What is Trauma-Informed Care & Why is it Important?

While trauma might not face the stigma other mental health conditions do, people who have experienced it often have a different obstacle to overcome—understanding. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to a traumatic experience, leaving many people to ask things like “what’s wrong with you?” rather than “what happened to you?”. While many different treatment options are available for traumatic experiences, trauma-informed care needs to be at the center of each. We also know that many neurodivergent individuals experience a higher rate of trauma than neurotypicals do.

Let’s take a look at what trauma-informed care really is, why it’s so important, and how it can change the way people view victims of trauma.

What Are the Core Principles of Trauma-Informed Care?

The goal of trauma-informed care is not only to recognize the array of trauma symptoms in someone but to provide a safe place for a trauma victim so you can better understand their past and present circumstances. Therapists and healthcare providers who practice trauma-informed care should recognize that there are different paths to recovery based on individual needs.

With that in mind, some of the basic principles of trauma-informed care include: 

  • Safety
  • Transparency
  • Collaboration
  • Empowerment

When a healthcare professional practices trauma-informed care, they create an environment that is more comfortable for every patient. The idea is that patients will be more likely to open up and have an easier time talking about their experience when they feel they can trust that professional and their practice.

Once a patient does feel safe and comfortable in a therapy setting, they’re more likely to be willing to work with you. Efforts have to be collaborative in nature. Your therapist has to show that they recognize what you’ve been through. But you both have to be willing to work together to overcome the past and move on to your next chapter.

The more you recognize that your provider is on your side, the easier it will be for you to feel empowered. With their professional guidance and support, you can start to overcome the long-term effects of trauma. 

Why Does it Matter?

Trauma-informed care is important for both patients and practices. It’s necessary for breaking down certain stereotypes and beliefs surrounding trauma and what it looks like in each individual. It also can help more people understand the wide variety of traumatic experiences a person can go through. 

Not only does trauma-informed care help victims feel more comfortable and safer, but it can serve as a form of encouragement for those who have been putting off treatment for too long out of fear or hesitation. 

How to Recognize a Trauma-Informed Approach

How can you make sure you’re choosing a practice that prioritizes trauma-informed care? They shouldn’t limit themselves to a single technique. This type of approach needs to be more of a cultural shift within every organization. That means every staff member needs to provide consistent attention and care to trauma patients seeking help. They need to be sensitive to the needs of those who have experienced trauma and make them feel welcome and understood throughout their entire journey of healing.

If you’ve been struggling with the effects of trauma for some time, it’s never too late to reach out for help. However, when you’re looking for the right kind of support and guidance from a mental health professional, make sure they take a trauma-informed care approach. You’ll have a more comfortable, fulfilling experience and are more likely to open up about your trauma sooner.

If you’re ready to take the next step toward healing from your traumatic experience, don’t hesitate to contact me for more information or to set up an appointment. 

Be well,

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