Grounding Techniques in Trauma Therapy – psychology & mental health with therapist Kati Morton

Grounding Techniques in Trauma Therapy – psychology & mental health with therapist Kati Morton

*Dinging noise* -Hey everybody, welcome back! Again, I have a wonderful, special guest Dr. Alexa Altman, who is a trauma specialist, is here. If you haven’t watched our first video together, I encourage you to do that, the link is in the description -But today we’re gonna talk about coping with trauma and building those skills.
-Yes. [Music] -Okay, so in our last video, you described the resilient zone, what trauma is, and the goal of trauma therapy. -When someone is working with you, what are some of the tips and tricks and things to help them -Bring themselves into the resilient zone?
-Exactly, because that’s our first goal, right? -To know, A, when you’re bumped out, because that’s huge, that awareness, -When I’m in the high zone, what does that look like? When I’m in the low zone, what does that look like? So high zone, just, is more of that fight or flight charge – anxiety, panic, anger, agitation Maybe you’re just like, *Grr* inside, right? Low zone is like, “I feel like a robot – I’m just automated in my life, or I can’t even get off the couch,” right? -So these skills are essentially to bring you back into what is that range of resilience. So some of the basic skills, like first things to start with… I would say, is like, using your eyes. And what does that mean? So I’d say, first, we use our eyes to look at things that feel beautiful, safe, connected, So I say, I usually start with, like, look in the eyes of somebody you love. -And some people don’t have somebody they love
-Yeah, you might not, but yeah. -You might not, but you might have, like, a pet. And you might wanna make contact with your pet. Because through our eyes is how we look for signals and signs of safety. -So if we’re looking out and nothing around us is swirling, there’s nothing chaotic happening If there isn’t someone or a pet, we could go to the park or listen to water rushing or something -Like, watching something that’s peaceful.
-Watching something. -But you know, you can see something or look at something – it’s a difference, right? -It’s really like, taking something in with your eyes.
-It’s like the difference between listening and hearing. -Exactly.
-Being engaged – Like, we’re visually engaging. -And sometimes it can be really hard, because you’re intentionally having to move your system in a different way. And so we’re gonna talk a little bit about intentionally moving your attention towards safety And what that looks like, have to repeat that over and over and over again. -And I think that’s an important thing to remember throughout all of our videos together And even other videos, I’ve talked about how important it is to stick with it, because Everything that we’re gonna do that is a challenge in therapy is going to feel horribly uncomfortable Often, I find the coping skills don’t work the first time or it’ll take five or six of them to compensate for the one negative one we’re trying to override So remembering that and keeping that in mind, I think, is key to any treatment. -Another quick, easy tip, this is often used more for people who are in the high zone Low zone is a little less effective, Is grounding. And so grounding is really the experience of your body in connection with a surface. So sometimes that can be sitting in your chair and actually feeling your body, and the weight of your body against the bottom of the chair and the back of the chair And some people really, when they do that, they’re like, “Wait, I can’t feel my body,” because they’re more in the low zone, right? But if you’re in the high zone, you’re kind of feeling like you’re crawling out of your skin And just feeling the connection of your body to the earth – And sometimes grounding can be done walking -But not just like, mindlessly walking, it’s really walking and feeling the bottoms of your feet,
-Like, feeling the pressure of you actually walking. -It’s interesting that that works mostly with the high zone, but it makes sense, Because if we’re totally disconnected, how can we reconnect? -That’s right.
-That spark is harder to get started. -Harder to get started. So I always typically say, for somebody in the low zone, it’s just feeling sensation in your body So you might try a hot shower, and really letting yourself feel the water against your skin, and movement. So any movement, it can be dancing, it can be yoga, If you’re gonna do yoga and you’re in the low zone, I highly recommend seeing a yoga therapist Who’s trained in trauma, who has some awareness so she can do some gentle movement and yoga -With some more knowledge about how trauma physiology works. -Because there are things like heart openers that might not feel as safe and it might overcharge our systems. If you know anything about yoga, know that there are people out there like that. And if we have any resources, I’ll put everything in the description so you can find some things in your area and something that can work for you. -Alexa’s gonna give us some tips and tricks, and ways to kind of bring ourselves back into the resilient zone And so we’ve come back to the whiteboard, and… Teach us a little bit about what you teach your clients. -So one of the things that we know is that when you’re in the high zone or you’re in the low zone That there’s an intentionality, like you have to work hard to direct your nervous system Out of danger, essentially, back into safety. And so one of the things that’s really important to know is that we have this capacity For our brain to change, it’s a fancy word we use for the capability of the brain to change And it can change throughout the entire life span. We’re not just limited to childhood for that. Is neuroplasticity, which essentially means the brain can change. -And so you can teach an old dog new tricks.
