Premise Trauma, loss and unresolved grief are underlying factors in mental health, addiction, housing and justice issues. Most health and helping providers do not fully appreciate this. They continue to treat the symptoms and coping behaviours without addressing the root cause. Most trauma survivors do not make it to services provided by psychiatrists, psychologists and Masters level clinicians. The helping professionals that are doing this work are in the shelters, policing, hospital emergency rooms, general practitioner doctor's offices, welfare offices, schools, soup kitchens, drop in centres, etc. We need to recognize this and give this group the necessary tools to effectively service clients in a trauma informed manner. The most effective tool we have in providing trauma informed care is our relationship skills. Over and over again research has demonstrated that the quality of the therapeutic relationship is the single biggest factor in promoting change. Effective, trauma informed interventions must include a systems theory/relational lens. Helping trauma survivors without involving family members (biological or chosen), support people, potential support people or without assisting people to build support networks (if they don't have them) can risk further isolation, disconnection and pathologizing/individualizing the survivors.
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