What is SafePath Solutions?
SafePath Solutions, developed by Dr. David Bernstein, helps teams work more effectively with youth and adults with personality and behavior problems, such as personality disorders, addiction, and aggression. A team is any group of individuals that works together to provide care, for example, on the ward of a hospital, addiction center, youth residence, or prison, or in a community-based program.
SafePath Solutions aims to improve team functioning and ward climate, providing safety and connection that clients missed growing up, and opportunities to practice healthier ways of coping and relating.
How does it work?
SafePath Solutions combines the principles of schema therapy – an evidence-based treatment for personality disorders – with mindfulness and positive psychology. We train teams to provide for clients’ core emotional needs – especially the needs for attachment and firm but fair limits – and work with extreme emotional states known as schema modes. When clients react in impulsive, hostile, aggressive, dominant, or manipulative ways, we understand these behaviors in terms of modes: emotional states that, when triggered, dominate a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior at any given moment. We teach teams how to respond to modes therapeutically, rather than in ways that lead to escalations, turning conflict situations into learning opportunities.
In a recent randomized clinical trial of youth in residential treatment, SafePath Solutions teams had better team functioning, better climate on the wards, and less need for severe, physical restraint of clients, compared to teams on usual care wards at the same institution. In conclusion, the implementation of SafePath does contribute to a warm and supportive group climate with less repressive interventions in secure residential youth care. You can read a free e-print of the full published article here.
Implementing SafePath Solutions
Since 2011, Dr. Bernstein has implemented SafePath Solutions with 15 teams in the Netherlands, including two SafePath Solutions wards for the highest risk forensic youth clients in the country.
On this website, you can learn more about SafePath Solutions, including how to become a SafePath Solutions trainer/coach, and how to implement SafePath Solutions in your organization.
Click here to download a brochure about SafePath Solutions.