What is trauma informed care? Meaning, examples and assistance
Trauma-informed care is in the details.
It assumes that people are people.
And people experience trauma.
Trauma-informed care, or TIC, recognizes that any person can have a history of trauma, so steps are taken to minimize harm by anticipating triggers and promoting a culture of safety and healing.
Trauma-informed care was originally an organizational framework for healthcare organizations that interact with patients, such as hospitals, but it has expanded over time to other areas, such as education, explains Dr. Lauren Ng, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles and Director of the Treatment and Research Laboratory for the Underserved with Stress and Trauma (TRUST).
What does trauma-informed care mean?
In a white paper published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, researchers described that from a healthcare perspective, TIC aims to understand a patient’s life experiences in order to provide effective care. TIC has been shown to have the potential to improve patient engagement, increase adherence to therapy, improve health outcomes, and foster a culture of provider and staff well-being.
Ng explains that trauma-informed care in action looks like this: “Every person within the organization has an understanding of how difficult life events can affect someone and their sense of security when they come into that place, their perception of the nature of the care that they go to receive and their reactions to how people treat them.”
She adds, “It’s about both having knowledge about it and having approaches that people feel safer and more comfortable with.”
What are examples of trauma-informed care?
To make it clearer. Here are some examples:
“You may have seen signs at a healthcare facility that said, ‘Would you like someone to accompany you?’ at the doctor’s office or asking someone directly about difficult experiences,” says Ng.
Another example is that if some providers “have a security guard, they make sure they are not up front because that could trigger a traumatic reaction in a person” after they have had certain experiences.
How can you help people who have been through something traumatic?
“Unfortunately, most people experience difficult life events, and many people will experience multiple difficult life events,” Ng explains. “But the positive side is that most people aren’t really going to develop anything like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There are some subgroups that will do this, but for most people, somehow naturally, their symptoms or condition will return to their baseline,” she assures.
Ng says the best way to help people through a difficult time is with positive social support. She shares a few ways to show the person you care:
- Show that you believe them.
- Show that you are available.
- Show that you will treat them the same way you treated them before.
- Treat the person with kindness and respect.
“It matters a lot to show that you’re there for them and that they can talk when they want to talk. That it’s okay and that whatever happened, there’s no shame. Many survivors carry a lot of shame, guilt and guilt. They know it’s inaccurate, so being that person who can reflect on that can be really helpful.”
Read more about trauma here:
Trauma is not just psychological. It can also affect your body.
More:Why this sudden “succession” death may have felt like real trauma
Dig deeper:What does generational trauma look like?
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