Being a Safe Container

Safe Container

Being a Safe Container

I am reading this really amazing book about children at the moment, which is based on the same principles as continuum concept. It is kind of about children. It is about all of us really.

It talks about being a Safe Container for your child when the child experiences stress and strong emotions. Because the child needs to feel safe, relaxed , almost contained in this energy of acceptance, to be able to release all this stress, sorrow, sadness. To be able to express it.

Being a Safe Container means acknowledging his distress, sitting with it with him, holding him in your arms. Simply showing him – “I am here, with you, I am always close, you can relax”. This doesn’t mean giving advice, or running after the one who caused this distress, or trying to rule out the situation. It means creating this safe space for the child to feel he is seen and held and for him to safely express his emotions. For if this Safe Container is not present, he can’t do it. He swallows his stress and pushes it down deep into subconscious. And then later in life there can be a lack of joy and happiness, whatever life is.

Children need it, but so do us, adults. We also need a Safe Container. Yet it is so difficult for many of us to be it. To simply be there and not give unsolicited advice. Not fix another. Not give solutions to the problem. Not discuss how bad those others are who caused the problem. To simply be that Safe Container.

So simple. Yet so difficult for many. May be because we rarely experienced this ourselves as children. And wild expression of someone’s emotions, and sometimes not even wild, triggers our own deepest wounds.


Lera Mimizu

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