Does the Sanctuary Model Work?

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Many organizations wish to use the Sanctuary Model because of its grounding principles. While there are several diverse types of organizational models, the Sanctuary Model considers the lived experiences of each person and integrates those experiences into a loving, empathetic and productive community. The Sanctuary Model was developed Dr. Sandra Bloom and is a theory-based, trauma-informed, trauma-responsive, evidence-supported, whole culture approach that works to create organizational change.

Many human service organizations, such as the Andrus Children’s Center, have utilized this model to create a respectful atmosphere. There is much research behind the success of this model. This model is the only organizational and clinical intervention recognized as a Promising Practice by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. It has also received a Scientific Rating of 3 (Promising Research Practice) by the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare. Previous research has shown that this model has been successful in working with youth in residential treatment centers.

The Sanctuary Model builds on four primary components: shared knowledge, shared values, shared language, and shared practice. These pillars are comprised of different “tools” that should be used within organizations to build their respect, empathy, and understanding of one another. In 2005, researchers found that the Sanctuary Model provided stronger support, spontaneity, autonomy, personal problem orientation, safety and total treatment environment in residential facilities that utilized it.

One aspect of the Sanctuary Model, SELF, stands for safety, emotion management, loss and future. These components can be utilized within organizations for treatment planning, community conversations, and collaborative decision-making. The model is based on seven commitments which include: nonviolence, emotional intelligence, inquiry and social learning, democracy, open communication, social responsibility, growth and change.

The basis of the Sanctuary Model is that it can be used in whatever way best suits the organization – whatever your needs are, you can incorporate the tools within to build and grow. The organizations that thrive best are those that work hard to connect both employees and patients. Everyone has unique experiences that contribute to their being; the Sanctuary Model helps people understand and respect those differences and see the light for what they can offer to the team.




If you are seeking a treatment center that promotes that foundations of the Sanctuary Model, speak with someone from Avalon Malibu today. We believe in holistic, integrated treatment, meaning that we will assist you in mind, body, and spiritual growth. We are client-focused and want to help you develop a personalized treatment plan that will best suit your needs. Call us today at 844-269-1761.

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