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Trauma Informed Educational Practice


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). 6 guiding principles to a trauma-informed approach.

Here is a brief explanation of the six guiding principles of Trauma Informed Practice as shown in the image at the top of this box, as well as links to the guide's page for each principle where you will find detailed information and links to further reading.

1. Safety

Throughout the organization, staff and the people they serve feel physically and psychologically safe.  

2. Trustworthiness and transparency

Organizational operations and decisions are conducted with transparency and the goal of building and maintaining trust among staff, clients, and family members of those receiving services.

3. Peer support and mutual self-help

These are integral to the organizational and service delivery approach and are understood as a key vehicle for building trust, establishing safety, and empowerment.

4. Collaboration and mutuality

There is true partnering and leveling of power differences between staff and clients and among organizational staff from direct care staff to administrators. There is recognition that healing happens in relationships and in the meaningful sharing of power and decision- making. The organization recognizes that everyone has a role to play in a trauma-informed approach. One does not have to be a therapist to be therapeutic.

5. Empowerment, voice, and choice

Throughout the organization and among the clients served, individuals' strengths are recognized, built on, and validated and new skills developed as necessary. The organization aims to strengthen the staff's, clients', and family members' experience of choice and recognize that every person's experience is unique and requires an individualized approach. This includes a belief in resilience and in the ability of individuals, organizations, and communities to heal and promote recovery from trauma. This builds on what clients, staff, and communities have to offer, rather than responding to perceived deficits.

6. Cultural, historical, and gender issues: Equity

The organization actively moves past cultural stereotypes and biases (e.g., based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, geography), offers gender responsive services, leverages the healing value of traditional cultural connections, and recognizes and addresses historical trauma.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2014). SAMHSA’s concept of trauma and guidance for a trauma-informed approach. HHS Publication NO. (SMA) 14-4884. Health Services Administration. | 503.943.7111 or 800.841.8261 | 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland, OR 97203-5798
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