“Trauma Informed Care” what does it mean?

Trauma Informed Care is understanding how unresolved childhood trauma (ie someone who didn’t have at least one safe adult to support them) shows up both in childhood and into adulthood, how common (very) and how to help heal rather than accidentally harm more. It is not therapy though.

Becoming Trauma Informed can be a big shift for some services, and individuals, as most services and treatments were designed before we learnt what being TI is and are based on an older, more limited understanding. TIC has been overwhelmingly shown to be the more effective way to work & far easier on staff. It’s about using newer research and understanding of people so we can offer the best help to those we support without damaging ourselves.

Which is great as we all want to ease suffering for others and ourselves.
There is a lot of training around TIC so I thought I would give you a better idea of how I train as it is important you use someone you feel comfortable with and is right for you. You can watch this short video so you can get a sense of me, or read below.

 In all my training I will tailor it to suit you & your service, and make it as practical & beneficial, and as interesting, as I can.

The first thing I think it is important to talk about is burnout, burnout was high before COVID & even worse now in some areas, plus it is often hidden – people have numbed themselves & just carrying on, often not realising they are. This is damaging for them & those they support so we need to get people out of burnout. It also puts people in survival mode & they resist change, so while we are talking about changing the way we work to TIC that can sound like more pain for them.

We need to prioritise & be proactive in this, starting with leaders as they cannot support others if they are burnt out, & cannot set a good example either. If leaders are burnt out it trickles down to everyone.

Secondly, after learning the basic theory, we create a vision of what it would be like for you, those you support & your service to be TI – how it would feel, how you would work etc. This is also vital as how can you move towards something you don’t know? It’s like putting together a jigsaw without knowing the end picture. Having a shared vision also helps everyone understand where you are aiming so you can move forward together.

It also helps in that you can revisit the vision whenever you are stuck or need to make a decision as it gives you the foundational principles to build on and play around with, allowing you to feel more creative.

Then we get into the reality of doing your job right now, what are the things you struggle with or will need to do differently? What are the dilemmas you face & how can we face them in a TI way? This is where we look at the truth of doing this work, and how we can learn to be & do our best, both generally and in the little details, and what sustains that. We will also spend time focusing on what we mean by safe relationships and how we can keep improving that. Helping people feel safe is so important and many people misunderstand what that means so we need to keep checking & listening to others experience of this.

There’s a lot more that goes into the training and I am always happy to discuss & tailor it to suit you. Hope that helps, please feel free to ask me any questions.

 Some of the feedback given:

‘…the feedback from your training was exceptional. Staff were so inspired they have gone away and done more reading. More please’

‘Kathryn gave a presentation at the event in January and we were so impressed we asked her to come and do something similar with the admin team.’

‘Better than I could have imagined and initially I was sceptical about attending but definitely feel it was needed and used and worked.’

 ‘The training exceeded my expectations.  I thought that it might skim the surface and not get to the nitty gritty of what happens. Instead the course directly addressed the difficulties that we have found as a staff team and helped us to work together to find a way forward.’

‘Loved the sense of humour and trainer’s passion & knowledge’

 ‘Would like this to be implemented across all of company & to underpin all we do (priority of Therapeutic Alliance and self-care in how work)’