Changing the Pattern of Agoraphobia:
Learning to Create "Safe Bases"


Index to "Overcoming Agoraphobia"

Free Introduction to Recovery

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Finding a Therapist

Short Essays on Key Aspects of Healing

Stories of Healing


Once I had made sufficient progress in my healing, I was ready for some big breakthroughs.  Some of my most dramatic breakthroughs were made possible through a powerful healing modality called “creating safe bases.”

If you have learned and practiced your cognitive skills (such as “Mastering Panic”) and if you have been practicing increasing your distance from home, then “creating safe bases” may be especially right for you.  It takes an investment of your time, but the payoff can be very profound.

Here’s how to create a “safe base”:

Choose a special place that you can comfortably travel to by yourself. It could be a park, a library, or just a pretty spot. Make this special place into a kind of refuge. Plan regular outings there, and bring some special things with you, such as books, music, a sketch pad or a journal. The goal is to feel as safe and comfortable at this "safe base" as you do at home. You can even think of it as a “second home”. If you have been practicing Inner Safety Meditation or another form of meditation, do your meditating at your “safe base” instead of at home.

Here is the essence of “safe bases”: you are demonstrating your ability to create a sense of safety and comfort in a new place of your own choosing. This is a very profound accomplishment! Eventually, with practice, you will have the ability to create a “safe base” anywhere.

Once you've established your first "safe base," just enjoy it for awhile. Then, when you feel ready, create a new “safe base,” a little further from home.

When and if you experience anxiety, use your cognitive skills. (See “How do Meditation and CBT Fit Together?”)  Resolving your anxiety and deepening your feelings of safety are complementary modes of healing. Use your cognitive skills to resolve anxiety; use “safe bases” to deepen your feelings of safety.


"Safe Bases": The Next Step



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