Trauma Informed Practice

Principle 9 – Trauma Informed Practice

 

We want to put our values into practice in a way that recognises the impact of unresolved psychological trauma and loss upon mental health and behaviour. We want to do this without labelling anyone and with an understanding that we are all affected by our own experiences and history.

In line with our other principles, we want to deeply listen to each other and pay attention to the detail of peoples’ lives in order to empathise and find the best way to support or help. We also want to acknowledge that psychological trauma is often a disconnection from ourselves and from others and that providing safe spaces, safe services and safe neighbourhoods where everyone is welcomed and celebrated can be healing in and of itself.

 

‘Trauma-informed care is fundamentally concerned with creating conditions that reduce harm and promote healing, especially in individuals who have already experienced psychological trauma. It recognises that experiencing trauma in the past can affect the ways a person perceives and responds to their environment in the present.” (Wilson J and Williams A 2019:4)

 

Situations or occurrences which may seem benign to someone with no history of trauma can be overwhelming for a trauma survivor, triggering distressing feelings and leading them to behave in a way that can be seen as ‘hostile’, ‘non-compliant’, ‘awkward’, ‘uncooperative’ or ‘oppositional’ for example.

Being trauma informed and cultivating trauma informed practice means we should react to these behaviours in ways that don’t perpetuate the distress and disengagement of traumatised people. That we are mindful not to react in ways that may cause further trauma. This is a minimum requirement of trauma informed practice – not to reawaken old traumas or cause new ones.

At best, what we want to achieve is to create environments that are understanding and safe enough for healing to take place. All of this has implications for the way we manage our public services, in particular the spaces from which we deliver them, and how we deliver them (see Principle 11).

 

“… there are compelling reasons for trauma-informed care to be integral to all public sector services.” Wilson J and Williams A