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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Therapeutic Safety

I’ve been asked if therapy is “safe.” I’ve also received inquiry about whether or not Hollings Therapy, LLC utilizes a “safe space” model.

If one is asking whether or not psychotherapy at Hollings Therapy, LLC offers a “safe space” in which none of your irrational thoughts and maladaptive behaviors will go unchallenged, then the answer is no. If your definition of a safe space is one “intended to be free of bias, conflict, criticism, or potentially threatening actions, ideas, or conversations,” then the answer is no.

If one maintains that “speech is violence,” that there can be no question to “feeling your feelings,” or you’re solely focused on “living your best life” —free from discomfort, the answer is no. If you declare your “personal truth” cannot be examined or that your “lived experience” is beyond critique, then the answer is no.

If one has been exposed to the many influencers, content creators, or presumed mental health providers on social media—and have been convinced that psychotherapy should, must, or ought to reflect a process in which you are considered perfect and instead it is the world that needs to change—then the answer is unequivocally no.

On the other hand, if one is prepared to push through discomfort as a means of growing, the answer is yes. If challenging yourself to get better is something you seek—rather than simply feeling better in each session—then the answer is yes.

There are no guarantees for safety, even in the teletherapy sessions I offer. For all I know, when meeting with a client over an audiovisual medium, a meteor could fall from the sky and result in an unsafe condition.

What I offer at Hollings Therapy, LLC is the ability to explore what others likely refrain from telling you. Loved ones, friends, family members, and others simply may not want to violate your perception of safety, so they may not relay what you need to hear.

Therein rests the benefit of psychotherapy with me. I may not intentionally use bias, unnecessarily stir up conflict, haphazardly use criticism, or unethically expose you to potentially threatening actions.

However, I do explore challenging ideas, engage in uncomfortable conversations, and allow space for difficult processing to occur. If this sounds “unsafe,” I invite you to take off the metaphorical training wheels.

Let’s get rolling!

For a more in-depth understanding about my approach to REBT, you may want to check out my blog post entitled Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). For further information about how little control we actually have over anyone other than ourselves, I invite you to read my blog entry entitled Circle of Control.

If you are interested in mental health services from a psychotherapist who is prepared to sit with you in discomfort, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW


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