An introduction to trauma-informed care
Trauma-informed care seeks to recognise and understand the impact that trauma can have on an individual. It aims to avoid re-traumatisation and to provide a safe environment for the patient. When a patient is re-traumatised, they may shut down mentally, leading them to refuse treatment or avoid future appointments. It can also make patients feel ashamed or guilty about their trauma or how they reacted to it. This can adversely affect a patient’s overall health, costing them their confidence, comfort and willingness to seek future medical help.
Trauma-informed care aims to empower people to regain control over their lives whilst prioritising the psychological, physical and emotional safety of all. It recognises the impact that trauma has on patients’ psychological, social and emotional wellbeing and treats each patient as a whole, with kindness and empathy.
The aims of trauma informed practice training
The main goal of trauma-informed practice training is to make all staff aware of the impact trauma can have as well as avoiding re-traumatisation. It aims to provide an understanding of different kinds of trauma and their impacts. It helps staff to identify trauma and apply trauma-informed care principles. It also informs delegates on how to respond to trauma disclosures as well as how to recognise personal compassion fatigue. You can find out more information about trauma informed practice training here: https://www.tidaltraining.co.uk/mental-health-courses/trauma-informed-practice-training.
There are many different forms of trauma and individuals are uniquely affected, so the trauma-informed care approach must be designed to meet each patient’s specific needs. Understanding and patience are needed in order to find an approach that works for the individual.
Principles of trauma-informed care
The six principles of trauma-informed care are safety, trust, collaboration, empowerment, choice and cultural consideration. These principles are covered in depth here: .
Safety is made a priority by ensuring there is freedom from threat or harm and by having policies, practices and safeguarding arrangements in place. Trustworthiness is ensured by being transparent about what is being done, the reasons for it and by making expectations clear. Service users are involved in decision-making and choices are explained clearly. Collaboration is vital in order to meet the needs of individual patients and staff.
Empowerment is achieved by validating peoples’ feelings and concerns and supporting people to make decisions. Cultural consideration involves avoiding stereotypes and bias based upon, for example, gender, age, religion, disability or race in order to provide appropriate care to each individual.