Trauma Treatment Toolbox

165 Brain-Changing Tips, Tools and Handouts to Move Therapy Forward
Pages: 265
ISBN: 9781683731795
Item Number: 8660

$33.24You save $1.75 (5%)

The latest research from neuroscience and psychotherapy has shown we can rewire the brain to facilitate trauma recovery.

Trauma Treatment Toolbox teaches clinicians how to take that brain-based approach to trauma therapy, showing how to effectively heal clients’ brains with straightforward, easy-to-implement treatment techniques. Each tool includes a short list of post trauma symptoms, relevant research, application, and clinician tips on how to complete the exercise.

  • Trauma treatment roadmap, based on neuroscience
  • Poses and movement-based techniques
  • Breathing and body-based scripts
  • Cognitive tools
  • Inspiring new strategies
  • Psychoeducational handouts for clients dual users


“A marvelous concise yet comprehensive collection of tools for the trauma therapist. Dr. Sweeton describes the techniques in just the right level of detail to enable the reader to both deliver the intervention and provide a cogent, motivating rationale for its use. There’s something in here to help every patient! I’ll be consulting this creative volume for years to come.”

—Alex Jordan, PhD, Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital

“This book is a tremendous resource for mental health providers and their clients. It is jam-packed with worksheets that lead readers through brain-based tools including focused breathing, awareness of body, movement, meditations and cognitive techniques. The meat consists of an extensive set of tools based on bottom up (using the body to change the brain) and top-down (using the reflective capabilities of the brain) approaches to brain change designed to help trauma survivors. An amazing book! Every therapist will want to use the tools in this book whether they specialize in trauma or not.”

—Debra Burdick, LCSW, BCN, author of numerous books on mindfulness and ADHD, including Mindfulness Skills Workbook for Clinicians and Clients

“I love this book! With information and research for clinicians followed by protocols and scripts for each trauma tool, these top down (cognitive) approaches are very different than the usual thought challenging methods of CBT. I definitely will be adding this book to my current library and urge everyone working with these clients to do the same.”

—Kate Cohen-Posey, MS, LMHC, LMFT author of the Brief Therapy Client Handouts books and creator of the Handy Brain Model


Table of Contents


Introduction:  How to Use This Workbook xiii


Brain Basics for Trauma Recovery

Chapter 1: The Neuroscience of Trauma 3

Tool 1-1: Understanding the Amygdala 7

Handout: Amygdala: The Fear Center 8

Tool 1-2: Understanding the Hippocampus 9

Handout: Hippocampus: The Memory Center 10

Tool 1-3: Understanding the Insula 11

Handout: Insula: The Interoception Center 12

Tool 1-4: Understanding the Prefrontal Cortex 13

Handout: Prefrontal Cortex: The Thinking Center 14

Tool 1-5: Understanding the Cingulate 15

Handout: Cingulate: The Self-Regulation Center  16

Tool 1-6: Understanding Brain Connectivity 17


Chapter 2: Integrating Brain Change Approaches 19

Tool 2-1: Bottom-Up Approaches to Brain Change 21

Handout: Change the Brain Bottom-Up  22

Tool 2-2: Your Brain on Bottom-Up Techniques 23

Handout: Your Brain on Bottom-Up Techniques 24

Tool 2-3: Top-Down Approaches to Brain Change 25

Handout: Change the Brain Top-Down  26

Tool 2-4: Your Brain on Top-Down Techniques  27

Handout: Your Brain on Top-Down Techniques  28

Tool 2-5: Roadmap for Treating Trauma 29

Chapter 3: Pendulation and Titration 31

Tool 3-1: The Distress Thermometer 33

Handout: Distress Thermometer Worksheet  35

Tool 3-2: Identifying Boiling and Freezing Points  37

Handout: Your Boiling and Freezing Points 38

Tool 3-3: Identifying Degrees of Freedom  39

Handout: Your Degrees of Freedom 40

Tool 3-4: Taking a Temperature Reading 41

Handout: Taking Your Temperature 42

Tool 3-5: Locating Distress in the Body 43

Handout: Distress in Your Body  44

Tool 3-6: Noticing Distress in the Mind 47

Handout: Your Distressed Thoughts  48

Tool 3-7: Pendulation Strategies  51

Handout: Anger Induction 52

Handout: Fear Induction 54

Handout: Love Induction 56

Handout: Happiness Induction 57

Tool 3-8: How to Integrate Pendulation and Titration into Bottom-Up Techniques  59

