Trauma Informed Care underpins all aspects of Oasis’ service delivery. The Trauma Informed Care model of best practice is founded on the awareness that childhood trauma impacts brain development and affects a person’s biological, neurobiological, psychological and social functioning.
When functioning in these areas is compromised it can affect how people cope with stressful life experiences. For this reason people who’ve experienced severe, repeated, and prolonged trauma often cope with fear and stress in ways that are unsafe, challenging for others and self-destructive.
Common unsafe coping strategies include social withdrawal; alcohol and drug use; aggression; self-harm; and suicidal behaviour. Trauma Informed Care works to avoid re-traumatising people with trauma histories by establishing and maintaining safe therapeutic relationships.
It is only through safe relationships that trauma can be healed. In this way Trauma Informed Care offers a distinct alternative to the traditional punitive, directive and disempowering hierarchies of ‘care’ which can reinforce trauma and stifle opportunities for self-development and growth.Trauma Informed Care’s 5 Principles
Trauma Informed Care at Oasis seeks to moderate the effects of trauma and reduce reliance on unsafe coping behaviour by prioritizing the five principles of safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration and empowerment in every relationship.
Great importance is placed on how staff use language, both verbal and non-verbal, to support these principles in their daily interactions with young people.Neuroplasticity & Moving Beyond Trauma
Using the evidence-based principles of neuroplasticity to guide practice, Trauma Informed Care supports the individual’s capacity to choose safe coping options, build safe relationships, and move beyond their trauma history.
The therapeutic goal of Trauma Informed Care is to restore to the individual’s life the choice, control and predictability compromised during their experience of trauma.Sustaining Trauma Informed Care
Trauma Informed Care at Oasis is supported by fortnightly training meetings; ongoing individual and group supervision facilitated by registered psychologists; regular internal and external training and workshops; an in-house Trauma Informed Care Advisory Council; and a culture of peer feedback and support.
(Dimitri Poulos, Oasis, 2014)