Three Quick Quotes and a FREE resource – 7 April 2021
I hope you had a good Easter break – after a really busy few weeks for me, it was much needed!
In this week’s email we have:
- quotes from Judith Lewis Herman, Peter Levine and myself
- a free psychoeducational resource: the ‘Alphabet of Emotions’ poster PDF
- my ‘snap of the week’
- my weekly blog – this week it’s about ‘Words that make us feel seen’.
Please share this email with friends, colleagues and clients and ask them to join our community at www.carolynspring.com/subscribe where they can also get a free copy of our ‘Emotional Resource Guide’. And if you or they have missed any previous emails, there’s a full archive at www.carolynspring.com/three-quick-quotes.
“Being traumatised is a tough gig. Maybe one of the hardest. It’s exhausting, it’s debilitating, it affects every area of your life and it can feel insurmountable.
So it’s difficult to think that recovery is possible, even a little bit of recovery. Maybe it feels impossible to think in terms of significant recovery. And harder still to think in grand, magnificent, skyscaper-type ways about recovery.
But there’s so much more to ‘recovery’ than just neutralising symptoms – handling flashbacks, managing depression or anxiety, reducing uncontrolled switching, avoiding dissociative fugues. In other words, recovery is more than an absence of negative symptoms. There’s a life beyond.”
this week’s free resource
Dan Siegel says we have to ‘name it to tame it’ – meaning that a principal way of managing our emotions and even our distress is to put words to it. He explains that this is because we experience distress mainly in the right hemisphere of our brain, and to calm and soothe it we need to engage the left hemisphere, which is where words are generated. So being able to put our feelings into words is a key way to ‘affect regulate’.
The problem, though, for many of us as trauma survivors is being able to name our feelings in the first place. At the extreme end of our experience is ‘alexithymia’ – a stark inability to put feelings into words. But for everyone, it can be useful to have a few prompts. I’ve been helped enormously by going back to basics and stopping and thinking about what it is that I’m feeling, and having a menu of words to choose from to describe it. So that’s why I developed this poster (also found in our ‘Emotional Resource Guide’) which provides an ‘Alphabet of Emotions’.
As well as these words for starters, a useful exercise can be to develop your own emotional vocabulary. There’s a blank template to help this process available for download here.