Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM)

Updated on May 22, 2022
Written by Alejandro Sandoval

Have you ever thought about what resiliency means? It’s the ability to move past negative feelings quickly, experiences, or events using physical, emotional, and mental skills.

After going through a traumatic event, it can be difficult to feel that sense of resilience. The Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM) helps with those challenges and lets you start to heal.

What the Trauma Resiliency Model Is

The TRM works to address the physical effects of stress created by traumatic events. The model is based on the fact that trauma is experienced largely through the senses and is stored in the nervous system. Therefore, training someone on resiliency skills can help build healthier muscle memory.

Unlike therapy that focuses mostly on thought patterns, TRM looks at harmful stimuli before it comes to thoughts by pushing those things away when they enter the sensory system. This helps by avoiding the physical strain often associated with stress from trauma.

This model focuses on understanding the internal state of the body. It has similarities to meditation but has been adapted for use toward the challenges specific to trauma recovery.

The Nine Resilience Skills

Nine skills are practiced during TRM. Your therapist will teach you these skills and ways to use them. After learning these skills, many people become better at controlling their responses to stress in the future.

1. Tracking

Tracking is used to help someone gauge their bodily responses and senses in real-time. You focus on the sensations of your body and pay attention to them. You notice when they change and describe what you feel. Even if uncomfortable things come up, you stick with the process.

2. Resourcing

Resourcing helps you create a working memory of happy, comfortable, and safe ideas and feelings that can be pulled out during tense moments in the future. You can create a secure space with your therapist while thinking about calming, safe, and comforting environments. You imagine you are there and think about what you feel. This can be used to calm yourself in the future.

3. Grounding

Grounding is used to reconnect the body physically within the safety of the world around a person. You pay attention to where your body contacts the ground or the chair or whatever you are sitting in. This means placing attention on feet on the ground, seat in a chair, or hands pushing a wall.

4. Gesturing

Gesturing can be used to build a set of physical movements that are calming in the moment. For instance, you might feel your feet touching the ground, focus on gravity, and feel the way your body is supported. This could also mean feeling the texture of items around you or detailing what you taste, smell, hear, see, and touch.

5. Help Now

“Help Now” is about teaching your body to move resources of resiliency to the most useful places. You learn things that can help you in the moment, which varies from one person to the next. This might mean going for a walk, counting backward, listening to sounds around you, pushing up against a wall, or paying attention to the temperature.

6. Shift and Stay

During “Shift and Stay,” you learn to move away from challenging sensations and instead go closer to physical wellness. Using gesturing, grounding, or resourcing, you center yourself in a more resilient zone and track what you feel as you do so.

7. Titration

Titration is a way of gradually and gently desensitizing yourself from stimuli that might otherwise be stressful. To do this, you slow your sensations and emotions like you might slow the tempo of a music piece. You separate and work on sensations or feelings and leave the rest for another time to avoid being overwhelmed.

8. Pendulation

Pendulation helps guide you from feelings of trauma to safety in the same way as a pendulum swings from one side to the other. You stay present in some part of your body activation, such as tension, panic, anger, or terror. Then move to a sense of calm in the body. You slowly learn to build time with the negative and then move to the positive.

9. Completion

In completion, you can act out your typical stress responses in an environment where you feel safe. This is where you work out blocked responses and dig into how you can overcome your traumas. Your therapist will be there to help you through this individualized process.

Trauma Resiliency Model Therapy in Pasadena, CA

At SandovalTherapy, Alejandro Sandoval offers TRM therapy and several other therapy techniques. Whether you are dealing with trauma, depression, anxiety, stress, or relationship issues, Alejandro is here to help.