Seeking Safety is an empirically studied, integrative treatment approach developed to help people attain safety from trauma/PTSD and substance abuse. This website provides implementation tools, sample topics, research summaries, articles, and assessment tools related to the program.
The manual, available in book form, is divided into 25 specific units or topics, addressing a range of different cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal domains. Each topic provides tools and techniques to engage patients in treatment; teach "safe coping skills" that apply to both disorders; and restore ideals that have been lost, including respect, care, protection, and healing. It includes both client handouts and guidance for clinicians. The treatment was designed for flexible use. It has been conducted in group and individual formats; for women, men, and mixed-gender groups; using all topics or fewer topics; in a variety of settings (outpatient, inpatient, residential); and for both substance abuse and dependence. It has also been used with people who have a trauma history, but do not meet criteria for PTSD. Seeking Safety consists of 25 topics that can be conducted in any order. It was begun in 1992, under a grant funded from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, by Lisa M. Najavits, PhD at Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital.