Being trauma-informed means having an understanding of trauma, its effects, and how to provide support and care to individuals who have experienced trauma. It involves creating a safe and supportive environment that promotes healing and resilience.
10 Tips on how to be trauma-informed
Here are some key principles and practices to be trauma-informed:
1. Educate Yourself
Learn about trauma, its different types, and how it affects people physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Understand the prevalence and potential triggers of trauma.
2. Recognise Signs of Trauma
Be aware of common signs and symptoms of trauma, such as hypervigilance, anxiety, withdrawal, or emotional dysregulation. Understand that trauma responses can vary among individuals and may not always be obvious.
3. Create a Safe Environment
Foster an environment that is physically and emotionally safe. This includes providing privacy, minimising potential triggers, and ensuring confidentiality. Establish clear boundaries and communication guidelines to promote trust and safety.
4. Practice Empathy and Respect
Show empathy and respect towards individuals who have experienced trauma. Validate their experiences and emotions without judgment. It is important to recognise their strength and resilience in coping with the impact of trauma.
5. Prioritise Self-Care
Trauma work can be emotionally demanding, so it is essential to prioritise your own self-care. Take breaks, engage in activities that rejuvenate you, and seek support from peers or supervisors when needed. Practising self-care helps you maintain your own wellbeing and enables you to provide better support to others.
6. Practise Active Listening
When engaging with individuals who have experienced trauma, practise active listening. Give them your full attention, maintain eye contact, and listen without interrupting or judgment.
7. Use Trauma-Informed Language
Be mindful of the language you use when discussing trauma. Avoid blaming or shaming language and use terminology that is respectful and empowering. Focus on strengths and resilience rather than solely on the traumatic event.
8. Offer Choice and Autonomy
Empower individuals by providing choices and involving them in decision-making processes. Respect their autonomy and provide options whenever possible. Recognise that trauma can lead to a loss of control, so empowering individuals to make choices can help restore a sense of agency.
9. Collaborate with Others
Work collaboratively with other professionals, such as therapists, counsellors, or social workers, to ensure comprehensive support for individuals who have experienced trauma. Share information, coordinate care, and seek consultation when necessary.
10. Continuously Learn and Reflect
Stay open to learning and self-reflection. Regularly assess your practices and seek feedback from individuals with lived experience of trauma.
Remember that being trauma-informed is an ongoing process of growth and learning. It involves continuously evolving your understanding and practices to provide the best possible support to those affected by trauma.
To find out more about how we can help with Verbal Intervention training see our programme page for more information or to fill out the schedule a consultation form.