Trauma Informed Care

Trauma is described as a personal experience of interpersonal violence, abuse, or some other adverse event. Trauma can result from one experience or it can be ongoing. People who have experienced trauma often develop extreme coping skills to deal with the stress and anxiety of the trauma. Some individuals experience depression, anger, anxiety, emotional numbing, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, eating disorders, crises, self-harm and interpersonal relationship issues. Many of the participants with whom we work have experienced trauma. Trauma Informed Care is an approach to working with others in a way that does not retraumatize recipients of services. This page is a resource to providers and members on Trauma Informed Care.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. —Maya Angelou

Steps to Become a Trauma Informed Care Agency Every agency that is interested in becoming a Trauma Informed Care agency should begin by training staff about Trauma Informed Care principles. It is important that all staff understand and commit to creating an environment in which members and staff feel safe, have trust, have choice, experience collaboration, and are empowered.  There are many resources and information on how to become a Trauma Informed Care Agency on the internet.

One of the steps in working toward creating the Trauma Informed Care environment is to complete an agency self-assessment (attachment). Once the assessment is completed the agency can identify areas that need to be developed or strengthened.

Trauma Informed Care Supervision

Agencies need to take into consideration that many staff members have also experienced trauma. Even if staff members have not personally experienced trauma, staff members can experience what is called Vicarious Trauma. This can happen from listening to members' stories of trauma, feeling powerless when positive change is not seen when working with a member, and/or identifying with a survivor of trauma.

Ways an agency can help staff members address vicarious trauma is to provide debriefings after traumatic events and incorporate professional self-care planning in clinical supervision.

Cenpatico Behavioral Health of Arizona (Cenpatico) services are funded through a contract with the Arizona Department of Health Services/Division of Behavioral Health Services (ADHS/DBHS) and AHCCCS.