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What Is a Trauma-Informed Approach to Addiction Treatment?
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) characterizes a trauma-informed approach to addiction treatment as one that:
- Realizes the severe impact of trauma and understands the potential paths for recovery
- Recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in all those involved in the treatment system
- Responds appropriately by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices
- Actively seeks to resist re-traumatization
The Importance of Trauma-Informed Practices
The majority of people who suffer from substance abuse disorders and addiction also have a history of painful experiences that have directly contributed to their use and relapse. Whether the trauma was a single incident or multiple incidences, or it happened recently or years ago, the footprint is equally devastating.
Nova provides trauma-informed practices by creating a culture that is based on an understanding of trauma, its relationship with addiction, and the needs of individuals who have been touched by traumatic experiences. This understanding allows us to craft an environment and rehab program that enhances the recovery process and provides a place where clients feel safe, understood, and heard.
Trauma-Informed Care at Nova
The Nova staff strives to provide the best therapeutic experience possible to clients who have a history of trauma. From the very first day of a client’s treatment until the very end, our experienced clinical counselors facilitate treatment through a trauma-informed lens. This allows us to identify markers for survivors of traumatic events and allows clients to explore underlying issues without fear of shaming or a lack of knowledge from our staff.
Our skilled treatment team works together to blend our in-depth 12-step curriculum with clinical material, such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which allows us to address more complex trauma in a more in-depth manner. This balanced blend of treatment methods helps us to recognize the presence of symptoms, acknowledge the role and impact of trauma in everyday life, and help clients become aware of interpersonal dynamics that need repair.
At Nova, our culture and philosophy for working with clients are built around creating an environment within our rehab center that nurtures this work. The core of our drug and alcohol rehab treatment team culture and philosophy is:
- Physical and emotional safety
- Trust and healthy boundaries
- Having a voice and validating feelings
- Partnership and promoting choice
We understand the effects that traumatic experiences can have on clients’ relationships, worldview, and self-view, as well as the coping styles they have adopted to deal with it. With trauma-informed practices, we help clients address this deep-seated trauma by determining where it came from, how to work through it, and how to move forward in recovery.
Examples of Trauma-Informed Care In Our Treatment Programming
At our rehab center, our addiction treatment program was developed with the principles of trauma-informed practices in mind, but specific components of our programming, such as the Core Emotional Addiction (CEA) Model, are designed to delve into the impact of shame on each client’s ability to cope, maintain relationships, and stay sober.
We also include The Daring Way™ components in our Family Program in addition to therapeutic work on family of origin issues, family dynamics, and repairing damaged relationships.
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