What is Self-havening and how to practise it?

Self-Havening is a self-help technique that has gained popularity for its ability to promote emotional well-being and reduce stress. In this blog, we will explore what self-havening is and how you can practice it to improve your mental and emotional state.

What is Self-Havening?

Self-Havening is a self-help technique developed by Dr. Ronald Ruden, a medical doctor and psychotherapist. It is based on the concept of Havening Touch, a therapeutic approach that involves gentle self-soothing touch to create a sense of safety and calm. The term “havening” is derived from the word “haven,” signifying a safe and comforting place.

The primary goal of self-havening is to reduce emotional distress, anxiety, and stress by promoting self-soothing through physical touch. It’s a simple yet effective practice that can be used to manage a wide range of emotions and improve overall well-being.


How to Practice Self-Havening

Self-Havening involves a combination of physical touch and mental exercises. Here are the steps to practice self-havening:

1) Find a Quiet Space: Begin by finding a quiet and comfortable space where you can focus on yourself without distractions. It could be a cosy corner of your home or any place where you can sit or stand comfortably.

2) Identify the Issue: Think about the emotional or psychological issue you want to address. It could be stress, anxiety, anger, or any negative emotion you’re experiencing.

3) Self-Havening Touch: Self-Havening consists of gentle, rhythmic touch in specific areas of your body. The most commonly used areas are the arms, face, and hands. You can use either or all of these areas to self-haven. Begin by gently stroking your arms from the shoulders down to your hands, similar to how you would comfort a child. Alternatively, you can gently rub your face or hands.

4) Breathe and Visualise: While performing the self-havening touch, take slow, deep breaths. As you do this, focus on visualising a safe and calming image or situation. It could be a serene beach, a peaceful garden, or any place where you feel relaxed.

5) Positive Affirmations: Incorporate positive affirmations into the process. Speak softly to yourself, offering reassurance and self-compassion. For example, you can say, “I am safe,” “I am calm,” or “I can handle this.”

6) Continue for a Few Minutes: Repeat the self-havening touch and mental exercises for a few minutes or until you start to feel a sense of relief or calmness.

7) Assess Your Emotions: After the self-havening session, take a moment to assess how you feel. You may notice a reduction in the intensity of the negative emotion or a heightened sense of relaxation.

Self-Havening is most effective when practised regularly. Incorporate it into your daily routine or use it whenever you encounter distressing emotions. By combining gentle touch, positive affirmations, and visualisation, you can effectively reduce stress and anxiety while enhancing emotional well-being. Remember to make self-havening a part of your daily routine, and you may use it as a coping tool for your daily life.

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