- Make eye contact with external
- Look at things in the distance
and up close.
- Look at pictures or photographs
which have a calming effect on you.
- Draw a picture which represents
- Look at yourself in the mirror.
- In the mirror notice your
- That you are not the same
person as when you were abused.
- Physical changes.
- Verbalize what you see in
I have become real
My hand is my face and voice in the world
The experience of the past has
created lines of care and work
Scars of joy and pain.
I am real. I trust
I am my true self
I have been lost
I was violated
Now I am healing
The presence of peace
Spiritual, certainly that
I am meant to be here as I am.
Hope of healing, spark
Creating growth, change, love
A star of hope and strength.
Gifts of courage are
mine for today.
Reaching out, reaching in
I feel the presence
of a healing tear
Not weeping but understanding
and cleansing, joyous, nurturing.
The rose I have been
My beauty inside and out.
I do not need to be afraid of beauty
Like the rose I am strong, delicate, fragrant
All shades of red to pure white
Grounding - Physical
- While standing or sitting
down feel the floor supporting your entire
- Lay down and feel the surface
of your back on the floor.
- Try walking around the room,
paying attention to how your feet make contact
with the ground.
- Stretch and roll your head
and neck, stretch your whole body.
- During a flashback, stamp
feet while walking - keep head upright.
- Make noise or sounds that
ground you and give you energy and alertness.
- Make physical contact with
a safe person or object.
- Give yourself a hug.
- Sit with both feet on the
floor - legs uncrossed.
- Hold your posture upright.
- Hold your own hand.
- Hold onto a meaningful object.
Grounding - Cognitive
- Tell yourself reassuring
thoughts, such as: You are an adult now and
you are safe. People care about you and do
not abuse you now.
This flashback is just a memory in your mind.
You have strengths and resources that you
- Have your adult self reassure
and protect your inner child.
- Remind yourself where you
- Notice what you are wearing.
- Reality check: focus on objects
in your surroundings, name them one at a time.
- Write reassuring thoughts
and affirmations on index cards and keep them
- Write your thoughts, focusing
on how you would like to feel and what you
can do to get yourself there.
- Read a yearbook, letters,
cards, certificates that point out your accomplishments
or positive things that others have said about
- Read inspirational writing
like “Chicken Soup For the Soul”
or "Simple Abundance".
- Create your own positive
- Think about a time or incident
in which you felt strong, empowered, victorious.
- Organize a drawer, cupboard
or closet: it can help organize your head.
- Choose a coloured marker that
represents safety, reassurance. Ask yourself
what that colour is saying to you. Draw, write,
or just carry it.
- Have an amulet or important
token. Ask yourself what the significance
of that special item is to you.
- When the flashback is over:
Write or draw the flashback.
Then do relaxation exercises.
Then, go to a safe place in your mind, put
the memories in a container, and close the
in my make believe world,
has been my friend.
I am scared of
from a poisoned reality
The time has come
to face the ugliness
that lies buried
One step to groundedness.
What is yesterday, that's not today
and cannot be tomorrow.
It's pain and screams, silent dreams
words never spoken.
What is today, that's not yesterday
and cannot be tomorrow.
It's healing scars, risking all
telling the unspoken.
What is tomorrow, that's not today
and cannot be yesterday.
It's birds and trees, a living dream
It's all that life is made of.
Grounding Through Breathing
- For a moment focus only on
- Pay attention to breathing
in and out.
- Breathe evenly and calmly,
feeling your lungs expand with oxygen when
you inhale and deflate when you exhale.
- Place your hand on your abdominal
area and feel your stomach expand outward
when you inhale.
- Imagine breathing the freshness
- Each time you inhale say a
calming statement to yourself such as:
I am breathing in calm air.
I am safe.
I am inhaling calm air and I am exhaling anxiety,
toxins, the pain.
- Each time your exhale/breath
out, say a number to yourself.
- Count ten exhalations and
so on, in groups of ten if needed.
- Breathe in white light or
use other imagery you find calming.
- While breathing imagine or
use pleasing aromas
Keep your head up.
Kareem, age 13
Be yourself and
trust in yourself.
together we are stronger
Bruce and Austin
you are loved!
Chris and Eric
what you make it!"
Naomi, age 18
Together we can make
I'm so proud of you.
Together we can make
a difference and
Heal our hearts.