If someone has any Attachment trauma or mental illness, for the Ideal Parent Figure Protocol it’s vital that you work with someone with proper training and experience.
I know safety and trust are awfully hard to achieve, so below are a few tips that can help the experience feel more safe, and a short video on dealing with disassociation.
Here’s some tips that can make the experience more secure :
1) Use a blanket.
A familiar blanket, or even comfortable piece of clothing, can give a person a sense of safety. Simply the felt weight on the body can help keep a person grounded.
2) Grounding exercises.
There are a number of good grounding exercises, but both before AND after a session it can help to simply look around the room, notice things, note their colors, or even pick out objects that are especially soothing. This can help a person become spatially embodied.
Ideally you want to engage all 5 senses, feel the table in front of you, have something pleasant to smell, a drink to taste, and listen for a moment and notice the loudest sound in the room.
3) Find a safe place IN the body.
Before the session begins properly, the client can scan his or her body, from top to bottom and from bottom to top, and find a place of peace, and inner safe space, somewhere in the body. He or she can make a deep connection to that place, even putting a hand there to keep in contact.
4) Deep breathes before and after.
Deep breaths can activate the Vagal system
5) Keeping eyes half open.
The IPFP can be done with eyes open, focused on the floor, which can help make sure the person doesn’t get “lost” in too deep a state of relaxation.
6) Eye contact and Connection.
If the therapist and client have a sense of trust, before going into the IPFP the two can make eye contact and take a deep breathe together. The therapist can remind the client, “We’re going to do this together, I can can go with you, or my voice can go with you.”
The therapist can periodically remind the client that they are, in fact, safe in their room, and this is all occurring in the imagination. The client can also be reminded that they can come out of the protocol at any time should they wish to.
There are many other ways to ensure a safe session, but these are just a few.
Any other idea’s or suggestions I’d love to hear them, thanks !