Quick Practices for Recovering from Trauma – Anytime, Anywhere!

Free exercises to help clients with traumatic events

Janina Fisher, Ph.D.

Surviving trauma is complicated by the way our minds and bodies respond to overwhelming, threatening events. A traumatic event does not feel “over” because we are left with a “living legacy” of trauma responses that reactivate trauma-related responses, feelings, and body memories. Worse yet, the “living legacy” of trauma consists of an array of symptoms and difficulties not easily recognizable as trauma related. Each represents a way that the mind and body adapted to daily threat and danger, to being trapped, to being too young or too powerless—or a way that the mind and body adapted to manage all the feelings and body responses. However, the living legacy doesn’t feel like memory nor is it experienced as a past event. It takes knowledge and practice to differentiate a feeling or body memory from a situational reaction in the present.

We must help clients remember that a traumatic event is just an event, no matter how horrific. If these events felt part of a long-ago past, survivors would not feel haunted or damaged by them. But because the trauma-related reactions are constantly being triggered and re-evoked by ordinary life, the legacy of trauma is kept “alive” long after the events are over.

In short, traumatic effects are not something your clients asked for or can control, but helping them to understand their emotions, symptoms, and behaviors will help them live more comfortably in their own skin. You can divide a roadmap to trauma recovery into six sections: 1) Recognize the effects of trauma, 2) Develop recovery skills, 3) Challenge trauma-related beliefs, 4) Navigate emotional and physical pain, 5) Cultivate healthy relationships, and 6) Overcome challenges to recovery.

My new Living Legacy of Trauma Card Deck can be a friend and mentor to your clients on their journey to trauma recovery. Each section includes an array of exercises and reminders for clients struggling with trauma-related reactions. And you can download an example from each section right now to get started on your clients’ healing journey! Click here to download 6 practices from the Living Legacy of Trauma Card Deck.

Free Exercises

The Living Legacy of Trauma Card Deck
The Living Legacy of Trauma Card Deck
Trauma’s living legacy affects every aspect of life, often in ways that have no obvious connection to the trauma itself. Feeling “crazy,” defective, fearful, and overwhelmed, survivors cope as best they can, but without an understanding of what’s happening to them, their confidence erodes.

The Living Legacy of Trauma Card Deck can be a friend and mentor on your journey to trauma recovery. Based on Janina Fisher’s 40 years of experience as an international trauma expert, these cards are filled with encouragement, inspiration, and practical tips to inspire you to keep going when you are feeling down, hopeless, self-blaming, confused, and anxious – no matter how hard it gets.
Meet the Expert:
Janina Fisher, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and former instructor at The Trauma Center, a research and treatment center founded by Bessel van der Kolk. Known as an expert on the treatment of trauma, Dr. Fisher has also been treating individuals, couples and families since 1980.

She is past president of the New England Society for the Treatment of Trauma and Dissociation, an EMDR International Association Credit Provider, Assistant Educational Director of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, and a former Instructor, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Fisher lectures and teaches nationally and internationally on topics related to the integration of the neurobiological research and newer trauma treatment paradigms into traditional therapeutic modalities.

She is co-author with Pat Ogden of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Attachment and Trauma (2015) and author of Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Overcoming Internal Self-Alienation (2017) and the forthcoming book, Working with the Neurobiological Legacy of Trauma (in press).

Learn more about her educational products, including upcoming live seminars, by clicking here.

Topic: Anxiety/Depression | Trauma

Tags: Free Resources | Trauma

Email Signup