Supporting Technoligies

Trauma Informed Care


stressed brains cannot learn or process information effectively

Much of the literature on healthy behavior change “talks to” the left brain, which is shorthand for our logical, rational, analytical self. Unfortunately, stressed brains cannot learn or process information effectively and when any of us are in that stressed brain state… well, forget about being able to absorb what our doctor, a health education video, or a brochure is trying to tell us.

3000007780For many individuals who have had experiences of intense physical and/or psychological stress that exceeds our ability to cope or integrate the experience (TRAUMA), interactions with the healthcare system, especially when we’re injured or sick, don’t work very well. This is because the injury or illness and/or the interactions with the healthcare workers often trigger that stressed brain state and we are unable to process information.

Until we integrate information about trauma into the everyday experience of those promoting health literacy and engagement, many of the interactions that occur around these topics just won’t work.

In a great Ted Talk, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris explains the role of trauma in long-term health and the need for increased focus within pediatric medicine on this bigger picture.