The bonding board gets a trauma-specific extension!
The board, with its colored lines depicting the emotional state of arousal, is a very helpful tool to make clear the parallelisms of physiological and emotional states. In the vast majority of cases, the four-color everyday spectrum from calm to activated and stressed to anger and fear is fully sufficient.
In case discussions, however, it became apparent that an expansion to include additional lines might be useful for understanding traumatic experiences. I was able to submit these considerations to Prof. Henri Julius in the sense of a theory-based review. These conversations have resulted in a beta version with the working title BondingBoardPLUS, which I am now offering to practitioners for beta testing.
It includes above the red line a purple bisected hyperarousal line with the terms. ‘freeze’ for a darker colored hypertonic paralyzation and above it ‘flop’ for a lighter colored hypotonic slackening or fainting paralyzation.
Below the blue ‘calm’ line, another double line is added: Gray colored and labeled ‘slack’ corresponds to apathy and depressive listlessness, which is accompanied by increased parasympathetic activation, and below it follows once more the aforementioned top line, light purple colored, ‘flop’.
The arousal axis can thus be implicitly thought of as a circle, and the bonding board as a cylinder or drum. This may not seem quite correct for an axis, but from a therapeutic perspective it could prove to be very experiential and helpful. The extended model is compatible with the involved concepts of dissociation, sympathetic-parasympathetic nervous system, and polyvagal theory, and will be valuable for psychoeducation of family members, professionals, and trainees in addition to work with clients.
In order to better understand and communicate the processes involved in traumatic experiences, I have created a table for the PLUS extension that summarizes elements of trauma therapy from a variety of sources. Everything is assigned to a line on the arousal axis of the BondingBoardPLUS: Emotional terms matching the arousal level, physiological responses, the hormones that are important then, autonomic nervous system activity according to polyvagal theory, and the effects of arousal on memory during storage and retrieval. Thus, connected with the figure movements, the processes taking place in parallel can be vividly demonstrated.
This chart, like the BondingBoardPLUS, is still a beta version for which I would like to get feedback from users. You can use the BondingBoardPLUS only if you also have a basic BondingBoard. However, the table is also very informative for users of the basic version.
Beta testers wanted:
I am now looking for people who are interested in trying out the BondingBoardPLUS and the table in practice and giving structured feedback. A prototype can be ordered from me at: email@example.com. (To be able to use te PLUS version, you must have a basic version, because you need the figures from the BondingBoard Box).
Conditions of participation:
1. contribution towards expenses of CHF 40.- for binding board PLUS and table (amount will be credited as soon as the PLUS version is available).
2. shipping flat rate 10.- in Switzerland (free if it can be added to a BondingBoard order), shipping to other countries on request.
3. as soon as the PLUS version is available, you send back the delivered beta versions
4. you fill in a questionnaire for some clients (still in development, 5-10min) and give a feedback link to the client (3-5min).
At the moment, the further procedure is planned as follows: First of all,the beta version is available as a printed version on cardboard. Then an update of the WebBoard will follow. At some point there will be a physical supplementary set BondingBoardPLUS, but this will not contain any figures, as the figures from the BondingBoard will also fit on the BondingBoardPLUS. The newsletter will inform you again about the next steps.