How to Bring the Therapy Safe Space Into Your Normal Life

One of the most helpful and sacred things about going to your counselor’s office is the therapy safe space they have created. Ideally, it is a warm and inviting place where you feel comfortable and free to open up.

Teletherapy takes you out of that space, and that’s one of the reasons that some people are a bit nervous about it. But in actuality, it gives you a unique opportunity to integrate the practice of therapy into your everyday life.

If you have been doing online therapy for a while, you may have already adjusted your physical surroundings to create a therapy safe space at home: rearranging your room, making a comfortable place to sit for sessions – perhaps even using special lighting, colors, aromatherapy, or music.

Are there other effective ways to bring the therapy safe space in to your life? And what does this safe emotional territory entail?

What Is a Therapy “Safe Space”?

Generally speaking, this is a designated place/time in which you feel able to freely express yourself. Safe spaces lack judgment, “fixing,” or wanton interruption. A skilled therapist strives to create a space in which you feel:

  • Acceptance
  • Privacy
  • Understanding
  • Listening
  • Unconditional positive regard

These can sound pretty abstract, but there are concrete things you can do. Let’s take a look at how to cultivate each one.


You can’t force every person in your life to accept you for who you are. But you can work on self-acceptance. When you think about it, that’s where many problems originate, isn’t it?

Some folks use personal affirmations. If you often find yourself thinking “I can’t do anything right,” try gently introducing a different train of thought. “But what if I can do some things right?” Or even, “Maybe I’m great at some stuff!”

Additionally, you can choose friends who tend to view you with non-judgment. If you constantly feel like you’re striving for a friend’s approval, ask yourself: Can I tone down this need from within? Or are they encouraging it? If so, do I need to put a little more distance between us? 


Therapy offers a unique space of personal confidentiality, mirrored in few other areas of our life. But the safety of a kept secret can help you examine your own attitudes toward privacy. Because people have diverse takes on privacy!

For example, you might feel on edge about disclosing relationship news to your mother — because you know she’ll blab it to the rest of the family before you’re ready! Ask your therapist to help you formulate a tactful request. If you hold firm, you may find that the secret-spillers in your life start to contain themselves a bit more – freeing you to open up and build a little confidence between you.

Understanding & Listening

I’ll group these together, because they really go hand in hand. You can foster more understanding within yourself and with loved ones by becoming a skilled listener. 

The next time someone in your life talks about how their day went, pause before offering your opinion or alternate story. Instead, imagine how they must feel. And voice that.

“Wow, a three-hour commute sounds hard. You must feel exhausted…”

Give them a platform to tell their narrative from their perspective. You’ll notice that folks often soften when met with understanding rather than resistance. Once they feel heard, they might be restored enough to turn around and ask, “How are you?”

Unconditional Positive Regard

This is the real gold of therapy. And it can feel quite rare in “real life.” Therapists are in a unique position to step away after each session – they don’t have to deal with your unwashed dishes or slow errand-running like friends or family might!

That also shows you the key. Stepping back may be just what you need to reframe the people in your life (and their quirks). It will also help you be less frustrated and more loving toward yourself.

A friend once told me to view the world through “200-year-old glasses.” What will matter to you after such a long time? And what can you let go – and embrace more?

Talk to Your Counselor for More Tips

Of course, if you already attend teletherapy sessions, your counselor is a great resource, too. The Delaware Relationship Center is ready to help you learn more ways to build safe space into your life.

Walt Ciecko, Ph. D., BCB
605 Wynyard Rd
Wilmington, DE 19803