out while abusing me and removed by the police to avoid that his next tantrum will finish on my face.
    Only now after 18 months the kids have realised the dynamics.

    Finally with naturopathy (I found that yellow and orange are my colours) and lots of courage. At the beginnig of the depression one day I wasn’t able to move in the middle of the city, unable to put one foot in front of another one. In the city here the trams are yellow. By focusing on the color of the tram I was able to move to the tram station and coming back home.

    I really like the concept of “all feelings contained in the body”. I used this concept when sent for the 5th time at hospital at risk of suicide. The mental nurse send me on the big lawn outside and asked me to come back after 1/2h telling him about what I had seen, felt, heard, smelt. The return to basic feelings, enjoying the fresh cutted lawn, listening to the birds, enjoying been touched by the wind etc.., all the feelings have helped to enjoy again life.

    Be sure that I’m completely fine now. Lost my job in the ordeal/turmoil but started new studies and got my certificate last month and starting a new job next week

    • Jennifer says:

      Phew!!! You have been through so much! I am glad you are still with us to share your enormous struggle
      thru Hell into the light. Congrats on getting the new job too. You are an inspiration.

    • a story of courage and strength and sense making chages. Thanks for charing. Annette

  101. Karen Booth says:

    I use ice blocks in the hands and recently at a trauma retreat in the southern highlands in NSW a client started to disregulate so asked for some ice. I was handed a bag of frozen corn which worked perfectly well.
    Also getting the client to draw an infinity sign in the air in front of their face can help to integrate left and right hemispheres and calms them down.
    Thanks for these tips they are great.
    The more tools in the tool box the better.

    • V. KALI says:

      I FORGOT ABOUT THIS ONE…THANKS!!!

  102. Susan Gorman says:

    These are excellent techniques using touch to calm the nervous system and add to the personal tool box to help clients settle ourside the therapist’s office. Teaching clients tools that they can rely on to help themselves is empowering and comforting in building post trauma growth. Thank you, Dr. Levine!

  103. Larry Levin says:

    Its always helpful to learn more tips on how to help traumatized patients, amd giving them tools they can use on their own is wonderful. Planting little seeds of hope can be empowering.

  104. Peter was one of the very first people to deal with trauma in a truly healing way. It took years for the field of psychotherapy to catch up…as it is in the process of doing. So first Kudos to Peter. The techniques demonstrated here are valuable for anyone in a community setting. I collect and share/teach trauma healing techniques with community members and ask them to pass them on to family and neighbors when appropriate. My hope is that techniques like these will be naturally available To families.

    I invite psychotherapists to submit techniques to our website. We make techniques available to people internationally.

    One of my favorite techniques for children is blowing bubbles. The inhale us fast and the bubble blowing extends the exhale. The short inhalation and extended exhalation if done regularly will strengthen the parasympathetic nervous system where production of calming hormones is stimulated. For more please see and perhaps contribute: http://www.womenwarandwhat.org

  105. David Pinto says:

    Many energy practitioners will recognize the head/heart/belly holds as a chakra balance. To bring a traumatized or dissociated person even deeper into their bodies, you could add a fourth hand position–to the lower abdomen. This will bring in the first and second chakras and amplify the sense of a deeper grounding, and hence, safety. Try it and see.

  106. Cormac M. Nagle says:

    I have used similar techniques because I believe that awareness of the body, the external physical body’s ability to calm the spirit/psyche leads to relaxation, drawing us away from overconcentration on fearful thought processes.

  107. Vanessa McDarmont says:

    As a both patient and a clinician, I have found framing to be important in dealing with recovery. An example:

    I experienced horrific nightmares, but viewed them as data processing after my dissociated self reconnected to itself; huge amounts of data were put into my in tray, but my processing self had taken some leave, so when my processing self returned, there was an intense period of data processing from that over filled in tray.

