• A Treatment Improvement Protocol: Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services

      United States. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (United States. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014)
      Many individuals who seek treatment in behavioral health settings have histories of trauma, but they often don’t recognize the signifi­cant effects of trauma in their lives; either they don’t draw connec­tions between their trauma histories and their presenting problems, or they avoid the topic altogether. Likewise, treatment providers may not ask questions that elicit a client’s history of trauma, may feel unprepared to address trauma-related issues proactively, or may struggle to address traumatic stress effectively within the con­straints of their treatment program, the program’s clinical orienta­tion, or their agency’s directives. By recognizing that traumatic experiences and their sequelae tie closely into behavioral health problems, front-line professionals and community-based programs can begin to build a trauma- informed environment across the continuum of care. Key steps include meeting client needs in a safe, collaborative, and compas­ sionate manner; preventing treatment practices that retraumatize people with histories of trauma who are seeking help or receiving services; building on the strengths and resilience of clients in the context of their environments and communities; and endorsing trauma-informed principles in agencies through support, consulta­ tion, and supervision of staff. This Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) begins by introducing the scope, purpose, and organization of the topic and describing its intended audience. Along with defining trauma and trauma- informed care (TIC), the first chapter discusses the rationale for addressing trauma in behavioral health services and reviews trauma- informed intervention and treatment principles. These principles serve as the TIP’s conceptual framework.