Grounding Techniques

These are ideas of different techniques that people find useful as a way of feeling more in control of managing flashbacks, unwanted and intrusive thoughts and memories. 

We suggest that you experiment to find out which ones work best for you and it is likely that you may find new techniques that suit you better.

These techniques can be used:

  • When you are having a flashback and an unwanted memory comes into your mind
  • When you are going into a situation which might trigger a flashback
  • To practise daily so that it is easier for you to use them when you are upset or distressed

Babette Rothschild, who has written a lot about trauma reminds us that “Your flashback is a memory not a repeat of the trauma”. If you can notice where you are right now in the present it can help you know that the trauma is not happening again and to work out whether you are in a safe situation or not. If you need to you can then take action to move to somewhere safe.

Babette Rothschild also suggest that when you talk or think about your flashback use the past tense to describe it, to help to remind you that it was what happened in the past and it is not happening to you now.