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Effective Interventions in Working with Trauma is a 2-day workshop designed with social workers and child & youth care workers in mind and is approved by SACSSP for 10 CPD. While CYC workers will not perform counselling or therapy, part of their scope includes creating therapeutic environments and this is an aspect that is included in this workshop. Other practitioners such as registered counsellors and educators are also welcome to attend, but CPD points are not guaranteed.
The programme for the workshop focuses on the following:
- Implementing interventions for trauma require an understanding of trauma, in particular normal and abnormal responses to trauma. Not everyone exposed to such incidents require counselling, in fact, counselling can do harm. It is important for early responders and counsellors alike to be able to assess the circumstances of each individual in order to formulate the most appropriate response. This workshop therefore deals with prevention, early intervention and secondary intervention (counselling).
- Prevention deals with childhood adversity and toxic stress which leads to complex trauma. Understanding the origins and pathway of trauma allows practitioners to educate parents, teachers and community support systems on trauma and prevent or interrupt its development early in the life of the individual.
- Early intervention is a focus on trauma support work or psychological first aid – interventions designed to address the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event. This is a very practical session and the focus is on teaching workshop participants how to intervene immediately following exposure to a traumatic event.
- Secondary intervention or counselling deals with the development of long-term negative effects of trauma such as post-traumatic stress disorder and interventions to facilitate recovery. Discussion of various approaches will take place with an emphasis on the “strategy” rather than teaching the skills of various interventions – this would require additional training. In particular, the WITS-model will be highlighted as a South African intervention that is appropriate in most instances where counselling is needed and the steps of using this model will be discussed.
- Practitioners are often called in to assist when trauma occurs in the workplace, e.g. in the form of traumatic workplace injuries or crime. Providing support to groups of people require special considerations and these are discussed with reference to practical examples. Managers often do not know how to respond and can unknowingly add to the trauma of their workers. Often there is a call for immediate “debriefing” of a group of workers to take place. This “group debriefing” is discussed in a very practical way and suggestions are made for the best way to proceed in such situations. Reference is also made to the ethical difficulties often encountered with group support.
- Trauma can be addressed on micro (individual) and meso/macro (groups/communities) levels. Some focus is therefore devoted to strategies for creating trauma-informed environments, in particular organisations who deal with trauma as well as schools. In some schools, 100% of children are exposed to trauma – this makes individual counselling an impractical response. Creating trauma sensitive environments in schools can greatly reduce the negative impact of trauma and pave the way for recovery.
- Secondary and vicarious trauma is a risk for every practitioner who works with trauma. It is important to identify the early signs of secondary and vicarious trauma and to work to prevent or respond to it.
Sufficient registrations are required to proceed with workshops. In the unlikely event that not enough participants register, a workshop may be cancelled. In such an event, if participants already paid for registration, they will be refunded.
Discussion groups for social workers on various trauma-related topics are also available and are CPD accredited by SACSSP. Discussion groups are not training sessions and although basic information on the topic is presented, the format is much more interactive and therefore participants should be prepared to participants actively. No notes are provided for discussion groups, but participants are free to take their own notes.