Training: understanding and responding to… | Full Stop Australia

Training: understanding and responding to complex trauma

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About complex trauma

Complex trauma resulting from sexual, domestic and family violence is a significant national health and welfare issue. It affects people of all ages and from all backgrounds, and predominantly it affects women and children. There is a strong correlation between complex trauma and poor physical, psychosocial and mental health. Victim-survivors with complex psychosocial, psychological and physical health needs will present to a range of entry points to the health and welfare systems. When their needs are not met, it can lead to:

  • an exacerbation of unmet needs, including health and psychosocial issues
  • an increased risk of further victimisation
  • a compounding of existing trauma-related mental health problems.

The relationship between trauma and the ongoing needs of victim-survivors is complex and requires collaboration between multiple service sectors to provide effective care for improved wellbeing. However, efforts of integrated and collaborative service delivery are often by a lack of understanding of complex trauma and the needs of victim-survivors.

The training was brilliant- one of the best I have ever attended. I loved the face-to-face element which allowed many perspectives form people in different disciplines. I still talk about this training to everyone!

- Domestic & Family Violence Caseworker
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About this training

The new Full Stop Australia (FSA) complex trauma training module develops practitioners' understanding of complex trauma and innovative ways of working with victim-survivors in an integrated and collaborative framework.

Highlights of the training package include:

  • an examination of the multifaceted effects of complex trauma
  • a robust discussion of the challenges formal trauma diagnoses
  • a reflection of the political (often gendered nature) of diagnosis
  • an explicit discussion of trauma-informed care and trauma specialist frameworks
  • an integrated theoretical framework centred on:
    • incorporation of the drivers of gender-based violence and an intersectional feminist lens from a social-ecological perspective
    • the utilisation of the Power Threat Meaning Framework
    • reflection of the centrality of perpetrator accountability
    • theories that support trauma specialist work
    • integration of intersectional and culturally safe practices.
  • provision of practical therapeutic skills and knowledge of responding to victim-survivors of complex trauma
  • well-conceived opportunities for critical reflection of past and current practice for learners
  • ‘problem-based’ learning opportunities and a focus on the practical application of theory into practice.
  • focus on learner/group safety and self-care

The FSA complex trauma training package provides services and participants greater flexibility where participants can attend training as whole day(s) or half-day(s) (4 hours) training modules, depending on their learning needs. Modules can be delivered online or face-to-face.

Module 1: Introduction to complex trauma part 1

This module will discuss trauma-informed and social-ecological lenses for understanding and responding to trauma and violence, the prevalence of complex trauma, a definitional knowledge of complex trauma, and different paradigms to understand complex trauma.

Module 2: Introduction to complex trauma part 2

This module will explore the impacts of trauma, neuroplasticity and possibilities of trauma recovery, applying the Power Threat Meaning Framework to work with clients, appraising common tools used in trauma screening, identification and assessment.

Module 3: Therapeutic ways of working with complex trauma part 1 (precontemplation, safety and stabilisation)

This module provides the foundational principles of complex trauma therapeutic recovery work, an overview of the FSA phased approach to complex trauma, and an in-depth understanding of the ‘precontemplation’ and ‘safety and stabilisation’ phases, including key strategies and techniques for working with clients in these stages.

Module 4: Therapeutic ways of working with complex trauma (trauma processing and recovery integration and connection)

This module provides an in-depth understanding of the ‘trauma processing’ and ‘recovery integration and connection’ phases of therapeutic trauma recovery work. This module will also include critical strategies and techniques for working with clients in these stages.

Module 1 is a prerequisite for module 2

Modules 1 and 2 are prerequisites for module 3

Modules 1, 2 and 3 are prerequisites for module 4

Duration Appropriate for Maximum participants
2 days Counsellors, social workers, psychologists working with clients with complex trauma needs 20

Wonderful, thought provoking experience. Lots of tools in tool bag. Instantly translatable to clinic. Thanks - brilliant facilitation by Chris - informative, inspirational, humour, humility.

- Participant
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