We all experience times when things just get too much, and these can be really scary, especially if you aren’t expecting them. However, having a technique that you can use to rapidly help can be a real comfort when mentally it seems like nothing and no one can help in those scary times. Follow the simple steps below to learn this adaptable, versatile coping strategy.
The Butterfly Hug (BH) method was originated and developed by Lucina Artigas during her work with the survivors of Hurricane Pauline in Acapulco, Mexico, 1998 (Artigas, Jarero, Mauer, López Cano, & Alcalá, 2000; Boel, 1999; Jarero, Artigas, & Montero, 2008). The Butterfly Hug had become standard practice for clinicians in the field while working with survivors of man-made and natural catastrophes. The “Butterfly Hug” (BH) is a self-administer Bilateral Stimulation (BLS) method (like the eye movement or tapping) to process traumatic material for an individual or for group work. Desensitization (self-soothing) is a reprocessing byproduct using the BH as BLS.
How Do I Perform The Basic Technique?
The steps below will help you to learn the basics. You can then adapt them to include other coping strategies such as various breathing or visualization techniques or mindfulness exercises.
Include this technique with others that we’ve previously mentioned in our mindfulness article.
Our Top Tip
If you find yourself struggling to focus in the moment, why not print off the image below and keep it in a prominent place where stress or negative situations are more likely to occur. That way you will have a visual reminder to use this technique until it becomes a more natural, ingrained skill.
If you can’t or don’t want to print this off, why not keep it on your phone or use it as your phone, tablet or PC background?…
Want To Learn More About The Science Behind This Technique?
You can learn more about the science behind this technique by reading a journal article from the EMDR Foundation by clicking here.