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#428568 - 03/21/13 06:48 AM .
Life's A Dream Offline

Registered: 08/25/11
Posts: 886
Loc: Bouvet Island

Edited by Life's A Dream (04/21/13 12:18 AM)

#428569 - 03/21/13 07:40 AM Re: "Safe Place Exercise" EMDR? I HAVE NO safe place [Re: Life's A Dream]
peroperic2009 Offline

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3863
Loc: South-East Europe
Hey LAD, I'm happy to hear about plans for your therapy.
I've read somewhere in other forums about guy who went trough EMDR and have had problems with finding safe place. He looked it and just couldn't find it. At the end he find it in his cat that he used to have some years ago. He wrote how later when there was need short reminder of his cat would brought him peace and feeling of safety. This is logic let say that works behind "safe place".
I didn't do EMDR but have been sometimes anxious during early mornings when I'm neither awake nor sleeping and sometimes felt very cold. After I've read some fairly tale story from Japan about beautiful fox who could do some miraculous things (I read it many years ago) I would occasionally imagine that I'm fox curled in her tail sleeping protected in some lair. Than I would feel good, warm and less anxious.

Have you had some good friends with whom you spend a lot of time in your childhood and who were good and warm? Do you have some happy memories in school, how about your room, anywhere?
Are there some memories when you were very happy, calm, relaxed and feeling good?
When and where that was?
Maybe it would help you in search for safe place?
My story

#428578 - 03/21/13 09:04 AM Re: "Safe Place Exercise" EMDR? I HAVE NO safe place [Re: Life's A Dream]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4284
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
LAD - i have never done EMDR - but my T wanted me to have a "safe place" that i could visualize when i was having panic symptoms or feeling triggered or anxiety.

i started out with one that i had created as a kid - totally imaginary - because, like you, in my childhood, no place was safe. i still remember when it came into being - in middle school while i was being attacked by a gang of bullies - i went inside and was untouchable. mine was a strong, high, stone tower - like the rook piece in a chess set or the home of Rapunzel. it had a massive door with huge iron hinges and bolts and locks and no windows until you got to the top of the long winding spiral stairs. it was a place i retreated in my mind and imagination and it kept out all the attacks of the enemies.

after a while i discovered that it no longer worked for me. it felt too much like a fortress under siege. i needed a place i could feel like i was out of reach of any kind of attack.

so now i have a new one. it is a deserted tropical island - miles from any other person, with swaying palm trees, soft breezes, warm sunshine, gentle waves lapping on an untouched white sand beach. it lulls me to quiet and peaceful rest just imagining it. and i have been to places like that - but never alone. that is part of the security. i am in the open - but no one can get to me. the ironic thing is that i am not really that much of a beach person - but this is my symbol of absolute tranquility.

so i would encourage you to use your imagination and explore all your favorite things - and find a combination of the conditions you find most soothing and secure. go to another planet if you have to. i don't think it has to be a place you have actually been to - or even a real place.

just my approach,
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#428589 - 03/21/13 12:21 PM Re: "Safe Place Exercise" EMDR? I HAVE NO safe place [Re: Life's A Dream]
DrPJL Offline

Registered: 12/14/12
Posts: 9
Loc: Boston
Actually, you don't have to have a SAFE place. You could try thinking about a CALM place, or you could do a different kind of resource development such as this:

Recall a Positive Memory
Recall a memory in which you felt good with your self a time or a situation in which you felt really well and whole it can be an early memory or a more recent one it could be a memory of few moments or an extended period of feeling well What is the first thing that comes to mind?
Client relates the memory to the therapist.

Connecting to Past Resource
Client is asked to close his/her eyes and enter it anew. While tapping (or eye moments or audio bi-lateral stimulation [BLS], or any 2 of these, or all 3!) therapist says:
Take all the time necessary to relive the memory with all your senses notice what you feel, hear, smell and see allow your feelings, sensations and thoughts to emerge breathe into it let yourself be there until you start feeling it in your body. Therapist gives short and slow bilateral stimulation (up to 14 ) and reminds the client to stay there as long as he/she needs even after the BLS has stopped. Then the therapist inquires about the feelings, thoughts, and sensations and writes them down.
(If the past resource is only partially positive, including some negative elements as well, suggest focusing on the positive aspects only. Alternatively client may be encouraged to find another more positive memory).

Verbal Cue
Therapist asks the client to tune in and return to the memory for a second time. During the short BLS therapist asks the client to choose a name, a word or a sentence, which is most matching to the picture. Therapist explains that the verbal cue is one entrance point to recall the positive memory in order to strengthen him/herself.
Another thought is:
Back to Safe (or Calm) Place - remember that it doesn't have to be real. It can be a mix of real and imaginary. I had a client once whose safe place was seeing/feeling herself in the clouds, invisible, with armed guards surrounding her. It worked for her!

#428617 - 03/21/13 07:26 PM Re: "Safe Place Exercise" EMDR? I HAVE NO safe place [Re: Life's A Dream]
Candu Offline

Registered: 07/01/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
LAD. I posted this recently about some posts on Pandy's.

I had a very bad experience (it was wierd) when my safe place evaporated. I didn't have a firm hold on it. And then I thought "I don't have a safe place". I can't describe what it was like. Recovery took about half an hour. But we were not trying to do much. Just a relaxation exercise.

So make sure you have a firm image that you can easily hold.

#428619 - 03/21/13 08:29 PM . [Re: Candu]
Life's A Dream Offline

Registered: 08/25/11
Posts: 886
Loc: Bouvet Island

Edited by Life's A Dream (04/22/13 03:01 AM)

#428624 - 03/21/13 09:39 PM Re: "Safe Place Exercise" EMDR? I HAVE NO safe place [Re: Life's A Dream]
cant_remember Offline

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1070
I thought I had no safe place either. I thought a lot about this as part of my EMDR homework. Safe place? What's that?

I later realized that I feel safe in a movie theater watching a movie. I'm not at my computer, phone is off, I get immersed in the movie and for the 2 hours, I'm not in conflict with myself, all my parts are together.

So that's my safe place now. The movies.

I'll be just fine and dandy
Lord, it's like a hard candy Christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But I won't let sorrow get me way down.

#428634 - 03/22/13 12:06 AM Re: "Safe Place Exercise" EMDR? I HAVE NO safe place [Re: Life's A Dream]
bodyguard8367 Offline

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""

Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/27/14 02:39 AM)
Edit Reason: SILENCED

#428650 - 03/22/13 02:32 AM Re: "Safe Place Exercise" EMDR? I HAVE NO safe place [Re: Life's A Dream]
Candu Offline

Registered: 07/01/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Life's A Dream
As you said in that post, Candu, I also "have a hard time holding images".

I can't remember what my mother looks like (even though I see her once most weeks) but I do have a memory of her from a picture. I can hold that and "see" it where I have a hard time to think of what she looks like. So maybe if you had a picture of a safe place you might be able to hold the image of that easire than a real or fabricated place. And if that works then it doesn't even have to be a picture of a real place. A fantasy image could work. Just a thought.

#428659 - 03/22/13 06:20 AM Re: "Safe Place Exercise" EMDR? I HAVE NO safe place [Re: Life's A Dream]
DRA Offline

Registered: 02/08/13
Posts: 49
My safe space is actually an object. I keep a small stone in my pocket that I can hold or rub as a worry token. It helps me ground myself while not necessitating that I totally leave my environment or dissociate.
Strength in power is a false victory rooted in vapid grandiosity. Strength in character and integrity is the freedom to act righteously irrespective of the surrounding pressure. True power is the presence of mind to live with character and integrity.

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