What is Trauma-Informed Therapy Training?

Dave Clifton

Healthcare trauma can leave lasting scars on patients, affecting them long after their physical wounds have healed. The echoes of trauma can disrupt their daily lives, relationships, and overall well-being. This reality underscores the importance of trauma-informed therapy training for healthcare professionals. Caregivers should be equipped with the knowledge and skills to recognize and address trauma’s long-term effects.

By understanding and integrating the principles of trauma-informed care, healthcare professionals can create a safe, supportive environment that fosters healing and recovery. In this article, we delve into why trauma-informed therapy training is essential for healthcare providers. We explore how regular training empowers professionals to offer the most effective, empathetic care possible, ultimately helping patients navigate their journey to recovery.

What is Trauma-Informed Therapy?

Trauma-informed care shifts the focus from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?”, according to the Trauma Informed Implementation Resource Center. A trauma-informed approach takes trauma-informed care principles and applies them to therapy training that health care organizations and care teams need to have a complete picture of a patient’s life situation — past and present — in order to provide effective health care services with a healing orientation.

Adopting trauma-informed practices can potentially improve patient engagement, treatment adherence, and health outcomes, as well as provider and staff wellness. It can also help reduce avoidable care and excess costs for both the health care and social service sectors. Trauma-informed therapy seeks to:

  • Realize the widespread impact of trauma and understand paths for recovery;
  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in patients, families, and staff;
  • Integrate knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; and
  • Actively avoid re-traumatization.

Professionals trained in this approach range from psychologists and psychiatrists to nurses, social workers, and other healthcare workers. These caregivers work together to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive care plan that addresses the multifaceted needs of trauma survivors. The positive outcomes of trauma-informed therapy include reduced symptoms of PTSD, depression, and anxiety; improved self-esteem; and better overall quality of life.

Key Principles of Trauma-Informed Therapy

When patients feel heard, understood, and respected by their healthcare providers, they’re more likely to actively participate in their treatment plans and experience better overall health outcomes. Listening is one of the key principles of trauma-informed therapy. Here are a few others:

  • A feeling of safety. Ensuring that patients and staff feel physically and psychologically safe throughout the organization.
  • Transparency. Making decisions with transparency to build and maintain trust between patients and providers.
  • Support and shared experiences. Integrating individuals with shared experiences into the organization, recognizing their role in service delivery.
  • Collaboration. Leveling power differences between staff and clients to support shared decision-making.
  • Empowerment. Recognizing and validating patient and staff strengths, believing in resilience, and promoting healing from trauma.
  • Humility. Acknowledging biases, stereotypes, and historical trauma, and addressing them appropriately.

Trauma-Informed Therapy Training: Key Learning Areas

Trauma-informed therapy is a required part of behavioral health training for many healthcare organizations. Introducing trauma-informed therapy training is pivotal in equipping healthcare professionals with the skills necessary to effectively support trauma survivors. Key learning areas include:

  • Understanding the nature and impact of trauma
  • Recognizing the signs and symptoms of trauma in patients
  • Applying trauma-informed principles in practice
  • Creating a safe, empathetic environment for trauma survivors
  • Engaging in self-care to prevent caregiver burnout

Healthcare professionals can access this training through accredited continuing education programs, online courses, workshops, and as part of a regular work-based training platform like MedTrainer.

MedTrainer Learning for Trauma-Informed Therapy Training

Trauma-informed therapy training is great for patient well-being and your organization’s business health. In addition to improving patient outcomes, this training equips healthcare staff with the tools to better manage what can be highly stressful cases and improves morale by empowering caregivers to deliver positive, effective services.

Employers can lower costs by reducing staff turnover and mitigating legal/regulatory penalties for poor patient outcomes. Trauma-informed therapy training is also a powerful competitive differentiator for attracting top talent.

MedTrainer Learning offers three trauma-informed educational courses through MedTrainer Learning, an enterprise cloud-based software with the largest proprietary course library of healthcare content curated specifically to meet the requirements of regulatory and accreditation organizations. New and updated courses are added every month, so you never have to worry if training is up-to-date.

MedTrainer offers all the conveniences of a modern learning management system including automated completion reminders, assessments with every course, and the ability to upload your own training. Course completions are automatically tracked and customizable reporting means that you are always survey ready. Explore how MedTrainer supports trauma-informed therapy training.


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