Resourcing – A vital part of Healing Trauma
When we have experienced something that has completely overwhelmed our defences whether it is a dramatic and sudden, shocking one off event, or a serious of continuous events that have eroded our ability to feel good about ourselves and function in the world, we need to heal.
Trauma can be healed. The first step in healing is to allow the brain and body to catch up with itself. Trauma symptoms continue because the brain is stuck in the past, continually sending out signals of immediate deathly danger.
Resourcing is the means to communicate to the brain that it can relax and the danger is past. This may take time because as a result of the trauma your body may be injured or depleted and your emotions may have plummeted into anxiety and depression.
Resourcing is about creating a sense of safety so that your brain can relax and switch off. It is a way of engaging the body so that it can signal back to the brain. ‘Hey brain, it’s ok. I am safe. I feel good. Chill out!’
Trauma is healed through the body. To resource, think of things that you like to do or once liked to do that made you feel good. Write a list of it to remind yourself, you may have to refer to it frequently at first. It can be simple things. Taking a walk in a favourite place. Listening to music, going to an art gallery. Reading a book. Sitting in front of the fire. Seeing an old friend. Picking up your knitting again or repairing a bike. At first it might be difficult to do these things, you may be too agitated or depressed. Take it one step at a time. If you can’t do it or you feel that there is nothing that brings you pleasure any more, then imagine it
Take time to sit comfortably somewhere, make sure you will not be disturbed. Be warm and cosy. Now take a few deep breaths and focus on sitting comfortably in the chair or lying on the bed. Notice, ‘is there is a feeling of comfort somewhere in my body?’ If you can feel something, no matter how small, just allow it to spread as much as it wants to. It can increase on each inner breath as your stomach rises.
When you have established this sense of comfort you can proceed to the next stage. This may take some practises before you are able to continue. Now think of a place or an activity that you like to do. Choose something that is free from any negative associations. Imagine it in all its details. The place you are in, the smell of the air, the ambient temperature, the colours and textures around and the sounds reaching your ears. See yourself clearly doing the activity. Now feel into your body and notice the pleasure sensation of that activity. Continue with this for as long as you like.
This is a very powerful practise because it communicates a state of safety to the brain. Much scientific research has shown that an imagined event or practise is just as powerful as an actual event in changing body chemistry and structure. Olympic athletes imagining they were winning were just as successful as the ones that did the training on a daily basis.
Now you are able to do the imaginary resourcing, begin to do the daily things, taking the walk, baking the cake and all the things on your list. Begin to expand your list to include new things. Little by little you will find your life changing.
If you are badly traumatised it may be that you need additional help from an empathic therapist experienced in trauma resolution. Be aware if symptoms begin to worsen, it is usually part of your healing process. The psyche does not usually bring things up that you can’t cope with. However if you have any reason for concern, then do seek help. This is what I can offer click here.
Many blessings to you on your recovery. Welcome to the good life on our beautiful planet.