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Trauma Resources

Trauma Resources, Grounding

Grounding is a valuable tool and one does not need to complete years of training in order to use it. The goal of Grounding is to "ground" an individual in the present. To orient him or her to place, time, and situation.

One may use grounding tools to help an individual come out of a trauma trigger (usually re-experiencing) or a panic attack.

When grounding after a trauma trigger, it is helpful to use the five senses to draw the survivor back to the present. I often try to catch the survivor's eyes and talk him or her through the grounding process with what some have called my "lilting, fairy voice". Start with one of the 5 senses (see image on left) and add others as needed.

When grounding during a panic attack, invite the individual to focus on something small and begin to describe the object. It is important to stick to observations and not allow the mind to go on philosophical bunny trails - or bunny trails of any kind. The goal is to rein in anxiety by narrowing and controlling its focus.

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