The Philosophical Underpinnings Of Trauma Informed Care

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While there is agreement that trauma informed care generally refers to a philosophical stance integrating awareness and understanding of trauma and its ongoing impact on patients’ health and lives, there is not yet consensus on a definition or clarity on how the model can be applied in a variety of settings. The philosophical underpinnings of trauma informed care trace to the feminist movements of the 1970s (Burgess & Holstrom, 1974), and the emergence of child-advocacy centers and awareness and response to child abuse in the 1980s. In combination with the growth of research in combat-related posttraumatic stress after the Vietnam War, the focus then expanded to mental health practice, especially in the context of traumatic events. By the late 1990s and early 2000s, social work and mental health professionals began to articulate organizational frameworks for delivery of trauma informed care, as well as conceptual models based on scientific evidence about how traumatic stress impacts brains and behavior (Bloom, 1997; Harris & Fallot, 2001; Covington, 2002; Rivard, Bloom, & Abramovitz, 2003; Ko, Ford, Kassam-Adams, et al. 2008; Bloom, 2010). In 1998, SAMHSA launched the Women, Co-Occurring Disorders and Violence study, a seminal study in 27 sites over five years that examined trauma-integrated services counseling. Following that, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) began identification and distribution of empirically supported trauma-specific mental health
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