I’ve had the pleasure and privilege to facilitate a three part webinar series on various elements of trauma-informed care with National Council’s own trauma-informed care expert, Cheryl Sharp. The benefit of hosting and managing the Q&A section of these webinars is that I get to spend an hour out of my workday just listening and learning more about trauma-informed care (something Steven Covey would call “sharpening the saw”).

We focused our webinars on topics for organizational leadership (both official and unofficial) to improve implementing and supporting trauma-informed care at their organizations.  What struck me as I watched the questions coming in was the desire to have specific techniques, tools and checklists on how to be trauma-informed.

We want an instruction manual and a series of steps we can follow to make sure we do it right. “Just tell me what to do and how to do it, and I’ll be successful.”

The challenge with something like Trauma-Informed Care or integrated care or really implementing any other transformational initiative at your organization is that it’s more a way of being, an approach in all that you do versus a prescribed series of steps.

Getting a detailed instruction manual on transforming your organization to trauma-informed care is like having a manual for a healthy marriage or parenting.  There are no three easy steps to a happy/healthy marriage, being a good parent or being trauma-informed.  There is an approach, a way of doing things that permeates every nook and cranny of your organization. When we talk about organizational culture, this is where it’s powerful and directly impacts clinical outcomes; it’s not only about employee engagement and morale.

The same way we try to be respectful and kind in our communication as one of the ways we achieve healthy parenting or marriage, we infuse awareness and sensitivity to a trauma history in everything we do as we serve people.

Watch replays of all three trauma-informed care webinars, including the Q&A sections.

Do you have tips on how to build in trauma sensitivity? Share them in the comments!