    I share this view with patients. That the nightmare stage is reconnecting, that the nightmare content is data processing, that once the data is processed the nightmares become less intense/vivid/disturbing/frequent. I find in my patients that with this view, retraumatisation from nightmares seems less; they’re not stuck fearing the nightmares. In some patients, the nightmares become a positive event “ah! I must be getting better, I am reconnecting”.

    I am not sure how this framing works. It might be that, as a patient, I witnessed the process? It might be the power of suggestion? It might be a message of hope at a time of despair? It might be an instrument to help patients disengage from the cycle of retraumatisation?

    I’d like to know, if anyone can say, how this view works (I’m a general practitioner, not a psycotherapist).

    • Jjane Joyce says:

      I love your take on this very difficult and often very disruptive after effect of trauma. I usually suggest that it’s the psyche trying to make sense of what happened, but I think I’ll try your re framing idea now as well… thank you!

    • Jennifer says:

      This is a wonderful reframing idea. I was thinking, the term “data processing” would be especially helpful for the younger generation that grew up with computers. They get the concept. Thank you for sharing. I am going to try this reframing when the opportunity presents itself with a patient.

  108. Trish Johnson says:

    Thank you Peter and Ruth for sharing this. Will certainly use it with clients to establish their own sense of safety.
    I use body focus, such as control breathing, using the five senses, self compassion meditation, hands over the heart etc. But this looks very do-able and will fit in well with self soothing.

  109. Marcia Harms says:

    Never can get too many techniques to contain a client. Love all you spoke of and the comments below. I use the forehead one with other hand behind the neck which I learned to help children who were nauseated, I use that one even now just for calming. Love the butterfly technique and also use the same as a yoga exercise–stretching our arms and bring them in hugging the shoulders and then alternate hands. Only one I had trouble with is under the arm but will consider it. It brings back many clients who are hypervigilant when it comes to the breast area and even though it is you doing the protection, when I tried it is made me uncomfortable. But then this can be used should it tap any discomfort. Just giving my clients exercises to try, I learn a lot about what they seem to be drawn to. For example, in the comments below, the tree standing is one many really gravitate to and I remind them to feel the ground at the base of the tree and feel their feet fully grounded to the earth as well. They love to pick a tree they can use, I also use the imagery to help them determine what kind of tree they might see themselves as to help heal through their tree metaphor. Thanks for the topic. I have been researching many in past years and find it is good to have many for you or the clients to pick that best suits them.

  110. Betsy Ha says:

    I really appreciate Dr. Levine’s simple techniques that I will offer in the trauma-informed yoga class for at risk teens at the 360 Youth Diversion Program. Thank you. Betsy

  111. Graeme says:

    Great clip.
    I will definitely experiment with this concept.
    I have found getting people to talk of the traumatic incident in the third person (that is, as an absetver) is very useful.

  112. Bonnie says:

    Thanks for demonstrating these techniques to help restore a sense of containment. I plan to apply them as indicated.

  113. Christina- operating room theatre nurse- UK says:

    Thank you Ruth for sharing this powerful intervention by Peter Levine. I will apply these simple yet powerful tools on myself for the time being. The recent terrorist attacks where one very close family member did not survive have left me as well as my children and all family members with a hole in our soul. QiGong helps me a lot to feel my body/my container just as Peters’ excercises will do. It’s good to be reminded of what’s available because once one is so much “in it” , in the trauma it’s so easy to loose oneself. Until today I’m easily triggered by certain conversations, so I only can try not to forget to apply these simple techniques and observe the changes.

  114. stephanie says:

    Thank you. Will certainly try theses techniques with patients I work with.

  115. J. Dragon says:

    The body-holds that Peter used are part of the understanding of Jin Shin Jyutsu self help. There are books out on this and I have been using this on clients for almost 40 years. The clients can easily learn many hand holds to sooth and restore harmony to their body.

    • Marcia Harms says:

      This was an excellent resource. Thanks. Love the hand exercises from my music therapy days.

