Sanctuary Model Training

February 22, 2016

On February 18th, New Vitae Wellness and Recovery staff shared an opportunity to review the basic tenets of the Sanctuary Model with Joseph F. Foderaro, LCSW, BCD.  Foderaro, one of the co-founders of Sanctuary and New Vitae Wellness and Recovery team member, provided definitions, outcomes, and personal stories that highlighted the benefits of creating safety through direct application of the model.

Foderaro emphasized trauma as a disconnection: from one’s self, from family supports, and from one’s community.  Sanctuary, then, acts as a means to integrate experiences in an environment of safety and support.   It is focused on growth and change and empowers each individual within the community to flourish and connect through 4 main pillars:

1.    Trauma Theory: Understanding how stress effects our minds and bodies and the prevalence of trauma assists us with making effective and meaningful connections with one another.  It also helps us with understanding and framing behaviors as a type of reenactment of a difficult past.
2.    SELF: An acronym for Safety, Emotion, Loss/Letting Go and Future, the SELF process assists with healing following a pattern or single instance of trauma.
3.    Sanctuary Commitments: Applying the ideals of democracy, emotional intelligence, social learning, open communication, and other insights develops a shared responsibility for the members of our community.
4.    Sanctuary Toolkit Items: Utilizing safety plans, red flag meetings, and community meetings to assist each individual with navigating the challenges of the day creates the relationships that drives implementation of the model forward.

The discussion was a wonderful way to reconnect with these ideas and to facilitate further conversation regarding cultural change.  New Vitae Wellness and Recovery is continuing our journey to provide evidence-based trauma informed care and examining the promising practices of Sanctuary.  Thank you to Mr. Foderero for the discussion and support!

“I have been living here at Quakertown House for almost 23 years and to me Quakertown House is home, that kind of sums it up.”

- Dave P. (resident)