Affect Regulation

Visualizing a Safe Place

flower gardenOur imagination is a powerful tool in our repertoire of resourcing strategies. An imaged safe place is one of these. Everyone needs a place where they can feel safe and each person’s safe place makes perfect sense just for them. It could be in the Swiss Alps, in a quiet country house, an beach beside the ocean, a peaceful garden, or a cozy room. While these lovely places of comfort aren’t usually physically available to us when we need them most – we can still create a mental haven,  accessible through imagery, and available to you whenever you need it. Having an inner safe place has proven effective in helping people cope with stress and increasing their sense of safety and comfort.

The use of an imagined safe place is especially helpful for people who have experienced trauma. When fear, panic, or self-destructive thoughts become over-whelming, you can use your imagination to go to a restful inner sanctuary – a personal haven from the effects of trauma and other life stresses – to regain a sense of safety, to restore strength, and to achieve a renewal of spirit. Once you have grounded yourself with your safe place, you will find yourself feeling more equipped to deal those tough emotions or memories.

Resources:

Cohen, B. M., Barns, M. M., & Rankin, A. B.  (1995). Managing Traumatic Stress Through Art: Drawing from the Centre.

Miller, K. (2012). Mind-body attunement therapy: Clinical Strategies. Mind-Body Attunement Training Centre

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