-Absolutely, totally, yes. -And so, one of the things I think about for neuroplasticity is, I used to ski with my dad when I was a kid. And we’d be the first one on the mountain – you know, a ton of powder, And my dad would have this way, this big skier that he was, of making these giant turns, and You know, creating a real track in the snow. And he did the funniest thing, He’d go back down the same way, he just liked making deeper and deeper grooves in the snow over and over And so he’d do it, and throughout the day he’d get faster and faster and faster Because of course, you know, the snow gets sleek and deep. -You’re packing it down.
-You’re packing it down, right. -And so that’s really neuroplasticity, is this idea, is all of these skills that we’re gonna be teaching and doing You’re gonna be doing those at home, is every time you practice you basically create a deeper groove In the neural connection in your brain. And I think it’s really important – Notice, it’s like my dad would zoom up and down and up and down, But this is a process of getting back up, going back – I’m saying, skiing back down – Doing the skills, sometimes it’s fast, sometimes it’s slow, What I see really happens often is, let’s say you do some grounding, or let’s say you try to orient your eyes to something safe And your system doesn’t settle, and then you kind of give up on it. Essentially, the more you practice – And you can practice on your own or you can practice with a safe person, The better your system gets at it, the faster and the more automatic it becomes. In the beginning it’s very intentional, and then it becomes second nature. “Oh, this is just what I do.” -Yeah, it’s almost like I remember – Back in the day, I used to play softball, when I was in middle school And I was on this travelling team. And I remember we would learn – Not just throwing the ball, we were learning the little whip of the wrist. And I remember the coach coming around and saying – I forget the amount, but he was like, It takes, you know, 10,000 times of repetition for this to become an automatic thing that you don’t think about. And so a way it’s like, we’re gonna have to keep trying these and keep doing it -Before it feels like an automatic thought. And to like, rewire it out of the unhealthy. -And out of, actually, what has been a prolonged threat response. That the system is meant to come back into safety, it’s just been a prolonged state. And I think it’s really vital to talk about that, because these skills aren’t just useful to bring your system back into resilience But also if you’re working with a therapist, and you’re doing trauma reprocessing, Which – I think we’re gonna talk more about that, These skills are necessary to do that trauma reprocessing. So they’re helpful therapeutic skills, too, on your way to recovery. -Well, because if you’re in therapy – Like, I work with a lot of clients who will struggle in the moment in therapy And so we need to use those skills even there to remain in the resilient zone, Because something that Alexa taught me, is that in order for trauma therapy to work, We have to maintain ourselves, we have to keep ourselves in the resilient zone. -In order to reprocess that material.
-Otherwise, our brain isn’t allowing us to do it. -It’s like, it’s too overcharged or it’s too undercharged and we can’t heal it. -Exactly, so they’re really important skills for life and for therapy. -We’re gonna be practicing something over and over, do you have any specifics you start out with, Or certain things that you find are the most tried and true? I know everybody’s different and everyone’s got something different that works for them, -But what works the best in your experience?
-In bringing people back into their zone – -So first I start out by just naming on a piece of paper all the things that represent safety to you. So it might be specific people, it might be places you’ve been, it might be just your association to maybe even a place in your house. You know, people meditate in a corner of their house, maybe there’s a place in your house that’s like, Your most beautiful, comfy, safe place. Or something from childhood like a comfy blanket or a pillow, or a picture of your grandmother – I say that because that’s mine. -I still have my blankie. -Yeah. Still have your blankie.
-I do. -Yeah, my grandmother’s next to my bed.
-Yeah, it’s like we keep certain things around. -So see, make a list, maybe it’s a spiritual figure. And so then you take that list and you write as much as you can about each of those things. Almost like free association, which is just like write unedited as much as you can. -Like, if your grandma – You know, referring to my grandma, I’d be like, -Oh, making pierogies together and Christmastime…
-Chocolate chip cookies… -The smell of her house, the color of the tile, what it felt like to touch her crinkly skin, right? So you wanna go through all of your channels of sensory information – the sights, the smells, the touch, The taste, the essence. And really, what we’re doing – Okay, I’m gonna draw it – Is we’re opening up your channels of association to safety. And so think about that, that’s just not a mental construct, it’s not a mental image, It’s a full body experience of safety. If I had it my way, I’d want as many channels of safety as I can. So it might be your grandma, it might be my childhood dog, Poppy. Right? It might be this magical vacation I went on at 15. So you want to get as big of a list, and if you wanna call some friends or family to help you come up with that list, Because sometimes people come in my office, they’re like, “I don’t have any.” -And I was like, “Well, you’ve been alive a long time…”
