What is emotional safety and why does it matter? Although emotional safety is a term commonly used in couples’ therapy, it also has a powerful impact on the social and psychological well-being of children.
Emotional safety means that members in the relationship feel safe enough to be vulnerable. According to the psychologist Don Catherall, individuals in emotionally safe relationships are more likely to be happier compared to those in emotionally unsafe relationships.
The concept of emotional safety owes much to the research of Stephen Porges and Don Catherall. Porges’ studies have proven that we all have an innate need for safety that is wired into our beings and that when we feel emotionally unsafe, our nervous system goes into a state of defense.