Associative cards “Trauma”

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This deck was created on the basis of the classification of psychological trauma, proposed by F. Ruppert (Germany). It includes images of various psychotraumatic situations. The deck contains 72 cards. The purpose of this deck is to identify psycho traumas that continue to have a negative impact on a person’s life at present. Correction of the consequences of injury is recommended to perform with resource decks: “Little Joy”, “Sweet Dreams”, “Life Is a  Miracle”, “Once Upon a Time”.

Contains 72 cards.

© Eva Morozovsky


Associative cards “Trauma” are tools of practical psychologists and psychotherapists working with the theme of psychological
The “Trauma” deck is built on Franz Ruppert’s classification. According to Ruppert, there are the following types of
psychological trauma:
– Existential Injuries – injuries acquired as a result of threat to life, such as fire, famine, forced escape, natural disasters, war,
terrorism, hostage taking, assault, rape, robbery, accident, and so on.
– Relations Injuries – injuries caused by other people a person had close relationships, or the members of a microsocial
group, such as divorce or separation, harassment in school or in the army, sexual violence, physical abuse, rejection and
expulsion, family violence of all kinds or neglecting a child, upbringing by an emotionally inaccessible parent, f.e., a mother
in depression.
– Loss Injuries – injuries caused by a loss of significant people, including a loss of family members, including unborn children,
relationships, status, homeland, property, irreversible loss of health, destruction of life plans.
– Systemic trauma – trauma associated with causing a significant harm to other people or received from other people,
which are definitely transmitted to the descendants, for example, seizing someone else’s property, murder and causing
death and suffering to other people.
Most of the cards in the “Trauma” deck depict situations of traumatization in accordance with what has been mentioned
above. The smaller part of the deck depicts the metaphors of a traumatized person’s feelings. Some of them are tangible, for
example, “I’m made of iron”, “I feel stiff”, “There is a fire inside me,” “I’m frozen, turned into ice”, “I crumble to pieces,” “I feel
like a stone,” “I’m broken”, “My head explodes”, others are more about feelings – say,” I’m desperate, “The walls are
moving over me”, “I need someone to hold and take pity on me. ”
According to many modern researchers of psychic traumas, after a traumatic event human personality splits into separate
parts, the traumatic experience is splitting off and isolated from the surviving part of the personality. You will also find in this
deck a metaphor card of a person, split into separate parts, each of which contains its own isolated array of experience.
It should be also noted, that Ruppert in his works continues the ideas of Ivan Busurmeni-Nadya, Anne Anselin Schutzenberger,
Bert Hellinger and other transgenerational transmission of trauma reviewers. In other words, the source of psychological
trauma can be both the person’s own experience (from the moment of conception and throughout the life), and the
experience of his ancestors, including, at least, the generation of great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers.
We do not consider any images from the “Trauma” deck indecent, immoral or capable of causing any harm. However, if
you perceive some images as risky or uncomfortable, you can take these cards out of the deck before offering a client to
choose cards.
The purpose of the “Trauma” deck is to help a psychologist’s client to express himself and to articulate and specify his
feelings and experiences. It is about finding, identifying, describing a traumatic situation, finding out the specifics of its
perception and experience, as well as clarifying the circumstances relevant to the situation. The possibility to
decompose the traumatic situation in pictures and to use the suggested emotionally expressive words, phrases and
excerpts, already contributes to reducing the psychological stress of the client. Another result of working with the cards will
be to make a client feel that he was accepted and understood.
The cards will help him to express with the help of the pictures the feelings that he couldn’t explain to the psychologist in
words. This also reduces the risk of suicidal attempts. In further work with the cards, it is possible to support a client and find
the resources that will help him to outstay a difficult life situation and overcome a crisis. We emphasize that we do not
propose the correction of heavy emotional states with the help of the “Trauma” deck, but offer resource decks “Sweet
Dreams”, “Life is a Miracle” or “Little Pleasures”, suitable for the purpose of correction of the stimulus material.

Variants of problem identification

  • Conscious choice. A client who consciously wants to work out a particular traumatic event from his past, selects from the
    open pictures the cards representing the image of the trauma related to his experience and feelings.
  • Unconscious choice. From the open cards a client selectsone or a few cards that emotionally affects him at the moment,
    without a pre-defined problem or interpretation. In other words, here the choice of cards is not rational and does not serve the
    purpose of meeting the previously stated problem. On the contrary, the choice in this approach is emotional, the
    determining factors are the client’s feelings. This way the card opens us the doors to the repressed areas of a client’s
    traumatic experience.
  • “All of my Traumas”. A client looks over the deck cards one by one and comments on what he sees on each card. He puts
    aside the cards, where, in his opinion, the traumatic events that took place in his life are depicted. In the future, this set of cards
    is perceived as a ” work orders”. For each individual session, you can choose a card-topic to work in the open
    according to the client’s wish to work out a particular situation. You can also choose cards without looking, relying on the
    unconscious. In other words, the idea that a card that a client unconsciously chooses reflects exactly the most relevant for
    him for today and requires an early resolution of the topic from his past.
  • “Family History”. Here the client selects cards in the same way as in the previous version, but concentrates not on the
    events of his own life, but on the events in the life of his ancestors – both those he personally knew, and those he heard
    family legends only.
  • “Rebus”. The client selects from the closed cards and interprets the card he has received, answering the question
    “what event of my personal history this card shows.” Of course, as in all the other work with the projective cards, it is important
    not what is drawn on the card and not the meaning, inherent in this image by the authors of the deck, but a client’s
    associations and projections only. For example, a card depicting Famine (people in the field collecting remaining from
    the harvesting spikelets) at the testing stage of the deck was interpreted as the exploitation of the actually slave labor in
    agriculture that had happened in the client’s biography.

