Seeking Safety is a counseling model for approaching a dual diagnosis of trauma and substance abuse. Coping with trauma is difficult to do without a well learned skill set full of emotional tools as well as tools for physical self-care. Doing the best they can with what they have at the moment, people who experience trauma find whatever way they can to soothe their side effects. Living with untreated trauma can manifest in the mind and the body. Psychological and physical symptoms of trauma can create an edge of hyperawareness, fear, and discomfort, all of the time. Drugs and alcohol provide a unique solace to trauma which is why many people develop an addiction out of an effort to self-medicate. Applying seeking safety methods to dual diagnosis treatment helps clients focus on key principles for developing healthy coping methods to create safety in healthy ways instead of harmful ones. Safety is the ultimate goal which carries across all of the various treatments involved in the program. People who have experienced trauma do not feel safe. Trauma uproots someone’s personal idea of safety, making it difficult for them to feel safe in any situation life presents them, from being safe in their own skin, to being safe in relationships. Creating safety is an essential which lays the groundwork for everything else in their lives. The seeking safety program focuses on four main areas to improve wellbeing and functioning. First, seeking safety focuses on cognitive rehabilitation. Cognitive functioning is impaired by drug and alcohol abuse. Research has found that the blockages created by trauma can also affect cognitive function. Second, there is a focus on behavioral changes. Living with untreated trauma can create behavioral habits like social withdrawal. Third, is interpersonal changes. Not feeling safe in relationships makes having relationships hard. Last, is case management, in which the therapist and client get to manage their progress ongoing.
If you have experienced trauma and you are struggling to cope, you are not alone. The residential treatment programs at Oceanfront offer men a chance to rediscover their self-efficacy and ability to live independently, free from the bodnages of trauma and addiction. Call us today for information: (949) 207-9899