Trauma informed

What is trauma informed?

Trauma informed realises that trauma impacts an individual in multiple ways, from how they view themselves and the world, to how they respond to difficult situations, to how their health can change over time. It recognises the signs and symptoms of trauma in individuals and in their circle of support and community. Trauma informed responds with compassionate practices that understand that the individual has learned many survival and coping strategies over the years and carefully prevents re-traumatisation.

What is trauma?

Trauma is the result of events where the person feels threat of physical or psychological harm or neglect. It might have happened just once, like witnessing a crime, or over a span of time, like childhood abuse. It's the experience of the individual that determines if it's traumatic or not. The individual will usually feel helpless as the traumatising force or person or event has power over them. It may break their trust in themselves and others. Trauma can leave long-lasting effects. It's not unusual for the survivor of trauma to have trouble sleeping, to always be 'on guard', to have trouble trusting others, to feel angry or sad or numb, and to have some health problems such as increased pain, headaches, digestive issues or obstetrical issues.

Trauma informed principles

  1. Safety - your physical, emotional, psychological and relational safety comes first. You'll be treated with dignity and respect and will always have the opportunity to choose where you would like to meet and how you would like the consultation or birth to unfold and who will be there.

  2. Trustworthiness and transparency - trust is built over time through open and honest communication.

  3. Peer support - your circle of support matters and their involvement will be honoured. Peer resources will be offered for your consideration if you like.

  4. Collaboration and mutuality - you are the expert on your life. You may choose to involve others to support your wishes and your wellness but the final decisions are yours.

  5. Empowerment, voice and choice - your wishes, your experience, and your needs will be heard with respect and you can explore all the choices available to you as you determine your best path. Empowerment is a journey of using your voice and walking your path in a way that builds your resilience and wellness.

  6. Cultural, historical and gender issues - no one arrives in a vacuum. You are the product of your culture and your history. Every aspect of your culture, your history and your gender will be respected and honoured as you find the healing path that best suits your uniqueness.

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