My Approach to Grief Therapy

Grief is the response to loss, and it encompasses a broad range of feelings, cognitions, physical sensations, and behavioural changes. Grief can come from losses beyond the death of a loved one, such as the loss of an ideal/dream (partner changed after marriage, raising a child alone, not being able to have children), loss of ability (due to accident or medical condition), loss of wellness, loss of connection or belonging, loss of safety/security, or the loss of a pet.

I work with a wide lens of grief. Grief is not something you can fix. It is the process of coming to terms with a loss. There is a dance that involves the non-linear process of grief. There is no particular journey that grief takes, each individual has their own experience. It also can be difficult when your way of processing grief is different from loved ones.

I work with you where you are in your journey with grief. If needed, I may give psychoeducation or techniques to help you in your journey. I work with you and your grief as a listener with compassion. I am a witness to your pain. If you lost a loved one, I am a witness to the love you had for the person you lost and someone who is walking with you as you come to terms with the loss. If you lost something else, I am a witness to how much that thing meant to you and someone you can talk to figure out the next step in your life without that loss.

If you wish, I can help you make your way through the 4 tasks of grieving:

  1. To accept the reality of the loss.
  2. To process the pain of grief.
  3. To adjust to a world without the person/thing you lost.
  4. To find a way to remember while embarking on the rest of one’s journey through life.

I am here for the part of the journey that you wish for me to be a part of. Whether it is the processing of the pain and readjustment after loss or something else. I will be there as a witness and support as you process your grief. I will be there to listen and hear you as you deal with the world you live in after the loss and the struggles to figure it out.

Grief is never easy and there is no one way to do it. Sometimes you need some help along the way and that’s okay. That is why I approach counselling grief the way I do.

How Can a Therapist Help Improve Your Sleep?

There are several ways that a therapist can use to help you improve your sleep. Therapists often know the background to why certain items are listed on sleep hygiene lists and help you figure out how to use them to get you a better sleeping pattern. Some of the things listed on sleep hygiene lists are not practical for certain living situations (i.e., having your bedroom only for sleeping when you are living in a tiny studio or 1-bedroom apartment) and a counsellor can help you figure out what matters.

Use Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) to help with thoughts, emotions, and beliefs interfering with sleep. This involves working with your beliefs, thoughts, and emotions to increase your sleep and help to remove mental barriers to sleep. CBT-I is an evidence-based approach to insomnia that helps improve sleep for 70-80% of people with insomnia that have tried it.

A counsellor can help with problem-solving around what affects your sleep with consideration of your personality, mental health challenges, your nervous system, living situation, work/life balance, and so on.

  • What matters to you as an individual?
  • What is stimulating to you?
  • What is your sleep routine and are there improvements that can be made?
  • What habits may be preventing you from having a good sleep?
  • Do you have a good sleep space?
  • What challenges do you have that you need to problem-solve around?

Treating mental health symptoms that could be interfering with sleep:

  • Anxiety (rumination can be stimulating)
  • Hypervigilance (can prevent you from relaxing enough to fall asleep)
  • Depression
  • Trouble relaxing
  • Bad dreams/nightmares (can make a person try to avoid sleep to avoid the bad dreams/nightmares)

A counsellor can also provide psychoeducation about sleep, teach you skills that enhance your ability to fall asleep, and techniques to work with some of the barriers that are interfering with you getting a good night’s sleep.

As with any type of therapy, therapy for sleep can only help to the extent that you apply it to your life and nighttime routine.

What is the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)?

What is the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)?

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is an evidence-based listening therapy designed to reduce sound sensitivities and improve auditory processing, behavioural state regulation, and social engagement behaviours through filtered music.

As a practical application of Polyvagal Theory, the SSP acts as a non-invasive, acoustic vagal nerve stimulator, helping to re-tune the nervous system to better support connection, collaboration, and resilience.

