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The six principles of trauma informed practice

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The 6 core principles

While training sessions are an essential part of becoming more trauma-informed through improving staff knowledge and attitudes of trauma-informed approaches, they alone will not make a system trauma-informed.

Blissett et al., 2022.

To promote a culture embedding the Trauma Informed Principles, we need to develop a multi-faceted response with the 6 Trauma Principles at the core. Organisations don’t change behaviour people do, we need to create a sense of Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement. (Hiatt et al 2006).

Recognise change is personal – theories of change need to reflect that change is about people and relationships. Lived experience can play a central role in the development of the Theory of Change.

(Abercrombie et al. 2018)

Our Trauma Informed Training

We have created a suite of training packages to support public services in embedding TIP (Trauma Informed Practice).

These training packages are available to all Merseyside Public Services and are FREE.

If you wish to book on the training this can be done through the website.


10 minutes mindfulness

Stress is the body’s way of reacting to threat, challenge, physical or psychological barrier.

Compassion and dependability

Having compassion for ourselves can really support collective compassion within settings, using RAIN in Recognising, so consciously acknowledging in any given moment your thoughts, feelings and the behaviours that are affecting you. You don’t have to shout this out, just whisper to yourself what is going on and what you are aware of.

Allow that experience to be there, try not to be judgemental (harder than it sounds) but just let it be as it is. Letting your thoughts, feelings and emotions and/or sensations be there without trying to fix them. This time that you are taking creates a pause that makes it more possible to deepen your own attention.

Investigating (using your curiosity to gain more insight) your present experience, a desire to know the truth and focus your attention, ask yourself what is most looking for my attention? How does this feel within my body? What belief is sitting behind this feeling?

Self compassion comes when we can Nurture ourselves. Be conscious of how you speak to yourself, what words do you use? If you could be your own best friend, how would you want to be treated – with love, companionship, reassurance?

Cultural humility

Cultural Humility requires a practice of self reflection, a level of curiosity and respectfulness and the leaving of assumptions at the door. It requires a willingness to learn from others and an understanding of power imbalances and dynamics with a desire to address these and advocate against them.

It is a commitment to self-evaluation and self-critique where the individual learns about other cultures, but also starts with an examination of her/his/they’re own beliefs and cultural identities.

It requires institutional accountability.


Remember building trust takes time.

Responsiveness image

Safety and stability

Creating a sense of safety opens up our brains to learning, allows us to connect with others, build positive relationships, have a sense of belonging and reach self actualisation. If we create a culture of safety and stability in settings we can help individuals open their sails.

Collaboration and empowerment

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Helen Keller

Resilience and recovery

Coherence theory helps explain the process of recovery for those struggling with mental health issues.

There is substantial evidence that having a sense of coherence plays a central role in coping with stressors in the rehabilitation/recovery process and that it contributes to mental health and psychosocial functioning.

Finding balance across our lives can support building coherence.

Understanding how we are susceptible to vicarious trauma when we don’t find balance can support policy change to ensure opportunity for colleagues to talk to one another. Supervision or group supervision can support us not taking vicarious trauma home and preventing burn out.

Self care can support finding the balance and if this is written into your daily schedule and embedded it takes away the guilt of taking the time for yourself. If we think about the advice we get are on a plane, should the air mask deploy – put your own on first.

To be able to support, interact and work with others we have to think about how we build self awareness and develop resilience within ourselves first.

What works at one time for you may not work at another, as we grow and change so does our experience and needs.

Understanding that we need to be flexible in our approach in how we take to take care of ourselves is really important.

Self care is about having the openness to deal with what comes and surrounding yourself with what works for you at that time.

There are many roads to resilience, and what works for you may not work for others, it is really important when working with individuals who may have experienced trauma discovering what is important to them and what works for them, will support connection and growth, we all have our own metacognitive strategies.

Place Matters

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Place Matters – Supporting Child Development