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Foundations of Trauma

Allison M. Hrovat, PhD.     Professor at Holyoke Community College

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are at greater risk of abuse and neglect than is the general population. This should be an alarm call alerting all committed disability advocates to learn about and take steps to make the DD services field more trauma-informed.

Trauma-specific interventions are designed to address the consequences of trauma in the individual and to facilitate healing. Treatment programs generally recognize the following: the survivor's need to be respected, informed, connected, and hopeful regarding their own recovery; the interrelation between trauma and symptoms of trauma (e.g., substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety); the need to work in a collaborative way with survivors, family and friends of the survivor, and other human services agencies in a manner that will empower survivors and consumers.

Allison brings with her extensive experience working in a variety of community settings, including work in domestic violence programs, rape crisis centers, and community mental health agencies.  Allison's clinical work has primarily focused on the treatment of trauma, chronic mental illness, addictions, grief, and interpersonal conflict and violence. Her clinical work is rooted in a humanistic orientation, while also influenced by an integrated feminist perspective. Additionally, Allison believes in the value of creativity to self-expression and personal wellness, and has committed to exploring multiple methods of communication with clients through art and other modalities.