One of the biggest predictors of a child’s ability to be resilient in the face of trauma is interacting with a caring adult. Through everyday gestures, any adult in a child’s life can vastly increase that child’s opportunity for success. Learn how your everyday gestures can help a child in your life at ChangingMindsNOW.org.
Childhood Trauma is the elephant in the room, people.
California, often the leader n social service programming, seems to be taking it seriously. Let’s hope all states will quickly follow their lead.
We’re so busy drugging our kids into submission, quickly diagnosing them with ADHD and the rest, while completely ignoring the principal underlying cause, childhood trauma.
Dr Nadine Burke Harris, California’s Surgeon General, has proposed that ALL students be screened for trauma before entering school (and hopefully more, not just at the preschool level).
One thing that tipped me off was the number of kids being sent to me by schools — principals, teachers and administrators — with ADHD,” she said, referring to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). “What I found was that many of the kids were experiencing signs of adversity, and there seemed to be a strong association between adversity and the trauma they experienced and school functioning.”
This finding spurred her to review the health records of over 700 of her patients. Her research team found that patients who had experienced severe trauma were 32 times more likely to be diagnosed with learning and behavioral problems than kids who had not.”
Read more at NBC News: California’s first surgeon general: Screen every student for childhood trauma
Jillian Peterson and James Densley, founders of The Violence Project, have, for two years, been studying the life histories of mass shooters in the United States for a project funded by the National Institute of Justice, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Justice.
They’ve built a database dating back to 1966 of every mass shooter who shot and killed four or more people in a public place, and every shooting incident at schools, workplaces, and places of worship since 1999.
They’ve interviewed incarcerated perpetrators and their families, shooting survivors and first responders. They’ve read media and social media, manifestos, suicide notes, trial transcripts and medical records.
Their data reveals four commonalities among the perpetrators of nearly all the mass shootings they studied:
- The vast majority of mass shooters in their study experienced early childhood trauma and exposure to violence at a young age.
- Practically every mass shooter they studied had reached an identifiable crisis point in the weeks or months leading up to the shooting.
- Most of the shooters had studied the actions of other shooters and sought validation for their motives.
- The shooters all had the means to carry out their plans.
In their LA Times Op-Ed, We have studied every mass shooting since 1966. Here’s what we’ve learned about the shooters, they go on to discuss how their data is helping develop strategies to prevent future mass shootings.
Why Trauma-Informed courts?
Modern courtrooms function more like emergency rooms than traditional courtrooms. The sound of the gavel replaces the siren. Clerks, judges and attorneys are the first responders while the podium becomes the center for the differential diagnosis and treatment.
More than ever before, courts are inheriting and being asked to resolve fundamental societal issues that bring people into contact with the legal system. These issues are both broad and deep and ultimately are embedded in the impact of the lifetime trauma children and adults experience.
Trauma has always shown up in the courtroom. It shows up in the belligerent parent, the withdrawn defendant and the aggressive juvenile. More recently, the true breadth of the impact of trauma in the courts is being measured.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) describes trauma as the psychological response to violence or adverse events when they are experienced as physically or emotionally harmful/threatening and has lasting adverse effects on functioning and physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.
Several studies have focused on the prevalence of trauma in those entering a courtroom and the obvious need for trauma-informed courts. One study, the Targeted Capacity Expansion (TCE) for Jail Diversion Study, found 96% of women in jail diversion programs reported a lifetime of trauma and 89% of men.
Perhaps more surprising is 74% of women and 86% of men reported current trauma. A study of justice-involved juveniles in Florida found they were more likely to have experienced trauma and multiple forms of trauma than non-justice-involved juveniles.
We must start assuming every person walking through the courtroom door has experienced some trauma. Our obligation as court professionals is to be trauma-informed in our interactions, environment and procedures.
Traua-Informed Courts: Tough but compassionate
The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange offers some practical and easy ideas about how to create trauma-informed courts.
Learn more at jjie.org
Simply put, Trauma Informed Care is an organizational framework that has to do with the understanding, recognition and response to the effects of all kinds of trauma.
TIC is a person-centered approach to treatment which seeks to understand the biological, psychological and social impact of trauma.
A trauma-informed program, organization, or system utilizes the Four R’s:
- REALIZES the widespread impact of trauma and Realizes understands potential paths for recovery.
- RECOGNIZES the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system.
- RESPONDS by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices.
- RESISTS re-traumatization.
How TIC Training Can Help Your Career
The advantages of trauma informed care certification to your career are innumerable. Health workers, security agencies, teachers, managers, business personnel and social workers all need trauma training in order to carry out their duties without re-traumatizing the public.
Further, trauma training also helps your career in areas of policy formulations and practices. Some policies are simply out of date and if continued to be implemented, will not produce any tangible result. An expertise in trauma training will make you run an all-inclusive policy and practices in your
Trauma training will also help you understand people’s behavior and their attitudes towards people, things or situations around them depending on what traumatic experience they have been through.
Trauma Informed Care has become a necessity for almost every career, because as long as you are dealing with people, someone will have been through a traumatic event and it is therefore important to get training to equip yourself with skills on how to effectively work with people who’ve experienced trauma.
