In the past couple of years in the field of psychotherapy, people have started using the phrase trauma informed to describe their work. And I’m gonna be honest, I can’t stand that. To me, it sends the wrong message and it really doesn’t make any sense. Like, what exactly is trauma informed? Like what exactly does that mean? I think it’s really important that psychotherapists be aware of trauma.
We live in a world pre 2020. The the, the research would show that upwards of 70% of people would report to having experienced a trauma post 2020. It’s in the mid nineties. So trauma is obviously something that’s really important as someone who provides care to humans. But we have to move from this idea of being trauma informed to just being compassionate people who deliver services.
I think referring to yourself as trauma informed is, is like misleading. It’s it’s, it’s like a marketing speak that has become part of the lexicon of the therapy world. One of the reasons I really love Solution Focused Brief therapy is because in order to do this work, you have to focus on the thing that really matters, which is change. Your clients don’t care if you’re trauma informed.
They care that you can help them transform their lives and help them achieve whatever it is they’re hoping to achieve for themselves. And very often there’s a trauma in the way of it, but you have to be able to deliver services that help the client transform. What if we started referring to ourselves as transform informed, which I think is a better way to talk about what it is that we do.
I think we have become so enamored with problems. We’ve become so in love with problems that our language is following us. And we’re talking about how much we know about trauma cares. All you have to know about is that human beings need care, warmth, acceptance, and love. And once you understand that, then you’re not really talking about trauma. You’re talking about human hearts.
You know, I’ve started referring to what I do as heart work and I do, I think what we do as psychotherapists, we manage people’s hearts to help them overcome whatever challenges might be occurring in their life to become the best of themselves. When you understand that this is really about human hearts, it’s really about helping people become the best of themselves, then the trauma is irrelevant.
That’s why I can’t stand this term because it makes it sound like the trauma part is the important part when it’s not. The important part is the human experience. The important part is what people live every day. The important part is how as professionals, we help people transform. That’s the important part. That’s what this work is all about. So if you wanna do solution focused work,
we need to stop this language of problem where we’re just buying into this trauma-informed speak. Just ’cause our field has adapted it. I think our field is afraid to say things like, we do compassionate work. I think our field is afraid to say things like, we are the carers of human hearts. I think our field is afraid to say these things.
So instead we say like, we are trauma informed. It’s an empty promise. It’s a stupid thing to say. We are simply carers of human hearts. We have a skill of using language to create change. That’s at the heart of Solution, Focused, Brief, Therapy. And if you’re a human being, you should be trauma informed because you should know every human being is walking through life,
dealing with something difficult, right? I think one of the biggest things we have that’s wrong with us is we’re so judgmental because we think we know what people could and should be doing instead of being compassionate, realizing that everybody is carrying a weight. This world is difficult. It is hard to navigate. This world causes heartbreak and pain and struggle. And when you realize that,
then you treat everyone with compassion, then you treat everyone with care, you treat everyone with love. And that is absolutely how you achieve change in someone’s life. That’s absolutely how you help somebody transform, whether you’re a clinician or not. So let’s abandon this stupid phrase of trauma informed and let’s get to the heart of what we do, which is being compassionate deliverers of services.
Let’s get to the heart of what we do, which is taking care of human hearts and let’s be the noble field that we should be instead of using this stupid speak. So, so you know, for me the best way to do that is Solution, Focused, Brief Therapy because of the way the work happens. But I’m not saying that’s the only way.
I’m certain other people could do other things, but let’s get back to what we are and what we do. I think that’s an important message going in here to 2024.