The Four Pillars of Learning

Presented by Sanctuary

The Sanctuary Academy

The Sanctuary Academy represents another way that the Sanctuary Community can share knowledge and enhance their practice through an online library of supplemental Sanctuary materials for Network Members. The library is organized by the four pillars, and subdivided into the categories that comprise the Certification Standards. It includes downloadable documents, videos and webinars. Members can upload documents and videos that they wish to share with other Network Members as well.

The Sanctuary Institute

The Sanctuary Institute, a division of ANDRUS in Yonkers, NY provides training and consultation services to the organizations that work with vulnerable adults, children and families with an aim to help an agency’s leaders reclaim a culture of hope and innovation. The Sanctuary Institute’s transformational process requires deep commitment, but rewards participants with powerful and measurable organizational change. This transformational process emerged from a collaborative effort between Dr. Sandra Bloom and ANDRUS.

The Sanctuary Institute continues to grow and change as the needs of our constituents evolve and knowledge in the field of trauma develops. We are constantly working to adapt our programs and services to meet the growing needs of organizations who hope to transform the care they provide to their clients. The Sanctuary Institute is committed to honoring the roots of Sanctuary and the founders of the model while also nurturing and embracing new and innovative practices and applications of this essential work to change the experience of vulnerable adults, children, families and communities.

The Sanctuary Model

Trauma Theory

Trauma Theory is the foundation for creating a trauma informed environment. Simply put, trauma, adversity and chronic stress are universal to the human experience and affect individuals and organizations in predictable ways. The understanding of the ways in which trauma impacts functioning and health and the use of the Sanctuary Model to mitigate these affects are at the core of the Sanctuary Model. A Sanctuary agency understands trauma theory and uses the lens of Sanctuary to make connections about behaviors and events, to problem solve and ultimately to create a high-functioning, compassionate, healthy community.


The S.E.L.F. model organizes the way in which we think about individuals, organizations and treatment. It provides us with a shared language, a framework for treatment and an important problem-solving tool. Many of the tools in the Sanctuary Tool kit are organized by or draw on the framework of S.E.L.F. because its nonlinear nature parallels the nonlinear nature of healing from trauma. Each of the four components of S.E.L.F. represents a significant area of focus for trauma survivors: safety, emotion management, loss and future.

Seven Commitments

The Seven Commitments reflect the value system of the Sanctuary Model which guides our individual and organizational beliefs, practices and policies and leads organizations away from trauma-reactive behaviors. These commitments, adapted from work done in the UK by Therapeutic Communities, have a direct connection to trauma intervention by shaping an environment that creates a restorative and reparative experience for trauma survivors by targeting the direct results of traumatic experience with mitigating a culture.


The Sanctuary tools are the concrete activities or rituals that individuals and organizations use to inoculate themselves against the effects of trauma and chronic stress. Think of them as the medicine or vitamins used to ensure the health and functioning of a community. They are vital for the implementation and sustained success of Sanctuary.