How recasting, attuning and mending move us to trauma recovery.
RAM CIRCLE is a healing approach that incorporates story telling (Recast), mindfulness skill building (Attune) and sustained processing (Mend) towards trauma growth, anxiety and pain relief. It integrates several modalities such as traditional talk therapy, body-brain processing, behavioral activation and mindfulness.
The three pillars of RAM CIRCLE are as follows:
First, we RECAST as a way to communicate an alternative helping us to move our bodies from what feels like the threat of a tsunami to a more manageable rainfall. Recasting offers us the opportunity to have clarity.
For example, you are recasting a narrative when you begin to think of some ways to tell the story differently allowing you to scale the problem down to something less threatening whether or not you entirely believe the alternate version.
Second, we ATTUNE. It is important that we listen and soothe our bodies regularly. I read a quote once that says “attitude determines your altitude”. When you aren’t in your body, you cannot determine your altitude. Attuning is about cultivating body awareness, calmness, fairness and presence. It’s a way of releasing the parts of yourself that have been in confinement and surrendering to the power of your body. You attune best by creating a ritualized self care routine. Here are some examples of how you can accomplish that:
Start with something that puts you in a great mood 3-5 minutes in the morning and 3-5 minutes at night. You can build your capacity from there. Feel free to integrate some body movement to help redirect any tensions, strains, constrictions or any somatically trapped words, thoughts or feelings. Things like dancing, planks, full body tapping, jumping jacks, etc are ways to reinforce some integration towards self soothing. Moreover, you can simultaneously incorporate belly and chest breathing (one hand on belly and the other hand on chest) taking deep slow breaths, focused chewing, mindful fluid intake, mindful touching or observing.
Lastly, MEND. Pain can have a profound and transformative effect in your lives. Mending is generational work that takes into account the trauma that you inherited and the one you carry from your own lived experiences. Mending your trauma is a bold statement that your pain, suffering isn’t just another never ending episode. Mending unburdens the past, informs your perspective in the moment by igniting growth and helps you to create new healing pathways. While your trauma isn’t your identity, it is a part of your story. Create a vision for yourself that depicts how you wish to grow from this moment you’re in. This will require consistent long-term actions from you. It doesn’t mean that you won’t have moments where you feel that you’re moving backward or feel stuck. It does mean mending old hurts will lead to less emotional disruption over time. To mend is to be clearer about your intentions moving forward and that allows you to offer little to no regards for the obstacles that will get in the way as part of life’s journey. Your unhealed trauma is negative energy looking for resolution. Wish it its own freedom, bless it and let it fly away.
Marjorie Jean, LCSW-C, LICSW