  116. april says:

    I work with students in an elementary school here in BC Canada and often have several students suffering and struggling with anxiety on a regular basis. I’m going to see if they’ll be willing to try these things and see what happens.
    I’m also going to try it on myself on a regular basis and see the effects.
    Thank you so much for sharing this info.
    Years ago after a car accident and still feeling the experience in my body it was helpful reading your book, Waking the Tiger….I think that was the title.

  117. Cynthia Watzlavik says:

    Take your right hand and wrap it around your left index finger. Drop your shoulders. Relax your belly. Breathe.

    Look around the room. Notice something you can touch. Name it’s color. Repeat 4 times.

    Inhale deeply. Hold. Give your exhale sound. Repeat 3-4 times.

    I cannot wait to try out these new methods with my students at school. It’s so important to teach our kids to stay in a relaxed body.

  118. Adele Nicols says:

    Really effective, as far as I just tried them along with the video. Thanks so much!

  119. Maya Shaw Gale says:

    Love these techniques. I use a lot of somatic interventions and also work in Nature with clients.
    Clients with trauma and/or anxiety can come to feeling of safety by leaning back up against a big tree while seated or standing…..squeezing between two big boulders or just lying on the earth/sand or a large rock and feeling the support & connection. Basically grounding and feeling contained/supported by something larger than themselves.

    • J. Dragon says:

      Thanks for the reminder about ‘earthing’ as the earth will heal us.

      • Marcia Harms says:

        The tree lately I have been using that both men and women seem to jump at. Thanks for sharing.

  120. Carol permiceo says:

    Thank you not only for these techniques but also for validating what trauma can do to an individual. I am an advanced practice nurse. I wish my peers would Of cared enough to help me. Unfortunately, these seem not to care.

  121. Karen Melaas says:

    This is awesome! Could feel a change almost instantly.

  122. Thank you again of reminding me of the containment consent that is so crucial in traumawork.

  123. Susan Hana says:

    Thank you excellent idea, “tools” The 1st one you demonstrated looks like a hug.I learned from Donna Eden (Energy Medicine ). She states that is a way of rebalancing the Body energy the hand placement involves the connection with the Merdians which I kind of forgotten until now.
    Thanks for the reminder.

    • Iiris Bjornberg says:

      Yes, thank you for the reminder! This is a powerful tool. Thanks again.

  124. Anne says:

    Thank you for the simple techniques to share
    I already have three people who leapt to mind who might enjoy having this way of finding boundaries

  125. Thanks for providing some simple techniques which I can use right away with people who are suffering and feel helpless against their anxious state. I work in mental health and this reinforces my commitment to learning more body-based techniques.

  126. Jen says:

    Thank you very much for making how long the video is clear.
    And the content is helpful and concise.

  127. Dorothy p feinzig says:

    Thank you dr Levine. I will use this with my Pt who can’t self regulate
    And with my grandson who also can’t self regulate
    Thank you very much

  128. Sharon says:

    Regulating breathing and using hand techniques once the breathing is regulated and take the breathing onto meditation.

  129. Joy W. says:

    Thank you! I will use these with my clients. Very simple but useful tools to have one become mindful of our bodies, housing the fearful emotions.
    Great way to refocus off the anxious state and back to the self.

  130. Thanks! These are great techniques and I also incorporate breathing practices, yoga nidra/integrative restoration and mudras.

  131. Good information here, I agree
    Thank you

  132. Sarah Baker says:

    I already use these techniques with traumatised clients, having learnt them on a NICABM trauma course, and I’ve had very positive reports of how helpful they are. I also use ‘anchor objects’ (an object which has safe and positive associations for the client, kept in the pocket to hold when feeling stressed) and encourage clients to assemble a ‘mood basket’ of sensory items with safe and positive associations, to go to when required. It may contain a CD of favourite relaxing music, chocolate or other favourite sweets, a picture of a safe and positive place or person, an anchor object to hold, and perhaps a handkerchief with the scent of a perfume or aftershave used by a person to whom the client feels safely attached.

