Seeking Safety

Seeking Safety

Many clinical programs treat PTSD or substance use disorders, but rarely both. Seeking Safety is an integrated model that treats both the PTSD and the substance use disorder at the same time and doesn’t worry which to treat first.

The skills gained from this group will help alleviate the symptoms of both PTSD and substance use disorder.

  • For: Adults
  • next session tba
  • 10 weeks – 1 hour sessions
  • $45/session. Most health insurance benefits offer coverage for group therapy.
  • Location: Claremont

Seeking Safety is a present-focused therapy that helps clients attain safety from trauma and/or substance abuse by emphasizing coping skills, grounding techniques, and education. Developed under a grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) by Lisa M. Najavits, Ph.D., this highly effective, research-based therapy has several key objectives including.

  • Helping clients attain safety in thinking, emotions, behaviors, and relationships
  • Providing clients integrated treatment of substance abuse and trauma conditions
  • Counteracting loss of ideals experienced from substance abuse and trauma

The title of the Group, Seeking Safety, states the basic mission of the treatment. In this group the goal is for a person to be able establish and cultivate safety in their lives. Meaning, when a person has both active substance use and PTSD, the most urgent clinical need is developing safety.

Read more about Seeking Safety

mharkins-small Facilitator: Michelle Harkins, MA LCMHC, LADC
Michelle’s practice centers on a commitment to people being heard and respected regardless of the challenges that they may be experiencing. Michelle draws on her background in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help clients understand how their thoughts, feelings and core beliefs influence choices in their world. Michelle works together with her clients to find healthy solutions to create positive, sustainable life changes. Michelle serves NH residents in our Upper Valley location.

Register now. Space is limited. Call our Groups & Workshop Coordinator at (603) 865-1321 x3.

Missed Session Policy:
The group process & group logistics rely on regular attendance at each scheduled group. There is a $20 charge for each missed session.


A counseling group offers participants a supportive environment in which to learn concrete skills for improving their quality of life. Groups provide a productive, health-oriented peer community where participants can try out new behaviors and collaboratively problem-solve to effectively handle real-life situations. Groups can also reduce feelings of shame and isolation because members are able to see that “they are not the only one” who is facing these challenges.


Our groups follow a the Seeking Safety curriculum. At least one new skill or concept is introduced in every session, and participants will choose their own activities to practice these skills during the week.


Each session starts with a check-in in which participants may share their successes over the past week and collaboratively problem-solve around challenges. Participants reflect on their progress towards their goals. New themes or skills are then introduced and discussed. At the end, participants wrap-up with commitments they are setting for the following week.


Our counseling groups could be a good fit for you if you are able to:

  • Complete the pre-group requirements, including intake meeting, goal setting, and informed consent
  • Make the time commitment to attending each group session
  • Experiment with alternative ways to respond to difficult life situations
  • Work towards common goals in a small group setting
  • Be sensitive to how your behavior impacts others

These groups are not the right fit for you if you:

  • Just want a “quick fix” to make pain go away
  • Cannot make the time commitment to attending group
  • Are not interested in trying out new behaviors for responding to difficult life situations
  • Are extremely critical and judgmental of the problems other people have


Please contact our Group & Workshop Coordinator if you have questions or are interested in our Seeking Safety group.


Is Participant Under 18?
  • Yes
  • No
  • No
  • Yes at Counseling Associates
  • Yes, elsewhere
  • Currently on waitlist
Do you wish to use health insurance benefits?
  • Yes
  • No

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Cancellation Policy: If you cancel your reservation more than 2 weeks prior to program start, you will receive a full refund less $25 processing fee. No refunds or credits are issued for cancellations received less than 2 weeks prior to program start.