Single Paper or Case Study

Appraising ‘Sense of Safety’: Qualitative Analysis of Responses to the Question ‘what does the phrase ‘Sense of Safety’ mean to you?’

Saturday, March 24
1:30 PM - 1:50 PM
Location: Logan

The introduction of collaborative trauma-informed assessment into family medicine is an urgent priority. In this research, the ordinary use of the word ‘sense of safety’ was explored with key stakeholders to understand whether it may offer a collaborative shared language between clinician and patient. Australian patients, family physicians and mental health clinicians were asked to write a response to the question ‘What does the phrase ‘sense of safety’ mean to you?’ at the beginning of eight focus groups and semi-structured interviews. The thirty-five responses collected were analysed using an iterative constructivist grounded theory methodology.


 

Responses revealed a simultaneous awareness of safety in relation to themselves, others and their context. Participants also described an awareness of ‘sense of safety’ in relation to the quality of connection with others and their perceived capacity to engage with threat in their environment. Participants descriptions also revealed the process of appraisal as an active moment-by-moment sensory experience of ‘being’ and ‘feeling’ safe. This comprehensive awareness, and embodied personalised appraisal may be able to link physiological and psychosocial information in the clinical encounter. The appraisal of ‘sense of safety’ may potentially contribute to collaborative trauma-informed assessment, stabilisation and care in family medicine settings.

Learning Objectives:

Johanna M. Lynch

PhD Candidate
The University of Queensland
Brisbane, Queensland

Johanna is a family physician and founding director of Integrate Place, a trauma informed primary care mental health education, research and advocacy service based in Brisbane, Australia. She is an Advance Queensland Scholar and PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Queensland. She has been a family physician for 20 years and psychotherapist for 10 years, focusing her care on adults who have survived childhood trauma and neglect. She has a special interest in integrating transdisciplinary knowledge around human distress and translating that into practical outcomes for patients and clinicians. Johanna’s teaching has included many community settings, medical student and family physician training. She Fellow of the Royal Australian College of GPs and the Australian Society of Psychological Medicine, is a member of the ISSTD and an advisor for Blue Knot foundation (formerly Adults Surviving Childhood Trauma).

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Johanna Lynch


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Appraising ‘Sense of Safety’: Qualitative Analysis of Responses to the Question ‘what does the phrase ‘Sense of Safety’ mean to you?’



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