Move On is currently in the process of becoming a Trauma Informed and Skilled organisation. To start this process, we are building on our current practice and using the NHS Education for Scotland Knowledge and Skills Framework and The Scottish Psychological Trauma Training Plan to embed this in our services. These documents include a wealth of information and research and they are great to use as a guide to build this into our practice.
You can read the full knowledge and skills framework here: nationaltraumatrainingframework.pdf (transformingpsychologicaltrauma.scot)
You can read the full training plan here: trauma-training-plan-final.pdf (transformingpsychologicaltrauma.scot)
What do we mean by trauma?
The term trauma can refer to a wide range of traumatic, abusive or neglectful events or series of events (including Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma in adulthood) that are experienced as being emotionally or physically harmful or life threatening. Whether an event(s) is traumatic depends not only on our individual experience of the event, but also how it negatively impacts on our emotional, social, spiritual and physical wellbeing. We are all affected by traumatic events in different ways.
In summary, psychological trauma can be understood in terms of the 3 E‘s:
- the Event
- how it is Experienced
- and its Effects
|Type 1 Trauma
|Type 2 or complex Trauma
|Sudden and unexpected events which are experienced as isolated incidents. Such as road traffic accidents, rape or terrorist attacks. This can happen in childhood or adulthood.
|This term refers to traumatic events which are repeated, interpersonal and often (although not always) occur in childhood. This includes all forms of childhood abuse which is chronic and cumulative such as childhood sexual abuse, childhood physical abuse, witnessing domestic abuse and neglect. Domestic abuse is the most common experience of complex trauma in adulthood.
Being “Trauma Informed” means being able to recognise when someone may be affected by trauma, collaboratively adjusting how we work to take this into account and responding in a way that supports recovery, does no harm and recognises and supports people’s resilience.
At a Trauma Skilled level, you will be able to work in a Trauma Informed way, as mentioned above, but you should also have a greater understanding of how psychological trauma can affect people, how to support recovery and use these skills in practice. If you are working at this level you will need to complete the e-module created NHS Education for Scotland and do tailored training.
What does this mean for you and why are we doing this?
We have decided to take this approach due to the high level of referrals we received across the services for people who have experienced trauma and adversity in their lives. We also know from the NHS Education for Scotland Knowledge and Skills Framework that trauma is more common that previously recognised across society and working in a trauma informed way can improve things for everyone.
It is not that our roles are changing or that everyone needs to become a trauma expert. It’s about making small changing that can make a significant difference for everyone and reduce the likelihood of re-traumatsation. One way we can do this is by considering the 5 principles to take a trauma informed and skilled approach.
At Move On we are now following the Trauma Informed Principles set out by the NHS Education for Scotland from their research and training plan. The Trauma Informed Principles as follows:
- Choice – The person has choice about activities they are involved in and have a choice about when and where this will take place
- Safety – The person feels safe in the environment they are working in and in their personal life
- Empowerment – The person has control of and takes an active role in what happens, and we are clear about what is going to happen and when. E.g. meetings, phone calls, endings
- Trust – We are consistent and stick to what we say (explain why we can’t do something if we can’t). Build up a relationship where the people feel they can be open and trust each other. Relationships are key!
- Collaboration – Work together and think about what works for that person and for you. Openly communicate and don’t make decisions for someone
We are all exposed to some level of trauma in our lives. This can shape how we view the world and have a significant impact on our mental health, physical health, social outcomes and how we cope. This can lead to negative outcomes if we don’t have buffers or protective factors in our lives to help us cope. The NHS Education for Scotland have created the trauma tree (above) to give a visual representation.
This is not to say that these outcomes are inevitable but experiencing trauma and adversity does increase the risk of these. One of our goals at Move On is to work with everyone so that everyone has a greater awareness about this. Then take a strength based and trauma informed approach to help build in protective factors and buffers depending on that person’s needs. Many people have experienced of traumatic or adverse things in their lives and they cope on their own. It’s not about us taking over or asking anyone to talk about things they don’t want to. People are resilient and people who have experienced trauma have their own ways of coping, if they want support, we can talk about what has worked in the past and work together to build on what works for them. We do not need to know that someone has experienced trauma to work in this way.
