Trauma Informed Work

Trauma Informed Work
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Resources
Recorded September 8, 2016
Unit 1Trauma Informed Work Slide Deck
Unit 2Trauma Informed Work Video


Trauma Informed Work is providing service with the understanding that the client/witness/victim with whom you are working probably has been exposed to a traumatic event. Knowing this, we strive to provide service in such a way as to not trigger, become part of, or create a new traumatic event. This presentation looks at power over relationships, educating the service provider with an over-view of trauma, educating the client/witness/victim as to the role trauma is playing in their reaction, and how to extend trauma informed work to become an agency priority. This presentation also provides an overview of trauma including high risk characteristics of people experiencing a traumatic response, the effects of trauma on the brain and subsequently behavior, and physiological interventions to mitigate the symptoms of a traumatic response.

Webinar Notes:

  • Trauma Informed Work is done when we recognize the clients we work with as First Responders are experiencing trauma
  • We must care for staff that has also been exposed to Trauma
  • To develop an effective relationship and avoid further trauma, First Responders must avoid ‘Power Over’ relationships
  • Trauma occurs when a victim feels that they do not have any control over an event.
  • The greater a victim feels loss of control, the greater the trauma they experience
  • Educating the victim about trauma is a key aspect of trauma informed work
  • Victims need to be educated about trauma to understand the symptoms and resources available to them
  • Flexibility is essential to removing the Power Over relationship.  Give victim options and allow them to choose how to select care
  • Concern over shaming is the greatest fear amongst victims that have experienced trauma
  • Most victims worry more about being judged and shamed than about being a victim of the same event
  • First Responders must help victims of trauma build a sense of HOME, SAFETY and RESILIENCE
  • Hope is a psychological response
  • Traumatic response occurs as the result of chemical reactions within the brain.
  • Higher Cortisol levels in the brain are a direct response to trauma and stress
  • High Cortisol levels in the brain because of trauma results in short term memory loss, quick to anger, and inability to concentrate
  • The immune system is negatively impacted because of higher cortisol levels due to trauma
  • Best way to reduce cortisol due to trauma is bilateral exercise where endorphins are released
  • Bilateral exercise reduces cortisol by forcing brain to process across both lobes of brain
  • Trauma tends to ‘stick’ on right side of brain.  Bilateral exercise both creates endorphins and forces processing in both lobes
  • Some medications can help to lower cortisol – check with your doctor to see which would help the most in your case
  • Victims of trauma need help to develop a sense of coherence in light of the new world view post-event

Additional Resources
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