Seeking Safety

Seeking Safety was designed for people with a history of trauma and/or addiction. Trauma means a distressing event such as a child abuse, major accident, combat, domestic violence, natural disaster, etc. Addiction means destructive use of alcohol, drugs, gambling, food, shopping, etc. It focuses on coping skills to help you become safer in your relationships, thinking, and actions.

Seeking Safety is very safe and optimistic. It focuses on your strengths and helps you increase them. It has 25 topics, although you can do as few or many as you choose to. Examples of the topics are:

• Safety
• Taking Good Care of Yourself Honesty
• Asking for Help
• Recovery Thinking
• Setting Boundaries in Relationships
• Healthy Relationships
• Creating Meaning
• Compassion
• Detaching from Emotional Pain (Grounding)
• Community Resources
• Discovery
• Getting Others to Support Your Recovery
• Integrating the Split Self
• Commitment
• Respecting Your Time
• Coping with Triggers
• Self-Nurturing
• Red and Green Flags
• Life Choices

Every session of Seeking Safety is structured. with a check-in, an inspiring quotation, discussion, and check-out. The goal is to use time well to help you get the most from each session.

Seeking Safety focuses on the present. This means you will not be asked to reveal upsetting stories of trauma or addiction. We focus on what you can do right now to create a better life for yourself. It is relevant to all types of trauma and/or addiction. For example, you may have survived traumas such as child abuse, combat, natural disasters, accidents, or violence. You may have addiction to substances, gambling, food, or other behavior. If you have both trauma and addiction issues, we address the link between the two—how common it is for the two to go together.

Seeking Safety has been successfully used for over 20 years across genders and with people struggling with many different life issues including HIV/AIDS, homelessness, serious mental illness, and incarceration. It can be used for group individual counseling and can also be delivered by peers.

Who can join Seeking Safety? Anyone can join. You can get a lot from participating, especially if you are open to new coping skills to improve your life.

Does Seeking Safety work? Seeking Safety is the most popular and scientifically studied counseling model for trauma and addiction. Research shows that it works for both trauma and addiction issues, is cost-effective, and very safe.

Is Seeking Safety culturally sensitive? Yes. Seeking Safety has been implemented with diverse cultural and ethnic groups, who have consistently expressed strong satisfaction with it. It has also been translated into over 12 languages. Seeking Safety emphasizes adaptation to each person’s needs.

Want to learn more? Please contact Healthy Minds Therapy in Fredericksburg at (540) 4528 Plank Road A1 Fredericksburg, Virginia 22407 for individual and or group therapy options and see

*Information provided by author, Lisa M. Najavitz

*Seeking Safety group and individual sessions provided by Stephanie Calvert, LCSW

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