Being Trauma-informed means care teams need to have a complete picture of a person’s life situation. Being trauma-informed means:

  • Recognizing the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) / trauma among all people.
  • Recognizing that many behaviors and symptoms are the result of traumatic experiences.
  • Recognizing that being treated with respect and kindness, and being empowered with choices, are key in helping people recover from traumatic experiences.
  • The goal of trauma-informed care is to increase awareness and avoid re-traumatizing someone. Re-traumatizing refers to inadvertently recreating conditions of a person’s previous trauma causing them to relive it in the moment. Trauma-informed care aims to help people find meaning and purpose in their lives, fulfill valued roles and engage in life in a community of their choosing, see themselves as more than their trauma(s), help people identify and pursue avenues to reduce distress and problems in their lives and exercise personal autonomy and self-determination in making choices. Trauma-informed care means shifting from the medical question of “What’s wrong with you?” to the trauma-informed question of “What’s happened to you?”
  • Trauma-Informed Principles
  • While some trauma-informed principles are specific to clinicians, the overall goal and many of the principles can be adapted by anyone. Trauma-informed principles include:
  • Promoting trauma awareness and understanding
  • Recognizing that trauma-related symptoms and behaviors originate from adapting to traumatic responses
  • View trauma in the context of individuals’ environments
  • Minimize the risk of re-traumatization or replicating prior trauma dynamics
  • Create a safe environment
  • Identify recovery from trauma as a primary goal
  • Support control, choice, and autonomy
  • Create collaborative relationships and participation opportunities
  • Familiarize clients with trauma-informed services
  • Conduct universal routine trauma screening
  • View trauma through a sociocultural lens
  • Use a strengths-focused perspective to promote resilience
  • Foster trauma-resistant skills
  • Show organizational and administrative commitment to TIC
  • Develop strategies to address secondary trauma and promote self-care
  • Provide hope and believe recovery is possible