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Trauma-Informed Care: Building Healing Spaces

In today's fast-paced world, where mental health issues increasingly come to the fore, understanding and implementing trauma-informed care is essential. At Innerspace Counseling, we prioritize creating a supportive environment that acknowledges the vast impact of adverse experiences on lifelong health and behavior. But what exactly is trauma-informed care, and how does it differ from other forms of mental health care, including specific trauma treatments like EMDR?

What is Trauma-Informed Care?

Trauma-informed care (TIC) is an approach in the mental health field that presupposes that an understanding of the pervasive nature of trauma is crucial to effectively delivering mental health care.

Unlike therapy that directly addresses trauma through treatments like EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which is designed to alleviate the stress associated with traumatic memories, trauma-informed care is a broader philosophy. It involves recognizing the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledging the role adverse experiences may play in an individual’s life, including how they interact with healthcare professionals.

Trauma-informed care is not a treatment intervention but rather a framework for behavior and practices that seek to minimize re-traumatization and promote a safe environment for both clients and providers. This approach differs significantly from trauma-specific treatments intended to heal or resolve the trauma itself.

How Does Trauma-Informed Care Make a Difference in Mental Health Care?

Adopting a trauma-informed approach can profoundly affect the therapeutic process and outcome. Here are several ways how:

  • Creates a Safe Environment: Ensuring physical, emotional, and psychological safety helps in building trust between clients and healthcare providers.
  • Enhances Understanding and Empathy: Providers trained in TIC are better equipped to understand and empathize with the trauma-related experiences of their clients, which can enhance the therapeutic relationship.
  • Improves Engagement: Patients are more likely to engage in treatment when they feel understood and safe.
  • Prevents Re-traumatization: A trauma-informed approach avoids practices that may inadvertently re-traumatize clients.
  • Supports Holistic Healing: Recognizing the widespread impact of trauma on a person's mental health, relationships, and worldview encourages a more holistic approach to healthcare.

Trauma-Informed Practices at Innerspace Counseling

At Innerspace Counseling, we understand that each client may be affected by their unique adverse experiences, even when they come to us for issues like anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, suicidal thoughts, or mood disorders. This understanding shapes every treatment plan we develop. Adopting a trauma-informed lens helps us tailor our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) to meet the specific needs of each individual, considering not just their mental health disorders but also the underlying trauma that could influence their current mental health problems.

Example 1: In the Therapeutic Setting

Consider a scenario in our IOP where a therapist notices that a client becomes markedly anxious when discussing their past during a session. A trauma-informed therapist might recognize this as a trauma response and, instead of pushing the client to delve deeper into these memories, might pivot to techniques that help regulate their emotions in the moment. This could involve grounding techniques or Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) strategies that help the client manage their thoughts and feelings without becoming overwhelmed.

Example 2: Collaborative Treatment Planning

Another example of trauma-informed practice is during the PHP, where a psychiatrist revises a treatment plan for a client who has experienced adverse experiences. The psychiatrist may choose to integrate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help the client deal with intrusive thoughts related to trauma but will do so at a pace that respects the client's comfort level and readiness to confront painful memories.

Empowering Through Coping Strategies and Effective Treatments

From Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to specialized interventions for anxiety, depression, mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), there exists a spectrum of effective treatments designed to alleviate emotional distress and promote recovery. By fostering resilience and providing tools to manage symptoms, these approaches empower individuals to navigate life's challenges with renewed strength and clarity.

In the journey toward mental health and well-being, it's essential to remember that healing is not a linear process. By embracing trauma-informed care and leveraging the support of a compassionate community, individuals can embark on a path of healing and transformation, reclaiming agency over their lives and embracing a future filled with hope and possibility.


At Innerspace Counseling, we take pride in our commitment to providing comprehensive care through our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP). Our multidisciplinary team, comprising dedicated therapists and psychiatrists, is deeply rooted in trauma-informed practices, ensuring that each client receives the personalized support they need to navigate their journey towards healing and recovery.

Within our Intensive Outpatient Program and Partial Hospitalization Program, we recognize the importance of addressing the diverse needs of our clients. Whether they are children, adolescents, or adults, we tailor our approach to meet their unique circumstances, offering not only clinical treatment but also genuine compassion and understanding.

Our programs are designed to empower individuals by equipping them with coping skills, fostering resilience, and promoting sustainable recovery. Through a combination of evidence-based therapies and holistic interventions, we create a therapeutic environment that respects and honors each person's individual journey towards improved mental health.

By integrating the principles of trauma-informed care into our Intensive Outpatient Program and Partial Hospitalization Program, we strive to create a safe and supportive space where clients can explore their emotions, process their experiences, and embark on a path towards lasting wellness. Whether attending our intensive outpatient sessions or participating in our partial hospitalization program, individuals can expect to receive the highest standard of care from our compassionate team of professionals.