Trauma Informed Practice Principles
As an employer it is important to be aware of Trauma Informed Practice Principles, mostly because your employees need to feel as though they’re in a safe space to discuss any issues they’re dealing with and feel confident that they can get the support they need. There are five key principles which will help employers to gather the knowledge necessary to become a helpful support unit to all employees. To guide you, ICENA will talk you through Trauma Informed Practice Principles to give you the best tips on how to support all workers.
What is Trauma Informed Care?
Trauma Informed Care is a necessary approach in many businesses to support employees with whatever they may have gone through in the past. When dealing with any medical concerns, it will allow the employers to be more present and aware that alternative factors may contribute to any current problems individuals may be facing.
The practice pushes empathy and respect while encouraging the appropriate response to the effects of trauma across the board. The main aim is to make a system to shift the standard question of, “What is wrong with this person?”, to, “What has happened to this person?”
This allows for individuals to feel more accepted and at ease with dealing with their trauma, rather than ridiculed because of it. It’s important to remember that trauma can be related to all types of different incidents, so it is necessary to understand the practices in a way that is appropriate to all people who may have experienced trauma.
Trauma Informed Care
Understanding individuals and how to support all people across the board is a beneficial life skill. When people are going through something traumatic, or even if they’re still dealing with the trauma, it can have a negative effect on their person. Whether this is their motivation, their self-worth or self-care, people dealing with trauma are likely to be affected in some way.
As such, it’s important for employers to be aware of trauma and the impact it can have, while understanding how best to support team members. Changes in policies and general procedures to adapt to trauma is a great aspect of any company, as it shows individuals that they are fully supported throughout their struggles.
Once a company fully integrates Trauma Informed Care into their policies, the next step is to ensure that all staff members can recognise the signs of trauma and can adapt their practices around the office and thereby showing compassion and respect for all employees.
Re-traumatisation can take place in a number of ways, including discussions, situations which resemble an individual’s trauma, being treated as a statistic, and many other examples. Unwelcome conversations can trigger challenging feelings and force people to face re-traumatisation. A vast majority of the time re-traumatisation can be unintentional, so it’s important to be aware of the practices to try to avoid any unwanted situations. Some things which can cause re-traumatisation can appear more obvious, however there are things like music, smells and colours which can result in re-traumatisation.
The trauma doesn’t need to be recent, historical trauma can also reoccur through traumatisation; this can cause a challenge for individuals when it comes to seeking help, so it’s important to be cautious and work closely with your employees to ensure everyone understands how to deal with trauma.
The 5 Principles of Trauma Informed Care
There are five key principles of Trauma Informed Care, the more your employees know, the more likely you’ll be able to create a suitable working environment which encourages self-care and self-help. At ICENA we have broken it down for employers to support organisations in gaining a further understanding of Trauma Informed Care. The principles including the following:
As an employer you need to ensure you have a safe environment both physically and mentally. In order to put this into accurate practice, you should create areas for a break for both group meetings and private meetings. It’s helpful to people who are struggling to have space to sit by themselves either in a separate area or even in a separate room. Making a safe and secure environment can be the difference between someone feeling comfortable enough to speak should they so need, or people feeling unwelcome and unmotivated within their environment. Safety practices are certainly vital for any organisation.
Understanding the right to both choose whether to discuss trauma or to take time away from the office to ensure your mental wellbeing is a priority is important within the workplace. Therefore, any and all organisations should make their procedures and practices clear to allow employees to know what options they have available to them. A full understanding of their rights and responsibilities when it comes to self-care needs to be made clear to all employees, particularly if you recognise they are struggling by any means.
A collaborative approach in decision making is always preferable, employees should be able to be kept up to date every step of the way when it comes to making decisions about time off. Similarly, employees should be able to have a say when it comes to how they believe the workplace could make improvements. This can be done through evaluation of practices and future planning.
Personal boundaries and consistency is key when it comes to reporting any challenges which may arise as an employee, therefore, employers should implement practices which support as such. Boundaries are essential for multiple reasons, but mostly so employees feel confident and comfortable in speaking about any challenges they may have while knowing that their concerns will not be repeated. This needs to be implemented across the board, and no employee should be treated differently depending on circumstances.
If you’re an organisation which promotes empowerment, your employees will feel more appreciated and valued, particularly if this is across all areas. Once you’ve established a strong relationship with your employees, you’ll create a more comfortable workforce and therefore allow those in your company to feel as though they can discuss specific work arrangements and changes to help support their self care.
If you need any help in putting any of the practices in place, ICENA can help you with our Informed Trauma Training Course.