The SSP involves listening to specially filtered music through headphones alongside a provider, in-person or remotely. Suitable for children and adults, the SSP has demonstrated results for individuals with trauma, anxiety, sensory processing differences and more. It activates the client’s social engagement system, helping to accelerate and enhance therapeutic outcomes. It suppers physiological state regulation, allowing for greater resilience.

You can find out more information about the SSP at

Who is SSP beneficial for?

The SSP is beneficial for:

  • Trauma
  • Chronic pain
  • Anxiety
  • Long covid
  • Stress-related disorders
  • Misophonia
  • Sleep disorders
  • Overactive/underactive emotional states
  • Sensory challenges
  • Fear/phobia-related disorders
  • ADHD
  • Digestion issues related to physiological state (or stress)
  • Attention difficulties.

What is required for the SSP?

To access the SSP, you need a smartphone with the app installed. You need an account activated for remote listening by your therapist. The listening requires over-the-ear headphones without noise cancellation features (or the noise cancellation features turned off).

Doing the listening as recommended by your therapist, as your therapist will create a program plan based on your symptoms and experiences as well as how your nervous system reacts to the SSP. Check-ins with your therapists for remote listening sessions (outside of counselling sessions) to email or secure messaging.

How long will it take?

It can take anywhere from 5 days to a year, depending on your nervous system. Everyone’s nervous system is different and responds to the SSP differently. It will depend on how dysregulated your nervous system is and how your nervous system responds to the SSP. It is important to understand that it is important not to rush the process and to listen to your nervous system. Working with your therapist to get the most out of the SSP.

What does it cost? What is included?

The SSP is done alongside your weekly or biweekly sessions and I charge a one-time fee of $750 for the entire program. This covers access to the program, and the time your therapist spends outside of counselling sessions monitoring and supporting you through email and/or secure messaging. It covers up to 4 repeats of the SSP Core (needs to be 6-8 weeks between repeats of SSP Core) and continued use of SSP balance after finishing the complete SSP.

Please note if you are interested but can’t make it work financially. Contact me as I do provide a sliding scale on access to the SSP as well as my counselling sessions.

What is the process?

If you are a current client, once you decide to invest in the SSP, I will send you an assessment for you to fill out in your own time. We will take a session to fill in any needed resources, explain the psychoeducation to support the SSP and discuss how we will implement it. Generally, we will do a bit of listening during that first session to see how your nervous system is handling it. If appropriate, we will transfer the rest of the listening to remote access, with email or secure messaging check-ins, and check-ins with each of your counselling sessions.

If you are a new client, I will send you an assessment for the SSP along with your intake and informed consent forms. It will take about 2 – 3 sessions for history taking (allowing your therapist to understand what may be affecting your nervous system), resource and skill building, essential psychoeducation, and exercises to better understand your nervous system.

Once enough support has been established. We will do a bit of listening during a session to see how your nervous system responds to it before having you listen to it independently through the app with email/secure messaging support and regular check-ins during your counselling sessions.

It is important to go through the listening process as slowly as your nervous system needs. Some people may need to take breaks or do activities that are more regulating while doing their listening. Your therapist can help you to understand what to pay attention to and what the proper balance is.

Find out more:

What is Polyvagal Theory

The Vagus Nerve

The Vagus Nerve is the longest cranial nerve in the body and it stretches from the brainstem to the stomach. It influences both our emotional and physiological states. It wanders throughout your body connecting with most of the organs in the body.

What is Polyvagal Theory?

The polyvagal theory was developed by Stephen Porges and recognizes a hierarchical autonomic nervous system, which evolved to help us survive through communication, connection, and collaboration.

It describes three primary physiological states of the autonomic system, guided by a division of the vagus nerve (CN X) into dorsal and ventral components.  

