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Seeking Safety

‘Seeking Safety’ is a manual written for women who are experiencing the dual diagnosis of addiction and trauma.  Acknowledging that women who attend addiction services have high rates of PTSD (30-59%) and lifetime trauma (80 %+), Najavits has compiled a programme that attends to the first stage of recovery for both trauma and addiction, ‘seeking safety’.

All about Seeking Safety

The Seeking Safety manual works from the premise that women who have the dual diagnosis of trauma and addiction are more likely to use substances (both illegal drugs and prescribed drugs); that they will have a variety of life problems; and they will have an enduring relationship with both diagnoses.  Also, they are unlikely to have the life skills to create the safety they need for the impacts of trauma to reduce and the need for the painkilling task of substance use to decline.  Too early in their life the trauma taught them that they were not important and that they didn't deserve or need to be safe.  Seeking Safety begs to differ and, without ever asking about the story of her trauma, will teach participants how to be safer in their day to day lives, so that they can be happier and reach a point where fewer (and may no) substances will be needed to cope with the pain of their trauma anymore.

The focus of this programme is to work with women with dual diagnosis to teach them, through psycho-educational classes, how to successfully seek safety in their world. 

Specifically, through this programme, Najavits seeks to reduce substance use (preferably to abstinence), suicidality, self-harm, and development of dangerous relationships.  Using an integration of cognitive, behavioral, interpersonal, and case management approaches, the core goal of creating safety in order to prepare women for the next stages of ‘mourning’ and ‘reconnection’ is attained.

Seeking Safety Ireland  wants to implement this programme with women all over Ireland and we are excited to say that this programme will run in 6 others places including:


  • Ballyfermot STAR – Ballyfermot

  • Ballymun STAR – Ballymun

  • Ruhama – Dublin City and HSE Mid-West

  • Sophia Housing – South Inner City, Dublin and HSE South and Mid-West

  • RedDoor Project, Drogheda

  • Roscommon Women's Network - Co Roscommon

Seeking Safety will happen in SAOL on Tuesday mornings and Thursday mornings and every person who joins a Seeking Safety group will get to work 1-1 with a Seeking Safety worker.  For more information contact us at 


01 8553391


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