Trauma Informed Leadership
Trauma informed leadership is a way of understanding that there is an emotional part of experiences in people in the workplace.
Being trauma informed as a leader helps you recognize and respect the emotional struggles that people under you are going through without judging them.
Finally, Trauma Informed Care Training helps you guarantee your staff members safety, recognition and respect by expressing empathy and compassion from you as a leader.
The blog post: “Why Trauma-Informed Care Needs to be Our Standard” from Women’s Health Today tells us that Trauma-informed care needs to be the standard of care for IBCLCs according to Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, RLC, FAPA.
Trauma-informed care (TIC) is a movement gaining momentum in health care. It’s been adopted by national health organizations, such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It has not been widely adopted among providers caring for childbearing women, but it’s something we need to seriously consider if we want to increase breastfeeding rates and improve mothers’ mental health.
Just how common is trauma?
Unfortunately, traumatic experiences are remarkably common among women. According to the National Center for PTSD (2015), findings from a large national mental health study show that more than half of women will experience at least one traumatic event in their lives. The most common trauma for women is sexual assault or child sexual abuse, which affects one in three women. Women are also more likely to be neglected or abused in childhood, to experience domestic violence, or to have a loved one suddenly die. One in every nine of these women will develop PTSD.
A trauma-informed approach
Women who have experienced trauma are also at risk for being retraumatized in medical settings, which is why health care providers must be mindful of their needs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, 2015) has outlined the principles of trauma-informed care. The trauma-informed care makes sense for every patient, and is especially relevant during the perinatal period, when women are particularly vulnerable.
According to SAMHSA, a trauma-informed approach to care:
- Realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery. For perinatal women, trauma increases the risk of depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and PTSD. It may also influence birth outcomes, including preterm delivery and birth-related PTSD.
- Recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system. The perinatal period is a unique opportunity to recognize trauma and its effects. Trauma can be effectively treated, and helping mothers to identify it can be the first step in their healing.
- Responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices. The effects of trauma are pervasive in the populations we serve. Yet, health care providers often do not recognize its existence or the impact it can have on every area of a patient’s life. IBCLCs can counter this by recognizing trauma and instituting policies and practices that follow the principles of trauma-informed care.
- Seeks to actively resist re-traumatization.
In this video, Dr Jacob Ham reframes a trauma perspective in terms of learning brain versus survival brain as a way to make it easier for teachers to talk about trauma with students.
It all starts asking the right questions.
Unhealthy childhood habits become unhealthy lifelong habits.
When a patient displays troubled behaviors, caregivers may only see the tip of the iceberg and if the system doesn’t find a way to address all the stuff under the surface, probably there won’t be any real improvements.
Trauma-informed care propose a shift in paradigm, instead of asking: What´s the matter with you? start asking: What happened to you?
Trauma-informed care provides a framework that works towards curbing the impact of a psychological trauma attack. This framework also helps survivors to have a feeling being in control of situations and empowered.
What is trauma? It is defined as extreme stress that limits or hinders a person’s ability to cope.
Trauma-informed care incorporates five principles to mediate the impacts of trauma:
- Safety – service providers in this field ensure that the victims are physically and emotionally safe.
- Empowerment – the victim s strengths are evaluated and validated.
- Choice – this is to ensure retraumatization doesn’t take place by helping the victims make their own choices however small.
- Collaborations and mutuality – this principle helps create relationships between the service provider and the victim creating a bridge into each other’s world.
- Trustworthiness and transparency – being consistent during treatment helps to build trust and maintain it for quicker healing.
A trauma-informed organization will seek to:
- Realize the prevalence of trauma and ways to remedy.
- Recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma among its staff.
- Respond by making policies, procedures and practices.
- Resist the occurrence of re-traumatization.
TEACHERS AND TRAUMA
Trauma in school children is inevitable due to the prevalence of trauma in our society.
Teachers would do well to incorporate trauma-informed care to enhance the affected student’s academic and social mastery.
A traumatized student may behave defiantly or aggressively and it’s up to the trauma-informed teacher to recognize the situation and help divert the child’s attention and bring them back to focus.
Trauma informed care can build a person ‘s ability to become a good leader in whatever field applied. Through it, the virtues of true leadership are instilled.
A leader has empathy, takes bold risks, motivates others, has the ability to make decisions even in difficult situations.
Leadership can be traumatic itself since it involves representing others and being responsible for them. What happens when there is unrest among the group being led? When things are not working out positively? A leader who has undergone the training will find it easier going through such situations.
In short, trauma-informed training will be an asset to anyone, in any field, anywhere in this wide, wide world.
Mark Sander is Director of School Mental Health for Hennepin County and Minneapolis Public Schools and a Senior Clinical Psychologist for Hennepin County. As a certified Master Trainer in the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, he helps develop trauma informed organizations and trauma sensitive schools, and publishes and speaks nationally on school mental health. Mark is former Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland Medical School, and also serves as visiting scholar at Wilder Research.