-I’m sure there’s at least one thing… -“I’m sure there’s one, and let’s just start with one.” And I sometimes have people go call friends and family to help them think about some other ones. And so you’re gonna expand that list, and then as you expand that list, what’s really important – Another part of deepening this groove – notice what you feel in your body when you are writing that list and you’re thinking about it. So some of the things that you’re gonna be looking for that tell you you’re back into those channels of safety are… Usually warmth in the chest, or warmth in the belly, -Often like a longer exhale…
-I was gonna say, the breath is so nice, and the slow… -We’re gonna get back to that breath, there’s a really good one, is you know, your face might feel different, Some people, when you get back into safety, you’re more aware of your face. Because you’re out of alarm and threat, and you’re kind of feeling a softer face. Usually the eyes get softer, right? So I would say look for those indicators – it’s like your cue that you’re moving in the right direction. -Even maybe less tense hands and muscles and stuff, we’re not so – -Like muscle constriction.
-Yeah, interesting. -Oh my God, did you feel that? I just felt it – Yeah, that you’re gonna feel the decrease of that muscle constriction. So after you’ve done that, and I would say this is kind of like your resource book. Some people even make a box, and they’ll put resources in that box… -I have a lot of people who create self-help boxes and distraction boxes, and putting all of your items in there. -Yeah, and you’re rewiring your nervous system as you do that, You can visit your box… It’s nice if you visit people, too. But if people aren’t around, you’d have this other place to go to. -Or if it’s the middle of the night, right? That’s sometimes the best, And then we have all of our things in there. -So another thing is, if there’s a safe person, I always say ask that safe person to leave you a voicemail message Or send you a video of their face, their voice, and something you can carry in your back pocket Because again, it just grooves in your channels to safety and connection, with a safe other. -And you can access it any time.
-You can access any time. -So another tip, and you said this, Kati, about that big breath. One of the things we know about our breath is when we’re in that high zone, -Our breath is trying to mobilize us to meet –
-So it’s fast and short. -Right, because we’re trying to get ready to run, right? Or that freeze, which almost – Some people say, “I forgot I wasn’t breathing,” right? -Yeah, they hold their breath, I’ve seen – right.
-Like, slow heart rate. -Slower breath, because if you’re feigning death, you don’t need to breathe much. So you can intentionally do a longer exhale, like a four-count. Let all the air out. So that longer exhale, we’re gonna be talking a little about this part of your nervous system, That that longer exhale engages, called the social engagement system. So, you know when you watch a mom feed a baby, and they might be really fussy and stressed out And then they engage with the mom, and they – The feeding’s going well. And the baby’s looking at the mom, and there’s that eye gaze, and they’re sucking and swallowing, And then their nervous system calms down, right? That they’re basically getting what’s called, through the social engagement system They’re getting, actually – They’re wiring in the experience of safety and connection, And that when that’s done a lot, it’s reliable – and I can get so stressed out, but I can come back to that connection and be soothed, right? So Stephen Porges, this really bright scientist, discovered – Wait, we don’t just have this brake in the nervous system that turns the lights out when we’re really stressed out into freeze, We also have this calming system called the social engagement system that happens through eye contact, Through sucking, swallowing, through ears being engaged and hearing – our social brains love voices, You know when moms talk to their babies like, “Oh, hi honey!” Right? -The up and down –
-We like the voices that do that – -It’s very soothing to us. We’re wired for that connection, -It’s what separates us from reptiles.
-It’s what makes mammals so adaptive… -And why we like to be in groups, right? Our survival depended on us cooperating and being together. We would have not survived – We only have two legs, and we’re not that fast. -I know, it’s true.
-So we really needed that to survive. -And I think what’s so cool, when I learn about social engagement system Is, you know, if it was thrown off early in life, let’s just say, -Yeah, Mom wasn’t there, there was…
-Maybe she was ill, maybe there were other things going on. -Maybe there was trauma, or maybe we were even in incubators, they worry about the attachment with babies who were premature. -Right? That that social engagement system becomes less reliable, that we tend to protect ourselves more with fight/flight. -So are there things, then – in relation to that, if that’s so vital, What are some things that we can do on our own or put in our boxes, that we’re already creating. -I love that. If we’re building that social engagement system, the one, in a way, that’s the most effective calming system Is that we want to build things that cue that part of our system – That system is more related to our, again, our eyes, our ears, our larynx – like, our throat And the muscles of our neck and head, So in our box, things that are visually pleasing, Olfactory – Our sense of smell is really right there in the very beginning of life, things that are pleasing, Maybe it’s the smell of someone familiar to us. Or maybe it’s the smell of something that we had as a child that brings us back. -So sounds would be important too, so it’d be like creating a playlist, or… -Music. That’s melodic –
