Trauma has a very direct impact on an individual’s overall health. Recent studies have shown that exposure to traumatic events, especially as a child, heightens a person’s long term health risks. Healthcare providers recognize the long-lasting impact of trauma; there has been an evolving focus on the value of integrating trauma-informed care into healthcare practices to support a patient’s overall health and well-being. Incorporating care that recognizes an individual’s lived experiences is also in alignment with a whole-person approach to care. This is especially important in regards to substance use disorder recovery. “Whole-person” references acknowledging the varied dimensions, lived-experiences and facets that each individual possesses.
At Kyros, we strongly advocate for a holistic approach to recovery, one that takes into consideration all aspects of an individual’s life, as we believe it is essential to achieving better treatment outcomes. In support of this, we’re exploring forms of holistic care that focus on the whole person and their experiences. In this post, we will be outlining what trauma-informed care is. We’ll also explain how it unlocks a different level of holistic care for individuals.
What is Trauma-Informed Care (TIC)?
As defined by National Institutes of Health, trauma-informed care is intervention and organizational approach that focuses on how trauma may affect an individual’s life and his or her responses to behavioral health services from prevention through treatment (NIH).
TIC can be incorporated in traditional therapies, with many therapists already practicing trauma-informed care. Working with a provider who is trauma-informed ensures that your team can recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in a client and provide various pathways to care. With TIC, choice is paramount. Clients will have control over which pathway of care they decide to take. Another important distinction to note is that TIC emphasizes resilience and adaptation. Overall, this approach highlights that traumatic events happened TO the individual. It clearly states that the individual is not defined BY the traumas. Becoming increasingly common in healthcare systems, it’s critical to understand TIC and its role in a care setting.
Why is TIC Important?
Trauma-informed care (TIC) is a comprehensive approach that integrates multiple aspects of an individual’s life, with a specific focus on recognizing and addressing past traumas. TIC focuses on recognizing the trauma an individual has experienced, acknowledging how it may be affecting their life, and responding by further developing coping strategies.
TIC can be implemented across any organization – meaning both clinical and non-clinical staff can be trained. Implementation across an organization ensures that the entire entity adheres to a trauma-informed approach, and provides a consistent and safe environment for clients.
Why is TIC Important in SUD Recovery?
Many people with substance use disorders have experienced trauma at some point in their lives, whether as adults or children. People with substance use disorder are disproportionately affected by traumas due to the frequency of dangerous situations and accidents an individual is likely to experience while under the influence. With the frequency of traumas while under the influence and potential past traumas, it’s critical to weave TIC into the recovery conversation.
People with substance use disorder are disproportionately affected by traumas due to the frequency of dangerous situations and accidents an individual is likely to experience while under the influence.
Incorporating providers into your care team who practice TIC creates a cohesive recovery plan that addresses the root cause of addiction for many – past traumas and experiences. Participating in TIC can deepen the development of a trusting relationship between their health care providers. Healthcare providers who adopt this approach can better engage with their patients. They can in turn provide care that acknowledges and addresses multiple aspects of their lives.
A Whole-Person Approach to Care
Trauma-informed care is an approach to therapy, psychiatry and recovery care that acknowledges the experiences, specifically traumatic, that an individual has experienced. Adopting this approach allows for a comprehensive assessment of the person, taking into consideration various factors that may contribute to their mental health. This is especially important for individuals in recovery, who may have experienced trauma at greater rates. In recovery, the failed acknowledgement of traumatic experiences can hinder an individual’s recovery progress and should be carefully assessed. Finding providers who can offer trauma-informed support is relatively common, and most Peer Professionals are able to provide this as a part of their services, due to similar or shared experiences in recovery. Learn more about the support that Peer Professionals provide below.
Start Working With a Peer Today!
Peer Professionals walk alongside you through recovery, and utilize their lived experience to offer non-clinical care tailored to each individual. If you’re interested in working with a Peer, find more information here.
Khoury, L., Tang, Y. L., Bradley, B., Cubells, J. F., & Ressler, K. J. (2010, December). Substance use, childhood traumatic experience, and posttraumatic stress disorder in an urban civilian population. Depression and anxiety. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3051362/
Menschner, C., & Maul, A. (2016). Key Ingredients for Successful Trauma-Informed Care Implementation. SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/programs_campaigns/childrens_mental_health/atc-whitepaper-040616.pdf
Trauma-informed care: A sociocultural perspective – trauma-informed care in behavioral health services – NCBI bookshelf. (n.d.). National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK207195/