Single Event Trauma: Guidelines for Initial Trauma Support – Online Workshop

Dates of next workshop:

Part 1: 7 August 2023 (13h00 – 16h00)

Part 2: 8 August 2023 (13h00 – 16h00)

Everyone who works with people also work with trauma.  From natural disasters to violent crime, everyone is affect by trauma – directly or indirectly.  When people have significant resources, such as access to good medical care, strong support systems, stable employment, safe living circumstances and low to moderate stress they are likely to recover normally from exposure to trauma.  In South Africa, however, this can not be said for most people.  When people have few resources and many stressors, such as lack of access to good medical care, lack of stable employment, high levels of conflict, living in unsafe neighbourhoods, mental illness or social isolation, they are likely to experience a complicated recovery from trauma and may need professional help.

To be helpful, knowing what to do and what not to do is essential.

This workshop provides basic guidelines for helpers to provide Trauma Support to individuals or groups who experienced a single, recent traumatic event. Previously called “debriefing”, Trauma Support can help individuals make a normal recovery from trauma while identifying those who need more intensive services.

If you would like to attend the workshop, please read the information below and then click on the link to register.

The workshop includes the following content:

  • Understanding trauma, including:
    • Describing and defining trauma
    • The impact of trauma
    • Risk and protective factors
    • The post-traumatic stress reaction
    • Phases of trauma
  • Principles of process of Trauma Support Work
    • Trauma Support and Psychological First Aid as an approach
    • Psychoeducation
    • Dealing with issues of safety
    • Strengthening social support systems
    • Identifying individuals at risk of complicated recovery
    • Empathic communication
    • Implications for working with individuals and groups
    • Ethical implications

What is not included in this workshop?

This workshop provides basic guidelines to provide Trauma Support to individuals and groups who experienced a recent, single traumatic event. It does not include counselling or therapy for individuals who have developed post-traumatic stress disorder or complex or developmental trauma, or have experienced multiple traumatic events.

Who can attend this workshop?

This workshop can be attended by social workers, social auxiliary workers and child & youth care workers who are registered with SACSSP. However, pre-approved CPD points will only be applicable for social workers. Social auxiliary workers and child & youth care workers can still record their attendance in their CPD portfolio of evidence and submit it for assessment should they receive an audit by SACSSP.

Why is this workshop important?

Implementing interventions for trauma requires an understanding of trauma, in particular normal and abnormal responses to trauma.  Not everyone exposed to such incidents require counselling, in fact, certain interventions have been shown to be harmful and are not recommended.  It is important for early responders and counsellors to be able to assess the circumstances of each individual in order to formulate the most appropriate response.  This workshop focuses on early, initial Trauma Support that is offered immediately (within 1 month) following exposure to a critical event.

Would you like to attend this workshop? Registration has now closed, please contact with any queries.

This workshop is presented online via Zoom and participants must be able to remain on camera for the full duration of the workshop. Please ensure that you have sufficient data/bandwidth to remain online and make provisions for the possibility that your connection could be interrupted by load shedding. The workshop will not be recorded and the only way to participate is by attending the live workshop.

Note that this workshop has two components. (1) Participants keep an electronic journal in which they prepare for the workshop by reviewing recommended content (e.g. reading articles or watching videos) and writing down their reflections. After attending the workshop, they note down their final reflections. This journal is submitted to the facilitator after the workshop and forms part of the evaluation of the workshop. (2) Participants attend the workshop live online, via Zoom.

CPD points have be applied for with SACSSP and the outcome is pending.

Cost of the workshop is R500 per person.

Participants will receive workshop notes and a certificate of attendance.

For more information, e-mail Werner at