Four Ways We Can Be Sensitive to Trauma at Work - Deepstash
Four Ways We Can Be Sensitive to Trauma at Work

Four Ways We Can Be Sensitive to Trauma at Work

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Trauma is basically a harmful personal experience that affects our well-being, even after the experience is over.

Harmful personal experiences can range from extreme changes, unexpected losses, high levels of uncertainty, etc., and experiencing such creates an adverse impact on well-being by showing symptoms of anxiety and depression, poor physical and mental health, poor regulation of sleep, eating, and emotions.


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What Trauma Does To Our Brain

What Trauma Does To Our Brain

Trauma can affect the brain by manifesting as a heightened and prolonged stress response that can impair the functioning of key parts of the brain that are responsible for executive functioning, impulse control, and emotional regulation.

However, what is perceived as traumatic for one person may be perceived differently for another. There is no one-size-fits-all rubric for assessing what is traumatic and what isn't, which is why we need to learn trauma-informed approaches.


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Trauma-Informed Approaches

A trauma-informed approach begins with understanding the physical, social, and emotional impact of trauma on the individual.

This approach incorporates three elements:

  1. Realizing the prevalence of trauma
  2. Recognizing how trauma affects all individuals involved with the program, organization, including its own workforce; and
  3. Responding by putting this knowledge into practice

By being trauma-informed, it allows us to understand their potential paths for healing, recognize the signs and symptoms in staff, and put knowledge into policies, procedures, and settings.


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The 4 Rs of Understanding The Trauma-Informed Approach

The 4 Rs of Understanding The Trauma-Informed Approach

  • Realization: where everyone understands the widespread potential of trauma and how it affects employees
  • Recognize: where people can recognize common signs of trauma
  • Response: where organizations respond to the potential prevalence of trauma by embedding practices and behaviors that are sensitive to this reality
  • Resist re-traumatization: by paying careful attention as to not create a stressful or toxic environment that can re-traumatize individuals


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Implementing Trauma-Informed Approaches

Implementing Trauma-Informed Approaches

Implementing trauma-informed approaches cannot be done overnight but this is a sustainable management technique.

It is important to infuse compassion into the workplace and the people from the top should also believe that it is a worthwhile endeavor.

In order to incorporate compassion in the workplace, we can ensure that compassion is a core corporate value and infuse it throughout the employee life cycle then you can begin to roll out the 4 Rs into your organization.


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"The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”- John Maxwell


There are some employers who still don't realize how much trauma their people may have experienced or are experiencing. Maybe they're not convinced that they can do anything or should do anything to help employees who are struggling.

Valentina M.'s ideas are part of this journey:

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