How to Heal from Trauma and Addiction with Seeking Safety
If you struggle with both posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse, you may feel trapped in a cycle of pain and coping that is hard to break. You may have experienced trauma in your past, such as abuse, violence, or loss, and turned to drugs or alcohol to cope with the overwhelming emotions. But substance use can also worsen your PTSD symptoms, such as nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, and depression. You may feel like you are constantly in danger, even when you are not. You may also have trouble trusting others, expressing your feelings, or taking care of yourself.
Fortunately, there is a way out of this cycle. Seeking Safety is a treatment manual for PTSD and substance abuse that was developed by Dr. Lisa M. Najavits, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an expert on trauma and addiction. Seeking Safety is based on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of therapy that helps you change your thoughts and behaviors that keep you stuck in unhealthy patterns. Seeking Safety also incorporates principles of humanistic therapy, such as respect, care, protection, and healing.
Seeking Safety consists of 25 topics that cover a range of cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal issues related to trauma and addiction. Each topic provides practical tools and techniques to help you engage in treatment, learn safe coping skills that apply to both disorders, and restore ideals that have been lost. Some of the topics include:
PTSD: Taking Back Your Power
Detaching from Emotional Pain: Grounding
When Substances Control You
Asking for Help
Setting Boundaries in Relationships
Coping with Triggers
Healing from Anger
Taking Good Care of Yourself
Seeking Safety can be conducted in any order and in a range of settings, such as individual or group therapy, inpatient or outpatient programs, or self-help groups. The treatment manual is designed for maximum ease of use with a large format, lay-flat binding, and helpful reproducible therapist sheets and handouts. You can also download and print the handouts from the companion webpage.
If you are interested in Seeking Safety, you can find more information about the treatment manual at https://www.guilford.com/books/Seeking-Safety/Lisa-Najavits/9781572306394. You can also find a therapist who is trained in Seeking Safety at https://www.seekingsafety.org/14-find-a-therapist. Seeking Safety is listed in SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices, which means that it has been proven to be effective by rigorous research studies.
Seeking Safety can help you heal from trauma and addiction by helping you establish safety in your life. By learning new ways of thinking and coping, you can break free from the cycle of pain and find hope for a better future. aa16f39245