Each and every day at Master’s Ranch, the staff and students are faced with behaviors that are a direct result of adverse childhood experiences which manifest themselves in various ways in the maturing young men that reside here. It is said that we as humans deal with the problems we face in one of three ways: Fight, Flight or Freeze. As most studies show, it is typical for males to respond with the first option: fight. Confrontation of an individual in “fight mode” will only result in harming a relationship beyond repair. Although we may eventually forgive, forgetting is virtually impossible due to the standard for survival in life being to remember the past in order that unpleasant outcomes are not repeated. Using a trauma-informed approach can buffer the effects of past damaged relationships and prevent irreparable relationship damage from occurring in the future.
Master’s Ranch uses a set of practical and simple interventions to reinforce the language and philosophy of trauma informed care. We call these “J-TIPS” or Master’s Ranch Trauma Informed Practices. The following are examples of J-Tips that have been adapted and individualized for the young men of Master’s Ranch:
Focus First: A set of questions that are posed to each member of a group to start gatherings, designed to enhance safety by promoting feelings identification. Knowing what an individual is thinking or feeling and what happened that contributed to those feelings, good or not so good, is essential to opening communication among group members.
Critical Behavioral Process: Responding to critical behaviors with involvement from a wide range of community members focusing on solutions rather than the problems. By not dwelling on the problem, we are able to focus on accountability and action.
Safety Plans: Visual reminders of emotion management practices represented as a list of activities, techniques or skills to be used in situations which trigger unproductive reactions.
Knowing that a trauma-informed approach incorporates three key elements:
Master’s Ranch has established a new and more productive set of the “3 R’s”, which open the door for our young men to heal and lead productive lives.