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The Sanctuary Model

“This week has been the beginning of my professional healing.”
– Beatriz Vides, Director of Child Care at the Astor Home for Children

Every aspect of our work at ANDRUS is guided by the Sanctuary Model, which promotes safety and recovery from adversity by recognizing the influence of past trauma on current behavior and functioning. We don’t ask “What’s wrong with you?” We ask “What’s happened to you?” This takes the focus off blame and redirects interventions toward building new strengths and coping skills, enabling families and children to move beyond the past toward a bright, fulfilling future.”

The meaning of ‘trauma’

At ANDRUS, we use the word "trauma" to describe the emotional, relational, psychological and physical responses someone has when his or her coping capacity has been overwhelmed.

Trauma can be caused by almost any event – a natural or manmade disaster, the death of a loved one, or loss of a job, even living with poverty, prejudice, or mental illness. That's why we use the terms “adversity” and “chronic stress” interchangeably with “trauma.”

When individuals or families face compounded trauma, a range of behaviors or problems can bring them to our doors. Understanding what they have experienced and how that experience has contributed to their problems provides the starting point for our interventions.

That’s why at ANDRUS, we don’t ask “What’s wrong with you?” We ask, “What’s happened to you?”