Handout: Using Bottom-Up Techniques to Manage Distress 60


Bottom-Up Tools



Chapter 4: Focused Breathing Tools 63

Tool 4-1: Breathe Through the Diaphragm 65

Handout: Vagus Nerve Activation through the Breath 66

Tool 4-2: The Brain on Focused Breathing  67

Handout: Your Brain on Focused Breathing  68

Tool 4-3: Diaphragmatic Breathing 69

Handout: Diaphragmatic Breathing 70

Tool 4-4: Ocean Breath 71

Handout: Ocean Breath 72

Tool 4-5: The Five-Count Breath 73

Handout: The Five-Count Breath  74

Tool 4-6: Balanced Brain Breath 75

Handout: Balanced Brain Breath 76

Tool 4-7: 5-5-8-2 Breath  77

Handout: 5-5-8-2 Breath  78

Tool 4-8: Body Breath 79

Handout: Body Breath Script  80

Tool 4-9: Moving Breath81

Handout: Moving Breath 82

Tools 4-10: Other Ways to Activate the Vagus Nerve 83

Handout: Ways to Activate the Vagus Nerve 84

Tool 4-11: Power Breath 87

Handout: Power Breath 88

Chapter 5: Body-Based Tools 89

Handout: What is Interoception? 90

Handout: Your Brain on Interoceptive Exposure 91

Tool 5-1: Anchoring into the Present 93

Handout: Anchoring into the Present  94

Tool 5-2: Other Ideas for Anchoring into the Present

95 Handout: Other Ideas for Anchoring into the Present 96

Tool 5-3: Sensory Sensitization Training 97

Handout: Sensory Sensitization Training 98

Tool 5-4: Breath Connection99

Handout: Breath Connection Script 100

Tool 5-5: Heart Connection101

Handout: Heart Connection Script 102

Tool 5-6: Find your Center 103

Handout: Find your Center  104

Tool 5-7: Scanning for Strength105

Handout: Scanning for Strength Script 107

Tool 5-8: Tense and Release 109

Handout: Tense and Release 110

Tool 5-9: Conditioned Relaxation 111

Handout: Conditioned Relaxation112

Tool 5-10: Autogenic Training 113

Handout: Autogenic Training 114

Tool 5-11: Integrated Systems Check 117

Handout: Integrated Systems Check  118

Chapter 6: Movement-Based Techniques and Poses 119

Handout: What are Movement-Based Techniques? 121

Handout: Your Brain on Movement-Based Techniques 122

Tool 6-1: Incorporating Movement and Poses into Psychotherapy 123

Handout: Incorporating Movement and Poses into Psychotherapy 124

Handout: Example of Incorporating a Pose and Movement into a Top-Down Approach 125

Tool 6-2: Trauma-Informed Instruction127

Handout: Trauma-Informed Movement Tips 129

Tool 6-3: Poses and Movement for Grounding 131

Handout: Easy Pose  133

Handout: Mountain Pose 134

Handout: Warrior II Pose 136

Handout: Partner Grounding Exercise 138

Tool 6-4: Poses and Movement for Calming 139

Handout: Child’s Pose  141

Handout: Upward Facing Dog Pose 142

Handout: Cat/Cow Pose 143

Tool 6-5: Poses and Movement for Safety 145

Handout: Psoas Relaxation Pose  147

Handout: Forward Bend Pose 149

Tool 6-6: Walking Meditation 151

Handout: Slow Walking Meditation 152

Handout: Fast Walking Meditation 153

Tool 6-7: Benefits of Exercise 155

Handout: Benefits of Exercise 157

Tool 6-8: Other Movement Practices 159

Handout: Other Movement Practices 160


PART III Top-Down Tools

Chapter 7: Meditations 163

Handout: What is Meditation? 164

Handout: Your Brain on Meditation 165

Tool 7-1: Types of Meditation 167

Handout: Open Awareness vs� Closed Concentration Meditations 168

Tool 7-2: Trainspotting Meditation (Open Awareness) 169

Handout: Trainspotting Meditation (Open Awareness) 171

Tool 7-3: Mind-Body Connection Meditation (Open Awareness) 173

Handout: Mind-Body Connection Meditation  175

Tool 7-4: Emotional Awareness Meditation (Open Awareness) 177

Handout: Emotional Awareness Meditation 178

Tool 7-5: Expansion Meditation (Open Awareness) 181

Handout: Expansion Meditation 183

Tool 7-6: Focus Meditation (Closed Concentration) 185

Handout: Mantras and Affirmations 186

Handout: Focus Meditation 187

Tool 7-7: Visualization Meditation (Closed Concentration) 189

Handout: Visualization Meditation 190

Tool 7-8: Resource Meditation (Closed Concentration) 191

Handout: Resource Meditation  192

Tool 7-9: Self-Compassion Meditation (Closed Concentration) 193

Handout: Self-Compassion Meditation 194

Tool 7-10: Alternating Meditations (Open/Closed) 195

Handout: Alternating Meditations  196

Tool 7-11: Compassion and Gratitude Meditation (Open/Closed) 197

Handout: Compassion and Gratitude Meditation 198 

Chapter 8: Cognitive Tools 201

Handout: Cognitive Tools 202

Tool 8-1: Trauma-Focused (TF) vs  Non-Trauma-Focused (NTF) Cognitive Tools 203

Handout: Trauma-Focused vs  Non-Trauma-Focused Cognitive Tools 204

Tool 8-2: Third Person Perspective 205

Handout: Third Person Perspective  206

Tool 8-3: Broadening Your Perspective 207

Broadening Your Perspective Worksheet Example 208

Broadening Your Perspective Worksheet 210


Tool 8-4: Remembering Your Past Self 213

Remembering Your Past Self Worksheet Example 214

Remembering Your Past Self Worksheet 216

Tool 8-5: Channeling Your Future Self 219

Channeling Your Future Self Worksheet Example 220

Channeling Your Future Self Worksheet 222

Tool 8-6: Evaluation Self-Blame 225

Evaluating Self-Blame Worksheet Example 226

Evaluating Self-Blame Worksheet 228

Tool 8-7: Finding the Nugget of Truth231

Finding the Nugget of Truth Worksheet Example 232

Finding the Nugget of Truth Worksheet 234

Tool 8-8: The 4-3s 237

The 4-3s Worksheet Example  238

The 4-3s Worksheet  240

Tool 8-9: Approaching Fear Despite Fear 243

Approaching Fear Despite Fear Worksheet Example 244

Approaching Fear Despite Fear Worksheet 247

Tool 8-10: Focusing Away, Focusing Near 249

Clinician Handout: Part I, Focusing Away 251

Clinician Handout: Part II, Focusing Near 253

Client Handout: Part I, Focusing Away 255

Client Handout: Part II, Focusing Near 257

References  259

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