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Transdisciplinary evidence-based research for Sense of Safety

Underpinning the whole Sense of Safety project is a library of transdisciplinary evidence-based research.

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“Sense of Safety is not feeling threat regarding your body, mind, and spirit; feeling safe in all aspects of life, being respected for your body, mind, and spirit.”

Lived experience stakeholder (2017)

“I think Sense of Safety is a lovely phrase – it is common English – it works – everyone thinks they know what it means – and probably what everyone’s idea of what it means is not too different from what everyone else’s idea of what it means – so it is useful.”


Academic mental health clinician (2018)

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“while … [sense of safety concept]… has not yet found its home because it is not covered by any specific discipline, there is an Indigenous epistemology and ontology that is very close to the theoretical transdisciplinary approach presented. There is perhaps a relationships between Indigenous critical pedagogy and within indigenous healing practices.”

Professor Judy Atkinson’s foreword to Lynch (2021) A whole person approach to wellbeing: Sense of Safety (p, xiv)

“I think that one of my main roles, being a GP for people over time, is to contribute to safety. Sometimes I think it is the only thing I do for some of my patients is to be the safety. They know they can contact me, they know I can’t solve the problem, but I will be there.”

GP (2022)

Research Papers

Core texts underpinning
Sense of Safety

A curated list of key thinkers who have influenced the theoretical basis of the concept of Sense of Safety as central to health.

Embodied Life Experience

Seeing the links between lived experience and social determinants of health is part of seeing the patterns of sense of safety across the whole person.

Embodied Mind

The links between the body and psychosocial wellbeing are part of understanding the evidence-base for Sense of Safety as a way to see the whole person.

Respectful Connection

A Sense of Safety dynamic that embeds our understanding of the impact of attuned safe relationships on health.

Broad Awareness

A complex process that underpins, reveals, and protects Sense of Safety.

Calm Sense-making

A fundamental physiological, personal, and communal process of coming to terms with life that is part of Sense of Safety.

Owning Yourself

Prioritising individual capacity to sense, reflect, act and engage with community and the wider world is part of the theoretical basis of Sense of Safety.

Capable Engagement

Capacity to engage with life, emboldened by a Sense of Safety underpins this strengths-based approach.

Philosophy of whole person care

(with the problem of fragmentation as a subset)

Understanding how different types of knowledge help us understand a whole is part of the theoretical underpinning of the concept of Sense of Safety. 

Indigenous Wisdom and the whole

Wisdom cultures of the world have curated and protected a way of seeing the whole that has not been colonised by reductionist empiric scientism – this way of seeing has influenced the development of the concept of Sense of Safety.

Generalism – tuning into the whole

(with Transdisciplinary wisdom as a subset)

Building Sense of safety is facilitated using practical skills that integrate understanding of the whole through pattern recognition, humility, and relationship.

Clinical skills for seeing the whole

The practical clinical skills of seeing the whole may be helpful across disciplines as we learn to notice the Sense of Safety of the whole person.

Research Papes
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