Trauma responsive/ informed practice is being spoken about a lot these days, and for good reason. In the last few years, the enormous impact that trauma has on children’s ability to engage with education is becoming more widely recognised.
What is a trauma responsive school?
A school where educators are aware that there are children in the school who have experienced traumatic experiences or events, and that they understand how these experiences can impact on behaviour, learning and development. In practice it means that educators recognise and respond to the children with empathy and create an environment of safety, trust and support.
Where can I learn more?
I would recommend checking out the following. I have tried to keep the suggested resources as relevant to an Irish context as possible.
“The Body Keeps the Score” by Vessel A. van der Kolk
“What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience and Healing” by Dr. Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey
“Creating Trauma-Informed, Strengths-Based Classrooms: Teacher Strategies for Nurturing Students’ Healing, Growth and learning” by Tom Brunzell
The Treasure Within Therapy is run by former primary school teacher, and now child psychotherapist and play therapist, Aideen Flynn. She offers excellent in school staff CPS, online courses through the education centres, and shares helpful tips and insights on her Instagram page.
Trauma Responsive Education is a social enterprise which is committed to building safe learning environments, attuned to the needs of traumatised children. They offer webinars, training courses, and in school CPD.
RTE Radio 1 did a short feature on Nurture Rooms that was excellent on 25th August 2021. Listen here. There is also an excellent Irish Times article on Nurture Rooms here.
Ray Darcy did an excellent interview with renowned trauma expert Dr. Gabor Maté on 10th October 2022. Listen here.
The 2 Norries Podcast is excellent. It is by 2 Cork men who grew up in very disadvantaged circumstances and who experienced a lot of trauma as children. They speak a lot about trauma, addition, and their own road to recovery.
The Blind Boy Podcast has an excellent interview on trauma with expert Dr. Sharon Lambert.
Notes: I have not been paid or asked to endorse any of the above. They are simply suggestions of resources that I have found helpful when learning about this topic.