What is trauma informed practice?

When you are looking for help with trauma, it is important to have some understanding of the kind of process you might be embarking upon. One highly effective approach is trauma informed practice, but what does this involve?

The power of this approach is demonstrated by the UK government’s recent decision to spend £5.8m on research in the form of four projects.

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A gentler approach

A need for trauma informed practice training was identified after many patients suffered from insensitive treatment in the wake of significantly traumatising events. The old techniques from all too many health professionals and other caregivers saw already traumatised people subjected to harmful experiences such as disbelief in their reality, manipulation, coercion, and even the use of physical restraints. Unfortunately, such rough handling often resulted in the worsening of the patient’s trauma symptoms.

It was clear to many that a new way was needed, which was why trauma informed practice was created. Now, trauma informed practice training ensures therapists and caregivers, including those working in fields such as education and social work, are equipped with the skills to sensitively support people living with trauma. Specialists such as Tidal Training can provide further details on obtaining this vital training.

Key principles and goals

Trauma informed practice seeks to create a trustworthy and supportive healing environment in which the patient feels physically and psychologically safe. The therapist works collaboratively with the patient, which helps to empower them. This is an important aspect, as many traumatic events leave patients feeling helpless or out of control. The patient is allowed the freedom and autonomy to make their own choices about how their therapy progresses and ensures each patient is treated as an individual. It can also involve working with the family and loved ones of the person affected by trauma.

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The goal of this approach is based on the four Rs: realising the widespread impact of trauma, recognising the symptoms, responding with best practice integration of this approach across policy-making, and resisting the risk of causing more trauma for the patient.

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