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Trauma Informed Practice and Interview Skills

Trauma Informed Practice and Interview Skills
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Length:           3 sessions - see timings for each session below

Group Size:     5 - 25

Audience:       HR / legal / wellbeing / other employees in roles where they have to hold difficult conversations 


This focused course will increase your HR/legal/wellbeing teams' awareness, literacy, competence and confidence to carry out difficult conversations with individuals who may be upset and/or traumatised. The course incorporates the principles of a trauma-informed approach, so that participates learn how to create and maintain conditions where employees can fully engage with the conversations.

Participants will be able to put their learning into practice, with a large part of the course dedicated to role-play and case study scenarios and the course will be led by a clinician who is experienced in trauma-informed practice.

The training will be broken into three separate sessions to allow time for reflection and implementation of principles learned, before moving onto the next stage of learning, as follows:

Session 1    Theory: Trauma-Informed Practice – 1.5 hours

Session 2   Practice: how to have emotionally difficult conversations with people who may have experienced trauma – 2.5 hours

Session 3    Reflection and further roleplay practice – 90 minutes

Course outcomes

  • Understanding what is meant by trauma and how it can impact individuals
  • Recognising signs that someone might be traumatized – including non-verbal signals
  • Key principles of a trauma-informed approach
  • How to carry out trauma-informed interviews – theory and in practice
  • De-escalation and intervention skills for emotional and/or tense situations
  • Awareness of the importance of setting boundaries and how to do so
  • Understanding of how to practice self-care

Course content

Session 1:   Theory, Trauma-Informed Practice -  1.5 hours

1. Understanding what is meant by trauma

  • Definition of trauma
  • What kinds of trauma are there?
  • Prevalence
  • Not all events that might be traumatic lead to long-standing difficulties (Importance of resilience and creating safe spaces. Link with providing reports for court and the need to complete a work-task, but also to try not to add to the trauma burden)
  • Experiencing a trauma does not necessarily mean you have a psychiatric illness
  • Definition of vicarious trauma
  • Psychiatric definitions of trauma related difficulties

2. What is a trauma-informed way of working?

  • Trauma is everyone’s business
  • Working responsively
  • Recognising importance of wellbeing in the workforce
  • Recognising that trauma exists
  • Responding in ways that prevent further harm
  • Recognising when someone may have been traumatised
  • How you take that into account to support wellbeing
  • Encouraging people to have control, empowerment and safety
  • Doing no harm
  • Supporting resilience

3. Understanding how trauma can impact on individuals

  • Trauma and its effects on the brain
  • Trauma and its effects on the body
  • Trauma and its effects on relationships
  • Trauma and cognition (in relation to work performance)

4. How might someone who has been traumatised come across at interview?

  • The limbic system – amygdala and the internal alarm system. How this system impacts on the mentalizing system.
  • Fight
  • Flight
  • Freeze
  • Emotional arousal and dysregulation

Session 2:  Theory into practice - 2.5 hours

How to have emotionally difficult conversations with people who may have experienced trauma and some real-world strategies to help with trauma.

1. How to have difficult conversations

  • Empathy vs sympathy
  • Empathy does not mean taking sides
  • Mentalizing as a concept

2. How to help people manage their emotional state

  • Empathy as a means to help people regulate their emotions and think at interview (cognition and affect as linked systems)
  • Using cognitive strategies to help people in these situations
  • Slowing things down
  • Not medicalising the problem
  • Finding the right time to have these conversations

3. How to avoid re-traumatization

  • Helping people feel in control
  • Giving people ways to empower them to pause, regulate and not get overwhelmed
  • Being prepared to “park” discussions at times

4. Keeping yourself safe and well

  • Mindfulness skills
  • Work-life balance
  • Finding your own spaces to process things
  • Putting your own oxygen mask on first

5. Q & A

Session 3:   Follow up session - 90 mins

1.  Reflection

  • Coming back and reflecting on the initial two sessions:
  • How has using the practical skills gone?
  • What has worked/what hasn’t worked?
  • Potential barriers/challenges

2. Time for more vignettes / roleplay

3. Q & A

Contact us  to book and for more details about the course.

Find out more about  how we approach training and learning , and about our  expert training associates