  • Dorsal Vagal – The dorsal vagal state responds to cues of extreme danger through immobilization and helps us to survive by shutting down important physiological functions (i.e., digestion) in the presence of a life threat. It is a state of hypoarousal that communicates that you are unreachable and can be confusing to others. It’s a story of despair where the body enters conservation mode. A person in this state may feel like they are going through the motions but not connected. They may feel alone, lost, abandoned, unreachable, hopeless or that they have disappeared.
  • Sympathetic – The sympathetic state responds to cues of danger through mobilization and helps us to survive through activation and action. It is a state of hyperarousal and high alertness where you can’t access your Prefrontal Cortex (PFC) like you are used to and are unable to truly connect with others. It is part of the spinal nervous system that regulates breath and heart rhythms. It is a story of an unsafe world and unsafe people. It is a state of looking and listening for danger and in this state, people tend to miss and misread signs of safety. There is a sense of separation and being disconnected from self, others, the world, and spirit.
  • Ventral Vagal – The ventral vagal state responds to positive cues and supports feelings of being safe and relaxed. It is the state of co-regulation and connection and where health, growth, and restoration happen. It is where the social engagement system is and engaging socially cannot happen in a state of threat. It is the state that creates healthy homeostasis, allows for hope, compassion and self-compassion and is resourced and resourceful. It is this state of cooperation that is essential for survival where you reach out for, and offer, support.

These states are on a continuum, and we can experience blended states, where a pattern of response is influenced by more than one state. You can have one state in the foreground and another in the background.

Physiological states can affect behaviour, emotions, and cognition. It can bias our perception of our environment and prepares us to be either welcoming or defensive toward other people and situations. The better we can regulate our states and the more flexibly and smoothly we can move between them, the better our health (physical, emotional, mental) will be.

How Do You Tell If Your Nervous System Is Dysregulated?

A person’s nervous system generally spends most of the time with the parasympathetic (ventral vagal) nervous system activated to bring the nervous system to a calm state. When a person faces an emergency situation or crisis their sympathetic nervous system gets activated and after the crisis is over, the parasympathetic (Ventral vagal) nervous system brings the nervous system back to a normal state and calms it down.

When a person’s nervous system is dysregulated, this process does not work as it is supposed to. A dysregulated nervous system easily turns to “danger” responses such as fight, flight, freeze or fawn. A person with a dysregulated nervous system can be agitated or shut down. Also, their nervous system has trouble returning to a calm, parasympathetic state.

What are the Signs & Symptoms of a Dysregulated Nervous System?

A person with a dysregulated nervous system won’t have all these signs and symptoms, but if you recognize a pattern of some of these symptoms in yourself, you may have a dysregulated nervous system:

  • Difficulty relaxing
  • Hypervigilance
  • Seem to be caught in a “fight or flight” trauma response or stuck in a “freeze or fawn” trauma response.
  • A person who is a “People-pleaser.”
  • Engages in “toxic positivity” to the point where they become out of touch with their own vulnerable emotions and the emotions of others.
  • Thrill-seeking behaviours
  • Auto-immune disorders and diseases, irritable bowel
  • Constantly on edge, overwhelmed and/or overstimulated.
  • Frequently snappy, irritable, and reactive
  • Chronic pain and illness; unresolved aches and pains; somatization
  • Highly sensitive to sensory stimuli
  • Sleep problems (disrupted sleep, insomnia) and daytime fatigue
  • Chronic attention and concentration problems; executive dysfunction
  • Cravings and extreme appetite changes
  • Immune and hormonal symptoms/compromised immune system (keep getting sick)
  • Skin and gut conditions/ Digestive Issues/Nausea
  • Highly sensitive to other people’s emotional states
  • Constantly anxious, agitated, stressed and/or worried.
  • Hard time controlling your emotions or the inability to feel emotions.
  • Executive dysfunction
  • Stonewalling
  • Depression
  • Elevated or irregular heart rate.

What can Attribute to a Dysregulated Nervous System?

