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  #1  
Unread November 20th, 2007, 05:39 AM
stillsearching stillsearching is offline
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Default Safe Place??

I hate to say it but the thought of "safe space" makes me gag. It is uncomfortable and I think just my having my therapist talking to me about my safe space makes it unsafe for me.. Does that make any sense at all?? I am uncomfortable as soon as the subject comes up I get scared and want to dissociate and escape the whole thing.. It is as if no where is safe for all my inner kids.. I have dissociative disorder nos.. I know what the ego states are doing but don't always understand..I can control them most of the time, (meaning I can keep them from coming out in public), other times I have no control. I remember what they did and what they said but it gets foggy sometimes. How can I handle "safe space"?? Any ideas?? I know I am not ready for EMDR at this point.

thanks for your help
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  #2  
Unread November 20th, 2007, 07:00 PM
Sandra Paulsen Sandra Paulsen is offline
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Default Re: Safe Place??

Without commenting on the particulars of your case, I'd say that there are many people who get edgy when the term, "safe place" is used. Some feel better about, "calm place" or "healing place."

The point of safe place (or anything similar) is to evoke a sense of well-being in a person. Anyone who can't comfortably do that is not ready for EMDR for sure.

Rather such folks will need to spend time developing inner resources and ego strength by any of a number of means.

I always do ego state therapy with dissociative folks as part of stabilization and containment, and other resourcing methods as well.

Last edited by Sandra Paulsen; November 21st, 2007 at 10:38 AM. Reason: typo
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  #3  
Unread November 21st, 2007, 10:44 AM
Sandra Paulsen Sandra Paulsen is offline
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Default Re: Safe Place??

An afterthought -- again without commenting upon your particular case.

Sometimes when the idea of "safe place" or "safety" itself makes things worse it is because a perpetrator identified a place as safe, or said s/he would protect or keep a child safe --- and then betrayed that trust.

When that is part of the history, the various parts of the client need to be individual and sometimes repeatedly oriented to the present facts -- like, its 2007 now, the client is now 32 years old, and the client is in Seattle, 1700 miles from where the perpetrator, now dead, is buried. Or whatever the facts are.

It sounds funny, but lots and lots of people, including those not having DID, have parts of themselves that think the abuse is happening now. Orienting to the present circumstances with individual parts can really help the client to distinguish that times HAVE changed and one is now SAFE.

If the client isn't safe in present time, that should be the first order of business.
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  #4  
Unread November 23rd, 2007, 12:17 AM
stillsearching stillsearching is offline
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Default Re: Safe Place??

Thanks Sandra,

I am safe in the present time but you are right for me in your statement about others convincing me it was safe and betraying me, (not your exact words here). I can't convince my alters that it is safe so I may have to work on that awhile longer. Regardless of what I tell them they still think it isn't safe. Safe space to me just invokes a terrible "yuck" feeling. I will work on this and maybe will be ready for EMDR sometime but I realize that it may take a long time to get there. I am even afraid to use it for resource installation. The one time I used it , it was traumatic and took me days to get over. I know now tht I should never have tried with DDNOS(without doing work first), but I didn't know. I need EMDR to get over EMDR.

thanks
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  #5  
Unread November 23rd, 2007, 01:34 AM
Sandra Paulsen Sandra Paulsen is offline
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Default Re: Safe Place??

It's the therapist's job to know with whom and when to do EMDR, not the client, though I'm glad when readers get their eyes opened that some practitioners don't know about dissociation.

Yeah, alters thinking the abuse is still happening (when it isn't anymore) is a thorny problem. I always do these things with my clients:

- I ask each alter/ego state if they know what year it is and where we are
- I ask them whether they know they are in the same body -- I keep a mirror handy to "look through the eyes," and ask them to look through the eyes at the body, the clothes, the jewelry, and ask, "whose hands are those? whose face is that? whose clothes and body?"
- because this is shocking or confusing to parts, I quickly back off and say, "don't take my work for it, I could be wrong. But if I'm right, and you are in the body with her (or him), then there are alot of implications, aren't there?"
- Then I concretely spell out the implications as I would to a child, because alters use trance logic and are developmentally young. so I say, "when you make her cut, if you are in the body with her, isn't it YOUR body you are cutting?" and other implication.
-Then I say, you don't have to decide today, but I'm happy if you just CONSIDER the possibility that things have changed, that it is 2007, we are in (town's name), that you are in the body with (client's name).
- I always finish with, "Thanks so much for what you do." because no matter what they do, EVEN IF THEY ARE PERP INTROJECTS, they serve to help survival in some way.

I don't know if any of this applies to your case or any other specific case, but in general, repeating these orienting responses and appreciating parts goes along way to changing internal dynamics as a starting point.

There is more to it by a long shot, but .....
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  #6  
Unread November 24th, 2007, 01:21 AM
stillsearching stillsearching is offline
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Default Re: Safe Place??

Thanks Sandra.
I realize there is much more to it then you can possibly explain in this forum. I read and research alot.. I get kind of obessed with knowing as much as I can about whatever is going on. Even with my limited lack of experience on the subject I can see that I have to do the ego state work before I can do much of anything.. I have been in therapy for years and although I have made progress things have been very, very slow for me.

Although I have made this statement before I would like to say again to anyone who does EMDR.Do not use it clients with DID without doing the groundwork first.. It really hurt me.
thanks for listening
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  #7  
Unread November 24th, 2007, 01:33 AM
stillsearching stillsearching is offline
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Default Re: Safe Place??

thanks for mentioning the PERP INTROJECTS.. I wondered why one of them just seems way too mean. Makes sense now
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