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Trust-Based Relational Intervention

Trust-Based Relational Intervention, or TBRI for short, is our tool of choice in caring for youth with trauma. Here’s why.

Connecting and belonging is central to the human heart. It’s central to how we were created in God’s image. Connection is core to this relationship-based method of helping individuals heal from trauma.

Trauma affects the whole child - their physical and neurological development and how they relate to the world, themselves and others. These children have not known a secure attachment or felt true safety.

The behavior of youth with trauma often reflects unmet needs. And those needs are most often motivated by fear. This is an opportunity to respond with curiosity and compassion following the three principles of TBRI: empowering, connecting, and correcting.

TBRI teaches caregivers (residential staff, teachers, foster parents and other caring adults) to develop mindfulness strategies about their own attachment styles and how to best connect with children from hard places.

The approach was developed at Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University, which defines TBRI as “an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. While the intervention is based on years of attachment, sensory-processing and neuroscience research, the heartbeat of TBRI is connection.”

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