slow breathwork

“Breathing techniques should be used with caution. Interventions that strongly change breathing, such as hyperventilation techniques, can trigger catharsis, and are nearly always ill-advised. Even deep relaxing breathing interventions can be problematic because they stimulate the dorsal vagal complex, which may induce anxiety for clients who are implicitly reminded of past trauma during which they experienced dorsal vagal tone and shutdown”.

Dr Pat Ogden

A series of worksheets is available, including guidance for using the breath which can be adapted for dissociative clients. Some worksheets are available to view for free here,


  • Pat Ogden and Janina Fisher. “Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology)” 2015).
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