SAFE® consists of four different modules:
I. SAFE® -- Day seminars before and after birth
SAFE® is conducted in parent groups that are offered on four Sundays before the birth of their child. The parents should be in a approximately comparable stage of pregnancy.
The prenatal modules cover: the parents' fantasies, hopes, and fears; prenatal attachment; the infant's competencies; the parents' competencies; parent-infant interaction (with video demonstration); attachment development in infants; prevention of the transmission of traumatic experiences through psychotherapy; and the learning of stabilization exercises.
SAFE® is continued after childbirth in parent groups that take place on six additional Sundays, beginning after a couple of weeks after the child is born (for example during the first, second, third, sixth, ninth, and twelfth month of life).
The postnatal modules cover: information about the emotional development of the infant; (inclusion of) parental experiences; video feedback training based on individual (video) sessions; counseling on how to deal with difficulties concerning the infants’ behaviors (sleeping, eating, crying); information and instruction on the infant's development of attachment and exploratory behavior. There is ample time for the parents' questions.
II. SAFE® - Sensitivity training
The parents received sensitivity training during the prenatal day seminars, at which time they learned to read infant's signals based on videotaped parent-child interactions. In addition to the postnatal seminars, individual appointments may also be set up for videotaping a play, diapering, or feeding situation between the parent and their infant. This allows for direct feedback from persons who have been specifically trained for this purpose.
III SAFE® - Hotline
The trusting relationship that has been developed between the parents and the counselors (SAFE® mentors) over the course of the seminar is used to further offer the parents counseling and a telephone hotline. This hotline provides a "safe base" for the parents, enabling them to access information, counseling, and support between the modules if they get into difficulties (e.g., the infant has a tantrum). This gives them a sense of power over their situation, allowing them to feel more secure as they develop parental competencies. It can be tremendously advantageous for the qualitiy of the counseloring to know the parents from working with them in the parent groups.
IV. SAFE® - Focal psychotherapy
If indications of unresolved traumatic experiences have been found on the prenatal attachment interview, psychotherapy is offered to the parents in which there is a focus on trauma as a fourth SAFE® module. This therapy includes a prenatal stabilization phase and a postnatal processing phase. SAFE® seeks to prevent the parents from transmitting their own trauma to their children.