Trauma treatment involves accessing one’s imagination and innate creativity, enhancing competence and taking effective action in the goal to be in charge of yourself.    Bessel van der Kolk 
 
 
Do you, or your loved one, experience flashbacks?

Most of us understand a flashback as being a memory w/ images & pictures. It is important to understand that flashbacks are any of the following emotional content coming up intrusively:

·      Body Memories (Body Sensations)

·      Sudden Emotions/Feelings

·      Auditory Memories

·      Racing, Paranoid, or Obsessive Thinking

·      Pictures, images, symbols

·      Nightmares

·      Sudden Somatic Experiences: pain, loss of sight, paralysis, fainting, etc.

 
 
FAST is an acronym for an interpersonal skill that helps us uphold our self-respect. We use FAST when we feel taken advantage of, someone is overstepping our personal boundaries, and when our self–respect is on the line. F – be Fair

A – no Apologies

S – Stick to your values

T – be Truthful

Be fair to yourself and the other person(s).  No apologizes, this is the not the time to apologize… this may be an opposite action for you.  Stick to your values. Do you know your top 5 values?  Be Truthful, this is when we lie or fabricate or omit stuff, because we feel shame or fear or guilt.  Your truth is good enough and is IMPORTANT!

 
 
Learning to Self-Soothe is instrumental in learning how to balance our automatic nervous system. In my practice this is one of the skills most of my clients’ fall deficient in.  It sounds easy enough, do something soothing. We may even say to ourselves, “I get it”, BUT DO YOU know how to soothe yourself in a positive way without escaping, avoiding, denying, repressing, or overly expressing?

We are NOT born knowing how to soothe; we learn it from the environment around us. If we did not properly learn this in the first 7 years of life, we are deficient until we build this skill. Also, there are things that can happen to us at any age that can create a sense of losing this skill.

In DBT it is an essential Distress Tolerance skill. Just as the senses can arose our emotions, they can also soothe our emotions. Use the 5-Senses to Soothe your nervous system. Find things (without consequences) under each category (Sight, Hearing, Smelling, Touching, & Tasting) that are Soothing to you; use them train or retrain your brain to relax.  Build a Self Soothe kit for yourself and use it.