Question 1: My reaction to Anna’s story is deep sorrow for her. She was begging for help and trying to find any way/behavior to get her needs met and no one gave her an opportunity to heal. As we know, pain shared is pain lessened. She never had safety or was provided a safe place to heal and grow. Our behaviors are results of our life experiences. It reminds me to leave my biases out of interactions with clients or others in the community and to allow space for myself to believe other’s stories as they see it and not as I interpret it.
Question 2:I feel the paradigm shift is so important. When we can view others as what they have been through and not how they are presenting. We can focus on treating all parts of them and not just behavior modification. When a client gets up to leave group with anxiety, a traditional approach may be to provide them with an anxiety medication and send them back to group where as a trauma informed approach may be for a staff member to sit down with the client, walk them through grounding techniques and coping skills and get curious with them about where the anxiety is coming from instead of masking it.
Question 3:The environment I work in has the following principles: Safety, empowerment, voice and choice, peer support and mutual self-help. We build off of client and staff strengths, in a home like setting that is comfy and cozy. Clients participate in their plans for treatment and aftercare planning. Clients are encouraged to advocate for their needs and ask for help. We also help to integrate them into the 12 step community.