Experiences with Seeking Safety

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by 54321, 05.20.14.

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  1. 54321

    54321 7+ Year Member

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    I recently started co-leading a Seeking Safety group at the VA. After hearing about how great Seeking Safety is for a long time, I must admit, I've been pretty unimpressed and disappointed by it. It seems like the flow from session to session is really disjointed and the way it is structured offers only a very surface level coverage of what are pretty important issues. I'm not sure if this is specific to the treatment, or more the way it is being run at this particular VA. I'm curious the impressions of others who have done Seeking Safety. What did you think of it?
     
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  3. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Well, you know the saying, if you've seen one VA....you've seen one VA. This program varies a lot from VA to VA depending on who leads the groups. The treatment itself has good literature and outcomes. But, you can't equate the VA outcome literature with other outcome study groups. I'd suggest some outside reading on the treatment and seeing how your group may differ from the way that the treatment is outlined in the manuals.
     
  4. BuckeyeLove

    BuckeyeLove Forensic Psychologist 2+ Year Member

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    I co-led some groups at the state hospital I was at last year where we implemented it with our SMI/ forensic long term patients. I'm with you in that it did feel quite surface level; however last I checked, it did have a pretty solid evidence base. It was also getting a lot of push at the group psychotherapy conference I was at in New Orleans last year. It seemed to fit nicely in with the politics of the hospital I was at, which was really pushing for "trauma-informed care." (I'll leave that up to you to decide what that means; it's been operationalized differently with every administrator i've talked to).
     
  5. LPPSYD

    LPPSYD 2+ Year Member

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    I'm currently using it in a prison setting. It's essentially part one of a trauma treatment program where the other components go more in depth as far as processing the trauma. So I guess I can see your point, if it's not being used in conjunction with anything else.
     
  6. docma

    docma 7+ Year Member

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    Our CMH system has used it with a range of populations, including in the jail, and find that it works very well, especially once the instructors get comfortable adapting it well to the population/group. A strength of SS is that it is adherent to adapt it within certain parameters so it has good flexibility; it also teams well with Social Skills Training for Schizophrenia. I was skeptical when I first looked at Seeking Safety (as I was with DBT), but now see why it has the evidence base record that it does. It just takes some time and practice (like most things).
     
  7. 54321

    54321 7+ Year Member

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    It sounds like it's not being done quite right where I am and it's not offered as part of a larger trauma program. Generally, I think all of the content is great, it just doesn't seem to be packaged well for someone with less experience to pick up and run with in a way that keeps it from being surface level (and I'm currently observing a non-psychologist doing it so that may be part of the problem-group basically consists of checking in and reviewing the handouts) To me it's sort of like Najavits knows exactly what will work but failed to fully get it on paper in a way that captures the essence of what the treatment is about.
     
  8. LPPSYD

    LPPSYD 2+ Year Member

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    There should definitely be discussions throughout each session, not just reviewing handouts. If you read through the Seeking Safety book Najavits talks about this pretty specifically.
     
  9. docma

    docma 7+ Year Member

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    Like many things, I think it is largely a matter of practice and self-reflection on feedback from implementation. I see our interns steadily gain skill in group faciliation and in connecting the topic to the specific needs/interests of the group, espcially once they come to know the group members better over time. Like all "manualized" treatments, delivery matters and as the instructor/teacher/facilitator gains mastery of the material and knowledge of the group, effectiveness also shows gains.
     

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