The Sanctuary Model

2015-11-02 0953 

A Change in Perspective

The Sanctuary® Model is a treatment and organizational model that is based on understanding trauma and its impact on individuals and organizations. The Sanctuary® Model is a continuous process that creates healthy, therapeutic living communities for our residents, as well as healthy, therapeutic working communities for staff and partners. It is very important to understand that although there are specific concrete tools used in the Sanctuary® Model, it is a continuously evolving process. It challenges each individual involved in the life of a child to examine old models of thinking, behavior management, conflict resolution, and crisis intervention and begin to develop a trauma-informed view and approach to working with traumatized children.

Sanctuary uses S.E.L.F as a framework for creating such an environment. S.E.L.F. is a map for the healing journey. This map considers the following when working with families and managing our organization

  1. Safety
  2. Emotional Management
  3. Loss
  4. Future

When a person or an organization experiences a traumatic event is leads to loss. Loss causes overwhelming emotions. When such feelings are not managed appropriately if often leads to unsafe behaviors which in turn can affect a person’s future.

Why do we use Sanctuary?

  • Understanding the effects of trauma and loss on individuals and/or organizations helps people & organizations to grow and change
  • A trauma informed environment is one that asks “what happened to you” rather than “what’s wrong with you”.
  • Children that have experienced trauma and loss can benefit from a trauma-informed environment
  • Working with highly traumatized clients can cause “vicarious trauma” and stress for the organization and the workers that provide the service. If we do not address our organizational trauma and stress we run the risk of becoming part of the problem.
  • Sanctuary is a guide for changing our organizational structure to assist children and families to recover from their trauma.

Seven Commitments of Sanctuary

  • Commitment to Nonviolence: being safe outside (physically), inside (emotionally), with others (socially), and to do the right thing (morally);
  • Commitment to Emotional Intelligence: managing our feelings so that we don't hurt ourselves or others;
  • Commitment to Social Learning: respecting and sharing the ideas of our teams;
  • Commitment to Shared Governance: being committed to shared decision making;
  • Commitment to Open Communication: saying what we mean and not being mean when we say it;
  • Commitment to Social Responsibility: together we accomplish more, as everyone makes a contribution to the organizational culture;
  • Commitment to Growth and Change: creating hope for our clients and ourselves.

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