Almost 3 out of 4 of Americans will have experienced a traumatic event in their lifetime. Without blatantly asking for someone’s trauma history, it is difficult to assume, guess, or “tell” who has been through something difficult in their lives. And whether you run a massage clinic, a primary care office, a counseling center, or a law firm, these individuals will be walking through your doors. This is why Ancora offers trauma-informed care consultations.

People who have experienced trauma can often be “triggered” by situations and stimuli that remind them of distressing event. Being “triggered” can lead to mood fluctuations (crying, anxiety, agitation), dissociative events (“shutting down”), and avoidance (leaving your office). How these individuals are welcomed into your space can reduce the likelihood of these responses occurring.

Much like how we address germs, trauma-informed care starts with Universal Precautions. Rather than wearing latex gloves, washing hands, and donning a face mask, instead we will assume that each person who walks in the door has experienced a traumatic event in their lifetime and try (as much as possible) to prevent triggering or, worse, retraumatizing that individual.

This begins with your space- the design, artwork, and furniture. Next, the admission process. How is intake paperwork completed? How are clients or prospective clients welcomed into the room? Depending on your business needs and budget, we can provide evaluation, training, and recommendations to foster a sense of welcoming, security, and support.

Your actual procedure or service provision is best judged by the individuals receiving the services. Based on the initial evaluation, the next part of consultation would include client-provided feedback forms, largely centered on interactions with staff. Some examples could include, “Was the procedure discussed with you prior the exam?”, “Were you asked if you would like a support person in the room?”, and “Were you warned by any change in environment, i.e., the lights turning off?” When providing services, these questions sometimes get missed by a tendency to go into “autopilot”, but can have a detrimental impact on your clients. We can provide you qualitative and quantitative feedback to improve your service delivery.

Finally, we realize that service providers are part of the 3 of 4 statistic. Part of trauma-informed care and training includes topics of compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and self-care. Recommendations will also be made on how to support staff to prevent their own triggering experiences. If staff are feeling safe, secure, and supported, those feelings will be passed on to your clients as well.

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