  133. Diana Vytell says:

    Great tips. Have used others as a body oriented psychotherapist. Thanks.

  134. Hi Ruth, good one! I love Peter… I see a tie here into the DNRS work that i am doing myself. So far I am the client i am working with til i get well so my reports are on my own learning and what works for me. The knowledge that i can interrupt what is essentially a trauma response to environmental triggers and not be made worse by the exposure but actually use it to heal more deeply seems along these lines of a self-soothing action, in addition to the rewiring. As the body shifts out of the fear gear, the physical and emotional reactions completely shift, so amazing.

    Sometimes mirror work or with a loved one to look in my eyes and say a calming affirmation with me can have a very dramatic effect in shifting things very quickly, then i have the presence of mind to do the full practice or just move on if i am already fully re-set. The truth of what we are… 50+ trillion cells with self receptors on every cell receiving our unique frequency of light is just so mind boggling. We are freaky creatures. Thanks again, always great to see your posts, valuable and a wonderful contribution to the discourse, thank you!!!!!

  135. JoAnn Baird says:

    I can’t wait to pass these tips on to my clients.
    I’m looking forward to a trauma and yoga workshop to find out what positions my clients can use readily to help self-soothe.

  136. Nia Innes says:

    Very helpful! I found myself doing the hand-under-my-arm-and-across-my-shoulder-with-the-other-hand technique somewhat spontaneously while I was at home, alone, in between therapy sessions, for the very purpose of attempting to recover a sense of personal boundaries. I usually ended up rocking myself back and forth, in addition, trying to soothe my soul and bodily sensations back into homeostasis. Too, the ‘tapping’ that Dr. Levine mentions seemed to be an extremely important element of regaining self-control, as it served to remind my bodily vehicle to stay present, in the moment, and to meditate on feeling safe instead of going off into one of my dissociative meanderings … So appreciative of NICABM! Nia Innes (ritual abuse/traumatic stress survivor)

  137. Michelle Acra says:

    excellent suggestions, I will definitely be sharing with my clients. I also have found that having them purchase a marine/ boat whistle (very small and thin shape) and having it on a necklace to wear under their clothing can help with safety grounding. They can feel the whistle, it’s not noticeable to others, and it can be heard for 2 or 3 miles away, if needed to use. This seems to be more useful when the trauma is more recent.

  138. doris says:

    Thank you Ruth for sharing this and allowing us to contribute as well. I love Peter Levine’s exercises and use them often. In addition, I also use the following “soulful relating exercise”:
    Clients ask the body where it wants to be touched and answer the request. First, they focus on their giving hand and experience themselves as the giver. Then, they shift focus and become aware of their receiving body-self—experiencing themselves as the receiver of their touch. Going back and forth helps them remember that they are not bound by false identities like “I am not enough”, “I am powerless”, “I am all alone”, “I am broken,” … . Rather, they experience themselves as an instrument of giving and receiving. They learn that their witnessing Soul-self is always ready to give to their body-self what it needs to feel safe and cared for. In time, this exercise helps clients remember their wholeness. Here’s a link fyi: http://www.soulfulrelating.com/Soulful_Relating_in_Psychotherapy/Returning_To_Soul/Entries/2013/1/27_Soul-Centric_Living.html

  139. Joyce Musolino says:

    Thank you Ruth for sharing. I might suggest that patients meditate daily, many times a day if thoughts arise, the Buddhist meditation of Lovingkindness, simply stated:

    May I be Safe
    May I be happy
    May I be well
    May I live with ease

    Qigong is a wonderful practice to address fear and bring it down.

  140. David says:

    I like it. Sort of holding ourselves, feeling ourselves, etc … cracking the shell of dissociation and self-alienation caused by trauma. Levine is great … very helpful.