  • Traumatic experiences
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • Childhood trauma, especially chronic childhood trauma
  • Witnessing Domestic violence
  • Medical trauma
  • Chronic stress
  • Lack of social support
  • Unfavourable living experiences
  • Chemical imbalances
  • Experience-dependent plasticity, resulting in a constellation of symptoms and functional impairments.

What can be done to Regulate a Nervous System that has become Dysregulated?

Some people need help to get back to a regulated state and techniques such as breathing exercises, using music to regulate, using exercise to self-regulate, grounding techniques, and many other techniques.

A person’s nervous system can get stuck in a dysregulated state, in this situation a person needs help to get to a regulated state. For these people, the relaxation, breathing, and grounding technique might not work to get them back to a regulated state or they take longer to create the effect that is desired.

  • Polyvagal Theory gives a theoretical basis to understand how you can train your nervous system to regulate.
  • Safe and Sound Protocol is an approach based on filtered music that is based on Polyvagal Theory to help a person regulate their nervous system. It can be adjusted to the unique needs of a person’s nervous system.


Tanasuggarn, Annie. (November 5, 2022). The Health Risks of a Dysregulation Nervous System. Psychology today:

Hogue, Loren. (August 10, 2022). 9 Signs You have a Dysregulated Nervous System. Link-in:

Elbers, J., Jaradeh, S., et al. (2018). Wired for threat: Clinical Features of nervous system Dysregulation in 80 Children.

The Benefits of Virtual Therapy

When it comes to Virtual Counselling, there are different formats for virtual counselling. Counselling can be done in person, through various video platforms, by telephone, or through text or chat programs. In both in-person and video counselling, the therapist and client can still see each other and observe non-verbal forms of communication. While with telephone counselling, you can still have communication through vocal tones and words. With Text and chat-based counselling, the counselling is based on words and is more prone to misunderstandings. I generally find that it is more difficult to create a therapeutic alliance with my clients the more forms of communication that are removed. I find in-person and video counselling to be similar in effectiveness and which is more effective for a person depends on personal aspects and preferences. I have described some of the benefits, considerations, and challenges of Virtual Counselling below. Please note that most of these are based on video counselling rather than telephone and chat-based counselling.

More Convenient & Accessible

A person can access Virtual counselling from their own home. This helps people who have trouble getting out of the home or have busy lives and have a hard time finding the time to travel to and from appointments. You are generally able to find a comfortable place to sit at home to attend your counselling sessions.

Virtual therapy can often be squeezed into an hour during your day, such as your lunch hour. Occasionally, you can also have shorter appointments, if that is all you have time for.

Often can have comfort items with you

Often you can have a counselling session in a room in your home that is comfortable for you and you can have pets or things with you that can be calming for you and enable you to be more present in the counselling session.

Finding a provider that fits your needs

Effective counselling often means a good fit between client and counsellor. You want a counsellor that has the skills and techniques to work with the issues and challenges that you are bringing to therapy. The counsellors in your area may not have the skills to effectively work with your issues, but when you have virtual counselling, you can have a greater selection of counsellors to choose from.

Establishing a Therapeutic Relationship

A lot of people have found that they have been able to secure a good therapeutic relationship through virtual therapy. Therapists have found different ways to deepen a therapeutic relationship when not in the same room as the client.

Attunement and Body Language

With virtual/video therapy options, a therapist can still read a lot of the information that they would if it were in person. This is not the case for telephone or text-based therapies where the therapist cannot observe the face and shoulders.

More flexible, customizable

If you have trouble finding privacy at home, you might want to talk to your therapist while on your smartphone while walking or in a park. If you have chronic pain, you may be able to sit in positions that are more comfortable than if you attended counselling sessions in person. Often there is a lot of flexibility and adaptations that can come with a therapeutic experience that is virtual.

Reduced stigma & Increased Confidentiality

There is reduced stigma because people do not see you walking into a therapist’s office or see you in a waiting room. There is also increased confidentiality because you are not seen attending therapy. This means that you are in control of who finds out that you are attending therapy.

