Introduction to Trauma Informed Care

Training Course Overview

Introduction to trauma-informed care: safety, support and meeting the standards

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  • 2 day class
  • This course was held in February and registrations are now closed
  • I will be running this course again through Vicserv on 11-12 July 2013 (read more here)
  • This course is also available for customised delivery at your organisation. Contact me to find out more.
  • If you would like to be kept informed of when I offer this course again please join my mailing list above select the option to be kept informed about this course.



While we don’t all need to be trauma counsellors, all Victorian mental health services are now required to be trauma-informed. And given that at least 85% of consumers have experienced trauma, this is an important shift towards recovery orientated services.

The impacts of trauma affect people in different ways and can be related to anxiety, depression, dissociation, self-harm, hearing voices and paranoia. Trauma can take many forms, including but not limited to physical and sexual assault, psychological abuse, bullying, dislocation, neglect and exposure to the trauma of others, such as growing up in an environment of domestic abuse.

In reality, trauma-informed services are still far from common practice. There are many reasons for this, one of the most widespread being the fear of workers that we will open the proverbial ‘can of worms’ and potentially do more harm than good. While it is true that trauma work can be triggering and difficult, the impacts of systemically avoiding discussions about trauma are even worse – we leave people isolated in their shame and fear, invalidated in their experiences, and without the support that they need to overcome their distress.

This course is not about how to counsel those who have experienced trauma. It is about how we can all work in more supportive ways – as individuals and organisations – within the context of trauma. This includes understanding what trauma is, the impacts of trauma, supporting disclosure, responding to disclosure in recovery-oriented ways, and ensuring that our service delivery is always sensitive to the experience of trauma. Course material will include a balance of different approaches, including both lived experience and professional perspectives.

Course Content

Module 1
Defining trauma; impacts of trauma and relationship to mental health; self-care and debriefing within training (3 hours).

Module 2
Standards of practice; different approaches to trauma-informed care; personal and systemic barriers to working with trauma (3 hours).

Module 3
Creating safe and respectful environments for working with trauma; self-care for workers; safety for participants (3 hours).

Module 4
What trauma-informed services actually do; supporting and responding to disclosure; referrals and further resources (3 hours).

Suitable for

All clinical and community mental health workers and managers, consumers and carers, friends and family.


Experiences of trauma are not restricted to consumers, and this material can be difficult for many learners. The course delivery will be sensitive to this, and obviously triggering material, such as explicit details of trauma, will not be overly emphasised. Debriefing for attendees, physical grounding strategies, and personal safety information and referral sheets, will be used at each module.

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  1. Do you have plans to conduct the training in Western Australia?

    • Hi Paul, No plans at the moment, but I’d love to come over if there was enough interest! I do run my courses interstate fairly regularly but so far it’s always been when an organisation hires me to offer the course inhouse to its staff. Let me know if I can provide any more info about this. Cheers, Indigo

  2. I see I am too late for this course. Will it be run again sometime?

    • Hi Katharine,

      I will be running this course in July at Vicserv – this is the link to the registration page. I do hope to run this course again towards the end of this year too, so if I don’t see you in July I’ll let you know.

      Cheers, Indigo

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