Steps of work with psychotrauma

First step: Making a resource Before diving into cards with traumatic content, we create an anchor of the safe space,
where you can return the client, if during the process his experience happen to be intolerable. In order to create a
resource, you need to use one of the resource decks (“Sweet Dreams”, “Life is a Miracle” or “Little Pleasures.”)

A) Using “Sweet Dreams” deck: Ask a client to choose from the open cards one or as few cards that demonstrate a
resource state desired (for example, peace, confidence, strength). After that, ask a client to get in the mindset
broadcasted emotionally by this card and join this emotion.
“Enter the image” of the card, breathing deeply, attach the card to that place in the body, in which the connection with the
resource state is recalled. Soak up the emotional state of the card.
B) Using “Life is a Miracle” deck: The client selects a card with a plot, which he perceives as a place of rest and strength.
Suggest a client to “enter the frame” of the action occurred in the card. Herewith a client can emotionally “enter the role” of
one of the characters, or live the emotions of each of them.
C) Using “Little Pleasures” deck: Ask a client to pull out randomly five cards with different back colors, that stand for
different types of resources. A client lists the resources to overcome the trauma are at his disposal now, interpreting the
images he received and the inscriptions on the cards individually.
At any step, if the client feels unbearably hard, you can postpone the work with the trauma and turn the client to the
resource cards, use the anchor of the emotions of peace, confidence and strength. Restoring a client’s feeling of security
and expressing your support, you will be able to return to work with the trauma.

Second step: Identification. You can intentionally work with a certain traumatic event. A client simply selects a card or
several cards, symbolizing for him given events or time  periods.
The second way is to search for traumatic events. In this case, a client selects a card that “touches” him, without thinking
about a specific situation. In other words, here we are working with a problem that has been updated recently, regardless
whether a client realizes its actualization.

Third step: Description We ask to describe the card in detail, and determine what is happening on the card.

Fourth step: Refinement We find out to who in the client’s family history happened a similar thing. We ask a client the
details about all the depicted on the card persons’ feelings. What kind of information does it give?

Fifth step: Finding out the “master” of the injury. As part of a transgenerational approach to the transmission of trauma, we
go deeper into the family history in order to find an ancestor with whom this traumatic situation happened for the first time
ever. That is, if we start working with our own trauma, for example, “beaten and robbed”, and find out that both a client’s
father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were beaten and robbed at the same age, and great-grandfather, apparently,
had been the first in the chain Injured, then we consider the “master” of the injury to be the great-grandfather, and all the
others are repeating his story due to the loyalty and love for him.

Sixth step: The semantic division of the destinies of the ancestor-master of the trauma and the destiny of the client.
You are telling the client that the reason for what happened to him lies in family loyalty, in the desire to do something for the
injured ancestor, literally to share his pain. But the client should not do suffer for the ancestor. It is better to express your love
and respect in another symbolic way. You can apply the so-called “permissive interweaving” phrases, known to us from the
Hellinger arrangement, for example: “You are big and I’m small” / “This is your destiny, and I have another fate” / “For the
love of you I’ve been carrying this load all my life, but now I’m returning it to you” / “I did everything for you , Now I will live
only for myself and my children.”

Seventh step: Resolution. At this stage use the resource cards selected earlier – refer the client to the emotions and forces
these cards have awaken. Being filled with resources, a client refers to a card or card s of traumatic events, and together you generate a text saying that these traumatic events already are in the past and stopped affecting the client’s life.
You can use the following permission phrases:
– For the existential trauma: “It will not affect my life anymore,” “It had happened once, and was left in the past”
– For the loss trauma “There is and there always will be a nice place in my heart for you”, “You will always be mine (those who
have lost), wherever you are”.
– For the relations trauma: “You gave me everything you could”/ “I take from you only the life and nothing more”, “I refuse to pay you back”.
– For the trauma of systemic relations: “This and this had happened to these people. I leave your destinies to you, but I
have another fate, of my own”.

Eighth step: Anchoring After the client has an emotional discharge (a deep sigh, swallowing, sipping, movement with
the body – we ask how he feels), we perform “joining to the future” – we ask him to choose a new resource card depicting
the state desired by the client in the context of the considered situation – “In what state of mind do you want to look at this
from now on?”, The client selects a card, describes the emotional state and gets into it.
We anchor the client to this card.

© Eva Morozovsky

1 review for Associative cards “Trauma”

  1. Valery

    Sonetimes people just can’t talk about awful things they had come through. This deck helps to build a bridge between a psychologist and a patient.

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