The rules around privacy and confidential client information for virtual therapy are strong and part of the ethical framework of therapeutic associations. Therapists are expected to use encrypted programs for therapy sessions, so what you say in therapeutic sessions should be as private as you are able to make it on your end (secure network, private space where others cannot overhear, etc.).

Making Virtual Therapy Better

Creating more privacy

There are ways to increase the privacy of your end of therapeutic sessions. If you are afraid of being overheard, you can use a white noise machine between you and the door. You can find a quiet, private space for doing your sessions in, such as a car, a large closet (clothes and fabrics also help to dampen the sound), a large pantry, or a bathroom, if necessary.

Reduce Distractions

Work with those around you to create boundaries around your therapy sessions, so that there are fewer interruptions and distractions.

What are some of the challenges with Virtual Therapy?

Certain Mental Health Conditions

People with intellectual disabilities, schizophrenia and at a high risk of suicide among those who would be more appropriate to be seen in person.

Personal Preference

Some people prefer meeting a therapist in person and have trouble connecting over video, if that is the case for you, you might want to pursue in-person counselling.

Technical Difficulties

With using technology to access counselling, there are chances that the technology could fail (Internet/power outages, device malfunctions, etc.). Usually, the therapist has a plan for technology issues.

The Benefits of Trauma Counselling

Trauma Therapy can help you understand why you are reacting in the way you are.

Through trauma therapy, you often learn that certain thoughts, emotions and behaviours occur because of the trauma you have been through. When you understand the living legacy of your own experiences and that they are normal reactions to abnormal circumstances and environments.

Often through trauma therapy, you may understand that you didn’t learn some of the techniques and skills of emotion regulation, coping, interpersonal relationships, and distress tolerance that people who grew up in emotionally and physically secure environments did.

Trauma Therapy can help you gain more control over your life.

Once you understand why you are reacting in a certain way due to past trauma, you can work with your therapist to use techniques to minimize the effect that your trauma has on your life. This can include reducing the chances of being triggered because you are putting things in place to be able to deal with some of your frustrations in better ways.

Trauma therapy can help you understand your triggers and help you become less reactive to your triggers and know what to do when you become triggered.

Trauma therapy can help you figure out how to create safety (physical and/or emotional) within your own life and how to create healthy boundaries to protect and care for yourself.

Trauma Therapy can help you find yourself.

Often people who experienced developmental trauma spent so much time trying to survive and fulfil their basic and emotional needs, that they don’t know who they are.

For example, a person who longs for acceptance that they didn’t get from their parents may become a people pleaser or someone who is focused on achievements. They don’t have the instilled acceptance within themselves from their parents and feel like they must do things for other people or achieve things to be accepted. Eventually, when they may realize that they don’t know who they are inside because they have always been about acceptance due to external factors.

Through a process of figuring out what are the effects of trauma, what are things you’ve done because that is how you survived, and what is the essence of who you are, you can discover a true sense of who you are.

Trauma Therapy can help you build better relationships.

Often people who did not learn good interpersonal skills growing up have difficulty in their adult relationships. Trauma therapy can help you learn to make good boundaries, learn how to ask for what you want without threatening the relationship, and learn how to assert your views in a way that respects both yourself and the other person.

Trauma therapy can help you gain awareness of how your previous relationships are affecting your current relationships and help you separate the past from the present.

Trauma Therapy can help you build a better life.

Trauma therapy can help you build on what you have. You can use the strengths you have built through your resilience in dealing with your trauma and learn new information and skills to help you grow the life you have into something better than it was before. A trauma therapist can help you reduce the trauma-related symptoms while helping you learn the tools to improve your life and how to cope with your trauma.

How Much Trust Do I Need to Find Success in Therapy?

Please realize you do not need to completely trust your therapist to find healing.

