What is trauma informed care?

James Hourihan, Author

When a person presents behaviours that challenge, staff working in health, education, or social care often only see the tip of the iceberg. If no one addresses an individual’s life experiences – both past and present – in relation to their behaviour, it can lead to a lack of understanding and further risk for everyone involved.

Trauma informed care is a strengths-based approach that recognises the importance of understanding an individual’s trauma and its profound effect on their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. 

It takes into account an individual’s unique history of trauma and strives to provide a safe, supportive environment and level of care that helps people to heal and reclaim their sense of control. 

The principles of trauma informed care

There are 5 core principles of trauma informed care for carers and staff to implement as part of their services: 

1. Safety – Providing a safe environment for both individuals and staff. This includes physical safety, emotional safety, and psychological safety.

2. Trustworthiness and Transparency – Building trust with individuals and being transparent about policies and procedures.

3. Choice and Empowerment – Giving individuals choices and empowering them to make decisions about their care.

4. Collaboration and Mutuality – Collaborating with individuals and other professionals in the decision-making process.  

5. Humility and Responsiveness – Being respectful and responsive to the needs of the individual, including cultural and historical trauma and biases. 

Who can benefit from trauma informed care? 

Trauma-informed care can benefit any individual who has experienced trauma, but it is especially important for those who work with trauma survivors in professional settings. 

Remember that everyone responds to trauma differently, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, by understanding its principles, staff, employers, and communities have the ability to reduce the possibility of re-traumatization, and improve the quality of life for those who have experienced trauma. 

Apply for trauma informed training with Timian  

If you are caring for someone who has gone through trauma and is exhibiting challenging behaviours, you may find it helpful to seek out trauma-informed care training. We have helped thousands of organisations across the UK to strengthen their skills when it comes to promoting positive behaviour, with a strong focus on empathy and support for those who are most vulnerable in society. 

Call us on 800 987 4075 to learn more about our BILD Act certified positive behaviour management courses today. 

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