Helping Your System Find or Make Safe Places For All Parts
source: Sheppard Pratt – Dissociative Unit
Invite all parts of the system to work together on the safe places project.
Work internally at first.
Invite all parts of the system to think about having a safe place where they can go when they need to do so.
Do some parts already have a safe place?
Can the parts who have safe places feel comfortable in identifying themselves?
Do some parts want to share a safe place with each other?
Can the parts who wish to share safe places feel comfortable in identifying themselves?
Do some parts need a safe place that belongs just to them?
Can the parts who need their own safe places feel comfortable in identifying themselves?
Are there any parts who need to make new safe places?
Can the parts who need to make new safe places feel comfortable in identifying themselves?
Ask all parts of the system to think about what they need to feel comfortable and secure in their safe places in the inner mind.
Will the safe place be an indoor place?
Will it be an outdoor place?
Will part of it be indoors and part outdoors?
What size should the safe place be?
How large should it be?
How small should it be?
Should part of the safe place be larger and part of it be smaller?
What shape should the safe place be?
Should the safe place: be round? be square? be rectangular? be irregular? be changing?
What would be the most comfortable temperature for the safe place?
How warm should the safe place be?
How cool should the safe place be?
What kind of light should the safe place be?
How bright should the safe place be?
How dim should the safe place be?
What colors would be comfortable in the safe place?
Soft colors? Bright colors? One color? Many colors?
What feelings would help to make the safe place a more comfortable place to be?
What words or phrases would help the parts of the system to feel safe and comfortable in the safe place?
(It’s o.k. to choose some of the words and phrases from the list below; it’s o.k. to add to the list; it’s o.k. to make your own list.)
calm tranquil kindness quiet serene restful
comfortable secure safe loved warm gentle
protected caring guarded
You have been doing good internal work on your safe places project. It is time now to begin to do
some external work. you will use art media for the next part of the project.
Invite all parts of the system to work together to use art media to help visualize the safe places so all parts can get to the safe places quickly when they needs to do so.
Ask each part of the system to make a picture showing what they need the safe place to be like.
Ask all parts of the system to share the pictures with the therapist, primary nurse, or staff contact when parts feel comfortable about sharing this work.
you have been doing good work using art media in working on your safe places project. It is time now to begin to use your journal.
Invite all parts of the system to help with this part of the project by writing in the journal.
Ask all parts of the system to follow the outline in parts I and II of this guide to help the system find or make safe places for all the parts when writing in the journal.
Ask all parts of the system to share the work they have done in the journal with the therapist, primary nurse, or staff contact when they feel comfortable about sharing this work.
You have done good internal work, good work with art media, and good work using your journal in working on your safe places project. It is time now to practice finding and using your safe place.
Ask all parts of the system to cooperate in practicing finding and using the safe places they have made.
Ask your therapist to help you practice going to your safe places the first threes times you do this work. Your therapist will guide you as you practice.
Ask your therapist to observe you while you practice finding and using your safe places several times. You are to do the work yourself; your therapist is there to help you if you have a problem in your practice. Practice working this way until you feel comfortable doing this work independently.
Practice finding and using your safe places several times daily at different times and under different circumstances until all parts of the system are able to find and use the safe places when they need them.
Congratulations on your successful completion of your safe places project!
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