Common Elements Across Evidence-Based Trauma Treatment: Discovery and Implications

Virginia C. Strand, Susan Hansen, Deborah Courtney


The social work profession is facing a critical gap in its provision of effective services to an increasingly large number of clients who are affected by trauma. To explore for the presence of common components in evidence-based trauma treatments, a qualitative content analysis of 8 trauma treatment manuals was undertaken. Analysis resulted in the identification of 35 Intervention Objectives and 59 Practice Element codes. These were further organized into nine domains: trauma assessment, safety, engagement, attachment, core treatment interventions, attention to the social context, trauma processing, post trauma growth, and therapist self-care. Future work for the profession may involve synthesizing and integrating what has already been learned, and translating that knowledge into the classroom. Significantly, three domains which stress activities with the client in their social context were found to be common to trauma treatments, including safety promoting activities. Implications for social work education, practice, policy, and research are discussed.


Trauma treatment, evidence-based practice, common elements

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Copyright (c) 2013 Virginia C. Strand, Susan Hansen, Deborah Courtney


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