Trauma-informed approach (TIA) aims to respond to the impact of trauma on people’s lives. This means recognising the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledging the role of trauma in the individual’s life. This is the overarching approach clinicians take while working with clients on a specific therapy approach.
Individuals who have experienced trauma may find it difficult to form more positive relationships as they feel unsafe, distrustful or have anxiety. This approach seeks to empower individuals to regain control of their lives by building up their physical, psychological and emotional safety. This will result in building the individual’s trust and overcoming barriers to forming healthy relationships.
Through this approach, clients will learn how psychological and emotional stress can affect individuals. They will learn to take note of “how” they engage with themselves and others. This process helps the individual change their perspective of the trauma by being less judgemental of what has happened and looking at the trauma simply as what had happened.
There are 5 guiding principles of Trauma-informed care:
- Safety: Ensuring physical and emotional safety
- Choice: Ensuring the client has a choice and control
- Collaboration: Making decisions with the individual and sharing power
- Trustworthiness: Ensuring there is clarity, and consistency for tasks and there are interpersonal boundaries established.
- Empowerment: Prioritising empowerment and skill building.
By adopting this approach in our practice, TOC staff are aware that people who have experienced trauma may find it difficult to develop trusting relationships with clinicians or feel safe and thus will aim to be more understanding & accommodating of your lived experience. Some therapies for trauma include EMDR and trauma-focused CBT.