  141. I specialize in the treatment of all kinds of trauma, esp. traumatic brain injury and abuse. I know this journey well, as a TBI survivor…. I use meditation and yoga for clients, in addition to cranial sacral therapy. At some point, you might want to find a qualified teacher, who is well trained in all of these modalities! You can use the meditation in any and all situations… I often do it when driving or talking w/ others.

    ~ meditation: keep it simple, focus on the breath, feel ALL OF THE BODY, make contact with the ground, notice your sensations and your breath. Watch your thoughts but DO NOT grab on to them or begin discursive thinking… if you do, just go back to the breath
    ~ yoga: (I recommend Iyengar Yoga). Restorative poses are excellent and can be done at home. You can begin with just lying on the floor with the head supported by a folded blanket and something under the knees, if your are stiff. Cover the eyes with a soft cloth and be sure you are warm enough.

  142. Marilyn shaw says:

    During EFT sessions I sometimes use magic bubble . This is where no one and no thing can permeate the surface . I get the client to imagine someone outside the bubble punching or throwing things at the bubble but it just bounces off . The client can imagine their magic bubble when alone also . I like Peters techniques it seems to bring someone into the present moment. Children benefit , in my experience from wearing Superman outfits and such like . Thanks for the video .

    • Maya Shaw Gale says:

      Nice, Marilyn!! I do the same with a technique I learned from a Cherokee medicine woman, called the Blue Egg!

  143. Vanessa says:

    A superb demonstration which, as a Trauma Therapist, I am finding really helpful. Not just for my patients, but for me too when I feel ‘wired’ or when I (frequently) experience difficult getting to sleep. Also I deeply appreciate the suggestions in the comments below – fantastic and thanks for sharing.

  144. ESTHER KAPLAN says:

    this was simple and helpful, Thanks. I teach all my Chronic Pain patients, most of whom have Hx of childhood abuse, how to breathe Diaphragmatically. They can do this anywhere, anytime, but I strongly recommend a daily practice.

  145. Rannva Biskopstoe says:

    Thank you :)

  146. Dorothy Zullo says:

    thanks so much for these very useful techniques. I am a yoga teacher(not a therapist) and I will be working with Sexual abuse survivors as well as their families and I plan to incorporate these into my classes!!! again thank you so much

  147. Diane says:

    Thank you, Peter and Ruth. I really like the utility of the embodied container concept. And I know my clients need more accessible ways to self-soothe and self-regulate outside of session.

  148. Eileen stack says:

    Very good to learn it’s useful to know

  149. Christina heinl says:

    Loved the demonstration Thank
    You! There are two soothing movements I learned with my mother and grandmother
    I use them in myself and family
    1. Stroke the upper face from one side to another slowly. Repeat it as much as needed to bring back well. Eing
    2. Cuddle the top of the head moving gently the hair. We call it in Portuguese ‘cafunhe’
    It was practised often by mothers/careers

    • Marcia Harms says:

      Reminds me of what I see cranial sacral specialists utilize.

  150. Thank you Peter (and Ruth) for these great strategies. I appreciate that you get right to the point so that the video is brief, yet it’s chock full of helpful, immediately applicable strategies.

  151. Cynthia Kenny says:

    Simply Wonderful. I will use these two great methods to help my clients. I use physical grounding methodS adapted that incorporates a body scan and guided imagery, as well as mental and soothing grounding techniques. I also adapted deep breathing to add the connection to the body I call Deep Belly breathing, where mindfulness meditation is devoted to connecting by placing both hands spread out on belly before guided breathing begins. Clients generally report a reduction in their current stress levels of 2_6 points and are able to take the skills with them and use on their own.

