As a somatic therapist with 20 years of experience helping individuals heal from all forms of trauma, I want to share the power of resourcing techniques with you.
In this article, we will delve into the essence of trauma, the significance of resourcing techniques, and why they are vital for your healing process. Furthermore, I will provide you with practical examples of resourcing techniques that you can readily incorporate into your daily life.
Together, let’s explore the path towards healing, resilience, and joy.
Before we embark on the journey of healing, it is essential to comprehend what trauma truly means. Trauma is an experience that overwhelms our nervous system’s capacity to cope and stay in balance.
Trauma can manifest in various forms, such as physical or emotional abuse, accidents, or natural disasters. We can also inherit trauma when parents or caregivers haven’t healed their own life’s traumas and inadvertently pass trauma on to their children and community. And, systemic trauma such as oppression, poverty, racism, and homophobia, to name a few, are other ways that trauma can manifest.
When trauma strikes, our nervous system can become trapped in fight, flight, or freeze responses, hindering our ability to move forward and heal.
What are Resourcing Techniques?
Resourcing techniques are transformative tools that empower us to cultivate internal resources, supporting us during times of stress or overwhelm. These resources can consist of positive memories, supportive imagery, and/or neutral or pleasant sensations that enhance our capacity and help us process challenging emotions and experiences.
Resourcing techniques possess remarkable power as they enable us to build resilience and develop self-regulation skills necessary for overcoming trauma’s grip. These techniques help shift our focus away from painful memories, somatic experiences and emotional distress towards more positive experiences. By engaging in resourcing techniques, we can foster an embodied sense of safety and support, fundamental aspects of the healing journey.
Practical Examples of Resourcing Techniques
Allow me to share some practical examples of resourcing techniques that you can incorporate into your daily life:
- Self-Compassion: Nurture self-compassion as a fundamental component of your healing process. Especially with early trauma (trauma(s) that occur between the ages of 0-5), cultivating compassion for the younger self whose needs often went unmet is a critical practice of self-compassion.
- With clients, I introduce a practice called “Time Machine.” As a client tells me about hard memories or traumatic events, I will ask them to go back in time and provide the words or actions that their younger self needed but didn’t get. I invite them to visualize being the safe-enough adult in the room that can show up for their younger self in meaningful ways.
- Cultivating self-compassion creates a nurturing environment for healing to flourish.
- Imagery: Close your eyes and visualize a safe place or a cherished positive memory. Engage all your senses as you vividly immerse yourself in this imagined space. Notice how your body may begin to feel more relaxed and your breath begin to slow and deepen. As you connect with this imagery, allow yourself to experience a deep sense of comfort, security, and and maybe even joy.
- A practice I use myself and encourage my clients to do is something I named, “Calling In Your Council:” Imagine you sitting with 1-5 people, your council, with whom there is mutual trust, love and safety. Imagine that they are in a semi-circle around you as they gaze at you with love, care and respect. Notice what happens in your body as you imagine this. Look for neutral and/or pleasant feelings in your body and then savor these sensations.
- Somatic Practices: Somatic practices refer to connecting to your body’s experience through noticing sensations, changes in physiology, changes in posture and facial expression and the quality of your breath.
- A practice I do often with clients during session is to have them notice what it feels like in their body to be good at something. Examples include being a good friend, being good at their job or a sport, or even organizing their closets.
Tips for Using Resourcing Techniques
As you embark on this transformative journey, consider these actionable tips to maximize the effectiveness of resourcing techniques:
- Start small: Begin by dedicating just a few minutes each day to practicing resourcing techniques. Gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable and attuned to your healing process.
- Be consistent: Consistency is key in building internal resources. Aim to incorporate resourcing techniques into your daily routine, even if it is just for a few minutes. Each practice accumulates, strengthening your capacity for healing and resilience.
- Be gentle with yourself: Remember that healing from trauma is a process that unfolds at its own pace. It’s less about getting it “right” and more about simply learning how to show up for yourself with kindness and softness.
- It’s about interrupting patterns: regardless of a resourcing technique helping you to feel better or having no impact at all, simply interrupting the habitual, maladaptive patterns begins to plant seeds of regulation in your nervous system and psyche.
Healing from trauma may be one of the bravest endeavors you can embark on as a human being. Seriously!
Thank you for reading! There is so much love for you here!