a safer space

Sometimes talking through our problems and issues can be liberating. But where do you go to freely talk with others similar to yourself? 


Safer space, my weekly online group, is one such place. For more information see below or to simply buy one of the eight tickets for each group CLICK HERE.

What is Safer space?​

Imagine talking in a safer place with a group of people who are understanding and empathetic every week. A therapeutic group can be a helpful place to build a community of like-minded people and express your feelings.

For seventy minutes online, a group of up to eight, meet and engage in spontaneous conversation, where relationships can develop and be strengthened. These conversations can discover unique solutions and learning opportunities from each member of the group.

As members share stories and experiences, your own reality can be reshaped and you can better understand your own situation and life experiences. Each session provides a unique experience depending on who participates in the group.

The donation payment system allows you to pay whatever you feel comfortable with and what you feel the value of each session is. That way, you are never restricted to join and participate.

A facilitator leads the conversation and draws up on their own experiences to help others share their stories too.

I have devised, supervised, facilitated, clinically governed and been a member of therapeutic groups across my twenty two year career in mental health. These have been in high secure settings, open forensic wards, CMHT's, charitable organisations and in the community. The group structures have included anger management, anxiety management, self advocacy, intensive outpatient addiction rehabilitation, open addiction groups, ward talking groups, therapeutic music groups and community talking groups. I bring all this experience to Safer Space.

Join our therapeutic group sessions, and discover a safer space to talk and be you. CLICK HERE.



How does it work?

Safer space's therapeutic potential lies in the opportunities conversations provide for therapeutic human interactions. Simply put how things are talked about is more important than what is talked about. Safer space is a stepping stone between closed group therapy and a peer support group. Safer space is based on the facilitators clinical experience of, and evidence for, effective therapeutic groups.

In terms of motivational interviewing, cognitive and behavioural (CBT) models, Safer space works by its participants practising a variety of ‘good habits’. These ‘good habits’ are the, evidenced based, psychological means to recover from a variety of other mental health problems. They are the change mechanisms of motivational interviewing, cognitive, and behavioural psychotherapies:

  • Increasing our self-awareness by communicating our experience, reflecting upon it, and being open to other people's experience.

  • Practising constructive emotional expression with others.

  • Identifying and evaluating the helpfulness of our thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

  • Evaluating and practising alternative ways of being.

  • Reducing the strength of, and choice of response to, our distress related triggers.

  • Rewarding ourselves, and each other, for working on our problems.

  • Learning through observing other people.

  • Increasing our self-confidence through successes in the group

  • Practising decision making about our participation in, and the content of each group.

  • Increasing our sense of connection by asking for help, receiving help, offering help and helping.​

'I felt comfortable at every session [of therapy] and felt I could share my struggles in a safe environment. After my sessions I have felt my anxiety improve and understand better why it happens and how to cope with it.'
What are the boundairies?

Boundaries are the agreement on how we communicate with each other in the group. The group has a consistent boundaried structure.

  • Respect other people's roles in the group and the topics they raise.

  • People can come and go from the group during its operation.

  • People do not have to speak if they do not want to, it is fine to just listen.

  • Confidentiality - what is said in the room stays in the room. Unless people are put at risk by this rule. Also please note the facilitators will receive supervision where group content will be discussed.

  • Please communicate to the facilitators if you feel there are significant risks for individuals subsequent to the group.

  • Please do not bully others, or yourself, with words, emotions or actions.

  • If you need to use a phone please take the call outside the group.

  • Being under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol will prevent you being able to consent to being in the group.

  • The facilitators may keep written notes of your participation.

'You have been absolutely amazing and helped me immensely'




​Entry criteria

  • Adults (16+).

  • Adults who want to help themselves and others in a group setting.

  • Participants must be assumed to have capacity to participate unless it is established that they lack capacity.


Exclusion criteria

  • People for whom the intervention seems detrimental in terms of risk to self or others.

  • Repeated breaches of group boundaries

Risk assessment in the group principles

I aim to balance the seriousness of the possible outcome with the possibility it may occur based on specific risk factors. In questions of risk we will attempt to use multiple sources of information, collaborate with the participant, communicate with each other and if necessary other agencies in making decisions. Participants will be provided with the contact details and availability of facilitators outside the group. In addition participants will be provided with a crisis information detailing emergency helping resources if they suffer an adverse reaction to the group.

Limits of confidentiality in online therapeutic groups

I work within the codes of ethics of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the British Psychological Society (BPS.) These include a duty of confidentiality, unless there is a significant risk of harm occurring by that confidentiality being maintained. I am also compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR.) As such I am a registered data controller with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO.)  There are additional potential breaches of confidentiality in an online therapy group. Participants need to be aware of and accept the risks involved. Groups will not be recorded.  Potential breaches to confidentiality may include, but are not limited to: 

  • A group member attending group in a non-secure location where a nonmember (such as a family member or roommate) can see or hear the group.

  • A member recording or taking a screenshot of the group members.

  • A member using recorded material to share the identity of the group or a specific member.  ​


Colon Y., Friedman B. (2003) Conducting group therapy online. In: Technology in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Palgrave, London

Gentry, M. T., Lapid, M. I., Clark, M. M., & Rummans, T. A. (2019). Evidence for telehealth group-based treatment: A systematic review. Journal of telemedicine and telecare, 25(6), 327-342.

Hayhoe Benedict, Verma Anju, Kumar Sonia. Shared medical appointments BMJ 2017; 358 :j4034

Richards, D., & Viganó, N. (2013). Online counseling: A narrative and critical review of the literature. Journal of clinical psychology, 69(9), 994-1011.

Yalom, I. D., & Crouch, E. C. (1990). The theory and practice of group psychotherapy. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 157(2), 304-306.


Contact me to arrange your FREE sixty minute clinical psychology consultation, suggest resources or for further information.


Mobile: 07503 316 840

Tel: 01506 670 627​

Email: contact@drandrewperry.org

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©2020 Dr Andrew Perry. Scotland, UK