Our Trauma-Informed Care Program is designed to address the psychological and physiological symptoms that can emerge from both acute and developmental trauma. The program combines body-based practices, such as Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Somatic Experiencing, and EMDR with our Foundations Treatment services including DBT, ACT, Mentalization, family therapy, neurofeedback, psychiatry, and experiential activities (trauma-informed yoga and Qigong.)
What is Trauma?
Psychological trauma is defined as a deeply disturbing experience that impacts a person’s physical or psychological safety and well-being to the degree that it impedes their ability to function in the world. It involves an overwhelming level of stress that exceeds one’s internal resources, and thus, one is unable to cope or integrate the intense emotions that emerge from that experience. Examples of acute trauma include physical and sexual assaults, experiences associated with military combat, accidents, certain medical procedures, natural disasters, and violent crime. Developmental trauma can include child abuse (both physical and emotional), neglect, deprivation, unsafe living conditions, or repetitive bullying. Developmental trauma can manifest in ongoing negative relational interactions occurring within families or among childhood peers.
What is Trauma-Informed Care?
At CW we believe that the treatment of trauma is best conceptualized in stepwise fashion with three distinct phases. Phase one is symptom stabilization and trauma orientation, phase two is trauma processing, and phase three is trauma integration. Current research shows that symptoms are best targeted through approaches sensitive to the interplay of the body and the mind’s response to trauma. We utilize various body-based models that invite the client to access the trauma through a bottom-up, rather than top-down, approach.
Why Choose the Trauma Program at Community West?
CW offers trauma-informed care utilizing treatment modalities such as EMDR, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, and Somatic Experiencing within the context of a comprehensive psychological treatment that includes a range of group and individual therapies. When combined, these modalities can effectively treat both trauma and the psychological symptoms and conditions that often co-exist with trauma such as depression, anxiety, and relational problems. We find that trauma treatment is most effective when clients are also engaging in adjunctive therapies such as DBT, ACT, Mentalization, Art Therapy, and Neurofeedback, as well as family therapy and psychiatry when indicated. All of these approaches, and more, are available at CW and can be combined in a tailored fashion to meet the unique needs of each client.
Annie Wilson, MS, LCSW is the Trauma Program Coordinator.