Mind Body Bridging is a technique that is recommended for individuals who have experienced trauma (Block and Block, 2010, p. 3). Our brains are incredible organs, the brain can activate the flight/fight/freeze mode in order to remove ourselves from danger (Block and Block, 2010, p. 3). Being exposed to trauma can cause the flight/fight/freeze mode to become stuck on, causing our bodies to continue to feel a threat, even when one is not present (Block and Block, 2010, p. 3). The brain has internal mechanisms for healing itself, Mind Body Bridging uses techniques to remind the brain how to heal itself (Block and Block, 2010, p. 3).
There are some important terms in mind body bridging that should be understood before practicing.
Identity System- When the flight/fight/freeze becomes stuck on, it is said that the identity system is active (Block and Block, 2010, p. 2). Signs that your Identity System is active are; spinning thoughts, body tension, inability to think (Block and Block, 2010, p. 2).
Executive network– facilitates thinking and actions (Block and Block, 2010, p. 3). The executive system works properly when the Identity System is at rest (Block, 2010, p. 3).
True self- Who you are when you feel settled with about yourself and the world (Block and Block, 2010, p. 232). When we are tuned into our true self we are able to make decisions that are true to who we are. An example of me as a true self; being willing to see that other drivers have their own lives going on, and that they are not just there to be in my way.
Requirements- Rules made by an active Identity System, that dictate how you and the world should be at any given moment (Block and Block, 2010, p. 21). After spending a few weeks on the East Coast – I came home expecting all Utahans to drive like those from the East Coast.
Depressor – the part of the Identity System that uses negative self-talk to continue the image of the damaged self (Block and Block, 2010, p. 47). An example of a depressor is “I am a loser”.
Storylines– self talk that becomes a story, negative storylines define who we are, positive storylines confine us (Block and Block, 2010, p 59). The issue with storylines is that they direct our attention to the past and/or future, and away from the present (Block and Block, 2010, p. 59). An example of a storyline is; “I have always been a failure, I will always be a failure”.
Fixer– the fixer comes up with overactive thoughts and storylines on what is required in order to fix you and/or the world (Block and Block, 2010, p. 66). “I will be 100% perfect all of the time”.
There are variety of books written to walk individuals through the process of Mind Body Bridging, for less than $20 a piece (Amazon, 2017). The process of working through the book can be triggering, it is recommended that clients seek assistance through a mental health provider.
Although each book contains several different types of maps, the basic outline is;
- Select the kind of map (there are many throughout the book, be mindful that some need to be worked up to).
- Draw a circle – the issue or the name of the map goes inside the circle
- Scatter your thoughts, outside of the circle
- Label your thoughts; depressors, fixers, storylines, requirements, and body tension
- Create another circle (on the back or below first map)
- Tune into senses – possibly invite source for guidance
- Complete the map again, pausing to tune back into senses as needed
(Block and Block, 2010, p. 139-140).
Written by: KayLee Taylor, CSW
Amazon (2017). Mind Body Bridging Book. Amazon. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=mind+body+bridging
Block, S. H. (2017). About MBBI Institute. Mind Body Bridging Institute. Retrieved from http://mindbodybridging.com/about-mbb/
Block, S. H., & Block, C. B. (2010). Mind-body workbook for PTSD: A 10 –week program for healing after trauma. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.