(Free Downloads) EMDR Safe Space and Container Exercise: A Deep Dive into Healing Tools

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, stands as a beacon of hope for many navigating the mires of trauma. Central to its practice are techniques that foster a sense of safety and containment, aiding in the therapeutic journey. Two such tools—the EMDR Safe Space and the Container Exercise—are pivotal. But what are they, and how are they incorporated into EMDR sessions? Let's explore.

EMDR Safe Place

The EMDR Safe Place is a grounding technique, a mental sanctuary where individuals can retreat during or after confronting distressing memories. It acts as a respite, providing solace and a sense of security.

  • What it involves: Therapists guide patients in visualizing a place—real or imagined—where they feel completely safe, calm, and protected. This can be a childhood home, a serene beach, a comforting room, or any other place of solace.

  • How it's used: Whenever individuals feel overwhelmed during a session, they're encouraged to mentally "visit" this EMDR Safe Place. Many therapists also use an EMDR Safe Place Worksheet to help patients detail and solidify this visualization, ensuring they can easily access it when needed.


  • What it involves: This technique lets individuals visualize a robust, secure container where they can "store" distressing memories or emotions temporarily. By imagining placing these memories inside the container, they can achieve a sense of detachment and relief.

  • How it's used: Therapists may introduce the Container Exercise early in EMDR therapy, ensuring that patients have a mechanism to manage distress between sessions. It becomes particularly useful for managing intense emotions that emerge during sessions. To aid in this visualization, many therapists provide a Container Exercise PDF or an EMDR Container Worksheet. These resources help individuals define their container's attributes and understand the steps for effectively using this technique.


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