creating sanctuaryThe Sanctuary Model was developed to encourage clinical and organizational change by recognizing the pervasiveness of trauma in the human experience. In theory, this focus is not reserved for the people who seek treatment, but applies equally to the people and systems who provide that treatment.

Created by Dr. Sandra Bloom, Sanctuary promotes safety and recovery from adversity through the active creation of a trauma-informed community. The model has been adopted for use across a wide range of settings including: residential treatment, juvenile justice, drug and alcohol treatment and homeless shelters.  The Sanctuary Model is comprised of three primary components; a philosophy for creating safe environments, a trauma-informed problem solving framework and a practical set of tools.

Trauma theory suggests that many of the behavioral symptoms we see in individuals are a direct result of coping with adverse experiences. In order to intervene effectively, Sanctuary recommends that we change the central question we ask the people we serve from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What’s happened to you?” as the first step in recognizing the influence of the past on current behaviors and functioning.

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