-Yeah – -So we tend, again, to like sounds that are up and down, up and down. -Or a video –
-Disney songs are like that. -Lullabies are like that.
-That’s the reason they get stuck in your head, I would assume. -Forever, right? And they all have that voice, and – yeah. -So even the video, like Alexa mentioned before, the video of someone that you love and care about could also be helpful, because of the voice. -But even – I think YouTubers, right? You go onto YouTube, and you see a friendly or familiar face. -Your face. No, really, like, you keep – You know, in a way, building the connection to a friendly, consistent, familiar face And so that might be coming on and watching some videos. -Yeah, it’s true, and hearing a soothing voice that you’re used to hearing. I’ve heard some of you think my voice is soothing. -You’ve got that soothing voice. And then the eyes, because we also like eyes that are warm and engaging. Sometimes if you’ve had a lot of trauma, your eyes can feel kind of frozen, right? Where you feel like you don’t feel that same warmth in them, that same connection in them. So looking at eyes that are warm. -So photos could even be good for that, or videos as well, like we’re talking about. -Yeah, and it can be somebody you know, But oftentimes, people might often feel that – Oprah comes up a lot, Sometimes it’s people you don’t know – Gandhi, So you can utilize that social engagement system with anyone. -Yeah, even with people you’ve never met that just have an impact on you, and feel safe and warm to you. -So the other thing you just did – I had to just take it, because you did it, Is you put your hand on your heart. So another way we can regulate, in addition to that long exhale, and these friendly faces, -Is hand on heart and belly – have you done this one?
-In yoga, you do it. -So the heart and belly – And it’s interesting because I think 80% of people do right hand on heart, left hand on belly? But you decide, because it’s very different, then, if you try one and then you do the other Almost everybody’s like, “Oh, no, I like this one so much better.” -Yeah, you’ll feel weird.
-You kinda feel weird, you’ll feel like, “Oh, that’s just not soothing,” -So hand on heart, hand on belly and doing that long exhale is very soothing and regulating. -It’s so interesting for me, as a yogi person, how many yoga things are done to soothe our nervous system And to calm us down. Because all of the hand on heart and stomach we’ve done, The breathing, obviously, is a very key portion of it, you know. Even, my yoga teacher does a lot of visualization, like imagine that you’re in this place that you love, Pick a place and you know – when we’re calming down from the practice. And all of that is actually done to soothe us. -This ancient wisdom – maybe they didn’t have the neurobiology, but they had the wisdom. -Yeah.
-Yeah. -As you build your boxes – We’ll call them resilience boxes, As you build those, are there other things that they could add That work with the hearing, the neck, the throat? -So we’re talking about really bringing back online the social engagement system, So vocalizing and what that vocalizing does and working these muscles in the throat, larynx, and pharynx Is, again, it turns on that engagement system -So it could be singing…
-I used to be in choir, surprisingly. -Really?
-Yeah, I got a scholarship for college. -And so it was really – It’s funny because I miss it sometimes, and I find it so soothing. Even though it’s actually almost a weird workout of sorts, but it’s soothing. -Well, you do this, right? And it kind of opens the diaphragm – Oftentimes when we’re singing, we’re doing a longer exhale, which is regulating to our nervous system. -It’s like, forcing regulation.
-And then also, -Listening and having those – That inner ear opening to sound and harmonizing, There’s a reciprocal nature. We’re having to resonate with another voice Is all very connecting and regulating. So if you don’t have a choir, you could sing with the radio – -In the car.
-And that’s where chanting comes in in yoga, -And spiritual practices, it opens that channel of social engagement. -So along the lines of the neck and the throat, and you talked about children when you’re feeding, and you’re sucking and swallowing Would a sucky candy, or a lollipop or something – -That’s why people sometimes, when they’re stressed out, you see them chewing, right? Or smoking, right? Part of that is that soothing nature around the muscles of the jaw and face. -They’re trying to get regulated.
-That’s so interesting. So throw some sucky candies in the box too. -So I’m really curious, too – If your viewers can find other mechanism to stimulate the muscles of their face, their eyes, their throat, -What else – Play around with it, I’m curious –
-Yeah, let us know in the comments -‘Cause I think it’s really great – The cool thing about the community is that Everybody has different experiences and different things that have worked for them And so I think it’d be really cool to share what’s helped you, Is there a particular thing that you do, or something like massaging your neck Or – You know, I know there’s all sorts of things out there that are available. What works for you? Let us know. Well, thank you so much for helping us create our resilience boxes, and understanding a little bit more about resiliency. And I hope that all of you found this really helpful, if you haven’t watched our other video make sure that you watch that as well. Click here to subscribe, because we are creating a lot of videos, you don’t wanna miss ’em, And send me pictures, “#Kinions” Of your boxes! Have you created resiliency boxes? Let us know, we’d love to see those. And we will see you next time. Bye!

