No one likes them, not employees or managers. Employees wait with trepidation for that day, and often even the best performers come out of the process angry, demeaned, demoralized, and unmotivated. Seasoned managers, after observing years of this process, dread the damage that will be done to their best performers and look for ways to soften the blow, often by overlooking issues. When I went back to direct care after 12 years in management in mental health clinics, PEs and employee discipline was a part of the management process I wouldn’t miss.
Sandra Bloom, MD has written extensively about Trauma Informed Care for several decades and is founder of the Sanctuary Model (http://www.sanctuaryweb.com). In an article published in a blog post, (Bloom, S. L., 2015. The article was titled, “What if we could prevent MH problems”. Posted on http://www.realmhchange.org, August 20, 2015.), she called upon us to act. “As a society, we have a moral responsibility to do something with the knowledge we now have that most of the suffering brought about in the world today is preventable.
I’ve been reviewing articles on the web about trauma informed care (TIC) and how these concepts might be applied to management and supervision. There is not a lot to be found. What I have found I will report on in an upcoming newsletter article. In the literature search I’ve made, there are occasional hints about how TIC principles might be applied to supervision and management, and about the conflicting roles supervisors are called on to play.
Truth sometimes is hard to accept. The truth about trauma provides one of those challenges. Trauma and it’s recovery is a natural process. Human beings have survived trauma for thousands of years. Post trauma symptoms provide something similar to exposure with intrusive memories and flashbacks. How we deal with these symptoms has a huge effect on how well we cope. Obviously, the natural process of recovery from trauma can go horribly wrong with damaging consequences.