Discovering emotional flashbacks
Discovering the concept of ’emotional flashbacks’ changed my life. I read about it on Pete Walker’s website and fantastic and very accessible book, ‘Complex PTSD: From Surviving To Thriving’.
Pete’s resources were revolutionary: I had spent nearly three decades having distressing emotional flashbacks, without realising what they were.
In this page I explain that I now realise I’ve experienced traumatic emotional flashbacks in front of many mental health professionals throughout my life. Not once did anyone identify that I was having an emotional flashback, or help me find ways to deal with my traumatic experiences.
Creating my own flashcards
Instead, I took my healing into my own hands.
Inspired by Pete Walker’s excellent ’13 Steps To Manage An Emotional Flashback’, I created a set of flashcards.
I handmade them, laminated to protect against the spills, tears, destructiveness, self-sabotage, anger and adventures emotional flashbacks inevitably bring. Tried and tested, of course!
I realised that if somebody had put these cards in my hands 20 years ago, my life would have been a lot less painful and traumatic.
Sharing them with friends
I made a set for one of my friends, whose response was overwhelmingly positive. She has been inspiring me to continue to develop and share these cards, because like me, she sees the need and potential to help many others.
I started to share my journey and experiences of complex trauma with my peers. My emotional flashback cards have been a big part of my recovery and I am keen to share them with others too.
Now available for download & purchase
I have now made two sets: the handmade cards above, and a second digital design I also created myself.
I’m producing printed & laminated sets of each cards, which are now available to buy, with all proceeds used to create more Eyes On Trauma resources.
It’s super important for me to make these resources as accessible as possible, so I also want to offer both sets as a free download here.
The first set currently available is the psychedelic design shown here. You receive 22 individual cards, each one designed by hand using digital graphic design software, and saved as an easy-to-use pdf document.
Just enter your email address below and check your inbox for your free download link!
Using the cards
You can save them on your smartphone, or print out the cards, to use whenever you want. Some of the cards may be more, or less, relevant to you, given your experiences. Please feel free to overlook anything which doesn’t speak to you.
The cards are designed to be used during an emotional flashback. They can help to bring your nervous system back into a state of calm. It’s also great to use the cards as ‘preventative maintenance’, to help prevent emotional flashbacks and give you memorised ideas to use when you need them.
If you support others who experience emotional flashbacks, becoming familiar with the cards could help you compassionately understand and guide individual distress.
Sharing the cards
It would be great if you can share them with your friends and loved ones. Please encourage them to download them from this page too, so they can read this introduction.
I’m working on new sets of cards, including ‘What is complex trauma?’ and ‘Help! I’m having an emotional flashback’. I’m continuing to develop these, and other ideas including cards specially for young people, and professionals.
I’ll continue to release new design themes for existing sets of cards, including a nature-inspired set to help ground you whilst using the cards.
If you have any comments or suggestions please get in touch. Want to know when new flashcards and other creative resources are available? Sign up to my (very infrequent) email newsletter to find out about these new resources as they’re published.
Thanks to Pete Walker
I just want to say a final thanks to Pete Walker, who changed my life and inspired me to create & share these emotional flashback cards. The cards are based on and adapted from Pete’s ’13 Steps To Manage An Emotional Flashback’, found on his website and in his book ‘Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving’.
It took me over a year to build up the courage to email Pete and ask if it’s OK to share the cards I created, given they so closely follow his work. Of course, I had nothing to fear – Pete is very supportive of what I am aiming to do, and had some very kind words to say when I sent him the first edition of printed emotional flashback cards!
“Wow! Great Job! The cards look great. What a most excellent way of presenting them and making them so accessible and durable.”– Pete Walker
Available now to buy
The graphic design set is now available to buy as a printed, laminated set of 11 double-sided cards. I worked with a local business to perfect their production, and am really proud with how they’ve turned out. You can choose between two design options – check them out in our online shop here:
Download your free cards
So – what are you waiting for? Download your free set of emotional flashback cards now! Just enter your email address below and you’ll receive a download link in your inbox… ⬇️