Six principles of trauma informed practice

What is trauma informed practice?

Trauma informed practice is a modern approach to supporting people who have experienced any type of trauma. Rooted in empathy and understanding, it recognises the pervasive impact of trauma on individuals’ lives and strives to create environments that promote healing, safety and resilience.

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The government recognises this new approach and has provided clear guidance here. Trauma informed practice training is recommended for anyone supporting people who have experienced trauma in its various forms. Providers such as offer specialist modules.

What are the six principles?

Safety: Creating physically and emotionally safe environments is paramount to help individuals feel secure and supported. This includes respecting boundaries, offering choice, being non-judgmental and ensuring confidentiality.

Trustworthiness: Being honest, reliable and transparent helps to build trust. Establishing clear expectations, providing accurate information and acknowledging mistakes also contribute to a sense of safety and empowerment.

Peer Support: Encouraging individuals with lived experience of trauma to share their journey, offer mutual support and engage in collective healing activities. Peer-led initiatives provide key opportunities for validation, connection and shared learning.

Collaboration: Collaboration between professionals, individuals, and communities is integral to the approach. This includes shared decision-making, respecting diverse perspectives and actively involving individuals in their own care, thereby promoting autonomy and empowerment.

Empowerment and Choice: Supporting individuals to make informed choices and voice preferences is fundamental. Recognising and respecting individuals’ strengths and resilience enhances a sense of agency and self-determination. Providing opportunities for meaningful participation, advocacy, and self-expression amplifies voices that have been marginalised or silenced.

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Cultural Considerations: Trauma informed practice acknowledges, respects and embraces diversity in all forms. It recognises the intersectionality of identities and experiences, providing culturally responsive approaches. Sensitivity to cultural norms, historical trauma and gender dynamics facilitates inclusive and accessible services that meet individuals’ unique needs.

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