Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual's functioning and physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.
Trauma, as defined by SAMHSA, is an extremely individualized experience—from the experiences that affect a person traumatically to the coping strategies an individual uses to survive that trauma. Healing from trauma, just like every other aspect of recovery, is just as individualistic. The tools that help one person heal may not be the best tools to help another person who is also dealing with past or ongoing traumatic life experiences.
Recently, two Trilogy employees attended WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) and Healing from Trauma as part of continuing trauma-informed care (TIC) training. This three-day workshop in Tumacacori, Arizona was hosted by Cheryl Sharp, Senior Advisor for Trauma Informed Services at the National Council for Behavioral Health, and Matthew Federici, Executive Director of the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery. The goal of the workshop was to show individuals how (WRAP) can be used to address the maladaptive coping strategies a person may have developed as a result of trauma and how WRAP can be used to help a person overcome their experiences.
“WRAP is about staying well and taking responsibility for your wellness,” according to Diana Tifase, Trilogy Peer Support Specialist and Certified WRAP Facilitator. “Attending WRAP and Healing from Trauma helped me to see how important the tools we teach in WRAP are when dealing with trauma. There are five main components in WRAP: Advocacy, Support, Hope, Personal Responsibility, and Education. Thinking about those five concepts in relation to trauma allows a person to build a wellness toolbox that can help him or her create a daily maintenance plan to stay well and to heal from trauma.”
Almost two years ago, Trilogy made a commitment to implement trauma-informed practices throughout the organization by joining the National Council’s Trauma-Informed Learning Community. This meant evaluating and enhancing all of our programs and services to ensure that everything we do contributes to Trilogy’s goal of being an ideal Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) organization. We started the process by educating all of our employees on what it means to be trauma-informed. We continued the process by creating a TIC committee to address the prevalence of trauma not only in the people we serve, but also in the general population and the people who work at Trilogy. As a Trauma-Informed organization, we are committed to providing each person who enters our services with the supports they need to begin the healing process. We are committed to making Trilogy a safe organization where people can discuss trauma and a place where individuals who are on their own personal journey of recovery have the tools they need to take charge of their healing process.
Since we began our TIC work, we have learned that 42% of our active clients who take the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Survey score a four or above. An ACE score of four or above drastically heightens a person’s risk for a multitude of diseases and social and emotional problems. By implementing TIC, we are recognizing the prevalence of trauma among the people we serve and creating a safe space for recovery.
“I am passionate about TIC,” said Tifase, “not only as a mental health service provider, but as a person who has been through trauma. I believe TIC is the only way to live in a world where trauma happens. I believe that every unhealthy coping skill and behavior is tied to trauma that someone is coping with and TIC is looking at the world and saying, ‘Traumatic events are going to happen so let’s look at ways to prevent them.’ It is saying, ‘Traumatic events have happened so let’s look at ways to heal.’”