Finding safety so that you can move on

When you have experienced a difficult event, fear can take over your life. Finding a sense of safety is critical to healing and moving forwards.

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A traumatic event can cause people to feel unsafe.  This is not always the case, sometimes people experience a trauma and recover spontaneously. However, if you are seeking therapy following a trauma, it is likely this is the case for you.

Fear can be a debilitating emotion.  It can cause us to be hyper-vigilant, to avoid situations and to tense up and experience panic.  The effect on life can be profound.

For healing work to take place, you need to feel safe in your therapy room.  To achieve this, it is essential to be clear about the nature of danger. 

Joany Spierings explains there are three essential features of danger:

1.  The danger is present right HERE. Not in the UK, or in Durham, right here, in this room specifically.  
2.  The danger is present right NOW. Not this year, this month or this werk. This very moment. 
3.  The danger is PHYSICAL. If our body is not threatened with physical injury, then it is not danger.

These three criteria can be very helpful when you feel at risk, to establish if you are actually in danger. Where danger is present in your life, for example with oncoming domestic abuse, that needs to be dealt with before past traumas can be healed, otherwise trauma therapy will not be successful.

In most cases however, you may be responding like an over-sensitive car alarm in that your sensors are responding to the perception of a threat that is not here, now and physical. When this is the case, identifying this is a useful intervention to bring down fear and establish safety.

Once this has been done, a therapy room can act like a small island of safety in an otherwise threatening world.  As healing work continues, this sense of safety can expand to other areas of life, restoring the ability to go out, to relate, to feel free and enjoy what you do.

If you are living in fear, take one small step and find out about the potential for EMDR* therapy locally to you. There is no reason to let the events of there and then continue to blight your here and now. You deserve better.

*Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, a NICE approved treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, used for any stuck and problematic memories.

Go to the profile of Fe Robinson, Psychotherapist

Fe Robinson, Psychotherapist

I am here to help you thrive, whatever life brings. I offer Psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and Couples Counselling to clients based in Durham. I am UKCP Accredited, BACP Registered, and an EMDR Europe Practitioner, and offer Clinical Supervision to counsellors and psychotherapists locally. I have worked in private practice, the NHS, and in charitable organisations, with a wide range of clients and conditions.

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