Recognising the impact of trauma and building resilience

Overwhelming toxic stress and trauma impacts on our whole physiology: mental and physical health. Attachment relationships are the basis for optimal brain function throughout life and provide a powerful tool in promoting recovery from trauma.

'As the ACE study has shown, child abuse and neglect is the single most preventable cause of mental illness, the single most common cause of drug and alcohol abuse, and a significant contributor to leading causes of death such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and suicide.'

Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

The need

Health professionals working with vulnerable individuals need to be able to recognise the impact of unmet attachment needs and trauma, and to have skills in working effectively to ensure that traumatised children, young people and adults can recover and build resilience. Practitioners have been finding that this new insight into the power of caring connections between humans, alongside an understanding of the impact of toxic stress and trauma, can transform practice in services for people at all stages of life.

Our support

Our training and consultancy offers key knowledge areas such as:

  • Five to Thrive for life: Building brains, building resilience
  • Behaviour and the physical environment
  • Narrative work and identity
  • Secondary trauma: developing reflective practice, preventing and managing secondary traumatic stress
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'As a therapist I experience a lot of trauma with students within the age range of 18-25 and I will be able to utilise these strategies as well as offer a robust therapeutic service.'

Kent and Medway CCG commissioned services, January 2021

Children and young peoples' mental health

Children and young people with unmet attachment needs and toxic stress disorders may present with a wide range of mental health issues. The behavioural indicators of trauma overlap with the behavioural indicators of a number of syndromes and medical conditions. It is very important that health professionals have the knowledge and skill to recognise the impact of unmet needs and trauma, and to be alert to the possibility that symptoms may have a traumatic origin - and may be resolved if the child can recover from the trauma. Children with organic brain damage as a result of foetal exposure to alcohol may also meet the criteria for numerous other conditions and it is not uncommon for such children to attract multiple diagnoses, without getting the help they need to live with the lifelong impairments of FASD.

Key knowledge areas include:

  • Attachment, trauma and resilience
  • Self-harming behaviours
  • Sexualised behaviours
  • Eating disorders
  • Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder
Health 2

'Overall the workshop made me feel that my own wellbeing is priority and it was refreshing to hear this in training. We as healthcare professionals have so much responsibility, that can cause us to burn out, so having knowledge that it is recognised broadly is reassuring.'

Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service, January 2021

Example Learning Journeys

Once we have a clear understanding of the training needs and the target audience, we will develop a learning journey that offers the best fit in terms of cost, target audience and practice development.