1. Intake Assessment: Psychological trauma presents with a broad spectrum of symptoms. An assessment can be completed in about one hour that will provide the clinical information necessary to make triage decisions.
2. Psycho-Education: Symptoms created by trauma tend to isolate the survivor, make him (or her) feel powerless, make him feel “crazy” and out of control, and that there is nothing that can be done to improve his situation. Education helps normalize these natural responses to trauma.
3. Establishing Safety: Trauma cannot be sufficiently resolved until the individual is safe, both internally and externally. Internal safety entails learning to cope with and manage impulses and fluctuating moods to avoid self-injurious decisions. External safety primarily means avoidance of dangerous circumstances.
4. Psychiatric/Homeopathic Consultation: As aspect of establishing safety is insuring the survivor’s emotions are not excessively out of control. If the intake assessment indicates there are bio-chemical issues that need to be addressed early on a medical consult will be made. We have found that homeopathy can often provide interventions that bring about stability without medication.
5. Trauma Resolution: Trauma is of two basic types: 1. Single Incident or Discrete Trauma such as a car accident or one assault and 2. Multiple or Complex Trauma such as from childhood abuse or refugee trauma. It is expected that most homeless persons suffer from Complex Trauma. The Trauma Awareness & Treatment Center (TATC) has developed short-term/rapid trauma resolution methods for both kinds of trauma.
6. Experiential & Non-Verbal Interventions: Trauma pain and memories are stored in the limbic system located in the mid-brain between the cortex and the lower or primitive brain. This area of the brain is non-verbal. Consequently, “verbal psychotherapy,” which is customarily used, is ineffective to access and resolve trauma pain. TATC employs a variety of experiential/non-verbal methods, including sand-tray, thought field therapy, and other pain release methods to do this trauma work. These methods are also more effective for children and those with less education.
7. Life Skills Development: One of the reasons that trauma is encountered is the individual lacks the skills to effectively deal with life circumstances. TATC has developed a manual, “The Life Skills Manual for Trauma Survivors” to help the survivor develop the kinds of skills needed to make a more trauma-free life and to be able to relate to others in ways that are enhancing and productive instead of destructive.
8. Emergency Interventions: When groups of individuals suffer traumatic experiences on a large scale, it is helpful to have a number of trained volunteers who know how to provide emergency interventions. TATC has materials for providing debriefings for groups as well as individual interventions to reduce the emotional/physical impact of traumatic events.