Somewhere I recently read that the umbrella term "trauma informed" is being adopted by some groups but not really being followed or implemented.  The author recommended a different umbrella term.  I thought I made note of that suggested term and somehow can't find it.  Did you see that article?  If so, will you point me toward it?  thanks for all you do for us!  Blessings!

Last edited by Jane Stevens (ACEs Connection staff)
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I had some similar experiences. Having attended [trauma-informed] Intentional Peer Support training with the person who 'originally formulated' it, I share your concern as I've watched similar developments - especially in New Hampshire... as an assortment of changes have occurred here. Because the pharmaceutical industry is the major funding source for NAMI ... and their advocacy efforts, It may help to note whether Robert Whitaker, author of: "Anatomy of an Epidemic: ..." has had occasion to address this topic; and whether Shery Mead-originator of [trauma-informed] Intentional Peer Support, has written any commentary on this issue. Shery had done [t-i] IPS presentations/training as far away as Japan, and New Zealand-that I know of, and other US states besides New Hampshire... 

I had occasion to be 'coercively told' not to discuss "Trauma-Informed", before the start of a monthly meeting of our statewide MH Consumer Council...almost 7 years ago. (Our state Bureau of Behavioral Health had changed its 'Office of Consumer Affairs' to the 'Office of Consumer and Family Affairs'... just before that ...).

Are you thinking of Trauma-Responsive?  We publish Dr. Stephanie Covington who is an expert in the area of trauma.  She differentiates being trauma-informed (having awareness of the effects of trauma) and trauma-responsive (taking action to respond to trauma).  We have a few of her webinars I can provide links to as well as her latest program developed in partnership with Dr. Sandra Bloom.  Let me know if interested and I can provide links.

Trauma Informed 

trauma responsive 

trauma centered

trauma sensitive 

healing centered

i think what matters most is how your agency plans to describe what services are offerred to the populations you serve that consider the impact of trauma while knowing resources whether they be in house or in the community that help trauma recovery. Another essential component no matter what term used is deciding on what efforts your agency plans to take to connect and communicate  with other systems of care for continuity of what the populations being served will experience. 

I too have had concerns about the term "Trauma-Informed".  Mostly because it can feel stigmatizing for individuals as "traumatized/damaged", or even for organizations who become seen as needing to become "Trauma-informed" because they take care of "those groups of people."  As we all know the experience of trauma, in all its differernt forms, is almost universal and so rather than focusing on the trauma, I try to shift to what this focus on the individual experience does for the healthcare team and organization.  I think it makes us more compassionate.  Here my argument to call this "Compassion-Infused" rather than "trauma-informed."   Let's see if it catches on.

If the above link doesn't work you can see what I wrote about this here:

I totally agree- the field is not using the same definition for the terms and it makes it  very challenging to build an evidence based related to a model. as a field we have to agree on and use the term with a set definition in order to measure our progress, build the evidence, and effectively implement and train. Based on a review of literature, Trauma -Informed Care traditionally refers to an organizational practice of systems change. This is different than "trauma specific services" which are of course informed by trauma and responsive to it- usually done by professionals in a treatment context. Trauma -informed care- an organization wide practice is done y everyone an is for everyone . I see people calling the direct services "trauma-informed" all the time and not working at the organizational level. Trauma-informed care represents the whole culture, as you all know, and not just what is done with the "client." In 2015, My colleague and I wrote  paper to help clarify the term and history of the field. if it helps the conversation, see


I also suggest looking at Bassuk et al."s 2015 article on the Ticometer- the only psychometrically validated tool to identify organizational domains related directly to TIC. I use it in my work and am able to help folks target their efforts to make the whole organization trauma-informed. They just published a new article on the data- came out in Nov 2018.

I believe that if we are to move the field beyond a movement we have to build the scientific base and it has to start with a uniform definition. Hopper et al.'s captures it best.

Love to keep chatting to help the field grow. thanks for the post.



In our organization we use resiliency building because we focus on the tools involved in being more than aware and responsive but being able to plan and encompass in environments so that all students (in the case of education) have access to an environment that supports the development of resiliency and personal agency, whether we know about their ACES or not.

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