Flashback Stopping

A common symptom of trauma is flashbacks, or re-experiencing a traumatic event. Flashbacks can feel very real, and it can seem like the event is happening all over again. I created a worksheet with prompts to help someone pull themselves out of a flashback, made so that individuals can choose which prompts are most beneficial to them. There is no right or wrong way to use this tool; you can add prompts if you would like or eliminate those that are not helpful. These are similar to grounding skills and can be used wherever or whenever a flashback occurs.

For children, it is particularly helpful for adults to know which tools are beneficial. This way, the adults can cue the child to use their coping skills. It’s best not to ask the child questions like, “Are you experiencing a flashback?” or “Are you remembering ______ (traumatic event)?” This can bring the negative memories into the forefront of the mind if the child was just having a bad day or upset about something else.

It is most helpful to practice this when calm so that the skill comes naturally when flashbacks pop up.

Published by Dr Marschall

Dr. Amy Marschall received her Psy.D. from the University of Hartford in September 2015. She completed her internship at the National Psychology Training Consortium with specializations in assessment and rural mental health. Currently, she specializes in trauma-informed and neurodiversity-affirming care, and she is certified in telemental health. Dr. Marschall runs a private practice, RMH Therapy, where she provides individual and family therapy as well as psychological assessments across the lifespan. Dr. Amy Marschall is an author and professional speaker.

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