Trauma impacts children’s ability to stay calm and focus. It disrupts normal developmental growth and makes learning hard. Parents and teachers can use these 10 trauma sensitive tools to have a calmer classroom (and home):
Model Emotional Self-Regulation by naming and responding to intense feelings.
Clear, Assertive, Comfortable Communication establishes trust and structure.
Use Suggestion Boxes and allow students to express needs and have a voice in their world.
Use “Two-By-Ten” to challenge students for 10 minutes two times a day to build connections.
Use Calming Corners filled with sensory items and thinking puzzles.
Consider Classroom Design to organize, label, and give clear directions.
School Discipline Policies can be communicated clearly and allow students to ask questions to increase ownership and empowerment.
Say “Ouch/Oops” to model social emotional learning skills and manage hurt feelings and conflicts in the classroom.
Take “Brain Breaks” throughout the day to stay grounded, prevent dissociation, and keep present focused.
Use Culturally Responsive and Faith-Based activities to allow the child to feel safe and comfortable and bridge trauma tools used in the home.
These are just a few of the trauma-informed tools and tips you can use when you take our free course at TraumaToolbox.com or contact Ron about holding a trauma-informed workshop at your school or agency. Email Ron at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 805-709-2023 today.
In a recent training on Trauma-Informed Care, I led the group through a mindfulness exercise that explored the nature of suffering. The goal was to bring a higher level of compassion for others in emotional pain.
Suffering refers to the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship. We know, in our heads, that everyone goes through difficult times but in our hearts, we neglect to connect with others, in their pain. This is because we are in pain too!
Professionals, who work with hurt people, are double-agents. They provide trauma-informed care and services to others AND they have experienced trauma too. We can be triggered by others pain and this will result in a distancing of emotions in order to keep ourselves safe. We sometimes call this a “professional distance” or “objectivity.” It might help us feel safer but it will also disconnect us from the heart of what we are trying to do in serving others. How to maintain this balance is the subject for another discussion. In the meantime, try this mindfulness exercise called “Just Like Me…” Examine how you feel before and after reading through it. Use it weekly or as often as you need to reconnect you with others who have experienced trauma and loss.
“Think of someone you like or dislike that you want to expect positive feelings and forgive. It help to think of that person who is similar to you. Take deep breaths and repeat after me…
This person has a body and a mind, just like me.
This person has feelings, emotions, and thoughts, just like me.
This person has in his or her life, experienced physical and emotional pain and suffering, just like me.
This person has at some point been sad, disappointed, angry, or hurt, just like me. This person has felt unworthy or inadequate, just like me.
This person worries and is frightened sometimes, just like me.
This person has longed for friendship, just like me.
This person is learning about life, just like me.
This person wants to be caring and kind to others, just like me.
This person wants to be content with what life has given, just like me.
This person wishes to be free from pain and suffering, just like me.
This person wishes to be safe and healthy, just like me.
This person wishes to be happy, just like me.
This person wishes to be loved, just like me.
Now, allow some wishes for well-being to arise:
I wish that this person have the strength, resources, and social support to navigate the difficulties in life with ease.
I wish that this person be free from pain and suffering.
I wish that this person be peaceful and happy.
I wish that this person be loved.
Because this person is a fellow human being, just like me.”
Need a therapist or trainer on healing from the hurt of trauma? Contact Ron Huxley today at email@example.com.
Trauma affects all levels of society, including the home, school, religious institutions, social service organizations, public and private business, the arts and all areas of culture. A major movement has been occurring, throughout the nation, to change our perspective on trauma-informed approaches. The goal of this movement is to increase sensitivity in client care and prevent re-traumatization.
In order to meet this goal, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has created 4 R’s to guide the individual practitioner and society. These R’s include:
1. Realizing the widespread impact of trauma and understand the potential paths of recovery.
2. Recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved in the system.
3. Respond by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices.
4. and seeks actively to Resist Re-traumatization.
This guidance has resulted in paradoxical shifts that promote Resiliency and Regulation to promote positive Recovery. These “R’s” are essential to the practice of social work and mental health.
As the ideas and practices spread through society, we have to explore lesser recognized R’s of trauma-informed care, including Respect and Relationship. These two R’s are elements of success in creating a trauma-informed (cultural of) care.
There is a Zen saying:
If there is light in the soul,
There is beauty in the person,
If there is beauty in the person,
There will be harmony in the house,
If there is harmony in the house,
There will be order in the nation,
If there is order in the nation,
There will be peace in the world.
Respect starts with the individual – has to start with the individual – and then slowly moves through-out society. It starts with the parent in the home, the social worker in the field, the rabbi in the synagogue, the teacher in the physical education program, the supervisor in the organization. This light sparks from respecting oneself and then it then gets paid forward to others around them. It brings gratitude for beauty in the person and harmony in the “house”. It sustains families and transforms organizations and the world.
Respect is defined as the admiration of someone’s ability, qualities or achievements. It creates an atmosphere that promotes safety for the trauma survivor.
Recruiting, hiring, and retaining trauma-informed staff.
Training behavioral health service providers on the principles of, and evidence-based and emerging best practices relevant to, TIC.
Developing and promoting a set of counselor competencies specific to TIC.
Delineating the responsibilities of counselors and addressing ethical considerations specifically relevant to promoting TIC.
Providing trauma-informed clinical supervision.
Committing to prevention and treatment of secondary trauma of behavioral health professionals within the organization.
All of this must be held in the context of a Relationship. The relationship is the healing factor behind it all. Without relationship, there is no family, no organization, no church, no society. In the science of resiliency, the relationship is how we tip the scale from negative to positive outcomes. One healing relationship in a chaos of trauma can provide enough emotional strength for a child or adult to survive.
Reflect on the “R’s” of Trauma-Informed Care:
1. How has your organization utilized the 4 R’s of Recognize, Realize, Respond, and Resist Retraumatization?
2. What can you do to start or improve on any efforts already done using these 4 R’s?
3. Can you define the concepts of Regulation, Resiliency, and Recovery? Write these definitions on an index card and consider them each time you interact with a co-worker, friend, or client.
4. How have the ideas of Respect and Relationship impacted you personally and/or how have you used these two powerful R’s to move others to more positive outcomes?
~> Need training or consultation on how to implement Trauma-Informed Care into your church, school, or business? Let Ron Huxley help you train your staff or community. Email him today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 805-709-2023.