Trauma-informed care and trauma-informed supervision: Most people experience at least one traumatic event in life – and some people experience a disproportionate amount of adversity and trauma from childhood onward. Those of us in the helping professions can also frequently be exposed to secondary or vicarious trauma in the course of our work. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound influence on the level of stress and trauma in the lives of many. Trauma can impact the brain and the body, and also shape our ways of thinking, coping, and relating. As such, those of us in the “helping professions” need to be attuned to the impact of trauma and stress, and skillful in using approaches that foster healing and safety for those we serve – and, for those we supervise. We can also benefit from deep awareness of how our own first-hand and second-hand exposure to trauma and stress affect us as helpers, and how we can best care for ourselves (and each other) in challenging situations. Trauma-informed care (TIC) offers a way to do all of the above. TIC is not a specific type of treatment or therapy. Instead, TIC is an overall approach to our work… a lens we can use for seeing others (and ourselves) more accurately… the sum of many small words and actions that add up to a healing-centered environment.
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