Trauma Informed Care is Essential to Healing
The brain science of recognizing, understanding and healing trauma has gained recognition in recent years. We are proud to have been at the forefront of the Trauma Informed Care movement with our own model of care, the Seven Essential Ingredients.
Brain science, also known as neuroscience, helps caregivers promote healing that can ultimately allow children and families to overcome even the most serious adversities to thrive.
Seven Essential Ingredients of Trauma Informed Care
Here, Trauma Informed Care is both an organizational commitment and a framework. It is applied to all therapeutic activities across all services for children, adults and families. We believe the following elements are critical to successfully implementing Trauma Informed Care:
Exposure to adverse experiences is more common than previously known. If we’re going to help people who have experienced domestic violence, substance abuse, separation or divorce, mental illness, physical or sexual abuse, emotional or physical neglect or acts of violence, we need to consider this fact — especially when it comes to children.
Trauma occurs when a person’s ability to cope with an adverse event is overwhelmed. The impact can be profound, especially when it occurs during key developmental timeframes. Early childhood trauma can contribute to difficulties in functioning and can have a serious effect on physical health in later life — and ultimately impact life expectancy.
3. Perspective Shift
The ability to shift our perspective is a key to empathy and can reveal new truths about the people in our care. Simply changing the question from, “What is wrong with you?” to “What has happened to you and how can I support you?” can bring enormous understanding.
Most interventions offered to people struggling with trauma focus on the “thinking” parts of the brain. Trauma-informed interventions prioritize emotional and behavioral regulation using strategies like drumming, singing, dancing or yoga. By activating the body, this approach has proven more effective in addressing the impact of trauma.
Strong relationships are the key to reaching a traumatized child and mitigating trauma. They help create resilience and shield a child from the effects of trauma.
6. Reason To Be
By ensuring a connection to their family, community and culture, people develop a sense of purpose and direction that is bolstered by resiliency — a combination of the individual’s internal attributes and the external resources that support them.
7. Caregiver Capacity
If we’re going to effectively work with traumatized people, we need to take care of ourselves. By identifying our limits, we understand that we’ll sometimes be pushed beyond them, but also understand what is needed to find a sustainable work/life balance.
So many meaningful results have been proven with the ingredients above that we began to train and provide consultation using this model. To date, more than 60,000 people have learned Wellpoint Care Network’s Seven Essential Ingredients framework.