The Seeking Safety model is a modern treatment developed by Lisa M. Najavits, Ph.D. beginning in the 1990s. It is an evidence-based and trauma-focused treatment for substance abuse caused by co-occurring traumas, such as PTSD, as a result of experiences in both childhood and adulthood.  

As trauma and addiction go hand-in-hand for many patients, using Seeking Safety and Trauma-Focused Addiction Therapies helps the patient overcome their addictions by providing several treatment steps toward recovery. 

The process allows them to confront and overcome their experiences, and through this process, our patients can move forward with their lives. 

Trauma-Focused Treatment For Addiction 

There are many traumatic experiences that people can experience in life. This can include violence and abuse (both physical and sexual), but also the likes of natural disasters, car accidents, and terrorist attacks. For the latter, trauma can occur whether the patient was there or was affected by following coverage of the event. 

As PTSD can impact the individual’s life and lead to addiction as a coping mechanism as well as mental health conditions like depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder, Evolve Indy must offer a safe and secure program for our patients. 

What Is Seeking Safety? 

Seeking Safety enables patients to focus on getting their lives back on track following addiction caused by traumatic experiences. But, Seeking Safety does not require the patient to dig deep into the recesses of their trauma. While this approach is effective in other treatments, it is not what Seeking Safety is about, as it could bring up traumas and force the patient to relive these experiences. Rather than focus on the past and why Seeking Safety opts to focus on the present

The Seeking Safety model, therefore, encourages patients through an intensive outpatient program to consider how they can envision safety in their current state and beyond. It allows them to develop coping skills which give them the opportunity to seek and achieve this safety. 

How We Implement Seeking Safety & Trauma-Focused Addiction Therapies

The Seeking Safety model focuses on the present to help patients find safety and security in their lives following substance abuse issues caused by trauma (such as PTSD). Our process involves identifying coping mechanisms as well as grounding skills as recommended by Lisa M. Najavits, Ph.D. during the model’s development. The evidence-based approach considers three essential objectives that we implement to help our patients locate safety and overcome trauma-focused addiction. 

These objectives are:

Safety & Trauma Focused Addiction Treatment

Help attain safety

Trauma and addiction can cause patients to think and feel differently due to chemical imbalances, stress, and other factors. We use the Seeking Safety model to help them change these attitudes and behaviors through practical coping skills. 

There are 25 skills found in the seeking safety process, including boundary setting in relationships, honesty, compassion, recovery thinking, as well as healing from anger. The goal of these skills is to enable patients to achieve safety in their emotions, behavior, thinking, and their relationships. 

Integrated treatment 

Our integrated treatment system applies to both individual and group sessions and searches for the treatment process most beneficial for the patient. This customized approach allows our team to bypass treatments that are ineffective or could reignite the trauma in the patient. 

Through this, the patient receives specialized care to help them overcome their traumatic experiences and personal issues with addiction. It provides the coping mechanisms necessary to deal with their trauma without relying on harmful substance abuse. 


Finally, Seeking Safety aims to help patients counteract the loss of ideals that they may have encountered due to substance abuse and trauma. This could involve a change in personality or abandoning responsibilities, such as work, family, or overall health. 

The program encourages patients to realize that it is not too late to change and discover how their ideals have shifted due to addiction, which pushes them toward coping mechanisms that enable them to make effective adjustments. 

Evolve Indy Drug Rehabilitation

Evolve Indy is a drug rehabilitation center based in Indiana. We offer a wide range of programs designed to help patients suffering from substance addiction and abuse (for drugs and alcohol) regain control of their lives. Our Seeking Safety and Trauma-Focused Addiction Therapies give patients the tools to overcome their addiction through a modern approach that encourages coping mechanisms, while our outpatient program provides crucial support for those who have recently completed a program that included partial hospitalization to ensure our patients feel secure. 

Reach out to our team today to learn more about how we can help you transform your life and learn the best models and strategies for overcoming addiction by working with our team of qualified and sensitive professionals. 

Contact Evolve Indy at 1-855-495-1063


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