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Coping with Flashbacks


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Compiled by Lauren


Coping With Flashbacks

-Letting emotions out...allowing ourselves to cry and be upset by it.

-Carrying a small stone in pocket everywhere and holding it and

trying to connect to the "now".

-Sing a song or chant

-playing musical instrument.

-Take off shoes and feel ground beneath feet, Touch a wall, flat palm.

-Looking at the room and naming things.

-Herbal calming pills

-Doing puzzles; coloring; Scribble in the corner of my paper to focus

attention on the writing motion

-Have lists of things to do when there is a flashback coming.

-Calling a hotline.

-Go to a safe spot - bring the phone - grab a pillow - don't bring

things that can hurt you - list of phone numbers to call for support

including best time to call.

-Get space; take a walk.

-Reading current magazines (helps to remind you of present)


-Counting backwards from 100.

-Keep reminders of good things around me: like cards people have sent

-Repeat to myself over and over that it is only a flashback

- Aromatherapy: lavender; candles

-Relaxation; deep breathing; relaxing music; taking baths

-Practicing visualizing things... and then pushing the images to more

of a distance.


-Going with flashback; let them continue and see where they end; just

riding them in a safe place is easier and takes less time than trying

to fight it; it's a bit like if you are driving on ice and you

skid....you are supposed to just let the car skid and not fight it.

-Writing flashback down; keeping journal; Making picture of flashback.

-Use panic attack techniques if you go into panic attacks when you

have flashbacks

-Ask others for help: tell them what you need

-Remind yourself that you are in the present: think of the year and your age

-Think positive thoughts; have affirmation cards with you

-Sit up straight and put both feet on the floor

-Practice grounding when you don't have a flashback so when you do you

know how to do it

-Use imagery and go to a safe place in your head

-Use your five senses to ground yourself

-Drink something cold or hot

-Carry something with you that is small and can fit in your hand that

is grounding. A stone or little toy will work.

-Turn on the lights

-Use memory techniques to ground yourself, like saying people's names

or naming cities


-Stay away from places where you will be alone or tend to use

unhealthy coping skills

-Use a containment box to hold the flashback in

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