Towards a Safe Foothold in the Present

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Towards a Safe Foothold in the Present

By Ellen K. K. Jepsen, MD, PhD, ESTD-mentor

A safe foothold in the present is required as part of the process of healing from past trauma as well as dealing with crises such as the corona-pandemic. This involves the building of regulatory skills to help the individual to regulate difficult emotions, impulses, and dissociation related to past trauma and current crises. Containment and grounding skills are emphasized as important to learn and master early in treatment. The following videos give suggestions for different approaches to containment and grounding. They are designed for survivors of complex trauma, and may be utilized in collaboration with their therapists. The videos include; two introductory videos followed by eight videos with different approaches to containment and grounding strategies, and a video summarizing the main learning points. The text of the manuscripts can also be downloaded directly, see link below.

EllenK. K. Jepsen, PhD, is ESTD-mentor and member of the membership committee, researcher and senior psychiatrist at the Department for Trauma Treatment, Modum Bad, Norway.

The videos Link to video   Link to text
Introduction I: General Strategies for Coping with Stress and Crisis  
Introduction II: On Containment and Grounding  
1 Mental Grounding  
2 Physical Grounding    
3 Using your Senses to Ground Yourself  
4 Separating the Past from the Present    
5 Distraction  
6 Safe Place  
7 Containing Memories  
8 Relationships as a Container  
9 Breathing and Containing  
Summing up: Steps Towards a Foothold in the Present  


Links to available translations of the texts:

Norwegian version