Trauma-Informed Care: Benefits
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common among people subjected to highly stressful and threatening events, war being the prime example (National Institute of Mental Health). The overall wellness strategy recommended by the VA and DOD for PTSD is trauma-informed care (TIC). It constitutes strengths-based treatment, which “embraces adaptation over symptoms and resilience over pathology” (Psychological Health Center of Excellence, 2018). TIC prioritizes the patient’s physical, psychological, and emotional safety. Treatment is approached in a collaborative rather than prescriptive way, focusing on root causes of trauma and mitigating its impact. This method embraces reconnecting with community members.
The first step will be discussing TIC’s purpose and desired outcomes, which would allow to seek solutions together and consider all concerns. Trauma-focused psychotherapy is recommended here, focusing specifically on mitigating the flashbacks’ reaction (Psychological Health Center of Excellence, 2018). Then, this approach suggests lifestyle changes such as engaging in meditation and social activities around the buildings. The focus on social engagement gives a chance to be integrated with the community. Lastly, an additional routine may have a soothing effect – for instance, picking up a hobby shared with other veterans.
Trauma-Informed Care: Challenges
Given the historic lack of support from the government, it may be hard to overcome initial distrust in therapy or practices like meditation. Additionally, a knowledgeable provider is needed, which can be achieved through the VA facility resources or via telehealth. In addition, it is important to tread the line between integrating and being overwhelmed by society: while exercises or communal events may be beneficial, the first steps are going to be hard. However, the patient must remember that no matter how slowly one improves, it is still progress.
Trauma-Informed Care: Advantages
NIMH-recommended treatment may be overly prescriptive, leaving the patient with little choice, its effects potentially dissipating when treatment stops. In contrast, TIC enables the patient to participate more fully in his recovery and establish a more trustful relationship with his provider, leading to better ways to address issues. Also, not every kind of therapy is effective in this case – the suggested method specifically addresses PTSD. Additionally, adding CAM and lifestyle changes makes healing feel more natural and less like symptom-patching. Lastly, this approach is strengths-oriented and focuses on skill-building, which improves long-term health outcomes.
In conclusion, the trauma-informed care is the proposed treatment method for post-traumatic stress disorder. The process of treatment involves a close collaboration between the healthcare provider and a patient to determine what works and what does not. The end goal is to allow the patient to exist independently and be integrated in the community around him. In order to achieve this goal, a trauma-oriented therapy, alternative medicine, and lifestyle changes are suggested as ways to address root causes and reshape community relationships.
Post-traumatic stress disorder. (n.d.). National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Web.
Psychological Health Center of Excellence. (2018). Health care provider’s guide to trauma-informed care. Department of Veteran Affairs, Department of Defense. Web.
Trauma-Informed Care. (n.d.). The Centre for YouthAOD Practice Development. Web.