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  • Tara Skipp

Understanding Trauma-Informed Care: What You Need to Know

'Trauma-informed care" is a term that's gaining traction, but what does it really mean?

First, let's explore what trauma entails. According to renowned psychiatrist and trauma expert, Bessel van der Kolk, 'Trauma is an event that overwhelms the central nervous system, altering the way we process and remember memories... Long after the traumatic experience, it can be reactivated at the slightest hint of danger, triggering disturbing emotions, physical sensations, and impulsive actions. These posttraumatic reactions can feel incomprehensible and overwhelming'

In recent years, there's been growing awareness of the prevalence and impact of trauma, leading to the development of "trauma-informed care." This approach recognises how common trauma is and acknowledges its profound effects on individuals, families, and communities.

So, what does this mean for you?

If you've experienced trauma, it's crucial to know how trauma-informed the services you seek are. Opting for trauma-informed care can help minimize the risk of re-traumatization and ensure you are receiving the support and understanding you need.

For employers and organizations, it's essential to understand how to provide the best practices regarding trauma for both staff and clients.

There are four different "levels" of interacting with trauma:

  1. Trauma-Aware: Basic understanding of trauma and its potential impact on individuals. Acknowledging the existence of trauma in interactions but not fully incorporating trauma-informed practices.

  2. Trauma-Informed: A broader perspective that recognizes the widespread impact of trauma. Integrating trauma awareness into policies, procedures, and practices, emphasizing safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration, and empowerment.

  3. Trauma-Sensitive: Being attuned to the needs of trauma survivors, creating a supportive environment to minimize re-traumatization. May incorporate some trauma-informed principles without full implementation.

  4. Trauma-Competent: Going beyond awareness and sensitivity, this level involves specialised knowledge and expertise in understanding trauma. Proficient in trauma-informed practices and interventions.

At the Conscious Health Clinic, we value being trauma-sensitive in all that we do. Our clinic and systems are designed to create an inclusive and safe space for all clients.

We offer a range of trauma-sensitive and trauma-competent treatment services, including EMDR, psychological counselling for trauma, and trauma-sensitive yoga and mindfulness.

For organizations, we provide custom wellbeing training to align your services with a trauma-informed framework.

Curious to learn more? Get in touch with us today at We're here to support you.

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