WHAT DOES A TRAUMA-INFORMED PHILOSOPHY MEAN?
Not everyone uses drugs for fun. For many, especially those who’ve experienced trauma, drugs are a form of emotional insulation. Addictive substances allow them to shut themselves off from reality, convincing themselves that everything is okay even though their substance abuse is making things worse.
Trauma is a major driver of substance abuse. When a person has painful, vivid memories of past traumas, self-medicating can be an easy choice. Worse, substance abuse itself is traumatic. Addiction puts a person at risk for everything from chronic disease to assault and murder. It also isolates a person from everything they value and love as careers, family, and friends are gradually pushed away.
A trauma-informed philosophy gives people in treatment for drug and alcohol addiction the time to recover from their past and present trauma.
WHY IS A TRAUMA-INFORMED PHILOSOPHY IMPORTANT?
Nobody likes to admit they’re vulnerable, especially if they’re experiencing the trauma and isolation of addiction. It’s easy to see why; the word “vulnerable” means being open to attack. And yet, asking for help requires a person to admit they’re vulnerable and helpless in the face of addiction.
Recovery requires healthy and honest communication about a person’s thoughts and experiences. Sometimes, it means talking about their deepest fears. This requires a person to lower their defenses. Recognizing how important admitting vulnerability is in treatment, The Forge Recovery Center has carefully developed a trauma-informed philosophy addressing:
There is another reason a trauma-informed philosophy is necessary for addiction treatment. Many people in addiction feel trapped by their condition, past traumas, and even their surroundings. When we feel trapped, we feel unsafe, and under siege.
The Forge addresses this through the way we’ve developed our programming. By giving people a sense of choice and freedom, they’re able to gain a sense of control over their situation and themselves. They’re able to choose their therapist their programming groups, and even their living situations.
Ultimately, our staff are companions – we make decisions with, not decisions for.
Trauma, defined by the American Psychological Association, is exposure to actual or threatened acts involving death, serious injury, or sexual violation in the following ways:
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