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  1. Continuing Professional Development
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Trauma Informed Practice in the Justice System - 3 day course (Online) CPD

Key information

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Delivery of this module will be online due to government-issued guidelines during the Covid-19 pandemic and may be made available face-to-face subject to Public Health England recommendations. Please submit your application and, once reviewed by the module leader, you will receive more specific information about the online delivery of your module and assessments.

Course overview

Please Note: This is a three-day online course taking place on the 17th, 18th and the 19th of November.

This course is an introduction to working with trauma in the Justice System. It is aimed at a range of professionals: police, intermediaries, solicitors and barristers. It will build an understanding of the neuroscience of trauma and how this can impact people.  Drawing from an understanding of the physiology of trauma, this course will explore how Trauma Informed Practice (TIP) can be used effectively. We aim to offer practical suggestions on how to apply this knowledge and how to work more effectively with traumatised individuals.  Likewise, we will be considering how to protect from the insidious effects of secondary trauma.

Building on participants’ knowledge about Trauma Informed Practice, the course will:

  • Introduce key trauma theory, drawing on core texts (Herman, Van der Kolk, Porges, Perry)
  • Examine the neuroscience of trauma and the long-term impact of trauma
  • Explore the impact of trauma on communication
  • Introduce key concepts:
    • dissociation
    • hyper-vigilance
    • window of tolerance
    • emotional regulation
    • secure base (attachment theory)
    • sensory integration-disintegration
  • Use case studies from within the justice system to demonstrate these concepts
  • Consider how trauma may manifest within the justice system
  • Highlight the importance of safety and creating a safe environment
  • Explore techniques for managing trauma
  • Introduce the notion of secondary (vicarious trauma) and explore secondary trauma in the context of the justice system using relevant evidence
  • Explore self-care strategies to prevent and manage secondary trauma
  • Consider the implications of working remotely with trauma
  • Experiential activities will enable an understanding of the effect of trauma, using a variety of approaches to cater for different learning styles.

The City Law School and the School of Health Sciences will deliver this CPD course in conjunction with Intermediaries for Justice (IfJ). This course is for IfJ members only and will be presented by Catherine O'Neill,  Dr Andrea Heverin and Dr Kevin Smith, National Vulnerable Witness Advisor.

For further information on IfJ and how to become a member, please visit IfJ's website. Dr Andrea Heverin

Course outcomes

Course outcomes

Participants will:

  1. Have an understanding of the different types of trauma and their impacts.
  2. Appreciate the fundamental importance of safety for human beings.
  3. Have an overview of human functioning in conditions of safety and threat.
  4. Be able to describe the five Fs of human survival.
  5. Understand dissociation as an essential human survival strategy.
  6. Understand how complex trauma impacts upon long-term human functioning.
  7. Understand how complex trauma specifically impacts upon communication.
  8. Develop a basic understanding of the concept of mentalizing.
  9. Understand the concept of the window of tolerance and its relationship to emotional regulation.
  10. Understand the concept of the secure base, attachment theory, attunement and emotional regulation.
  11. Understand the role of Registered Intermediaries in supporting emotional regulation to promote effective communication.
  12. Develop an understanding of secondary (vicarious) trauma.
  13. Appreciate the risks of working with traumatised individuals.
  14. Develop an awareness of strategies to manage the impact of secondary trauma on selves.
  15. Learn different practical approaches to supporting traumatised individuals.
  16. Have an understanding of how visual material/props can assist in when working with traumatised people.



Prerequisite knowledge

  • You must be a full IFJ member
  • You will need to have access to Zoom to participate.