Monday, January 20, 2014

The Vault Method

After talking to Therapist I’ve been in a much better head space ::deep sigh of relief::.

Today I wanted to talk about a cognitive visualization method of therapy that my Therapist wants me to work on called The Vault Method.

In the past I’ve mentioned the Abandoned/Wounded Child mode of the psyche. This is often the aspect of a person that has been wounded to the core since childhood. Where a person holds their deepest vulnerabilities. In the Abandoned Child mode people appear fragile and childlike. They seem sorrowful, frantic, frightened, unloved, and lost. Often for good reason.

Now, I’ve been in therapy for a few years at this point and I’ve dealt with most of these issues at certain points, but as new experiences happen, you may run into new trigger experiences. Because I have a history of sexual violence I have post-traumatic stress and abuse that keeps flashing back for me. I keep ruminating and getting lost in racing and circular thoughts. I don’t have a place to put these thoughts.

It’s important to acknowledge these thoughts. Don’t try to ignore them and bottle or repress them.

Instead Therapist says to:

            The Vault Method

Imagine a Vault. Something deep, strong, and secure. Next imagine a young Abandoned Child version of you holding hands with strong Protector version of you.

Envision yourselves standing in front of your open vault. As you have each of these unpleasant, destructive, ruminating, or traumatic thoughts - picture your Abandoned Child Self releasing these thoughts into the Vault. Acknowledge them and put them away. If at any time your Abandoned Child Self feels overwhelmed, allow your Protector Self to provide comfort and soothing. Self-soothing is very important.When you have acknowledged all of the destructive thoughts you have at that time, allow your Abandoned Child to slam the door shut. Let your strong Protector Self lock the door. The strong Protector aspect of your Self should always have the key to this Vault.  

Sometimes you’ll find that these thoughts creep back. Therapist said that this is when the Vault is “leaking”. Revisit the Vault with your Abandoned child and Protector Self and put those thoughts back in the Vault. Locking them back away. Don’t let them remain loose.

It takes practice to allow these thoughts to stop “leaking” back out into your day to day life. I find things with strong visual imagery help me the most.

What do you think? 


  1. It sound somewhat helpful actually. I definitely believe there is a 'wounded child' in all of us with early issues... I sometimes feel that 'wounded child' feeling creep into conscious emotion, not too often though. I think things can trigger us and then you revert back to your old wounded child self, you feel so small and vulnerable and childlike and hurt and lost as innocent and scared.
    A very practical helpful post cause its about a technique people can use. I think you need the right environment and state of mind to be able to visualise it strongly enough, but it's a nice technique

  2. I cried when I read this... as that's where a lot of the pain lies, with my Abandoned Child... but the question of who's the Protector still stands... is he the one that protects me from being hurt again, or the one who protects me from "hurt" in the first place?

  3. This hurts; Most of your posts trigger me like crazy but I can't stop reading cos it feels like I'm reading something out of my own journal. It's a very bittersweet feeling.


Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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