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Cue Controlled Relaxation recording for Trauma Resilience Training

This recording  is best used in conjunction with the full Trauma Resilience Training programme to help you gain the maximum benefit to develop an increased resilience to future traumatic events.

Details of how to purchase an online version of the recording are given at the bottom of this page.

Cue controlled relaxation is based on the premise that a state of high anxiety and physical relaxation cannot co-exist at the same time.  This is in reference to the balancing actions of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.  By restoring the actions of the parasympathetic nervous system to create a state of relaxation there is no place to experience states of anxiety and their related negative consequences.

This is a portable relaxation method that can be used when a crisis occurs wherever it occurs. Once the skill has been learned and acquired and the pathways in the brain familiarised to both the cue word – e.g. ‘relax’ and the accompanying sensation of muscle release, the process no longer relies on being in a calm environment.

The normal reaction to a stressful or traumatic incident can be summarised in 3 parts:

1. The physiological response – raised heart rate etc

2. The behavioural reactive responses – fight/flight or immobilised by fear

3. The subjective interpretive response – applying meaning after the event, protective although negative thought patterns such as, ‘I can’t breath – I am going to faint’


It is the link between the first and third response that can set up unhelpful patterns of reaction in the future, leading to flashbacks and panic attacks even when no danger is present. Cue controlled relaxation has been used successfully to create new pathways for relaxation and healing by breaking this connection.

Stage One – is to learn a classic method of relaxation, tensing each body muscle and then letting it go in association with the instruction to breath in and then ‘relax’ and let the breath out as the body muscle relaxes. It is important to connect the feeling of the body relaxing to the word and the sensation. This feeling of relaxation can be further enhanced by creating an image as well as a word to increase this sensation. Once chosen, the image of a real or imagined ‘safe’ place and the word must be held constant. This is a process of ‘classical’ conditioning as you prepare your body to move swiftly from tension to relaxation on ‘cue’ command.

Stage Two – as you get more skilled at this, gradually the process of tensing the muscle is dropped and the process becomes faster as each muscle is just ‘relaxed’ in time to the breathing and the cue controlled command.  This is repeated until your breathing and the word ‘relax’ is enough to induce the feeling of the body letting go of the tension it is holding.

Stage Three – is to make this portable in easy stages. First by practicing standing while doing the relaxation, then walking and then gradually using this skill in non-stressful situations.

Stage Four – is to practice this in gradual stages of stressful situations.

Stage Five – In noticing the sensations of stressing the muscle groups and relaxing them and then making this a portable skill, you will begin to recognise at a very early stage your body’s signals to distress and respond to them in a fully conscious and cognitive way by ‘switching off’ the alarm and relaxing the muscles.

Stage Six – Unconscious Competence – your awareness of how you are reacting is now fluid, releasing you to choose more beneficial responses to stressful situations.


The Trauma Resilience Training recording is approximately 19 minutes long and costs £15.00.

You can listen to a sample of the
Cue Controlled Relaxation recording here
Cue Controlled Relaxation sample

Call or email us to buy your copy