Whatever's happening, its happening right now
Perverse as it may sound, I enjoy working with clients who have experienced trauma. I don’t enjoy that people get traumatized or that they suffer, but I am thankful for the opportunity to accompany them on their healing journey, and to make a difference to their recovery.
When trauma is at play, what is happening is that what went on there and then is still happening, right here, right now, in the bodymind of the client. It is not over, its not past, its live, in the room. It’s as if the trauma is right in front of the client’s face, dominating what they can sense, and all their resources and strengths are away off at arms length, too far away to be seen.
The work of trauma therapy is to support the process of reversing these two positions. We bring resources and strengths to bear right here, right now. As we do so, the client can integrate all these pre-existing resources with the split off, hurt parts of self that are stuck in another time and place. As this happens, the there and then is free to drift off and become some place else, it stops happening here and now. And then, there is space for what is physically and emotionally present and connected to now, and it leaves room for the future too, for anticipation, excitement, and joy.
If you are being triggered here and now into responses that belong to another space and time, one first step is to ground yourself in the place you are in. What three things can you see? And what three things can you hear? And what three things can you physically feel? As you do this, you come to your senses, literally, you check in with them in the context of where you are physically located.
What other ways of grounding do you find most useful?