Rainbow Health Health works in a trauma-informed, attachment-based, sex-positive, and harm reduction approach.
Trauma is the result of violence, abuse, neglect, loss, disaster, war, and other emotionally harmful experiences. Communities of color and the LGBTQ+ communities are disproportionately impacted by trauma; if they are not directly traumatized by others in their lives, the population at large invalidates their existence through harmful legislation, bullying, violent rhetoric in the public sphere, and other ongoing threats to their existence. Trauma-informed care is an organizational structure and treatment framework that involves understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of trauma. It emphasizes the physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both consumers and providers, and helps survivors rebuild a sense of control and empowerment (SAMHSA, 2014).
Attachment theory is a psychological model that attempts to describe the dynamics of long-term and short-term interpersonal relationships in humans. Originally developed by John Bowlby and expanded upon by Mary Ainsworth, attachment theory helps us understand how and why people respond to hurt, separation from loved ones, or perceived threat. In understanding attachment theory, we can help understand the motivations of some behaviors in our clients’ lives and see these behaviors as ways to survive in challenging environments. In using attachment theory in practice, we can heal these old wounds so clients can feel like an autonomous, actualized, empowered person in the world. The use of interventions informed by attachment theory helps often-shunned people feel they deserve love from those around them.
The sex-positive movement is a social movement that promotes and embraces sexuality with few limits beyond an emphasis on safe, sane, and consensual sex. Sex-positivity is an attitude towards human sexuality and sexual identity that regards all consensual activity as fundamentally healthy and pleasurable, encouraging sexual pleasure and experimentation. This movement was partially developed to challenge the fear of the messaging of the 1990’s AIDS epidemic in which sex was equated with illness and death. Sex positivity advocates the use of sex education and safer sex and makes no moral distinctions among types of sexual activities. Rainbow Health is a sex-positive environment demonstrating respect for all who walk through our doors.
Risk reduction is an approach to lessen the severity of consequences for behaviors that can negatively impact our physical, social, emotional, or psychological well-being; common areas risk reduction may be used are substance use, sexual behaviors, physical health, and mental health. Individuals who typically fall out of care with various providers due to some of the risks they take in their lives are often people who have been impacted by trauma, had challenging environments when growing up, or are confronted by providers who do not understand, or minimize, their struggles due to their identity. People understandably leave environments that tell them the only way they are tolerable is if they behave in ways their provider tells them to. Rainbow Health demonstrates tolerance with loving, supportive guidelines/recommendations to help clients feel safe.
Diversity is an important value within the clinic’s environment. Rainbow Health strives to embrace acceptance and respect. We respect an individual’s uniqueness and we accept differences including, but not limited to: race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, sexual behaviors, relationship structures, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. We try to create a safe environment for all who walk in our doors—and if you don’t feel safe, we want to hear ways to improve! We work to go beyond recognizing differences and move toward celebrating them.