Often people have had a lot of damage in the past due to trauma or past betrayal and you have learned that people cannot be trusted. Do not feel that you cannot do therapy. The amount of trust you need is the amount that it takes to do the work. It is absolutely fine to hold parts of yourself back until the relationship you have with your therapist develops. If at the beginning all you feel comfortable with is the intake, discussion of goals and learning skills, that is fine. The trust can be built as the therapist shows his/her care for you and the relationship develops.

For some people the idea of an expectation of trust in the therapist is insane. If authority figures in your life have proven over and over again that they can’t be trusted, it is normal to not trust the therapist initially. Why on earth would you trust a person you never met, when the people that you should have been able to trust either betrayed you, proved unreliable or neglected you? In those situations, I recommend being honest with your therapist that you have trouble trusting and mentioning the direction that you feel okay going in (for example: focusing on skills, psychoeducation, focusing on a current situation at work, etc.).

At the end of the day, a client needs to be able to work with the therapist. Adjustments can be made for the wounds of the past. That is part of respecting the client and accepting where the client is. It is always okay, in fact, it is important, to tell your therapist that you don’t want to go to a certain place, do something, or deal with a certain part of your past.
Even for trauma processing, you do not need to reveal details about past trauma. With EMDR, these are the things we need to do processing (beyond some of the prep work to make sure you have the resources to deal with trauma flare-ups):

  • Current symptom, frustration, or limitation and the longing/missing need associated with that
  • Recent times when that longing/missing need wasn’t fulfilled
  • What the worst part of it is?
  • Be able to rate it on a scale of 0-10
  • A negative cognition (“I am”) statement
  • Past memories of something similar (only mention event “like a book title” and age)
  • Worst part of the memory
  • A positive cognition of what you would prefer to believe (“I am” statement)
  • What emotion you are feeling?
  • Identification of the location of a body sensation

Trust can be an important part of a relationship but when it comes to a relationship between a client and their therapist. There only needs to be enough trust to do the work. That trust may be in the techniques the person uses or that their experience and expertise may enable them to help you. A therapist can work with trust issues if you still can feel like you can do the work.

Window of Tolerance

The Window of Tolerance was first coined by Dan Seigel to describe the “optimal zone of arousal for a person to function in everyday life.” This window is the state where a person can effectively manage and cope with their emotions, and readily receive, process, and integrate information. When in this window, a person can adapt and respond in a way that fits the situation.

When you leave the Window of Tolerance, the reactions take over. They are instincts built within your body from evolution (they are instincts that helped out ancestors to survive and were passed down to us) and past experiences. They are about what was helpful then, but they may not be helpful now. For trauma survivors, these reactions are the story of their survival. They are reactions that were not integrated into the system, so when something similar happens in the present they come back feeling like they are in the present moment, but they are tied to the past.

When you are outside your “Window of Tolerance,” you are not able to think properly and that is because your prefrontal cortex (the thinking/reasoning part of the brain) in the brain has shut down to allow the survival part of the brain to take over. Before you can think about the situation, you need to get back to your “Window of Tolerance.” There are various techniques to achieve that, including grounding skills.

Hyperarousal is a heightened state of activation/energy and is often referred to as the “Fight, flight, or freeze response.” The person’s nervous system is on high alert and primed to respond to danger. This may appear as:

  • Angry outbursts
  • Panic
  • Hypervigilance
  • Fear
  • Tight muscles
  • Anxiety
  • “Deer in the headlight” freeze

When you experience chronic hyperarousal, you may experience:

  • Emotional overwhelm
  • Impulsivity
  • Hypervigilance
  • Reactive
  • Racing thoughts
  • Angry
  • Feeling unsafe
  • Defensiveness
  • Panic

Hyperarousal can be helped through deep breathing, orientation grounding techniques, and self-soothing techniques.

