fight or flight cyp en-us

advertisement
Information handout
US English
Fight Or Flight
Fight Or Flight
Description
The fight or flight response is an automatic set of physiological and cognitive changes that are
designed to aid survival in situations perceived as dangerous or threatening. It is extremely
helpful for clients to understand the fight or flight response prior to engaging in exposure work
for anxiety. Schauer & Elbert (2010) have described an elaborated account of these reactions
as applied to trauma, but discussion limited to the fight or flight stages is often sufficient when
working with anxious clients. The Fight Or Flight information handout has been specifically
designed for younger children and includes carefully simplified language. The full pack contains
variations on the worksheet, including a version which explains why these reactions occur and a
version which invites individuals to describe their bodily reactions to frightening events.
Information that is helpful for clinicians to be able to share is why particular bodily reactions are
helpful responses to threat. The general answer to most bodily sensations is that “this prepares the
body for action” but specific responses include:
• “The heart beats faster to move blood (fuel, energy) to the muscles, this makes you better at
running away (or fighting if you need to)”
• “Breathing rate increases to move air (fuel, energy) to the muscles, this makes you better at
running away (or fighting if you need to)”
• “Pupils dilate to let in more light and improve visual acuity, this helps you to see danger better”
• “The body diverts blood (fuel, energy) to the muscles and away from the digestive system, this
makes you better at running away (or fighting if you need to) but you might notice symptoms
in your tummy”
Copyright © 2020 Psychology Tools Limited. All rights reserved.
Instructions
This handout can be used to stimulate a discussion between therapist and client. It is available in
multiple versions, some with more information ‘up front’ and others which leave more space for
exploration of the client’s experiences. Helpful prompts for discussion include:
• “Do you ever feel any of these feelings?”
• “What situations do you notice them in?”
• “What sets them off?”
• “What do you think about these body feelings?”
• “When you notice these sensations what do you think they mean?”
• “What does it say about you that you experience these sensations?”
• “When you feel scared or anxious what feelings do you notice in your body?”
• “When you feel scared or anxious what do you notice in your mind?”
• “What do you think about?”
• “What do you notice and focus on?”
Therapists should aim to help clients to understand why these reactions occur. Therapists will
need to adapt their explanation to the child’s developmental level and knowledge concerning
physiology, but helpful questions include:
• “If there was a lion chasing you, why might it be a good thing for your heart to beat faster?”
• “If you were in a situation where you are in real danger would you want a brain that thinks
slowly or quickly? Why?”
References
Cannon, W. B. (1916). Bodily changes in pain, hunger, fear, and rage: An account of recent researches into the
function of emotional excitement. D. Appleton.
Schauer, M., & Elbert, T. (2010). Dissociation following traumatic stress. Journal of Psychology, 218, 109-127.
Copyright © 2020 Psychology Tools Limited. All rights reserved.
Fight Or Flight
When we encounter something scary or dangerous our bodies
try to be helpful by getting us ready to fight or run away.
This fight-or-flight reaction might make you feel strong feelings
in your body and mind.
Feeling dizzy
Get cross or
short-tempered
Breathe quickly
Feeling scared or
nervous
Feeling hot or
sweaty
Body or muscles
feel tight
Want to get out,
run away, or hide
PSYCHOLOGYT
LS
®
‘Butterflies’ in my
tummy
Legs shake
Copyright © 2020 Psychology Tools Limited. All rights reserved.
Fight Or Flight
When we encounter something scary or dangerous our bodies
try to be helpful by getting us ready to fight or run away.
This fight-or-flight reaction might make you feel strong feelings
in your body and mind.
Breathe quickly
In scary situations we
breathe more quickly to
give more ‘fuel’ to our
muscles.
Get cross or
short-tempered
It is easy to get cross with
people who we feel are
getting in our way.
Feeling hot or
sweaty
Bodies that stay cool by
sweating can run away
faster.
Body or muscles
feel tight
Your muscles are ready to
help you run away from
danger.
Want to get out,
run away, or hide
Running away or hiding
can help you to stay safe
if the danger is serious.
PSYCHOLOGYT
LS
®
Feeling dizzy
If we breathe quickly
without getting active
we can start to feel
lightheaded.
Feeling scared or
nervous
Strong feelings like fear
get our attention
– this is helpful if there
are dangers nearby but
distracting if they are
a ‘false alarm’.
‘Butterflies’ in my
tummy
In scary situations your
body sends more blood
to your muscles and
less to your stomach.
Legs shake
In scary situations your
muscles get ready to
help you run away from
danger. They can shake
in readiness.
Copyright © 2020 Psychology Tools Limited. All rights reserved.
Fight Or Flight
In scary or dangerous situations our bodies and minds
can react all by themselves to help us get ready.
Write down a time you felt scared:
What feelings did you notice in your body and mind?
PSYCHOLOGYT
LS
®
Copyright © 2020 Psychology Tools Limited. All rights reserved.
Resource details
Title: Fight Or Flight (CYP)
Language: English (US)
Translated title: NA
Type: Information handout
Document orientation: Portrait
URL: https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/fight-or-flight-cyp/
Terms & conditions
This resource may be used by licensed members of Psychology Tools and their clients. Resources must be used in
accordance with our terms and conditions which can be found at:
https://www.psychologytools.com/terms-and-conditions/
Disclaimer
Your use of this resource is not intended to be, and should not be relied on, as a substitute for professional medical
advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are suffering from any mental health issues we recommend that you seek
formal medical advice before using these resources. We make no warranties that this information is correct, complete, reliable or suitable for any purpose. As a professional user, you should work within the bounds of your own
competencies, using your own skill and knowledge, and therefore the resources should be used to support good
practice, not to replace it.
Copyright
Unless otherwise stated, this resource is Copyright © 2020 Psychology Tools Limited. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2020 Psychology Tools Limited. All rights reserved.
Download