Sanctuary Model

Our Model - Sanctuary® at Auberle
Every day, Auberle’s programs integrate trauma-informed care for each child and family. We design programming to support children and families emotionally, intellectually and physically. 
Auberle embraces the organizational philosophy of the Sanctuary® Model, which takes advantage of what we know about human nature, healing from injury, the power of communities, and the chaotic nature of change.
The Sanctuary Model® represents a theory-based, trauma-informed, evidence-supported, whole culture approach that has a clear and structured methodology for creating or changing an organizational culture. The model also addresses staff wellness with its “Care for the Care-takers” emphasis. 
Creating Sanctuary is the process of providing a safe and healing environment for children and families at Auberle who need to recover from adversity in their childhood experience. Such experiences create trauma, which disrupt the normal development of a child and can interfere with the ability to learn. A “trauma-informed community” challenges everyone to change the thought process from “what’s wrong with you?” to “what’s happened to you?”.
The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations ever conducted on this topic. In a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente's Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego, the study linked associations between childhood mistreatment and later-life health and well-being. It found that if children are exposed to trauma, they are more likely to have long-term chronic illness. 

As an agency, Auberle prides itself on innovative practices and practicing by the The Sanctuary Model™ was the next step as we continue to innovate.

Read about interesting research and information on Adverse Childhood Experiences here.

The Four Pillars
The Four Pillars provide the framework of the Sanctuary Model, which guides Auberle and the children and families we serve in managing change and healing from trauma. 
  1. Trauma theory provides Auberle the common philosophy and understanding of what happened to individuals and systems that experience stress and trauma. 
  2. The 7 Commitments offers Auberle a common set of values to develop and execute our work with one another.
  3. The SELF offers a common language to conceptualize and talk about what happens to Auberle staff in our work. 
  4. The Tool Kit supports Auberle in practicing new behaviors and rituals that result in healthy attachments and relationships. 
Understanding and using these tools allows Auberle practitioners to create environments for growth and change.
The Seven Commitments
The Seven Sanctuary Commitments are the guiding principles for implementation of the Sanctuary Model at Auberle – the building blocks of the Sanctuary ‘operating system’. Each commitment supports trauma-related goals for our clients and staff:

1. A Commitment to Nonviolence: Auberle helps build safety skills and a commitment to higher purpose.
2. A Commitment to Emotional Intelligence: Auberle helps to teach emotional management skills.
3. A Commitment to Social Learning: We help to build cognitive skills.
4. A Commitment to Open Communication: Auberle helps to overcome barriers to healthy communication, learn conflict management, reduce acting-out, enhance self-protective and self-correcting skills, teach healthy boundaries.
5. A Commitment to Social Responsibility: We help to rebuild social connection skills, establish healthy attachment relationships, establish sense of fair play                                                                                         and justice.
6. A Commitment to Democracy: Auberle helps to create civic skills of self-control, self-discipline, and administration of healthy authority.
7. Commitment to Growth and Change: We help to work through loss and prepare for the future.
Reenactment Triangle
According to Sandra Bloom, M.D., one of the most important challenges to the therapeutic environment is the successful management of traumatic reenactment. Trauma demands repetition. The families and children we serve walk into Auberle with a lifetime full of a repeated traumatic past. Trauma produces a fragmentation resulting in the intensification of a nonverbal and a verbal split in memory, perception, and identity. According to the Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice, the language of the nonverbal self is behavior and in the presentation of their symptoms, the people we serve tell the story of their most terrible experiences. The role of the social environment is to engage enough with the story to understand the script, but then to change the automatic roles that are being cued for by the client so that the story changes instead of being repeated. Traumatic reenactment can be seen in the shifting roles that our clients and staff assume on the “rescuer-victim-persecutor” triangle to the right. 
Trauma Sensitive Environment 
Auberle is committed to reversing the effects of childhood adversity by creating a non-violent, trauma-informed environment where staff, children and families are empowered to overcome challenges and make positive change.
Evidence Based Practices 
Childhood is a crucial moment during a child’s development. Auberle is committed to using only trauma-informed care and behavioral practices that have been researched and proven to work and to use data to drive our care and behavioral decision making. For our clients to make substantial positive changes, we choose the intervention that is most likely to succeed and follow up with that by making any necessary changes and demonstrating effectiveness. 
What is Evidence-based Practice?
Evidence-based practice (EBP) in medicine (n): The integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values - as defined by the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine of Toronto 
Auberle’s practice is a decision-making approach that places emphasis on evidence to:
  • Assess the functional challenges for the child or family emotionally and clinically. Guide decisions about which programs/interventions to use for each individual child and family based on their needs; and
  • Evaluate the effects of the programming/intervention
What is evidenced-based mental health care for children and families?
Evidenced-based practice (EBP) is mental health treatment based on scientific evidence of effectiveness. Here at Auberle, we offer EBP for mental health problems that our children and families incur.
To learn more about the Sanctuary® Model, visit