Wednesday Evening Open House for Individuals or Group Studio Visits

Support Activities Developed by:
Michael C. Irving, Ph.D., Sculptor/Coach & Counselor


Visual Grounding
    • Make eye contact with external objects.
    • 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 safety.
    • Look at yourself in the mirror.
    • In the mirror notice your age now.
    • That you are not the same person as when you were abused.
    • Physical changes.
    • Verbalize what you see in yourself.


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 of life
Creating growth, change, love
A star of hope and strength.

Gifts of courage are mine for today.
Reaching out, reaching in
Quiet strength.

I feel the presence of a healing tear
Not weeping but understanding
and cleansing, joyous, nurturing.

The rose I have been given is
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 body.
    • 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 can use.
    • Have your adult self reassure and protect your inner child.
    • Remind yourself where you are .
    • 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 handy.
    • 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 you
    • Read inspirational writing like “Chicken Soup For the Soul” or "Simple Abundance".
    • Create your own positive affirmations
    • 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 container.


Spaced out
in my make believe world,
has been my friend.

I am scared of
the sadness
from a poisoned reality
so suppressed.

The time has come
to face the ugliness
and shame
that lies buried
within me.

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 your breath.
    • 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 of nature.
    • 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


"Follow Site Web Ring"


Keep your head up.
Kareem, age 13


Be yourself and
trust in yourself.


together we are stronger
than along
Bruce and Austin


Always know
you are loved!
Chris and Eric


"Life is
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.

- Home

*All Rights Reserved
copyright (1991-2012)


*All Rights Reserved
copyright (1991-2012)