100 Replies to “Grounding Techniques in Trauma Therapy – psychology & mental health with therapist Kati Morton”

  1. Do more videos with Alexa. She is great. I really liked the video and I am going to try some of those techniques. I like all of your videos? thanks for doing what you do.

  2. thx for this awesomely ha bisky vid i had to double speed it because i am so far behind in youtubeland still and this is just a bit to long for me to single speed it

    i love this so much it was very interesting

  3. if you are like me and hate yoga try barre there are some teachers who do both barre and yoga so maybe you can get lucky and find one that knows all 3 the trauma stuff yoga and barre so that way if you hate yoga you can do barre you really feel barre in your legs

  4. This is just what i needed, i just did a EMDR video and a psychology appointment with inkblots and first word to come to mind thingy, they're these ASMR videos, just cause i haven't been and wanted to see what it was like.. i found i had a "forgot to breathe" or hard to keep the slow breathing going cause i kept getting that laughy breathing and actually feeling odd bodily and laughing uncontrollable at moments, then started crying at points.. i was working on these two traumatic, vague memories.. im just curious what my reactions even mean haha. anyways thank you very much im thinking of going to the actual thing now just dont want them to think im not taking it seriously when i laugh its more like a uncomfortable thing idk.. help? lol Thank you! 🙂

  5. Hey Kati I was just wondering if it is normal to be anxious about telling my counsellor about my self harm and suicidal thoughts? What do you think? Is it ok or am I just being paranoid? I hope you can answer my question but it is ok if you don't thank you.

  6. I've been reading Waking The Tiger: Healing Trauma and then I'm going to read The Body Keeps Score: Brain, Mind, And Body in the Healing of Trauma. Right now what I think what the trauma therapies of Somatic Experiencing and EMDR might have in common is: to relax, to some degree look at the memory bothering you, feel the fear and any other emotion associated with that memory, and see who or where the fear is coming from, and how that fear is based on a fragmented, absolutist view of reality, by seeing and feeling a positive memory connected to that fear, that argues against the validity of it enough to release the fear.

    I've done this a little bit, and had some shaking from practicing one form of Somatic Experiencing which is a little too weird for me to keep trying out, but both seem to have reduced social anxiety for me.

  7. i have a question.. idk if you have gotten it before… but how do you become self reliant? i am a person who needs validation from others and so now im a person pleaser and have lost myself.. do you have any advice for this or could you make a video on it? please and thank you

  8. The problem can be- what if your bed doesn't represent a safe place? I mean you gotta get in it. I never worked sitting down, and that's how important my body placement became to me. I never stay in my bedroom without a dog there. Other people don't like that. Everyone makes me feel uncomfortable when they visit by asking about where my dogs are. Therefore I'm not comfortable having ppl over. A dog died during my trauma and a lot of ppl know.

