Trauma Informed Care

Posted on October 28, 2013, in Grief and Trauma

Dr. Steele founded the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in ChildrenTM (TLC) in 1990 long before children were included in the diagnostic category of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He began developing and researching trauma-specific interventions in 1990 beginning with a one-session trauma-specific intervention. Today his model Structured Sensory Interventions for Traumatized Children, Adolescents and Parents (SITCAP™) is used in thousands of schools and agencies across the country and undergoes continuous field testing and rigorous evidence based research. Outcomes have consistently demonstrated remarkable, statistically significant reductions of trauma and associated mental health symptoms. Over 5,000 professionals have been certified as Trauma and Loss Specialists by TLC under Dr. Steele’s supervision. He encourages you to visit TLC’s website ( for more detailed information

Given past and recent research about trauma in addition to twenty years of experiences working with traumatized children and adolescents, adults, families, schools and communities, the following lessons learned have been integrated into the evidence based SITCAPTM model. They represent what we know about trauma as an experience and provide the core sensory focus trauma specialists must use to guide and structure their interventions. Intervention must be very structured and directed at sensory/implicit functions that lead to the diminishing and eventual alternative to the trauma-related sensory memories in order to reframe those experiences in ways traumatized children can manage as well as call upon as a resource in their ongoing efforts to survive.

These lessons learned are the starting point for helping traumatized children regardless of the format used – individual or group intervention regardless of the setting – school setting, agency, community mental health, detention, residential settings. Many of these lessons are presented in various publications by Dr. Steele can be found in the reference section. A partial reference list of other leaders in the field of trauma who have guided Dr. Steele’s work the past twenty years. (References earlier than 1995 are not listed, yet earlier discoveries about children’s’ responses especially to traumatic violent exposure remain relevant today.) Some lessons will be restated because of the critical role they play in helping traumatized children find relief from the terror of their experiences.

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