Trauma Informed Care at Orchard Place

Trauma Informed Care is not a mental health intervention. It is an organizational framework that understands, recognizes and responds to the effects of all types of trauma. It emphasizes physical, psychological and emotional safety for both youth/families and providers, and helps  build a sense of control and empowerment.

What is Trauma?

Trauma is something that threatens a person's sense of safety, either physical, psychological or emotional. A traumatic event can either be experienced directly by the person or can be witnessed by the person. Trauma and traumatic events can include personal, private experiences and public experiences. Sexual assault, sexual abuse, domestic violence/interpersonal violence, and witnessing domestic violence are examples of some personal events that may cause trauma. Public experiences of trauma include natural disasters, war, and community violence.

orchard place trauma informed care infographic

Who is Affected by Trauma?

Trauma/traumatic experiences are far more prevalent than previously recognized and affects not only the individual, but also their families and communities. Trauma may disrupt healthy development, adversely affect relationships, and can contribute to mental health issues. Trauma also plays a role in substance abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse.

Everyone pays the price when a community produces multi-generations of people with unresolved trauma by increasing crime and the loss of wages, and threatening the stability of the family.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events and experiences that occur in a person's life before they reach the age of 18. These experiences include physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, parental mental health issues, separation from parents and illegal activity by a household member. Studies show that individuals who experience ACEs remember these traumatic experiences as adults and it can affect an individual's physical and emotional health throughout their lifespan.

Trauma Statistics 

  • A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds in the United States. (Childhelp, 2014)
  • Children who experience child abuse and neglect are 59 percent more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28 percent more likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30 percent more likely to commit violent crime. (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2006)
  • 14 percent of all men in prison and 36 percent of women in prison in the USA were abused as children, about twice the frequency seen in the general population. (Childhelp, 2014)
  • More than one in three women and more than one in four men in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner. (CDC, 2013)
  • Nearly 80 percent of female offenders with a mental illness report having been physically and/or sexually abused. (Marcenich, 2009)
  • The majority of clients served by public mental health and substance abuse service systems are survivors of trauma.
  • 75 percent of women and men in treatment for substance abuse report trauma histories (SAMHSA/CSAT, 2000)

Elements of Trauma Informed Care

There are 4 Essential Elements of Trauma Informed Care:

  1. Connect: Focussing on Relationships. Acknowledging all learning and healing happens in the context of a relationship.
  2. Protect: Promoting Safety and Trustworthiness. Acknowledging in order to change a coping strategy one must first feel safe and trust.
  3. Respect: Engaging in choice and collaboration. Acknowledging that having choices and being included is empowering and builds a sense of control.
  4. Teach & Reinforce: Encouraging skill building and competence. Acknowledging that everyone has skills they use to keep themselves feeling safe, which can be viewed as positive instead of negative.

Trauma Informed Care Treatment 

The model of treatment for trauma at Orchard Place takes place in three phases:

  1. Safety and stabilization
  2. Processing of traumatic material
  3. Reconnection and reintegration

Safety and Stabilization 

In phase one, traumatized youths and young adults are given attention to their basic needs including connection to resources, self-care, and identification of support system. Orchard Place focuses on the regulation of emotion and helps trauma survivors develop the capacity to self-soothe. Phase one also includes education on trauma and the treatment process.

Processing of Traumatic Material

The primary goal of this phase of treatment is to have the individual acknowledge, experience, and normalize the emotions and cognitions associated with the trauma at a pace that is safe and manageable.

Reconnection and Reintegration

Phase three helps trauma survivors develop a firm or new sense of self and healthy and supportive friendships, intimacy, and spirituality.

The experts at Orchard Place are dedicated to raising public awareness of the scope and serious impact of post-traumatic stress on the safe and healthy development of children. We share a commitment to help build strong futures for each and every child in Iowa.

Becoming Trauma Informed: Annual Psychological Trauma & Juvenile Justice Conference

Individuals who have been affected by trauma need support and understanding from those around them. By recognizing the many different types of trauma in people's lives, caregivers and community service providers can better provide assistance without re-traumatizing an individual. Through education and dialog, we can become "trauma-informed" and become more a compassionate and supportive community for the many individuals affected by trauma.

The Annual Psychological Trauma & Juvenile Justice Conference provides education and training on trauma and Trauma Informed Care to help local and regional caregivers and their communities. Nationally recognized speakers highlight current research and practice trends to help begin the needed conversation about trauma. Current initiatives are also showcased to demonstrate how organizations can implement trauma informed practices throughout the larger system, and how organizations can become agencies who practice trauma informed care.

Save the date for the 7th Annual Psychological Trauma & Juvenile Justice Conference on June 6 & 7, 2017. More information can be found here.