SAFE AND SOUND : Developing a Trauma-Informed Approach to Spa CONTINUED FROM PAGE 60
control and give more choices along the way . Find ways to make sure that all employees are dedicated to these ideals and understand the importance of each step . Ensure that ongoing training , coaching and quality assurance checks take place to guarantee that every interaction in your facility meets your service standards .
Trustworthiness Even under the most ideal conditions , with great SOPs and attentive team members , things sometimes go wrong . A person suffering from the effects of trauma may have a deep desire to experience peace and tranquility and seek out experiences that advertise these as outcomes . Ironically , they may also be physiologically unable to enjoy the experience and end up deeply disappointed instead . In other cases , the calm , quiet surroundings in our services and classes may allow bad memories to surface and lead to a breakdown or emotional crisis . The resulting stress response may make them act aggressively , become anxious or withdraw into themselves , and because this may be happening at an unconscious level , they may not realize why they ’ re feeling the way they do and blame the provider for doing something wrong .
FOR CONSIDERATION : When these individuals are experiencing intense emotions , spa staff needs to recognize the symptoms and be ready to help . When reviewing your conflict resolution and emergency procedures ( and as you observe your employees ’ behaviors ), keep trauma-informed approaches in mind . Focus on increasing feelings of safety , connection and collaboration . Ask yourself : What happens when someone gets upset ? Do my employees lean in to appreciate feedback , act when someone is unhappy , push for more information when a guest responds that a service was just okay and take action when someone appears to be in distress ? Or do they ignore , back away , resent and gossip about the guests or coworkers who are experiencing these emotions ?
Taking Action , Step by Step When developing your spa action plan , consider the following transformational steps .
START AT THE TOP : One reason Canyon Ranch successfully implemented their program is that they approached the program ,“ from the top leadership on down .” Make sure you have buy-in at every level so that it becomes part of your spa ’ s mission , vision and values .
CONNECT : Find a local organization or practice that specializes in trauma treatment . Invite them in to teach your employees about the stress response , how to identify symptoms of PTSD and how to best help someone in distress . Develop a
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62 PULSE • MAY / JUNE 2022