Over the past two years, BWIC has worked toward becoming a trauma-informed agency in all areas of practice. Trauma-informed care is an approach to engaging people with trauma histories that recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role that trauma has played in their lives.
When a person experiences trauma, the experience of terror is stored in their body. Trauma is experienced through our senses – what we see, hear, and touch – and for this reason it is necessary to heal at a sensory level. The Center for Trauma & Loss in Children, or TLC, provides a practical, easy to use, structured intervention tool that encourages the trauma survivor to heal at a sensory level by utilizing art and sensory questions. The tools allow the survivor to know and understand their normal body trauma reactions, and help them to know what to do when they experience them.
TLC was established in 1990 with the mission of providing school professionals, crisis intervention teams, medical and mental health professionals, child care professionals and clinicians with trauma education, training, consultation, referral services and trauma-specific intervention programs and resources materials. TLC has multiple curricula that are specific to children, adolescents and adults. These tools are critical to the healing process for those traumatized by violent or non-violent trauma inducing incidents. TLC’s programs are supported by published evidence-based research, and have been used following many natural and man-made disasters.
In 2014, the first BWIC counselor earned Level-1 Trauma and Loss Clinical Specialist Certification through TLC, providing training and resources to the entire department and throughout the agency. As a result, the approach to individual crisis counseling sessions has changed. Using TLC has empowered the counselors, allowing them to be a witness to the survivor’s traumatic experience.