Trauma-Informed Care: Helping Recovery Through Empathy


A growing focus on the provision of trauma-informed care may increase the odds of success for those pursuing mental health or addiction treatment.

According to Psychology Today, trauma-informed care “implies that victims and service providers alike have been educated or trained in the consequences of trauma.”

Many men and women in behavioral healthcare treatment have exhibited a history of trauma, as noted by various research studies. Common traumas include physical or sexual abuse, neglect, or family dysfunction, according to the National Council for Behavioral Health. These traumas can cause feelings of isolation or low self-worth in victims, who may then turn to substances like drugs and alcohol in order to cope.

This behavior can be seen as adaptive, or an attempt to deal with the harsh aftereffects of trauma, which can often be life-changing and long-term. However, trauma is treatable, and behavioral health care professionals can design treatment plans to address the traumas of a specific population or particular types of trauma.

Attributing post-traumatic symptoms, such as addiction, to the urge to cope with or adapt to potentially horrific circumstances can help empower victims and allow them to act more empathetically towards themselves.

Additionally, by recognizing destructive behaviors as the symptom of a coping mechanism, individuals who have suffered from trauma can begin to pursue healthier self-soothing strategies instead, such as journaling or meditation.

Trauma-informed care can help end or decrease feelings of low self-esteem, helplessness, or powerlessness, and can give victims the confidence they need to enthusiastically pursue recovery.

Trauma-Informed Approach and Trauma-Specific Interventions – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration
Trauma Informed Care – National Council for Behavioral Health
The Benefits of a Trauma-Sensitive Approach to Healing Shame: Moving from Self-Criticism to Self-UnderstandingPsychology Today

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