The Sanctuary Model is an operating system for a trauma-informed organization. It is designed to get a number of people, from diverse backgrounds, with a wide variety of experience, on the same page, speaking the same language, living the same values, sharing a consistent, coherent and practical theoretical framework. It functions underneath all the other things that go on in a treatment program – all the approaches, kinds of therapy, techniques – as long as those are compatible with the Sanctuary operating system.
In the Sanctuary Model, we believe that organizations, like individuals, are alive. We use an everyday analogy to mediate between two conceptual frameworks – the computer. Computers are machines and yet scientists are on the verge of integrating these machines components into human bodies and are using living systems as models to improve machines, a field known as bionics. Until recently androids, synthetic organisms designed to look and act like human beings, and cyborgs,beings that are partly organic and partly mechanical, have been relegated to the world of science fiction. But there is now global competition to produce robots that are increasingly like living beings, modeled on the way living systems work.
S.E.L.F. represents the four nonlinear, key areas of recovery that provide an organizing framework for the complex problems presented by trauma survivors, by families with problems, and by chronically stressed organizations.
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