Traumatic experiences can be dehumanizing, shocking or terrifying, singular or multiple compounding events over time, and often include betrayal of a trusted person or institution and a loss of safety. Trauma can result from experiences of violence or witness to violence. Trauma includes physical, sexual abuse, neglect, inter-generational trauma, and disasters that induce powerlessness, fear, recurrent hopelessness, and a constant state of hyper alert. Trauma impacts one’s spirituality and relationships with self, others, communities and environment, often resulting in recurring feelings of shame, guilt, rage, isolation, disconnection and interpersonal disassociation.
Trauma-informed organizations, life the Grace Homes / New Journey programs, and services are based on an understanding of the vulnerabilities or triggers of trauma survivors that traditional service delivery approaches may exacerbate, so that these services and programs can be more supportive and avoid re-traumatization.
Impacts of re-traumatization may include:
Decrease or loss of trust
Higher rates of self-injury
Significantly less willingness to engage in any treatment
Increase of intrusive memories, nightmares and flashbacks
Re-experiencing of symptoms and emotions from previous trauma – when extreme may take on delusional intensity
Increase in chronicity of stress with greater risk for psychiatric morbidity, e.g. PTSD, chronic depression
Trauma-informed care is an approach to engaging people with histories of trauma that recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role that trauma has played in their lives. The Grace Homes / New Journey accepts this approach and practices it for the betterment of long term response to treatment services.
“There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they grow up in peace.”
Kofi A. Annan
Additional supporting evidence: www.addictionpro.com Vol. 9, No. 6 “To Treat Addiction, Treat Trauma”. Allison Knopf