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Trauma Informed Care

* Pain Management *  PTSD * Compulsive Behaviors Fears and Anxiety *

"PTSD was a waking nightmare.  I was so out of control.  It was like watching someone else, someone I hated.  I'm back to being me again.  I'm functional again.  I'm ME again."    - Mike

Trauma Informed Care (TIC) is an approach where the symptoms, behaviors, and impacts of trauma are taken into account as the primary concern instead of looking at each item individually.  Trauma has wide-reaching impacts that must be addressed as they effect the whole person.


Individuals who have experienced trauma are at an elevated risk for substance use disorders, including abuse and dependence; mental health problems such as depression and anxiety symptoms or disorders, impairment in relational/social and other major life areas, other distressing symptoms as well as physical disorders and conditions, such as sleep disorders and increased physical pain. 

Core Principles of TIC:

  • Recognize That Trauma-Related Symptoms and Behaviors Originate From Adapting to Traumatic Experiences

  • Trauma Reactions are Normal Responses to Abnormal Circumstances

  • View Trauma in the Context of Individuals’ Environments

  • Trauma Responses Vary from Individual to Individual

Recognize That Trauma-Related Symptoms and Behaviors Originate From Adapting to Traumatic Experiences

A trauma-informed perspective views trauma-related symptoms and behaviors as an individual’s best and most resilient attempt to manage, cope with, and rise above his or her experience of trauma. Some individuals’ means of adapting and coping have produced little difficulty; the coping and adaptive strategies of others have worked in the past but are not working as well now. Some people have difficulties in one area of life but have effectively negotiated and functioned in other areas.

Trauma Reactions are Normal Responses to Abnormal Circumstances

We view clients’ presenting difficulties, behaviors, and emotions as responses to surviving trauma. In essence, we come to view traumatic stress reactions as normal reactions to abnormal situations. In embracing the belief that trauma-related reactions are adaptive, you can begin relationships with clients from a hopeful, strengths-based stance that builds upon the belief that their responses to traumatic experiences reflect creativity, self-preservation, and determination.


View Trauma in the Context of Individuals’ Environments

Trauma cannot be viewed narrowly; instead, it needs to be seen through a broader lens—a contextual lens integrating biopsychosocial, interpersonal, community, and societal (the degree of individualistic or collective cultural values) characteristics that are evident preceding and during the trauma, in the immediate and sustained response to the event(s), and in the short- and long-term effects of the traumatic event(s), which may include housing availability, community response, adherence to or maintenance of family routines and structure, and level of family support.

Many factors contribute to a person’s response to trauma, whether it is an individual, group, or community-based trauma. Individual attributes, developmental factors (including protective and risk factors), life history, type of trauma, specific characteristics of the trauma, amount and length of trauma exposure, cultural meaning of traumatic events, number of losses associated with the trauma, available resources (internal and external, such as coping skills and family support), and community reactions are a few of the determinants that influence a person’s responses to trauma across time.

Trauma Responses Vary from Individual to Individual

Individuals who have survived trauma vary widely in how they experience and express traumatic stress reactions. Traumatic stress reactions vary in severity; they are often measured by the level of impairment or distress that clients report and are determined by the multiple factors that characterize the trauma itself, individual history and characteristics, developmental factors, sociocultural attributes, and available resources. The characteristics of the trauma and the subsequent traumatic stress reactions can dramatically influence how individuals respond to the environment, relationships, interventions, and treatment services, and those same characteristics can also shape the assumptions that clients/consumers make about their world (e.g., their view of others, sense of safety), their future (e.g., hopefulness, fear of a foreshortened future), and themselves (e.g., feeling resilient, feeling incompetent in regulating emotions). The breadth of these effects may be observable or subtle.

For further information on how Hypnosis works with PTSD, please follow this link for one of the best written articles I have read:  Hypnosis and PTSD by Chris Lemig

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