kathy ireland® Recovery Centers

Seeking Safety

Individuals who have a history of trauma sometimes have a more difficult time opening up and accepting the support of therapists and peer groups during treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD). All of our kathy ireland® Recovery Centers locations feature expert clinical teams with decades of combined experience treating SUDs and mental health disorders, including ones related to trauma. We understand that you may have difficulty coping with symptoms while undergoing detox and withdrawal treatment. Commonly co-occurring conditions include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Acute stress disorder (ASD)
  • Attachment disorders
  • Other mood and trauma-related disorders

Seeking Safety has become more common in recent years. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) describes it as “a present-focused treatment for clients with a history of trauma and substance abuse.” Seeking Safety avoids increasing stress and anxiety during rehabilitation by focusing on the present instead of talking about the cause of the trauma. The goal of Seeking Safety is to make it possible for you to move forward and function from day to day without feeling overwhelmed by triggers, flashbacks, or other negative aspects of trauma-related disorders. Once you feel confident in yourself and the space, you can begin to focus on getting the treatment you need for your substance use disorder.

What Is Seeking Safety?

Seeking Safety is a type of therapy that introduces mindfulness techniques and essential tools to help you cope with the effects of trauma and substance use disorder. One of the most common dual diagnoses is a combination of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and SUD. The integrative treatment we offer ensures that you receive holistic care to ensure your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Seeking Safety encourages self-care and empathy by teaching you how to be safe in the way you think, act, and interact with others. 

The primary focus of Seeking Safety is to provide you with a sense of calm and focus as you cope with symptoms related to trauma, including flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, and anxiety. We do this by educating our clients about how trauma can affect the mind and body. The more you understand about how you feel and why the easier it will be to overcome challenges related to those feelings. Your trauma and substance use disorder will need to be treated simultaneously and Seeking Safety gives you a way to build a healthy foundation for both forms of treatment by doing the following:

  • Decreasing overall stress levels
  • Increasing self-confidence
  • Lowering anxiety and stabilizing mood

25 Skills of Seeking Safety

The Seeking Safety model makes it possible to create an environment where you can heal without being distressed by reminders of a traumatic event. Many approaches exist for incorporating Seeking Safety into treatment for SUDs. However, there are a few standardized aspects, including the twenty-five topics that a therapist can use to teach you essential coping skills. A small sample of these topics include the following:

  • Being honest
  • Asking for help
  • Setting healthy boundaries
  • Getting support from others
  • Finding meaning
  • Developing recovery thinking
  • Practicing self-care
  • Respecting yourself
  • Using community resources

Each topic can teach you a life skill that gives you more control over your trauma responses. By educating yourself on how best to cope with the way your body reacts to different triggers, you will be able to anticipate your needs and develop practical preventative measures that make it easier to function. Both substance use disorders and trauma share multiple overlapping risk factors and symptoms, so treating both disorders simultaneously is essential to a full and healthy recovery.

Seeking Safety Trauma and Substance Abuse

Trauma-Informed Care and SUD

At kathy ireland® Recovery Centers, we use a trauma-informed approach to care. We believe that everyone deserves to be treated with respect, consideration, and compassion. The policies and procedures at our various facilities rely on trauma-informed care to ensure you feel safe and comfortable throughout your treatment experience. Seeking Safety compliments this form of care by ensuring that you can expand that sense of comfort to include all aspects of your treatment and aftercare.

Trauma Education and Coping Skills

Seeking Safety can enhance treatment for individuals who have a history of co-occurring trauma-related mental health issues and addiction. The two disorders often feed into one another, and risk factors increase when both are present. You can enhance the effects of treatment by learning how to lessen the side effects of your SUD and trauma responses.

The more you understand about your symptoms and the effects that a substance use disorder can have on your body, the better equipped you will be to overcome challenges related to long-term sobriety. Our therapists will prepare you to cope with intrusive thoughts, cravings, and triggers using healthy coping mechanisms.

Alumni Services and Aftercare

The residential treatment services that we offer are short-term and meant to provide emotional and physical stabilization, but often individuals who have trauma-related mental health disorders require more therapy. The aftercare planning we offer at kathy ireland® Recovery Centers ensures you will continue to receive the support you need to keep your recovery on track. Our aftercare services include the following:

  • Referrals to therapist and doctor’s offices
  • Information about housing, financial, or job placement resources
  • Information about community-based support groups and advocacy organizations

Our alumni will always find support at our various kathy ireland® Recovery Centers locations. If you have previously completed one of our programs and would like to learn more about Seeking Safety, please, reach out today.

Seeking Safety is a method of therapy that involves learning how to cope with trauma in a healthy way. Learn more about the services we offer at our different facilities by contacting kathy ireland® Recovery Centers.