I have been posting a great deal about the impact of trauma to both children and adults. As you also may know, Lakeside has a significant role in professional development training for professionals who work with trauma-impacted children, adults and families. We have provided exhaustive written curriculum and developed our training staff.
Lakeside has trained over 5000 professionals in the information and skills of trauma-informed care.
Recently, we were asked to consider being a part of a significant grant that involved trauma education at a national level. As we shared with a collaborative group who were responsible for writing the grant, we began to have significant discussions about how to sustain the training through the development of a strong train-the-trainers model.
One of our discoveries has been that the quality of the trainers affects the efficacy of the training. This is not a field of education in which we can compromise the integrity and complexity of the subject of trauma, nor in how it is delivered.
As we grow in our scope of training, we recognize all the more that those who do trauma education must have a high level of sensitivity with skills and knowledge to be capable to transfer our training, but also to provide a safe and caring environment within our trauma courses.
If our trainer’s are not mindful in their approach each day, then some pretty difficult moments can occur within the training process that may have results that will negatively impact those we train.
Here are just a few of the values that we think are extremely important.
Trainers in trauma should:
- Possess the latest research and knowledge on the topic of trauma
- Have a non-judgmental approach
- Can demonstrate ability to actively listen
- Have a thorough working knowledge of group dynamics
- Can keep a group cohesive by keeping healthy group ground rules
- Know and demonstrate an ability to transfer information effectively
- Are good at facilitating meaningful exercises
- Are extremely nurturing in their approach to participants
- Know how to process information with participants
- Can keep the group environment safe
- Can work with other trainers
- Are always reading and growing in their own knowledge and training skills
- Are both humbled and energized to help trauma-impacted children and adults
- Have strong capacity to relate to many types of individuals with resonance and support
- Are extremely self-aware of their impact to a group
This is not a subject that once you learn the “facts” you can train those facts.
This is also not a topic you can simply read the manual and train it.
It takes a great deal of relational skills, groups skills and trauma knowledge in order to be able to handle such a complex, pervasive and difficult set of issues.
Some of the classroom dynamics are deeply emotional and sometimes devastating, and trainers need to be able to manage those very sensitive situations with extremely supportive impact. It is why we always have two trainers in every live or broadcast session. They can team up to handle spontaneous, challenging situations they encounter in each session.
As experts in the field of trauma…
We believe one of the major keys to trauma-informed systems is the quality of our trainers and how they are mentored. As in anything in life, putting in the work and time with high standards will facilitate the impact of our training.
This topic is too important to take short cuts and short-change those we train.
We want them to be both trauma-informed and trauma-competent in dealing with those individuals who are dealing with trauma-impacted children and adults.
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside