Trauma informed practice is a buzzword that has been around for a while now, so how would you go about explaining what it actually means to someone outside our profession? Trauma therapist and trainer Laura Luchi writes:
I often find myself in a training room asking participants to define Trauma Informed Practice and, while mostly professionals are really comfortable with explaining what it means to be ‘trauma informed’ and how we then put this knowledge into ‘practice’, there is often a disconnect between being able to explain what the ‘practice’ part really means.
For instance, trauma tells us that children who have grown up with abuse often have their survival/ fight flight responses triggered indiscriminately. But what does that tell us about how to respond when they’re triggered or what they need us to do in order to reduce the level of triggering in their lives?
Being trauma informed means knowing that trauma can cause children to appear manipulative and controlling. But how does this inform what I do about it or how to help their foster carer respond to it?
Trauma tells us that children who have grown up with abuse often have attachment problems. But what does it tell me about how to have a relationship with this child and what foster carers, residential care workers or teachers have to do to begin the task of healing attachment problems?
And if the goal of ‘practice’ is to bring about change in children’s lives, what do we need to do to make that happen when their traumatised lives seem so chaotic, crisis driven and difficult to case manage?
These questions all speak to our capacity to put what we know about trauma into day to day practice.
If these questions are relevant to you and you want to improve your skills in putting the ‘practice’ into being ‘trauma informed’, consider coming along to CCWT’s Trauma Informed Practice in OOHC workshop in Sydney on 18-19 May. There will be opportunities to talk about your specific role and context with a focus on making trauma knowledge practical.
Look forward to seeing you there!