How to identify unhelpful safety behaviors

Not all safety behaviors are problematic.  In fact, some safety behaviors are helpful.  It is important to be able to distinguish between helpful and harmful safety behaviors. Generally speaking, outside of the context of anxiety, safety behaviors can actually reduce real and serious dangers. For example, fastening your seat-belt is a helpful safety behavior that reduces an objective threat.

There are the four questions you can ask in considering whether a safety behavior is truly helpful:

1. Does the safety behavior reduce an objective danger, or is the threat a false alarm

2. How Frequently is the Safety Behavior Performed?

3. What is the function of the safety behavior or is the safety behavior related to anxiety or threat?

4. Is the safety behavior rigidly applied?

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