Seeking Safety

» Posted by on May 2, 2013 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

What is Seeking Safety?  Seeking Safety is a present-focused therapy to help people attain safety from trauma/PTSD and substance abuse.  The treatment is available as a book, providing both client handouts and guidance for clinicians.

The treatment was designed for flexible use.  It has been conducted in group and individual format; for women, men, and mixed-gender; using all topics or fewer topics; in a variety of settings (outpatient, inpatient, residential); and for both substance abuse and dependence.  It has also been used with people who have a trauma history, but do not meet criteria for PTSD.

It was begun in 1992, under grant funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  It was developed by Lisa M. Najavits, PhD at Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital.

Seeking Safety consists of 25 topics that can be conducted in any order:

Introduction/Case Management, Safety, PTSD: Taking Back Your Power, When Substances Control You, Honesty, Asking for Help, Setting Boundaries in Relationships, Getting Others to Support Your Recovery, Healthy Relationships, Community Resources,  Compassion, Creating Meaning, Discovery, Integrating the Split Self, Recovery Thinking, Taking Good Care of Yourself, Commitment, Respecting Your Time, Coping with Triggers, Self-Nurturing, Red and Green Flags, Detaching from Emotional Pain (Grounding). Life Choices, and Termination.


The key principles of Seeking Safety are:


1)  Safety as the overarching goal (helping clients attain safety in their relationships, thinking, behavior, and emotions).

2)  Integrated treatment (working on both PTSD and substance abuse at the same time)

3)  A focus on ideals to counteract the loss of ideals in both PTSD and substance abuse

4)  Four content areas:  cognitive, behavioral, interpersonal, case management

5)  Attention to clinician processes (helping clinicians work on countertransference, self-care, and other issues)


Alpha Counseling & Treatment is happy to provide these services to our clients. Call today to make an appointment!