Hypoarousal is a “shutdown” or “collapse” response. It can either come directly from leaving the Window of Tolerance or come after going through a Hyperarousal state after leaving the Window of Tolerance. It comes from too little arousal and an overloaded parasympathetic nervous system. Hypoarousal can appear as:

  • Depression
  • Blank stare
  • Inability to speak
  • Numbness
  • Dissociation
  • Emptiness
  • Flaccid body/paralysis without obvious cause (trauma)

When you experience Chronic Hypoarousal, you may experience:

  • Numb
  • No feelings
  • Ashamed
  • “Dead”
  • No energy
  • Disconnected
  • Not present
  • Passive
  • Unable to think
  • Shut down
  • Unable to say “no”

Hypoarousal can be helped through movement, reminders of the present moment and location, focus on one of the 5 senses, and re-regulating the breath.

While stress and trauma can shrink your window of tolerance there are strategies that you can use to expand your Window of Tolerance. Grounding and mindfulness skills can be used to return to the window of tolerance. Processing trauma through specific modalities such as EMDR, Internal Family Systems, Somatic Experiencing, and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy can help to widen a person’s window of tolerance.

The National Institute for the clinical application of Behavioural Medicine has a useful infographic on their website as well as good information about the Window of Tolerance.

A book that describes well how the Window of Tolerance works with people who have been traumatized is Janina Fisher’s book “Transforming the Living Legacy of Trauma.”

What are Grounding Techniques?

Grounding Techniques are strategies that can bring an overactive nervous system down. They are different ways of calming a nervous system.

There are different types of grounding techniques. Not all of these work for everyone. You may need to try a number to figure out what works or combine a few of them to help to calm your nervous system down. There are some techniques that fit into more than one of these categories.

You may need to pick out some that work for different situations. When you are dealing with trauma from childhood experiences it may be more effective to match the grounding technique to the age you were when the trauma first happened or the needs that were neglected during the trauma (such as love, safety, stability, comfort, validation, and acceptance). For example, if you have a trauma trigger that is connected to your 7 year old self, a grounding technique that would be comforting to a 7 year old may be more effective than something that an adult is more likely to do (wrapping yourself in a blanket may be better than exercising indoors).

Grounding techniques can be used to bring someone from a hyperarousal state back into their window of tolerance. Some may work for people in a hypoarousal state. They are an essential resource for trauma recovery. It can be good to have a card with the grounding techniques that work best for you in different situations, so you can reference it when you are not able to think straight and enable yourself to get back on track.

I have a separate blog post with examples of the different types of grounding techniques.

Observation Techniques are grounding techniques that help to calm the nervous system by focusing on identifying and describing objects in the environment. For example, you may pick an object in the room or outside the window and start to describe it in different ways until your system starts to calm down.

Somatic Techniques are grounding techniques that help to calm the nervous system by focusing on sensations and/or movements in the body. For example, you may focus on the feeling of your feet pressing onto the floor.

Breathing Techniques are grounding techniques that help to calm the nervous system by focusing on the breath, control of the breath, and/or sensation of breathing. For example, you may focus on prolonging (slowing) the exhale as you are breathing.

Distraction Techniques are grounding techniques that help to calm the nervous system by distracting yourself from what is causing the nervous system to be overactivated. For example, you may watch funny Youtube videos.

5 Senses Techniques are grounding techniques that help to calm the nervous system by using your senses to calm the nervous system. For example, you may focus on the taste of a candy or the scent of a particular scent.

Self-Soothe Techniques are grounding techniques that help to calm the nervous system by soothing the nervous system through activities that are comforting to your system. For example, you wrap yourself in a soft blanket and focus on how soft the blanket feels around you.

Present Moment Techniques are grounding techniques that help to calm the nervous system by alerting it to the present moment during trauma triggers. When you are triggered by trauma the past comes back and feels like the present, so reminding yourself what the present moment is can calm the nervous system. For example, you may name today’s date and location.