Trauma-Informed Care

Transforming Treatment for People Who Have Sexually Abused

by  Jill S. Levenson, PhD, MSW, LCSW
      Gwenda M. Willis, PhD, PGDipClinPsyc
David S. Prescott, MSW, LICSW

“I believe that our relationships with clients can be incredibly healing, and that effective interventions start with a human connection. Trauma-informed care is the consolidation of knowledge, skills, and empathy for clients that has the power to change lives.”

— Jill Levenson

Treatment aimed simply at stopping sexually abusive behavior without considering past experiences and future well-being of the client may result in less effective outcomes. Trauma-informed care is a framework that transcends any model of intervention and can be infused in any type of programming across agency settings and diverse populations. A trauma-informed program, organization, or practitioner recognizes the widespread prevalence of trauma and its deep effects across a person’s lifetime. TIC integrates knowledge about the neurobiological, psychological, and social consequences of trauma into policies, procedures, and practices that guide a safe, compassionate, and respectful therapy environment.

In Trauma-Informed Care, readers will become well-versed in the cross-disciplinary research describing the impact of early childhood trauma on cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioral development. The authors focus on two general skills: 1) case conceptualization and 2) trauma-informed responding. Readers will be able to define principles of trauma-informed care, identify its essential components, and conceptualize cases through a perspective informed by trauma research. The book teaches innovative ideas for incorporating responses to clients that avoid repeating disempowering dynamics. Numerous case studies and examples help to illustrate and crystalize the concepts presented.

The goal is to help SOTX clinicians transform their interventions from primarily content-driven psychoeducation to a more collaborative and dynamic, process-oriented approach that uses the therapeutic encounter as a corrective emotional experience. (2017)

Safer Society Press Podcast

Dr. Jill Levenson

A Conversation with Dr. Jill Levenson about Trauma-Informed Care
In this episode, Jill explains how trauma-informed care should be viewed not as a treatment approach but rather as a framework for the assessment and treatment of sexual offenders; a way of framing client problems through the lens of trauma, and how that framing can help improve responsivity in treatment.