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.

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SUD Substance Use Disorder Mental Health Disorder Trauma co-occurring disorders IDDT COD Dual Diagnosis Person-Centered Planning Client-centered counseling PTSD post-traumatic stress disorder