Sunday, March 30, 2014

Compassion-Informed Care

One question I get asked a lot when I teach about trauma-informed care is whether this method is appropriate for clients who have not experienced trauma. One reaction I have it that it would be difficult to find anyone, including us, who has not experienced trauma. But putting that aside, I sometimes do regret the term trauma-informed care. Isn't what we are advocating here just good care? Let’s look at the concepts. It is my opinion that they apply to all effective treatment:
  •  A belief that the relationship is the key to healing
  • A conviction that symptoms are adaptive, so that the treater approaches difficult behaviors with respect and looks for how the behavior solves a problem for the client
  • An understanding of the role of the brain and biology and the ways in which development is shaped by experience
  • Empowerment and collaboration
  • Flexibility and individualization
  • A belief that change will come with learning new skills
  • Not relying on punishment and reward as tools of change
  • An understanding that the client is doing the best they can
  • An awareness of the whole body and the importance of non verbal healing activities
  • An understanding that the person will act better when they are safer, happier and more known
  • A deep conviction that the client’s behaviors make sense in view of their experience in the world
So which clients would this approach not be appropriate for? For that matter, wouldn’t it also be the best approach to staff, friends, ourselves?

I wish I could replace the term trauma-informed care with compassion-informed care. After all, compassion is also becoming a buzz word in our world. Would you like to join me in promoting this change? Let’s all begin referring to what we aspire to do as compassion-informed care.

Let me know in comments what you think of this idea.

No comments: