Dealing with trauma informed care

Ten Tips for Implementing Trauma Informed Practices

James Hourihan, Author

According to the Office for Health Improvement & Disparities, Trauma-informed practice is “an approach to health and care interventions which is grounded in the understanding that trauma exposure can impact an individual’s neurological, biological, psychological and social development”.

Trauma-informed care seeks to acknowledge and understand the role of trauma in individuals’ lives and aims to develop safe and supportive relationships in-line with these experiences.

Below we’ve outlined ten tips you can incorporate in your organisation to build trust, overcome obstacles and develop positive, effective relationships for all involved. 

1. Be aware of the impact of trauma

Trauma can have a profound impact on people’s lives, both physically and emotionally. It is important to be aware of the potential impact of trauma on the people you work with, so that you can be more supportive and understanding.

2. Create a safe and supportive environment

People who have experienced trauma may feel unsafe and distrustful of others. It is important to create a safe and supportive environment where people feel comfortable talking about their experiences and seeking help.

3. Be respectful and compassionate

Treat people with respect and compassion, even when they are engaging in challenging behaviours. Remember that people’s behaviour is often a way of coping with trauma.

4. Be patient and understanding

It takes time to heal from trauma. Be patient and understanding with the people you work with, and don’t expect them to change overnight.

5. Use trauma-informed de-escalation techniques

If someone is engaging in challenging behaviours, try to use trauma-informed de-escalation techniques to calm them down and help them feel safe. This may involve active listening, validating their feelings, and offering choices.

6. Avoid triggers

If you know what triggers someone’s challenging behaviours, try to avoid those triggers. This may involve creating a safe space, removing certain objects from the environment, or changing your routine.

7. Get help if needed

If you are unable to de-escalate a situation on your own, seek help from others. This may include calling for assistance from a supervisor, colleague, or security personnel.

8. Empower people to make their own choices

As much as possible, give people the power to make their own choices about their care and treatment. This will help them to feel more in control of their lives and to build their self-esteem.

9. Collaborate with others

Trauma can affect all aspects of a person’s life. It is important to collaborate with other professionals, such as therapists, social workers, and medical doctors, to provide people with the holistic support they need.

10. Take care of yourself

Working with people who have experienced trauma can be challenging. It is important to take care of yourself emotionally and physically so that you can continue to be supportive and effective.

Trauma-informed practice is a strengths-based approach to improving relationships which seeks to understand the impacts of trauma, recognise the symptoms and help to promote safer environments .

Our BILD Act certified positive behaviour management training programme helps organisations to develop effective communication channels and reduce the need for restraint.

If you’re ready to implement trauma-informed practices within your processes, don’t hesitate to enquire about our courses today. Simply give us a call at 0800 987 4075 or fill out the form on our website. 

Sign up to our newsletter to receive our helpful learning resources for free

Further Reading From Timian