  9. I find chewing gum kinda relaxing, I feel like that would engage all the neck/jaw/throat muscles. And there are studies that show gum to be relaxing

  10. Alexa being barefoot brought to mind that, in my experience, people who are habitually barefooted (and those who are closest to them) seem to have an honest, warm and non-threatening demeanor. Maybe it's chronic childhood trauma's resultant skill set that highlighted the correlation, but it's never failed me.

  11. I totally still have my blankie! I've also gotten additional identical blankies over the years just in case something happens to the first one. I actually got two new ones two Christmases ago. I'm up to 4 total lol.

  12. There should be a t-shirt somewhere that says something like, "Currently rewiring my nervous system." That's so badass.

  13. how do yall even find such highly specific professionals? you're out here saying we should find a yoga therapist who's trained in trauma… like shit i cant even find someone with one of those traits and you're telling me to find someone with all 3??? what planet are yall on where you can pull any professional with any level of training out of thin air like this???

  14. so…does having friends help? cause my father found out about me having a friend and cause of how he thinks he automatically thought that i was up to no good and….created a little t for me, and now i have slowly developing self diagnosed ptsd and i can't tell him cause he would think therapy is useless and would try to 'cure me' himself….i just want to know if i should actually try and convince him through one of my older sisters who Would understand (i'm 15 so he would think i' just being a 'teenager') or if i should bottle up my feelings more (he has not abused me physically but the way he looks at me when he is 'trying to understand' is a hateful look and i rely on eyes and body movement cause…well he is the only parent i have left and i really depend on him…in a way i feel like handsome jack if you have ever played borterlands…aka the hero who gets stabbed in the back a bunch of times to where sanity starts to fall and starts becoming the villain out of safety)

  15. I've never experienced clinical dissociation, but I do have a couple anxiety disorders so I'm very familiar with the "high zone". Something I find incredibly helpful when trying to ground myself during a panic attack or just before one, is I use something called the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique. It's basically looking around your immediate area/room and identifying 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. I do that over and over in my head or if I can I say them out loud to myself until I feel calm, grounded, and in control of my surrounding. A forensic psychologist who teaches on my psychology of trauma course at university said this is also a helpful technique for dissociation, however if one of those senses is a trigger of your traumatic disorder then leave it out. I also find that sitting and inhaling my favorite un-lit candle for a couple minutes or a roller ball scent I have that's herbal and meant to be de-stressing also helps in calming my nervous system. I would really recommend the 5-4-3-2-1 technique though, it brings you back into the present and allows you to focus and feel in control. 🙂

  16. It was weird but I meditated on Marylene Cloitre and that is how I found this. I really noticed how embodied you guys are when you speak and it was the same with Marylene Cloitre .She was speaking on a psychic trauma roundtable discussion with Rachel Yehuda and others on a philoctetes youtube. That meditation happened spontaneously during a bout of deep insomnia.Insomnia related to the recent Manchester bombing which happened not too far from where I live. But I had a violent father too. Anyway thanks again. Neuroplasticity Rules !

  17. Hi! I just noticed at 17:47 it flashes "I like Marziapie's voice 🙂 " and it makes me laugh!!! hahaha

  18. please have Alexa back again. she's amazing. A question I have is, what if focusing on the breath is anxiety provoking, therefore keeping you in a bad space? This is the case for me, especially when I'm already triggered while in therapy and she tells me to breathe. When in childhood I spent a lot of time hiding and holding my breath, it's really hard to focus on it without making things worse. I haven't really seen other posts about this so I'm wondering if I'm just a faulty human.

  19. I would suggest taking the little bell sound out of the beginning of the video. These sorts of sounds for someone with sound triggers could result in the trauma survivor sensing you as "unsafe". Just go directly into the dialog.

  20. I really like the description of going up the hill and how difficult that can be but also how important it is for the brain to do the skills.

    Is it possible to feel really low on energy probably due to all the stuff in the brain and the lack of sleep but still very agitated and anxious and also feel that in the body? Short breath, rapid heartbeat, problems to relax because you feel you cant hold still?
    Thank you very much for your video and I love the length 🙂

  21. I would like to encourage you to remake this video and find someone to professionally (or just skillfully, knowledgeably) record the audio. There are echoes in this video from the room you're in, among other things. Many trauma survivors are sensitive to the quality of sound. I myself find the sound difficult to listen to!

