The Difference Between Being Trauma Aware and Trauma Informed

Sep 01, 2023

Lucy here - ½ of The Whole Health Project. 

In recent years, the recognition of trauma and its impact on individuals has gained significant attention. Professionals across various fields, from education to healthcare, have begun to adopt trauma-aware practices to better support their clients and students. 

However, it is essential to distinguish between being trauma aware and trauma informed

Both approaches are vital in creating safe environments and promoting healing, but they differ in their level of understanding and application. 

Trauma Awareness:
Being trauma aware involves recognising the prevalence of trauma and its potential effects on individuals. A trauma aware individual or organisation acknowledges that trauma is widespread and that many people have experienced adverse events that can significantly impact their lives. This awareness is a crucial starting point, as it helps remove the stigma surrounding trauma, compassionate and understanding approach and offers vital tools to support your clients and students.

Trauma awareness involves understanding the various forms of trauma and recognising the symptoms and reactions that may manifest in individuals who have experienced trauma.

This foundational knowledge enables individuals to approach interactions with empathy and sensitivity, creating an environment that feels safe and supportive for your students or clients.

Trauma-Informed Approach:
While trauma awareness is an essential first step, being trauma informed takes the understanding (and the practitioner’s training) to a higher level. Being trauma informed requires a comprehensive understanding of the neurobiology of trauma and its potential long-term consequences on physical, mental, and emotional well-being. 

Trauma-informed professionals are trained to identify trauma triggers and respond to and support their clients appropriately to help them process and heal from their experiences.

So how is this relevant to you as a practitioner, teacher, coach or healer?

While you may not have the years spare to train as a specialist (psychologist or psychotherapist i.e. trauma informed) you can become trauma
aware and better support your students with a basic understanding of what trauma is, how it can show up and how you can create a safe (as possible) space for you students. 

With safer spaces and facilitation, your students and our wider communities are able to heal and grow individually and collectively, and that’s what we’re here for. 

Are you ready to become Trauma Aware?

We’ve made our Trauma Aware Facilitation Training available to start as soon as you sign up. The training is spread over 3 modules which can be watched and digested in your own time. It can either be purchased as a standalone training or, if you join any of The Whole Health Project's online practitioner trainings (25 Hour Breath Coach Training, 25 Hour Meditation Teacher Training and Yin Yoga Teacher Training) you will automatically get access to the training.

After the training, you’ll have gained a better idea of what trauma is, how it can show up in your clients and students, and how to support them within your role as a coach, teacher or facilitator. We dive into how Trauma is created, how it affects the brain, and the nervous system and how it shows up in our behaviour and experience of life. 

Click here to find out more and to sign up. 

With love,