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Trauma-informed Care – and why we all deserve it

Disclaimer: I am not an expert by any means. Not a therapist, medical or mental health professional. I do not diagnose, treat, or tell people what to do. The main purpose of this website and blog is education and support. If you are unsure how the suggestions and resources here may affect you, please discuss any changes to your existing treatment plan with your medical and mental health providers first.

So what is trauma-informed care?

My Definition:
trauma-informed care means finding providers who listen actively and with compassion, accept me and my experiences as real and valid, and work with me (instead of blaming me or disregarding my concerns) through different challenges associated with getting medical care.

Here are some definitions from Harvard Medical School blog and

Elizabeth Lincoln is a primary care physician at MGH who has trained medical professionals and students about approaching patient care with an understanding of trauma. She explains: “Trauma-informed care is defined as practices that promote a culture of safety, empowerment, and healing. A medical office or hospital can be a terrifying experience for someone who has experienced trauma, particularly for childhood sexual abuse survivors. The perceived power differential, being asked to remove clothing, and having invasive testing can remind someone of prior episodes of abuse. This can lead to anxiety about medical visits, flashbacks during the visit, or avoidance of medical care.”

by monique teller, MD, MPH at the Harvard medical school blog

A Trauma-Informed Approach, often referred to as trauma-informed care (TIC), is a promising model for organizational change in health, behavioral, health, and other settings that promotes resilience in staff and patients. Key principles of this approach include organizational safety, trustworthiness, transparency, cultural sensitivity, collaboration, and empowerment among and between staff and patients. This approach recognizes the role trauma plays in the lives of patients/consumers and seeks to shift the clinical perspective from “what’s wrong with you” to “what happened to you” by recognizing and accepting symptoms and difficult behaviors as strategies developed to cope with childhood trauma.

From website

And if a popular magazine works better for you, this article from Psychology Today offers useful information too.

Why We ALL Deserve to be treated using the trauma-informed care model

  1. As living beings, we all deserve acceptance, safety, unconditional love, compassion, and kindness – especially from the people working with, educating, and caring for us when we are hurt or ill
  2. You might not remember it or even consider it a traumatic experience – because the word “trauma” is associated with extremes these days – but each and every one of us has had an experience that changed us and our worldview in some way
    1. The impact may be subtle or obvious, but it exists
    2. Example 1: a child gets scared by a man in an ape costume on Halloween while trick or treating. Years go by with many visits home to see parents. But every visit, this person avoids walking near that house and can’t remember why
    3. Example 2: A couple wants to get married and continue the rest of their lives together. One partner works as a civil servant at a busy courthouse. The other partner is firefighter at a house that gets many calls. The constant stress of their jobs and worrying about their loved ones – is that not traumatic? Even if it’s worth the stress and worry to be with the one you love?
    4. Example 3: A healthy, active man goes for routine medical procedure, but there are complications. The recovery takes longer than expected, and he struggles with new limitations in movement – something that never bothered him before. – is that a traumatic experience? How will this man cope with the “new normal” as people call it?
  3. When people feel safe and heard, there is a lot more cooperation and a significant reduction in fear. They are empowered to learn and make informed choices with regards to the next steps. If they feel uncomfortable or don’t want to do something, they feel confident the providers will listen and accept the “no” instead of disregarding them or pushing them into doing what the provider believes is best
  4. Finally, medical, behavioral/mental health, and other providers are considered role models with a lot of influence and power over other groups of people. By using a trauma-informed care model, they are leading by example in showing others how to be kind and accepting of themselves and others in life

Adapting Trauma-Informed Care as a business model

Personally, I believe the trauma-informed care model can be applied to all aspects of life and business. All people deserve to be treated with acceptance and kindness. Not “nice”, but kind because there is a big difference. People who don’t like each other, even hate each other, can “play nice” or “be nice” to others if or when “nice” benefits them. But genuine kindness comes from a place of unconditional love and authenticity. Kind people treat everyone the same and always find something positive and/or neutral to say/do for others.

And so, as I started thinking about this business and what it means to me, I decided that I was going to run my business from a place of acceptance, authenticity, and genuine kindness that offered resources and support to people who want to make changes that manifest their goals. So I can start small and lead by example with blog posts, recipes, and products that show instead of tell my commitment to empowering others to achieve their goals.

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