  22. Thank you for this video ! A trick if you don't want to eat tons of candy… I freeze grappes and take one out and suck on it just like candy.

  23. Wow. Makes sense as to why this is so hard for me or doesn't even work. I was raised in a religion that denied the existence of the body and encouraged a disconnect between the mind and body. So much of this is about sensory memories and observations.

  24. i'm worried that i will use up all my nice safety things in those horrible situations and then i'm not going to associate them with safety anymore, they'll stop working and i will have nothing nice/safe left in my life.. :S :

  25. I LOVE how affirming Alexa is. I'm lucky enough to live in a safe environment/feel safe, but her enthusiastic and heartfelt yeses made me feel so safe and warm and cuddled. She's not even directing them at me and I feel connected with and seen. Thank you so much!

  26. My safe place/things are 1. My stuffed animal puppy that I got for my fith birthday. 2. The stars. I always feel safe looking up at them. 3. (Safe people) my director at work when she is relaxed. 4. Two other people at work when they are relaxed.

    Something that I would put in my safe box is something to chew like chewy sweet tarts, a picture of outer space, celtic music, and my stuffed dog.

  27. So, while watching this, I noticed most of the coping mechanisms deal with sensory focused type things and socializing stuff (eye contact and such). I have some PTSD from a child on child molestation and a ton of trouble from some emotional abuse from family members, but I am actually also on the autism spectrum and often times get a horrifically catastrophic reasult when doing some of these things in conection to my sensory processing disorder that many autistics have. Some of the things suggested are mildly helpful for my anxiety, stress, and PTSD like singing (I am super passionate about singing and music. Though it's hard for me to utilize it as a coping skill rather than for fun/performance), I've done a little yoga and find it relaxing too, some physical sensations that almost shock me out of flash backs and panic attacks sometimes help too, but all of these mostly "pause" my release of the emotions for a very short time and are otherwise ineffective(so far). I was wondering if there are things that people with sensory processing disorders specifically tend to do better with for trauma therapies. I actually tend to panic just at the thought of trying some of these after some really bad sensory overload moments. The worst one I had felt like a really bad acid trip is often described….it started because my shirt was touching my skin in a way I couldn't handle that day and very quickly escolated until I was able to change into a very much over sized one. It goes from 0-100 in only a few minutes at best, and I generally try to avoid situations that likely will set it off. Is it generally a trial and error with these same techniques or are there other things that people have found helpful with less sensory hyperfocusing?

    Side note:
    I am currently between psych treatments and plan to ask my pcp for some advice with that when I see her in January, but I'm not entirely sure how to approach looking again with everything that can set off my symptoms of my rather numerous disorders.

  28. haha Wow looking into peoples eyes even people I trust is very hard! Like almost impossible. people seeing into my eyes means seeing into my soul and then me seeing the reaction of them seeing into my soul, its just to much!

  29. Thought maybe I should also share some things that work for me; I say 5 things I can see, 4 thing I can touch/feel, 3 things I can hear, 2 things I can smell and 1 thing I can taste. The last two can be really hard.. From doing that though, I've realised a nice smelling and tasting lip balm is really good to always have with me in my pocket. It also works as an object to hold on to n my pocket when Im out… And It obviously moistens my lips which I think is a nice self care thing to do… Sorry I've written like a paragraph 🙂

  30. Hi. I just had a ptsd attack. It started when my feet started turning numb. And than my body starts to uncontrollably shake and the top and back of my head starts to feel pressure inside. How can I calm down from these types of attacks? Could you possibly do a video on it, or if you have time give me any advice. Thank you. -paige

  31. I have decide to really get rid of all the trauma I have experienced from my abusive parents thus I did few therapies the last lasted 13 sessions which was helpful but lately I found hypnosis meditation which I found one particularly very helpful (New Horizon) but I feel like I have to do progressive muscle relaxation first then I do the hypnosis, then I do a video on raising my confidence affirmations. Kati in another video you have mentioned to use aromatherapy to help with grounding for breathing but you did not explained how. Can anyone share how does aromatherapy can be used for breathing grounding please? Thank you.

  32. Why does the right girl keep looking to the left girl for validation which the left girl keeps giving with nods and yes's?

