Introducing a Five Stage ‘Road Map’

Safely Held Spaces believes that the mental and emotional distress that we experience in life is a natural, though painful, part of our ongoing journey towards a fuller, deeper life.  


Based on our own journeys, and those of others, we are suggesting a five stage ‘road map’ for exploring the territories we encounter along the way. The language used to describe the five stages is deliberately everyday. This is the journey we all take through life, but in our own uniquely creative way.

We hope this ‘road map’ is useful for experiencers, as a way of framing and universalising our experiences. But also for those around us, highlighting that the way they see the journey - their worldview - can impact on how the journey unfolds, and on whether its transformative potential is able to manifest.


For example, if we get the right kind of support we may be able to step back from the threshold, rather than plunging into extreme times, or complete our journeys with a more gentle expanded worldview. The direction our journey takes is not inevitable. 

Everyday Life...

All journeys start here in Everyday Life. The reasons why we embark on the journey may come in many forms. Loss, of a loved one, of our health, job or faith, the breakdown of a relationship; stress and burnout; moving through key life stages; intense spiritual practice; and all the stresses, traumas and power imbalances that impact on our lives.



Our sense of readiness for inner change/transformation, whether consciously or unconsciously held, is also seen as important.

Next Steps...

The development of the Safely Held Spaces project is a collaborative journey. So over the next few months we propose to:

  • Run more workshops exploring the five stage journey with experiencers, their families and friends, and those working in mental health services

  • Connect up with more people and organisations thinking about, or already working to provide safely held spaces, to explore how we can work together, what the gaps are, and where further research might be needed

  • Continue to engage with the wider movement towards a more compassionate, experiencer-centred approach to mental and emotional distress

So please contact us for more details.

We look forward to hearing from you!

© Safely Held Spaces 2021