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What Is Trauma Informed Care & How Does It Support Recovery?

Trauma is an automatic emotional response to a disturbing event from the past. We say that something “triggers” trauma when an event in the present reminds you, often subconsciously, of that trauma. For example, it could be a sound, a touch, a word, a behavior, or just about anything. When something triggers your trauma, you react without thinking, even though no real danger presents itself. That’s because your brain connects the current happening with something from the past. So what is trauma-informed care?

It’s a structured program built around an understanding of these automatic responses and how they shape the manner in which you relate to the world around you.

What Are Some Examples of Trauma?

Have you ever cringed, jerked away, or yelled at a friend when they “innocently” touched you? Or something similar?

The body remembers. The touch instantly reminded you of a time someone else grabbed and hurt you. So your body’s automatic response was to protect itself.

In other words, that reaction has nothing to do with your friend or the present moment. Trauma from your past caused the reaction.

These responses may seem out of your control right now. But when you learn to understand them, you can work through the trauma and connect more effectively with those in your life.

Trauma doesn’t have to be physical. Commonly, trauma revolves around people acting a certain way, such as:

  • Not listening to you
  • Not keeping their word
  • Making you repeat yourself
  • Disregarding your feelings
  • Being manipulative
  • Calling you by a label (e.g., bad, addict, selfish, fat)
  • Telling you what to do or not letting you do for yourself

Trauma is like deep wounds that never healed properly. So every time you touch that place where the injury was, it still hurts.

This trauma shapes how you see the world. It also colors how you perceive the words and actions of others. So what is trauma informed care?

What Is Trauma Informed Care?

Trauma informed care recognizes that most people have experienced trauma. And often, what you’re doing now is in response to that trauma.

Professionals learn trauma informed care to assess trauma better, reduce trauma triggering, and help you work through how you respond to others as a result of that trauma.

For example, a professional working with someone who has been sexually abused may need to ask questions of a sensitive nature to understand how to help the person. A person trained in trauma-informed care would carefully word questions. They would explain why they need to know certain personal things. And they would do their best to put this person at ease.

They would be patient and compassionate with a person refusing to answer specific questions.

Why Is Trauma Informed Care Important in Recovery?

What is trauma informed care in relation to addictions treatment? People suffering from addiction may shut down or react with hostility in therapy sessions because something triggered trauma.

This trauma response creates a barrier to healing.

On top of that, if you continuously feel triggered, you won’t feel safe. If you don’t feel supported in rehab, you won’t progress effectively.

When professionals use trauma informed care, clients feel safer and can lower these barriers. When they do, they benefit from treatment, heal, and experience more lasting recovery.

What is trauma informed care? It can help those suffering from even the most deep-rooting traumas and addictions.

How Does Atlantic Recovery Center Incorporate Trauma Care Into Recovery Programs?

At Atlantic Recovery Center specializes in trauma informed care. We understand that each person’s trauma is unique and impacts their life in profound ways. We incorporate respect for the individual and their trauma into every program:

Clients appreciate the smaller, more intimate setting and the warmth and tranquility of the beach environment.

Trauma is any event that can cause a person to feel that their life or the life of someone they love is in imminent danger, and they have no power to control the situation. It still isn’t understood why a specific event can affect one person and not another. Trauma-informed care, however, is based on the idea that trauma is something pervasive in our society. It is even more prevalent in individuals who enter rehab programs. Understanding trauma-informed care requires the belief that trauma does exist and that it is essential to understand how the trauma affects every area of an individual’s life. Finally, it allows an organizational plan to design a program that works with trauma and doesn’t create more harm to the individual.


Understanding trauma-informed care requires a therapist to understand that trauma isn’t just a passing event. It can affect the way a person thinks, feels, and acts for many years to come. This fact is particularly true if you’ve never addressed the trauma before. To begin to understand trauma-informed care, the trauma itself must first be understood. Not everyone who comes into contact with a traumatic event will feel comfortable sharing that event. Some people have spent years pushing the memory as far down inside themselves as they can. Not talking about an event or even not consciously remembering it doesn’t negate the effects it has. A person’s life has often been a series of events that begin with reactions to an original traumatic event. Without approaching therapy with the assumption that there may be trauma involved, you can compound your problems.


If you don’t approach care with the knowledge that trauma may have occurred, you risk creating a situation that further damages the individual. By approaching a patient with the idea that they may be a trauma victim, you can ask yourself how trauma may have played into the current situation. Many people turn to drugs or alcohol to quiet the symptoms of trauma. Understanding what trauma can do can explain many reactions to everyday situations. For example, a person who has experienced sexual abuse in the past may avoid all touching. A simple reaching out to pat a shoulder could set off a reaction. If you are in a trauma-informed situation, you will know not to make such a reflex reaction. Even seemingly innocent events can trigger a trauma victim. We keep these events at the forefront of the minds of all who work in this type of situation.


A more significant number of people battling addiction have trauma in their past than the general population. It is why many people initially turn to drugs or alcohol. The trauma creates feelings of anxiety, fear, worthlessness, and much more. While women may have had at least some addressing of the original issue, men often have kept things inside their entire lives. Addiction can lead to traumatic events. The individual may find themselves in a dangerous sexual situation, may have been a victim of violence, or watched someone close die from an overdose. Many in rehab have lost friends and family, which is itself an event that can be traumatizing. Any rehab program must make an effort to understand trauma-informed care and putting the practices into use.


At the Atlantic Recovery Center, our therapists are trained in understanding trauma-informed care. We know that you may have past issues that are adding to the reasons why you turned to drugs or alcoholContact us today 1-866-824-5193 to find out how we can work with you to treat not only your addiction but also the trauma that led to this place. Our goal is to lift you past the trauma, and not allow our treatment to add to it.

Is trauma controlling how to react? Is it getting in the way of meaningful connections with those you love? Have substances become your only way to deal with it? Our compassionate team of trauma informed professionals is ready to support your recovery journey. Please call us at 1-866-824-5193 to learn more.