It’s always seemed odd to me that art therapy was its own thing, separate from “regular” therapy. As someone who has long struggled with verbal language, I’ve always thought that a therapist who was any good would be prepared to communicate with clients on their terms. Communication happens so many ways: verbally, physically, through art or song. Why wouldn’t I use all those tools when helping someone? And why wouldn’t I give them the chance to communicate with something other than spoken word if there was a better way?
from When Words Fail in Therapy

It’s always seemed odd to me that art therapy was its own thing, separate from “regular” therapy. As someone who has long struggled with verbal language, I’ve always thought that a therapist who was any good would be prepared to communicate with clients on their terms. Communication happens so many ways: verbally, physically, through art or song. Why wouldn’t I use all those tools when helping someone? And why wouldn’t I give them the chance to communicate with something other than spoken word if there was a better way?

from When Words Fail in Therapy

See if you can identify which people had the type of experience that leads to vicarious trauma (assume they meet the other criteria for PTSD).

A. Homicide detective has been working murder scenes for several years. Lately, images from several cases keep popping up as he goes about his daily routine.

B. A man who observed his father beating his mother repeatedly now struggles to connect with women he’s dating, and has poor emotional regulation.

C. Sexual assault hotline counselor has been having nightmares and is suspicious of men she encounters.

D. You felt anxious for weeks after the 9/11 attacks

E. A man supports his girlfriend after she’s been assaulted, including hearing her tell her story a few times. Now he experiences bouts of rage at small inconveniences.

Pocket-sized Grounding Kit
What do I need?

An index card-sized file folder
Index cards
Pen
Stone
rubber band
red marker (optional)
Where do I start?
First, you want to decide what sections you want. Here are some ideas, though feel free to create your own.
Grounding exercises
Inspirational quotes
Notes from friends, family or therapist (can be collected)
Religious/Bible quotes or sayings
Pictures that are meaningful
Goals you want to accomplish
Neutral comebacks (i.e. “Do you think so?” “How interesting.” “That’s nice.”)
Emergency hotlines, friends or supports to call
Next, create some index cards for each category. The stone, rubber band and marker are in case you need them for grounding exercises. I have clients who keep the marker in the kit so that they can use it if they feel the urge to cut. The pen is so you can add things as you go.
Now you have kit, will travel!

Pocket-sized Grounding Kit

What do I need?

  • An index card-sized file folder
  • Index cards
  • Pen
  • Stone
  • rubber band
  • red marker (optional)

Where do I start?

First, you want to decide what sections you want. Here are some ideas, though feel free to create your own.

  • Grounding exercises
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Notes from friends, family or therapist (can be collected)
  • Religious/Bible quotes or sayings
  • Pictures that are meaningful
  • Goals you want to accomplish
  • Neutral comebacks (i.e. “Do you think so?” “How interesting.” “That’s nice.”)
  • Emergency hotlines, friends or supports to call

Next, create some index cards for each category. The stone, rubber band and marker are in case you need them for grounding exercises. I have clients who keep the marker in the kit so that they can use it if they feel the urge to cut. The pen is so you can add things as you go.

Now you have kit, will travel!