|Your Role IS:
|YOUR role IS NOT:
Move On’s Pledge of Support
Move on senior leaders have pledged their support to this approach. This is included on the Transforming Psychological Trauma website. This is an on-going process and we want everyone to be involved. We have started the process by focusing on the 5 key things that we have committed to with this pledge:
1: Value the Contribution of People with Lived Experience
- We are working with volunteers, staff and young people to co-design, co-produce and co-deliver training for other volunteers and staff
- We are doing interactive activities with the young people and volunteers in the mentoring and befriending projects to get feedback about their experience
- We have done a reflective workshop using the Trauma Lens to look at what can be improved, what is working well and what needs to be added. We will continue to do workshops like this and review progress
- The feedback from these sessions have directly led to actions plans being created and changes being implemented in practice
- We are embedding a strength-based approach and started using wellbeing plans
2: Show Courageous Leadership and ‘Walk the Walk’
- Senior leaders and board members have taken part in an awareness session and they have supported embedding this approach into practice
- We have begun to embed this into our everyday paperwork, procedures, inductions and policies
- A short video has been created to explain the basics of this approach to everyone, raise awareness and show Move On’s commitment to this approach
- Training for all staff and volunteers is key, this has started and will be on-going. We have asked the staff and volunteers what training they would and we will build this into the plan
- We will be doing a session on the Window of Tolerance as an organisation
- We are working together as a staff team to build this into the culture at Move On. We are doing this collaboratively with the staff, volunteers, young people and adults at Move On through training, activities, conversations, information sheets and day to day practice
3: Support Staff Training and Development in Trauma Informed Practice
- The staff members in the Edinburgh and Glasgow bases have completed the online modules, initial trauma informed and skilled training, reflection workshops and training on the updated paperwork
- Practical toolkits have been created to support staff, volunteers, adults and young people at Move On and these will be reviewed and updated
- On-going continuous professional development and training opportunities are available and being created to support the development of this way of working
- We are building on the knowledge and experience of the people in Move On already as well as using the NHS Education for Scotland resources
- We are going to regularly run sessions to review how this approach is working in practice
- We created tailored training on Disclosures and Retramatisation to support staff and reassure them that they are not expected to ‘fix’ everything or be trauma experts but to build on our practice and use this approach to help us to recognise signs and enhance our responses
- We run a Trauma Awareness Session for volunteers
- There will be on-going trauma training for volunteers and staff based on their suggestions for further training
- We have updated our paperwork to embed these principles into our work
- We want to learn from each other, if you have lived experience of trauma and you would like to get involved in co-producing and/or sharing ideas for training please get in touch (my details are at the bottom of this sheet)
4: Prioritise Staff Wellbeing
- Move On staff can access counselling, have access to the wee retreat and we have a health and wellbeing group to organise health and wellbeing activities
- All staff should get regular formal support and supervision and are able to have informal support and supervision with their line manager or other staff
- We are going to have review and reflection sessions so staff can share what’s working and what’s not and share practice
- In the Health and Safety Policy there is a section that has been added to includes clear information about support for staff, information on the trauma informed approach and the risks to our own wellbeing from secondary and vicarious trauma
- The Health and Wellbeing group organise a range of activities for people to get involved in such as yoga, shiatsu, book clubs, film clubs, baking, dance, creative activities and gift exchanges. These all promote staff wellbeing, the importance of self-care and body work for us all. These don’t suit everyone so any suggestions staff have on this are welcome. Please let a member of the health and wellbeing group know.
5: Monitor, evaluate and improve
- We get feedback after all training sessions and use this to improve things
- We are using the Trauma Lens tool, this helped created and initial action plan and we will continue to review this. We suggest that all bases at Move On do this within their teams
- We get feedback from staff, volunteers, young people and adults we work with through regular support and supervision (informally and formally)
- We send surveys, do interactive activities and gather feedback from these. If there are things that we can’t put into action we will explain why and have those discussions
- We regularly write case studies and videos to share stories and the impact of the services to show the soft outcomes and significant impact the different services have had on people’s lives
You can find out more information about this approach and the pledge of leadership on this website: NES Trauma Informed – Pledge (transformingpsychologicaltrauma.scot)
This is the Trauma Lens below. All bases on Move On should reflect on their services using this lens. There are video workshops on the Transforming Psychological Trauma website that can help with this.
If you have any suggestions about how we can work towards these 5 key areas please get in touch with me and/or your line manager know. This is on on-going process to embed this in the culture at Move On and this is not an extensive list of what we are doing this is just some examples of what we have done or are working on so far.
For more information, please contact Amy on firstname.lastname@example.org or you can phone on 07395788688
The information in this blog post is based on information from the NHS Transforming Psychological Trauma Knowledge and Skills Framework and Training Plan and Move On’s knowledge and practice.