Safe Places PTSD Worksheet

Help remind patients what their safe places are using the Safe Places PTSD Worksheet. This free PDF template will ensure client wellbeing and contribute to positive clinical outcomes.

By Matt Olivares on Jul 15, 2024.


Fact Checked by RJ Gumban.

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Safe Places PTSD Worksheet PDF Example
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What are Trauma and PTSD?

Trauma, in the context of this guide, is the intense psychological and emotional responses to events that have overwhelmed, terrified, distressed, and violated a person. Such events include car accidents, the realization of being emotionally manipulated and abused, sexual assault, being present in an area of a natural disaster, being held up by a mugger, etc.

Such events may leave a lasting impact on people to the point they cannot cope well because of the psychological and emotional scars they leave in their wake. And these scars can be triggered by memories, their senses, and being near where whatever traumatic incident took place.

Trauma can likely lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder ( for short), a mental health problem characterized by a wide variety of symptoms, including the following:

  • Being hypervigilant for something
  • Changes in behavior (like becoming more irritable and aggressive)
  • Having overwhelming feelings of emptiness, despair, guilt, and shame
  • Tendency to avoid a place or doing something
  • Having severe anxiety and depression
  • Having self-harming and suicidal thoughts, which they may act on
  • Tending to isolate oneself from others and the world
  • Memories, nightmares, and flashbacks of the traumatic event
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling indifferent and losing interest in things that once made you feel joy
  • Having an aversion to positive emotions, especially being happy

Coping with and managing PTSD symptoms is vital to confronting and working through trauma.

Looking for other relevant resources? Watch the video below:

How to use the Safe Places PTSD Worksheet:

One way to help oneself cope and manage PTSD symptoms is to have a safe place (or several) to go to. Safe zones can play an essential role in recovery and working through trauma because they serve as go-to environments for a person to feel calm and protected from trauma and PTSD symptoms.

Such places can (hopefully) provide the support and space they need to regulate their emotions, heal (no matter how slow), ward off their triggers, and learn to cope healthily.

The Safe Places PTSD Worksheet is a nifty tool that can help mental healthcare professionals understand what their patients believe would make them feel safe. They will also learn about their patients' current safe places, what they’re like, and how these spaces can help them.

The worksheet is simple to use! It takes the form of a short writing exercise that asks the patient two questions:

  1. What makes you feel safe?
  2. Are there places where you feel safe?

The person engaging with the sheet only has to answer these two questions in as much detail as possible! The more detailed, the better. There is enough space for them to write down their answers.

On the part of the mental healthcare professional issuing this worksheet, it’s important to emphasize to patients that they should be as descriptive as possible.

When is it best to use the Safe Places PTSD Worksheet?

If you’re a mental healthcare professional reading this, the best time to issue this worksheet would be during the early stages of your therapy/counseling program for your patient with PTSD. These would be the stages where you’re still learning about your patient.

The Safe Places PTSD Worksheet is meant to be used during this stage because the questions were told to get the patient to reveal and state what makes them feel safe and if they currently have any spaces they deem safe other than their therapy office or room. Learning more about patients will help healthcare professionals create a better therapy/counseling plan suited to their patient’s needs.

If you’re not a healthcare professional, we’d like you to know you can use this anytime you deem fit. Our template is free, so you can download it anytime and use it anywhere. Due to the psychological and emotional distress that PTSD symptoms can cause, you can forget about your safe spaces. It’s understandable, especially if the symptoms are overwhelming.

This worksheet can remind you about what makes you feel safe and your safe spaces. Fill out this worksheet and keep a copy of it in your bag or mobile device. If you’re in distress due to your PTSD symptoms, whip out your copy of this worksheet to remind yourself about your safe places, and if you can go to one of them immediately, go there.

What are the benefits of the Safe Places PTSD Worksheet?

It’s an inexpensive clinical resource and easy to use.

The Safe Places PTSD Worksheet is an inexpensive tool to have. You can print several copies and have them ready in your office if you handle a patient with PTSD. Or, if you prefer going paperless, you can send your patients empty copies of the PDF files if they choose to answer a digital copy in the comfort of their home or some other space they deem safe.

The instructions are also accessible. There are only two questions, so they can be answered quickly. All that people need to do is to write and be as descriptive as possible.

It can help therapists/counselors determine what they can do for their patients.

Worksheets, in general, are practical tools that therapists and counselors can use to get to know their patients better, especially when it comes to their troubles and what they usually do about them. This worksheet will help professionals understand what their patients believe would make them feel safe and if they already have safe spaces they can rely on.

Professionals can use this information to create a program that considers what makes their patients feel safe. They can also suggest specific spaces with the qualities their patients are looking for and see if those spaces help them with their PTSD symptoms.

It works well with other PTSD Worksheets.

PTSD is a nuanced mental health condition, and every person who has it will experience it and its symptoms differently. The Safe Places PTSD Worksheet only tackles one aspect of dealing with PTSD: finding safe places. If you issue other worksheets that help you learn more about your patient beyond their criteria of what counts as a safe place, you will be able to create a therapy plan that is more nuanced and allows you to tackle their PTSD from various angles.

How long does it usually take to accomplish this worksheet?
How long does it usually take to accomplish this worksheet?

Commonly asked questions

How long does it usually take to accomplish this worksheet?

This will depend on your patient. If they already know what to say right off the bat, it’s possible to accomplish this worksheet in five minutes, but don’t be surprised if it takes longer. It’s essential to give your patients the time and space they need to describe what makes them feel safe and their safe places.

Do you need help to accomplish this worksheet?

The answer is no if we’re basing this on the instructions. The questions are simple enough to answer. That doesn’t mean there won’t be difficulty, though. Your patients are dealing with PTSD. That’s a touchy matter; they will likely have trouble discussing their trauma with you.

So, just because the instructions and questions are simple doesn’t mean they will have an easy time talking about their safe places and what they consider safe, so it’s best to break the ice and establish enough trust and rapport with them first.

You mentioned that it pairs well with other PTSD worksheets. What’s an example of a PTSD worksheet that pairs well with this one?

We have another PTSD worksheet that revolves around safe spaces, My Ideal Safe Place PTSD Worksheet. That worksheet asks patients to write down ideas about their ideal safe space. They will even be asked to draw it!

This will also give you something to work with because you will have a written account of what counts as a safe space for your patients, and you will also have visual representations of what it looks like. This can be used for goal setting down the line during your therapy/counseling program.

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