Build resources and strengthen your ability to overcome trauma memories
People need to build resources when they are struggling with trauma. They need assistance in feeling resourced before they can understand and integrate a traumatic memory. The trauma memory is something that needs to be worked with but only after the client is resourced and stabilised well. It is such a relief for people to find out what resources they have and how to implement them consciously in their daily life.
What does it mean to build resources?
People are often already building resources unconsciously for themselves. Resources are often what the person is doing for themselves but they are not conscious that they are doing it and that it is helping them to feel grounded and safe. A resource could be a body resource which a client does in the present moment, and the therapist notices them doing it and understands that this is how the client comforts themselves.
For example unconsciously a client may be gently rubbing a thumb against their other thumb as they rest their hands on their lap. As the client slows this body action down in mindfulness they can become conscious of the positive feelings that come from performing this action. There may be words that go with this self soothing contact that the client realises for themselves, such as “I need safe connection” or “as I feel my body I feel more here”.
Building non-somatic resources
The client may also become aware of other resources they are already doing for themselves that are called a “non somatic resource” which means a resource that is outside the realm of the body. This resource may involve relationships, such as the special bond a parent has with their child or the bond partners have with one another, or the bond one has with a pet.
Hobbies are building resources
Other resources can include a person’s hobby or interests in sports, music, theatre, movies, nature, food, fashion and a safe space or sanctuary such as their own home. When a person integrates or understands how their resource is already helping them to live day to day this can be a wonderful breakthrough for a client in arriving at a more stable place within themselves.
The client may notice they can take a deeper breath, or feel their feet more firmly on the ground, and sense more safety in their environment as they think of their resource. The therapist would also help the client sense how their resource is felt in their body, such as noticing the easeful nature of their breathing and sensing how their body feels more stable and present in the present moment.
As the client has an awareness of how their resources positively influence their felt experience of their body they can begin to reinvite a sense of joy and peace into their lives.