This page currently under construction! Check back soon for more content and resources. For now, see the below excerpt, which comes from The Trauma Informed Care Project of Alameda County.
Trauma Informed Care vs. Trauma Specific Treatment
A majority of persons served in public mental health and substance abuse systems have experienced trauma and have been severely impacted by these experiences. Neglecting to address trauma can have huge implications for the effectiveness of mental health treatment and short-and long-term wellness of the individual (more about the trauma and mental health). Trauma informed care is an approach that aims to engage people with histories of trauma, recognize the presence of trauma symptoms, and acknowledge the role that trauma has played in their lives.
Trauma informed care is grounded in and directed by a thorough understanding of the neurological, biological, psychological, and social effects of trauma and the prevalence of these experiences in persons who receive mental health services. It takes into account knowledge about trauma — its impact, interpersonal dynamic, and paths to recovery — and incorporates this knowledge into all aspects of service delivery (Reference). Trauma informed care also recognizes that traditional service approaches can re-traumatize consumers and family members. Additionally, trauma informed care is a person-centered response focused on improving an individuals’ all around wellness rather than simply curing mental illness (Reference). Trauma informed care is about creating a culture built on five core principles:
- Safety: Ensuring physical and emotional safety
- Trustworthiness: Maximizing trustworthiness, making tasks clear, and maintaining appropriate boundaries
- Choice: Prioritizing consumer choice and control
- Collaboration: Maximizing collaboration and sharing of power with consumers
- Empowerment: Prioritizing consumer empowerment and skill-building