  33. I struggle with PNES due to PTSD. I don't want to go to therapy because I'm too scared of seizing in session. can you do a video on PNES and therapy?

  34. I'm a freeze type with inner agitation, feels like being zoned out yet wanting to claw your skin… I have most difficulty in social situations due to dissociating.. Does anyone have tips to stay in the now? I find it difficult to be listening to a person while looking at them.. My eyes feel frozen and my ears hearing but not listening.. Thanks. Great video btw.. Creating my resilience box tomorrow thanks!

  35. Love you work! I'm a social worker in NYC and completed 200 hour yoga teacher training in 2014. What recommendations do you have for practicing yoga for ptsd /obtaining training to support wellness/grounding for ptsd? Thank you! Leslie

  36. Rocking your body back and forth is a soothing technique that I just "discovered" that I feel may have to do with the socal engagement system. I let go of the shaming thought of "crazy people rock" and thought of it as soothing. And it was!

  37. I came hear to ease my panic attack and what to do with it. Since after i met with my therapist, she asked me to buy a candle that smells like the ocean and to listen to waves sounds as i find solace in waves. I find this video explains the reason why she ask me to do that. However, oh lord i was so agitated with how Alexa was yessss ohh yessss, yaaaaa everytimes Kati tries to speak. I understand shes agreeeing with what she said but the consistency of ohh yaaaas, yaaaa under her breath puts me off. Pls dont take the comment too hard. Just an opinion to improve on 🙂 love ya Kati and Alexa

  38. After watching this I made an album in my phone of photos that make me feel happy, including family, pets and places I've been. It really helped and I'll definitely go look at it when I'm having a rough time. Thanks so much for your advice!

  39. omg Kati :DDDD – making pierogi is exactly the thing that I thought about when you mentioned grandmother! 🙂

  40. 227=11 if I can get past this trauma and be a productive member of society, I’m totally going back to school for this

  41. Thank you Kati for this video it has help me understand trauma in more than one way. Thank you for giving me some tools to use.

  42. If you go to therapy for a more common mental disorder, but you discovered that you were abused (due to suppressed or repressed memories), are you then referred by your current therapist to a trauma therapist?

  43. Now me biting in the air makes sense to me. I already recognized I did this to calm myself down or something but I never understood why

  44. I've found that using a water bottle with a plastic straw is very calming to drink from throughout the day. This actually encourages me to drink more water and it helps ease the fight or flight response when needed. I prefer the Bubba brand from Walmart.

  45. you know what I like about online therapy is that ppl can learn so much and fix themselves without giving away their power to some stranger in a room, under a microscope

  46. Thx for doing this I have always felt after a therapy session I am really hypervigilant like my eyes will be darting back and forth and taking in lots of sounds and becomes really overwhelming and then at that point I have racing thoughts which keeps me from concentrating in class and sometimes I feel like i am not even in the room so thank you for this I am gonna try this and see what works

  47. Something I find helpful is looking at pictures of people who are smiling, even if I don't know the person, somehow that helps

  48. I had no idea there were teachers who could support trauma survivors!!! I'm also curious about your comment about heart openers, as I have fainted doing them multiple times.

  49. This conversation about the sucking reflex is SO interesting to me because I've noticed that when I'm in the "low zone" as you describe it, I tend to suck on my tongue and cheeks a lot, and it's always seemed odd to me. Now it makes sense!

  50. This is only the third video I’ve watched on your channel and all I can say is THANK YOU for providing a safe zone for us all to find comfort and advice on things I can now see a lot of us struggle with. This is coming from someone who has gone to therapy and wasn’t comfortable enough confiding in someone I didn’t know personally.

  51. So stay in the trauma learn to cope with it so if you rescue a kidnapped child tortured you put them back with the abductors and say take these pills talk to me next week for an hour you are fine.

  52. I think yoga should never be used because it opens yourself up to demonic spirits and causes more problems in the end!

  53. Late and general question:
    What do you do when grounding stops working as effectively?
    Like if someone has been actively trying to recover for years and is on stable medication that was working great and grounding yourself came almost naturally and triggers were easy to identify (after years of medication and therapy) only to suddenly lose all control over it half the time?what does it mean when it's almost impossible to put yourself out of it no matter what you try – until you pass out and wake up only to have a brief time span before it happens again. Does it mean you have developed new subconscious triggers, or does it mean old ones are surfacing with age?

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *