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ARC, our trauma care framework

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Published: April 2, 2024

ARC (Attachment, Regulation and Competency) underpins our mahi. It’s our evidence-based framework for working with taiohi me ngā whānau where trauma has occurred.

The ARC treatment framework brings together the key foundations of what we know about development, and about the impacts of trauma and resiliency. Importantly, it’s a framework, not a model. It offers scaffolding and direction to our care, while allowing space for our work to reflect our own context, workforce and tikanga.

Our focus on excellence in trauma informed care is not new for Real or Pathways. It’s been integral to our thinking and our care for many years. In selecting an evidence-based framework that can support and progress the work that already occurs across our services, ARC stood out. It reflects our values, resonates with our ways of working and is deeply relational.

Our Kaihautū and Kaiwhirimuka have been central to the selection of ARC and Jon Ebert, the Associate Professor we trained with. Working in partnership, we met together over many months to understand the framework, get to know each other, and support Jon Ebert to learn more about Aotearoa and Te Ao Māori. This time taken to build connection and understanding has cemented ARC as a great fit for Real.

Central to ARC, is the concept that you don’t have to be a therapist to be therapeutic. We know that the relationships around a taiohi, within their whānau , caring adults, and with us, can go a long way to re-dressing the impacts of trauma. This focus on the A (Attachment) stresses the importance of helping adults manage themselves, so that they see and respond appropriately to the needs of taiohi. “Get curious not furious!”

Curiosity is another central feature of ARC. It resonates with our existing desire to understand each person’s experience, their goals and wishes, and to do whatever it takes to support them in what matters to them. There is a strong focus on the use of motivational interviewing practices to build a partnership with taiohi and whānau that reflects their voice and their experience.

ARC also focuses on the importance of routines and rhythms. It mirrors what we already know and practice through karakia, waiata and kawa. These practices ground, connect and contain. ARC is deeply relational at its heart. The foundation of everything sits in compassionate and genuine connection with taiohi me ngā whānau. It manages our own responses, so that we can support taiohi with theirs, and build a sense of competence, containment, and connection.

Our training with Jon Ebert was a great chance to share and learn together but is only one piece of the puzzle. Further work is ongoing for our staff to consider what resonates with them and their teams and support excellence in practice for Aotearoa.

You can read more about ARC and the framework developed by Margaret Blaustein and Kristine Kinniburgh here.

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