chapter  16
Creating a Sense of Internal and External Safety
Pages 5

Clinicians who work with trauma survivors understand the imperative of establishing internal and external safety before beginning to address emotionally charged material. It’s common knowledge that clients will become flooded, abreact, be unable to access or integrate new insights, and potentially terminate therapy prematurely if we don’t create an enhanced sense of safety for them throughout the therapy process. Ironically, it may not occur to us as mental health professionals that we, too, need to feel a genuine sense of internal and external safety before moving forward with such challenging and fatiguing cases. is is one of the first applications of the dual awareness concept: taking care of our own sense of safety while simultaneously attending to our clients’ ongoing comfort level.