Revisiting the Safe Place: Method and Regulatory Aspects in Psychotherapy when Easing Allostatic Overload in Traumatized Patients

Safe-place inductions are considered important altered states of consciousness (ASC) to be (re)installed during trauma-informed psychotherapy. Coregulation aimed at changing implicit relational knowing and increasing integration and coherence through relational work and hypnotic techniques is crucial, as clients’ abilities to self-soothe and regulate have become seriously impaired. Thus, resource-oriented metaphors as inner strength imagery is advocated. Also, methods such as creative-arts therapy and neurofeedback will induce ASCs, as most methods used with complex traumatized clients, due to their high hypnotizability. When positive or soothing imagery or relationally held suggestions for changed attentional focus are added to both psychodynamic psychotherapy and CBT, a hetero-hypnosis will be induced—a prerequisite for phase-specific trauma therapy aimed at changing inner schemas and scripts.