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Formerly St. Louis Center for Family Development

Sparlin Mental Health (Sparlin) is a leader in evidence-based treatment models and trauma-informed care. Founders Nancy D. Spargo, AM, LCSW, and Ryan R. Lindsay, MSW, LCSW, pioneered the use of a Trauma-Informed & Evidence-Based approach to therapy in the St. Louis area based on two core principles:

  1. People exposed to traumatic experiences deserve a quality of care that understands and accounts for this impact.
  2. Consumers of mental health services are entitled to interventions scientifically proven to help.

For this reason, Sparlin therapists are trained in state-of-the-art evidence-based and trauma-informed therapies.

Trauma-Informed Care

Life-altering events can result in many forms of trauma, from extreme anxiety and PTSD, to ongoing problems with relationships and physical symptoms. We know empirically that trauma is pervasive, and that the impact is broad and diverse. The effects are deep and life shaping. But it might not always be apparent that someone is suffering from a past traumatic experience, which can lead to symptoms being judged and misunderstood as character flaws or moral failures.

Trauma-informed care is an approach that focuses on understanding, recognizing and responding to the effects of the many and varied types of trauma. By always addressing the impact of trauma and facilitating healing, behavioral health providers not only build trust more reliably and deliver better service, but also reduce the chance that a vulnerable client is re-traumatized.

According to SAMHSA, the cultural and treatment framework is informed by six key principles and incorporates four core assumptions used for every client.

Six Key Principles of Trauma-Informed Care:

  1. Safety
  2. Empowerment, voice and choice
  3. Trustworthiness and transparency
  4. Peer support
  5. Collaboration and mutuality
  6. Cultural, historical and gender context

Four Core Assumptions of Trauma-Informed Care:

  1. Recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff and others who are involved.
  2. Realize the widespread impact of trauma and understand the potential paths for recovery.
  3. Respond by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures and practices.
  4. Resist re-traumatization.

Evidence-Based Treatment

Science is the understanding of how our universe works, including the human mind and body. Throughout history, versions of the scientific method have been used to prove answers about our universe through cause and effect relationships – or experiments and observations.

Modern-day medicine employs the scientific method to find cures for ailments and disease. And the mental health field is no different. For years, therapists and mental health professionals have been using a scientific approach to therapy in order to develop interventions and treatments proven to help. As new evidence is exposed through ongoing research in the field, treatments are refined to reflect the new standards.

At Sparlin, we use techniques based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence, including:

Each of these evidence-based treatments also encourages professionals to continue a scientific approach within their individual sessions. From the first consultation, a therapist will ask questions and use their own extensive clinical experience to help their client identify problems, set goals, implement solutions and then observe the results. The therapist can then work with their client to make systematic changes based on what’s working – not based on theory.

Getting Started with Therapy at Sparlin Mental Health

While following a trauma-informed and evidence-based treatment plan might seem like the obvious and right approach to therapy, it is not always the practice for all mental health professionals.

We believe our clients deserve the most up-to-date treatments available. Every therapist at Sparlin is not only trained in these disciplines, but also re-trained on a regular basis. Contact us for more information about how we can help you achieve personal success.