Trauma can rip away a client’s sense of safety . . .
. . . and leave them with a nervous system that is primed to detect threats.
That’s why as practitioners, it’s so important that we have strategies to help build a client’s feeling of safety before we help them process traumatic memories.
So in the video below, Chris Willard, PsyD shares some specific questions, movements, and psychoeducation that can introduce self-compassion and help establish a sense of safety and security.
Have a look.
But that can actually help us to feel a bit more safe and secure in our body, talking about the science of what’s happening. “This is shutting off the cortisol and the adrenaline and the stress response. This is then activating, unblocking oxytocin from flowing through the body. That’s the hormone that allows us to feel safe and secure,” things like that. For some of our clients, when they hear the science of it, that can actually help.
So that you feel that sense of security because telling yourself, “Oh, I’m . . .” It’s hard if you don’t believe yourself but finding a way to physically start to enact that can actually be quite empowering for clients. So, shifting postures physically can be helpful too.”
So being an active member of a critically important group of people where you are necessary in order for it to function can instill some of that sense of being a worthwhile member of the group.”
When we can harness the power of compassion and skillfully integrate it into our work treating trauma, we can adapt our interventions to be faster and more effective.
So if you found this helpful, you can hear more from Chris and other top experts in the field of compassion-oriented therapies (like Paul Gilbert, PhD, Jack Kornfield, PhD; Kristin Neff, PhD; Christopher Germer, PhD; Kelly McGonigal, PhD, Dennis Tirch, PhD; Deborah Lee, DClinPsy; Laura Silberstein-Tirch, PsyD; and more) . . .
. . . this coming week (August 3-6) when we broadcast the entire Master Series on the Clinical Application of Compassion – for free. We’ll feature a different session in this 4-part program each day.
Now we’d like to hear your thoughts. What are some other ways that you help clients build a sense of safety and security? Let us know by leaving a comment below.