Trauma Sensitivity refers to a safe and respectful environment that enables trauma-surviving consumers to build caring relationships, self-regulate their emotions and behaviors, and succeed in all areas of functioning, while supporting their physical health and well-being.
The most important areas of focus to create a trauma sensitive environment are:
- Safety – physical and emotional, sanctuary, consistency, predictability, honesty, transparency, reliability, availability, continuity;
- Emotion management – tools to assist with reflection, awareness, labeling of emotion, negotiation to promote a more rational/cognitive style of problem-solving;
- Loss – empathy and support around the ‘pain’ of multiple losses (family, home, friends, community etc);
- Future – generation of hope, belief, competence.
An example of trauma sensitivity would be trauma-informed classrooms, created out of necessity, to help students cope with the trauma of school-related shootings.