The Ocean Drum, Anxiety, and Trauma

ocean imageOne of the most important skills you can teach someone who has suffered trauma (abuse)  is the ability to regulate affect.   The same goes for a non offending family member or parent.  One of the tools that I like to use in the ocean drum.   I like to use the Remo brand ocean drums.   I have a large one and a smaller one.  I think one of the first things some therapists might lean towards when dealing with controlling affect or mood is the use of soothing music or nature sounds to help a client relax or regulate.  One of the caveats with this is that if the client has any anxiety that tends towards the “free floating” kind, the loose mental state of music that is considered in the “relaxation” genre may actually feel unsafe and ungrounding.   The use of the ocean drum is a great solution for that issue.   The client will still get to experience the sounds of the ocean with this very important added element :  control.   The client will be creating their own sounds using the ocean drum which provides the ability to maintain physical control over the drum itself thus giving the client control over the sound.   The fact that the client is using their arms and hands to manipulate the drums while they are listening to the sound they are creating is both relaxing and grounding at the same time.   I really prefer this method for relaxation for clients who are dealing with anxiety as opposed to the non-participative relaxation to music.

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