Are you struggling with past traumatic experiences whether big trauma or little trauma that impact how you perceive experiences and interactions today?
Trauma-informed therapy might be the answer. It’s a type of therapeutic approach that focuses on how those past traumas are impacting your current emotional, physical, and mental well-being. It takes extra consideration into treating your whole self both emotionally and physically to help break unhealthy patterns that trauma has created in your life.
In this blog post, we’ll explain what trauma-informed therapy is and it’s benefits as well as the 5 principles of trauma-informed care.
Looking for a therapist near me and live in Seattle, Bellevue or anywhere in Washington State? We’ve got you covered!
What Does Trauma Informed Therapy Mean?
Trauma-informed therapy is a therapeutic approach to helping people who have experienced trauma in their past or are currently experiencing it.
This type of therapy focuses on recognizing how trauma can trigger you and equips clients with resources for self-care, healing, and empowerment. It also helps people to think about the trauma from an objective viewpoint in order to process it and validate their feelings and lean into understanding them instead of pushing them away, or having chronic shame.
Therapy sessions may involve teaching trauma survivors different coping skills such as relaxation techniques, reframing thoughts and trauma stories, mindfulness, or exploring emotions through writing and art activities. The overall goal of trauma informed therapy is to provide a safe environment where people can reduce the impact of trauma in present-day experiences.
Additionally, trauma-informed therapists help clients transform trauma into growth instead of playing a role in an individual’s further suffering. Trauma-informed therapy approach helps people recognize that trauma is at the root of many of the symptoms they are currently experiencing, such as sleeplessness, hypervigilance, shame, self-criticism, depression, or anxiety, to name a few.
By the therapist creating an emotionally safe environment to process your trauma, building skills for self-protection, and aiding in recovery from traumatic events, those who participate in trauma informed therapy are able to work through the aftermath of trauma in order to live healthier and more successful lives.
The Five Principles of Trauma Informed Care
The first principle is safety—both physical and emotional safety. This means creating an environment that is free from any kind of harm or danger, both in actions and words. It also involves making sure that any treatment or services provided are safe for the individual receiving them.
This principle emphasizes honesty and respect in relationships between providers and clients, as well as trustworthiness in policies, procedures, communication, etc. It also involves being transparent about what services are available, how they will be provided, and how they will benefit the client over time.
3. Peer Support:
Peer support can help people affected by trauma build resilience and strengthen their sense of self-worth through meaningful connections with others who have had similar experiences. This could involve individual peer support sessions or group settings like peer support groups or recovery circles that offer mutual aid and solidarity.
This principle emphasizes collaboration between providers (professionals) and clients (patients). It helps ensure that individuals feel empowered to make decisions about their own care instead of feeling like their decisions are being made for them by providers alone. It also helps foster a sense of collaboration between clients so they can work together to identify solutions to their challenges in a safe environment supported by professionals who understand their needs.
5. Cultural/Historical Competency:
This principle recognizes that individuals may experience different types of trauma based on cultural norms or historical events. All of these can affect one’s mental health differently than someone else’s experience with trauma would be affected.
Trauma-informed therapy is an important part of supporting individuals who have experienced traumatic events in their life. By understanding the five core principles behind this type of care — safety, trustworthiness/transparency, peer support, collaboration/empowerment, and cultural/historical competency — we can better ensure that those affected by trauma are receiving the best possible support tailored specifically to meet their individual needs.
With this knowledge in hand we can take actionable steps towards ensuring individuals receive compassionate care during difficult times after experiencing significant traumas in life .
- What is Trauma-Informed Therapy?
- What is Trauma-Informed Care?
- Key Ingredients for Successful Trauma-Informed care
Lindsey Ferris, MS, LMFTA, Washington State