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Trauma, as explained by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) results from “an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.” Experiencing trauma can interfere with a teenager’s cognitive and social development. Untreated trauma can have a profound impact on an adolescent’s mental health, and lead to an array of adverse health effects such as maladaptive coping skills, poor stress management, unhealthy lifestyles, mental illness, and physical disease.

What Is Trauma-Informed Care?

Trauma-informed care (TIC) is a strengths-based approach in the human service field “that is grounded in an understanding of and responsiveness to the impact of trauma; that emphasizes physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both providers and survivors; that creates opportunities for survivors to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.” TIC follows five guiding principles that serve as a framework for how service providers and systems of care can work to reduce the likelihood of re-traumatization. The five principles of trauma-informed care include:

  • Safety: Establishing and maintaining physical and emotional security.
  • Trust: Confirming trustworthiness, stating tasks clearly, and preserving appropriate boundaries.
  • Choice: Selecting choices and prioritizing control.
  • Collaboration: Maximizing collaboration and sharing of power.
  • Empowerment: Offering empowerment and skill-building.

Rather than providing a set of practices and procedures, these principles are intended to be generalizable so they can be interpreted and applied in ways that are appropriate for a specific type of service setting. Further, trauma-informed care ensures that mental health professionals understand the unique impact of trauma and have the flexibility to tailor treatment approaches accordingly.

Psychology Today asserts that untreated trauma has the propensity to cause permanent changes in the brain, producing corresponding shifts in intelligence, emotional reactivity, happiness, sociability, and more, all of which directly impact a teen’s mental health. Trauma-informed care not only focuses on symptom reduction but also on building resilience and promoting long-term well-being. It helps teenagers develop healthy coping mechanisms, emotional regulation skills, and positive relationships. By addressing the underlying impacts of trauma and supporting the teenager’s overall growth and development, trauma-informed care aims to lay the foundation for a healthier future.

For Information and Support 

Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.


We are available to answer any questions you may have regarding mental health treatment and our residential program, anytime. Contact us today using the form to the right.

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