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Safe, Connected and In Control

The Trauma Responsive Care Model

Trauma is any experience or series of experiences that make the individual feel that he or she is in danger of dying, or of being emotionally “wiped out” or annihilated.


Trauma can change the brain at the deepest levels. It may impact not only how we think and learn (areas behavioral supports target) but also how we live in our own skin, how we see ourselves, and how we trust and connect to others. We believe that more research needs to be done about trauma and individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities, but trauma is trauma, whether or not a person is very young or very old, has or doesn’t have an intellectual or developmental disability.


People can adapt, heal and even grow from traumatic experiences. This is done through repeated experiences of being safe, connected and in control in relationship with others. This relational framework will not interfere with behavioral interventions, and fits with other philosophies like person-Centered Planning, Gentle Teaching and others.


Trauma Responsive Care is . . .

  • The next step after Trauma Informed Care. Trauma Responsive Care means responding actively to trauma rather than merely being informed about it.


  • Making sure individuals feel safe, connected and in control before asking anything else of them.


  • Applied as a universal precaution. Individuals may benefit from assessments, but the TRC model covers everyone, from the individual to the CEO of the agency


  • A simple set of skills that are easy to do and easy to remember, giving staff a way to provide these relationships and experiences consistently.


Atlantic Ocean


TRC has two fundamental, interactive components:

  • The CALMER Skills focusing on interactions with staff who are self-regulated, present and responsive.

  • The CALMER Course is implementation strategies throughout the organization from frontline staff to the executive office to create and assure sustainability.


The CALMER Skills

We teach staff the skills to recognize and manage their own emotions. We base this on mindfulness and neuroscience. The CALMER Skills can be taught throughout the agency, and has a management component as well.


The CALMER Course

Based on implementation science, the CALMER Course plants and nurtures the seeds of feeling safe, connected and in control throughout an organization, equips managers for TRC supervision, and charts a course for sustainable change within the organization.  We do not replace what agencies do; we weave our method into the existing, unique cultures of the agencies who work with us.


Click here to contact Aldridge Palay to get more information on TRC.


Click here to review outcomes from a recent project.