Trauma Informed Practice

Trauma Informed Practice

“Trauma informed practice” has become the new standard for recovery supports as evidenced by SAMHSA’s language and federal and state grant requirements and calls for proposals and conference agendas and accreditation standards and…

The language is everywhere but we know calling something “trauma informed” doesn’t necessarily make it so. Often the phrase trauma informed is used when a program, organization or resource center has specific supports to address trauma, often set apart from the day-to-day values and principles witnessed in action.

The RECOVER Project and other programs of the Consortium have been recognized nationally as a model of best practice for trauma informed recovery focused supports. To be “trauma informed” is to hold values and principles that guide all aspects of a program, from the physical environment, emotional comfort, and spiritual energy, as well as day to day procedures and policies that impact participants and staff alike. Trauma informed is a way of being in recovery wherein mutual relationships are nurtured with compassion and respect. We recognize that everyone has a story, and we hold the belief that recovery is possible for all. We know that a safe space and supportive relationships are necessary for healing.

Nine years ago, one of the first tasks of the newly formed RECOVER Project community was to decide how to be together at the RP and in the greater community. This community of people in recovery reflected on the values and actions that allowed for healing and growth. The RECOVER Project’s Code of Ethics developed from of these early conversations. The core values of safety, respect, compassion, and acceptance are at the heart of our Code. This Code of Ethics is a living document, it continues to guide our way of being together and gives us direction and hope as we work and play and sometimes struggle together in this beautiful way of being called recovery.

Sometimes members ask me – “What is this trauma-informed practice.” It is sometimes hard for me to answer. It is who we are as a community- we don’t even notice it because it is like the air we breathe. I am deeply grateful to those who have come before who developed the Code of Ethics; I appreciate all today who seek to uphold these values; I welcome those to come who will be embraced by these principles and find healing and community here.

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