Trauma informed practice

A person with problems, not a problem patient. What matters to you?

It is sometimes said that traumatic reactions are normal reactions to abnormal situations. As true as this statement is, it’s also true that individuals’ coping reactions post-trauma remain poorly understood, even by many of the people who are in the best positions to offer support and treatment to trauma victims. It is important for everyone to understand that victims of traumatic events, such as human trafficking, will not always react or behave in the way that we might expect.

There is now strong and growing evidence of a link between trauma and mental health, as well as evidence that the current mental health system can retraumatise trauma survivors. There is also emerging evidence that trauma-informed systems are effective and can benefit staff and trauma survivors.

Trauma informed approaches have become increasingly cited in policy and adopted in practice as a means for reducing the negative impact of trauma experiences and supporting mental and physical health outcomes. They build on evidence developed over several decades. However, there has been a lack of consensus within the health and social care sector on how trauma-informed practice is defined, what its key principles are and how it can be built into services and systems.

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities has created the following guidance for professionals working in Health and Care: Working Definition of Trauma Informed Practice

Key principles of trauma-informed practice

There are 6 principles of trauma-informed practice: