The key to understanding Trauma Informed Care (TIC) is realizing that it is an expansion on Trauma Specific Care. While our health care system mostly treats specific traumas or trauma symptoms, TIC recognizes and takes into account all aspects of trauma and trauma survivors, including personal history, childhood experiences, culture, social status, and health. TIC providers aim to take a holistic approach to treating trauma survivors and collaborates with other service providers to make sure their patient gets all of their treatment and recovery needs met.
Trauma Informed Care Principles
Safety: Trauma Informed Care providers work to ensure a treatment environment that is physically, psychologically, and emotionally safe. Many trauma survivors face challenges with creating safe and nurturing home and work environments. So TIC providers work with trauma survivors to create a plan for increasing safety in their personal lives.
Historical and Social Reality: Trauma Informed Care providers treat survivors while recognizing the impacts of social circumstances and status. Taking into account racism, sexism, poverty and other social challenges, providers help trauma survivors cope and recover from discrimination they face. TIC providers also use clients’ cultural foundations as an aide in helping them recover from and cope with trauma.
Building Trust: Creating an environment of trust through transparency is a critical tool for Trauma Informed Care providers. By helping trauma survivors clearly understand how their trauma service works and how providers will help them cope and recover, TIC providers create an open and nurturing environment.
Individualized Care: Trauma Informed Care providers recognize that each trauma survivor is an individual who requires a customized approach to care. That’s why TIC takes into account a client’s entire history and experience when creating a trauma recovery plan.
Survivor Empowerment: The road to recovery requires that trauma survivors become empowered to make choices in their life. But that journey begins with choosing how to best approach their recovery plan. Trauma Informed Care providers work closely with survivors so that they are more than just recipients of care—but that they are also making choices about their self-care.
Staff Education: It is critical that all staff and care providers understand trauma and their role in helping survivors on their road to recovery. Trauma Informed Care providers educate their staff so that they are careful not to retraumatize survivors or hinder their healing process.
Emotional Management: Many trauma survivors experience intense feelings that may explode on the service causing them to act out in negative and harmful ways. That’s why Trauma Informed Care providers work to help survivors manage their emotions so that they’re expressed in positive and beneficial ways.
Future Building: Trauma can keep many individuals stuck in a loop of fear and injury, and prevent them from building a future. Trauma Informed Care providers help survivors to break that trauma loop and begin planning for a productive future.
Collaborative Care: No human being is an island, but this is also true for their injuries. Whether an injury is physical, psychological or emotional, any injury to one aspect of a person often affects other aspects. That’s why Trauma Informed Care providers collaborate with various health care professionals to treat both the symptoms and root causes of trauma.
As trauma survivors work with TIC providers, they should receive care to all aspects of their lives—physical, psychological, and emotional, and they also should become empowered through the process.