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by Daisy Stirpe

JSA Psychotherapy discuss trauma informed practice at Durham seminar

Last week, Principal Psychotherapist Julie Stirpe, Associate Clinician Kate Thompson and I travelled to Durham to attend the Academic Health Science Networks’ event Creating a Narrative for Trauma-Informed Service Transformation. This article follows an earlier blog, which provides further context about our involvement with the AHSNs, and the ways in which trauma-informed care is utilised in our own services.. 

Though it served as an excellent networking opportunity for the company, the primary purpose of the day was to catalogue the exchange of ideas and suggestions for improved standards of operation in the mental health sector. Discussions unfolded with the intent of emulating the developments in psychology that are already being utilised to great effect in North America and other areas of the globe.  

These advances in methodology are the products of a growing movement that it is hoped will revolutionise the fields of psychotherapy, education and childcare. With all eyes on the results that trauma-informed practices yield, it’s the widespread, inter-agency treatment of mental health in particular that the NHS is currently attempting to invest in. 

The proceedings began with several presentations from members of the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups and university research teams. This was followed with a statement from key note speaker Beth Filson, whose experience as a psychologist and psychotherapist has been instrumental in raising awareness around, and pioneering the adoption of trauma-informed care in the UK during recent years. 

Later in the afternoon, we joined the remainder of the conference’s delegates in a workshop to discuss and develop potential approaches for the adoption of more advanced therapeutic techniques by the NHS. We enjoyed the chance to voice our opinion while also learning more about the ways in which other British care providers are attempting to raise the bar for clinical intervention in mental health. It’s going to be exciting to see how much of our collective vision may become a reality in the months and years to come. 

Before returning home, Julie participated in a brief interview with audiovisual production company Serious Media. The group have created short films in the past, both for the NHS and Dr Filson, concerning the nature of trauma informed care. On this occasion, they attended the conference in order to gather short pieces to camera from the delegates. Their final product promises to contain a variety of perspectives concerning how the industry can and should change to adapt in the coming years to incorporate it.

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