The Importance of Safe Spaces with Health Coach Jake Matter

Posted by Jake Matter on 7/4/24 4:00 PM


All people, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, or whatever of the innumerable differences that exist, need to have a space, an environment where they feel comfortable and can truly be their authentic selves. If people who make poor, destructive choices in their lives had a space where they could talk or get help, then maybe their path would have been able to diverge in a positive way.

What is a safe space and why is it necessary?

Since the mid 1960’s there has been an increase in mentions of safe spaces in society. This was a fact I was unaware of before researching this topic more closely. It is defined as a place or environment in which a person or category of people can feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment or any other emotional or physical harm. Safe spaces can be a physical location or virtual space. They can be categorized by race, religion, gender, or sexual preferences.

I first noticed it in classrooms in high school starting around 2011 or 2012. It may not have been specifically called a safe space, yet it was noted with a sticker of some sort. I believe there was usually a rainbow on it. The purpose of these stickers was to note that the teacher in that room was someone who could be trusted with sensitive information about a student’s sexuality or gender. It was a conservative area and school, so it was great to see!

You may be asking yourself, “What does this story have to do with safe spaces?” or  “Isn’t this only for the LGBTQ+ community?”. While that may have been the case in my high school, I believe there is much more to it. For the LGBTQ community, these spaces were essential to their growth and security. Past research has shown that LGBTQ+ students do slightly better in schools with a safe space (or group such as a GSA) than in those without one. They feel more welcome, for instance, and may get better grades.

While safe spaces may have started for the LGBTQ+ community, they can encompass so much more than that. They can be a place for true authenticity for any person regardless of status. It does not even need to be a physical space, though usually, that does play a part. A safe space can be a person, like a therapist or a health/life coach. If a healthy, honest environment can be achieved, a safe space can be made. Think of something you’ve struggled with, like anxiety or having to have a hard conversation with a loved one. Maybe you confided in a trusted friend or teacher. You felt comfortable and safe enough to talk about it without fear of judgment or condescension. That is a safe space!

Why am I talking about this?

My goal as a health coach is to give clients a space where they can honestly talk about their physical/mental health concerns, motivation, and goals they’d like to achieve. I want them to feel safe and free of judgment so we can really tackle and accomplish what they’ve set out to do. For example, moving forward or healing something about themselves. While I may just be starting my career as a health coach, I understand the need for someone or someplace where I can authentically be myself to focus on what adjustments or healing I need to do for myself. This is not always a linear path and roadblocks or setbacks will occur. This does not equal failure. It is a chance to learn and continue to try and move forward. I am still learning, just as so many others are. It is okay! As I said in the beginning; everyone deserves a safe space to be their authentic selves, even if it is for just a bit at a time.

Consider, if you will, a time when you needed to feel safe and comfortable to express yourself. Shouldn’t everyone have that opportunity? Think of if it was your loved one. Maybe a child, sibling, niece, or even parent or grandparent?  Wouldn’t you want them to be free to do that? Be that safe space; you never know if someone close to you may need it.

Learn About Holistic Health and Wellness Coaching

Connect with Jake

Website: https://pomadvisor.wixsite.com/peace-of-mind-health         

Email: pomadvisor@outlook.com (For more information and coaching inquiries)

Facebook: Peace of Mind Health & Wellness Coaching

LinkedIn: Peace of Mind Health & Wellness Coaching LLC

Topics: Great Graduate, Safe Space, SWIHA CommUNITY, Holistic Health and Wellness Coach, lgbtq+

About the Author Jake Matter

Jake Matter is a SWIHA Great Graduate of the Holistic Health and Wellness Coaching program. Jake founded his LLC in November of 2023, offering health coaching individually and to groups, as well as guided meditations. Jake has a passion for helping others through their healing journies and offering a safe space for peace of mind.

Jake Matter

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