  152. Lisa Schiro says:

    Love working with mind and body concurrently. I will incorporate some of these techniques into my next public speaking engagement. Easy for my patients to remember

  153. Linda Dobson says:

    I appreciate the reminder to build a container through body awareness. I am curious, could exercise (wirh encouragement to of aware of body ) or yoga (again includi g the practise of experiencing the body as container) also be used as a therapeutic tool?
    It occurs to be that exercise or yoga could provide multiple benefits if used in conjunction with “body as container”.

  154. Susan says:

    Very useful. I will apply this in patient care and with my grandchildren!

  155. Susan E Coffey says:

    Butterfly hugs crossing the arms over the heart and alternately tapping the arms like he demonstrated. I add a mantra to it for kids, it’s not real it’s pretend I am safe

  156. Thanks. Most helpful.

  157. Sandy Lillie says:

    Thanks for sharing these techniques. The more I have in my toolbox, the more likely I am to find one that works for a particular client, so I really appreciate this. I like the conceptualization of reinforcing the the sense/experience of the container. That’s useful; I hadn’t heard it framed that way before.

  158. Marion houghton says:

    Thank you. This helped me realize my own lack of awareness of body boundaries.

  159. John says:

    WORKS – a bit. Everything works- a little. More strategies helps, thanks.

  160. Lalita says:

    I love both of these techniques, which i have used many times thank you for sharing them. I am a meridian tapping practitioner and find that very useful in helping a client to gain a calm relaxed state of being.

  161. Karen says:

    Often times for mild paranoia, or fear of something ” getting them from behinds, a hand on the back of the neck, and the other on the back of the head. Letting the head rest back into the hands.

  162. Karen Collman says:

    Thanks for these simple techniques. Have you found that they work at all age groups? I work with adolescents in a school setting.

  163. Emma Simmons says:

    Anything that connects them again to the ground. Wiggling toes, pushing into the ground feeling the muscles in legs, butt and back, stomping. Focus on sitz bones is a way to connect client to earth while sitting. Put hands under sitz bones to get stronger proprioceptive sense of the sitz bones, breath into them, imagine them widening when you breathe in etc. Connect to base of the body which is where we leave when traumatized. Imagine laying an egg through the perineum/ genitals. When they have the feel of that, add breathing in at the same time as laying the egg.

  164. Maxine Schacker says:

    I’m visiting here just to have a better understanding of what some of our students are dealing with. We are a post secondary college focusing on art based careers, and we have a handful of very talented transgendered students attending in the fall who are coming from the USA (Georgia) and India, 2 countries where they have been fearful and menaced. We are trying to prepare to offer support.

    Some of these suggestions are non-invasive and we can pass on these strategies to them…so thank you.

  165. Useful techniques! I’ll add them to suggestions I give my patients. I use many techniques tailored to patient. Of course deep breathing, positive thoughts such as “this is normal given what I’ve been through”, imagery of LIFELINE (from my book) of energy from core of the earth coming into the body and energy from universe above coming into body, creates a “Lifeline” of support that stays with us at all times.
    Thank you!

    • Fran says:

      Dr. Morett
      What is the name of your book. I would like to learn more energy techniques. thanks

  166. Patti says:

    Excellent!

    • Dawn says:

      I like these! ‘Reminds me of some old huna approaches as well… Including Dr Morett’s lifeline… I’m not practicing now & had forgotten my connection to you, Ruth but today you showed up while I’ve been looking into work for myself being in the midst of some trauma and great loss AND change while working from within TBI. As we moved through the video I played along and assimilated some very comforting change in just this brief moments!

      My medical providers have been encouraging cognitive work which is good stuff BUT I’ve not seen how I could force compliance from where I am emotionally. This somatic approach opened resource to me from my past work when I was a practicing therapist and I don’t feel as scattered already. When the patient is ready… AND I love when a good plan comes together. Thank you, Ruth!

      • Diane says:

        Sorry that you are dealing with difficult issues, but impressed with your reaching out actively to engage others for help. Thanks for sharing!

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