Adversity, Culturally, Trauma-Informed, Infused, & Responsive Organisations & Systems


Treisman has a very exciting new book which has now been released. Trauma-informed healthcare is a comprehensive reflective resource explores the values, principles and practical applications of trauma-informed and -infused health care.

Trauma-Informed Health Care introduces the different types of trauma – including medical and health trauma – and the impact of adversities, social inequalities and stressors. It explores their effects on health and the body, and on people’s relationships with health providers. Key issues addressed include the importance of cultural humility, the effects of secondary and vicarious trauma, burnout and moral injury. It also covers the critical issue of organizational trauma: how to avoid practice which has potential to traumatize or retraumatize, and the role of cultural understanding, language, leadership, staff wellbeing and the physical environment.

Drawing substantially on the experiences of people who use services and active practitioners, this book spans diverse settings — from doctor’s surgeries to hospitals and allied health services. It reveals how “every interaction can be an intervention” and provides you with practical examples, graphics and reflective exercises to support you to bring about positive change.

Brochure about the book can be found here- trauma informed healthcare book brochure

Recording of book launch can be found here-

Dr Treisman’s bestselling books (sold together but 2 volumes) on A Treasure Box for Creating Trauma-Informed Organizations: A Ready-to-Use Resource For Trauma, Adversity, and Culturally Informed, Infused and Responsive Systems are available for from amazon, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, and numerous other book sellers- they are over 600 pages long, in full colour, and A4 in size. They are jam packed with treasures such as practical ideas, photographed examples, photocopiable resources, real world examples from contributors from all around the world, amazing new illustrations and infographics, and much more. Please find a brochure here including the content and some more information on the books- LOW RES – A Treasure Box for Creating Trauma-Informed Organizations – Brochure

The recorded trauma informed organization book launch and interview with the author which was attended by over 400 people virtually can be found here-

Dr Karen Treisman and Dr Mandy Davis are very excited to release their new & unique online trauma informed thinking space module

(access to paid course here- A real, unscripted, unedited, & honest TI thinking space containing a series of reflective podcast style conversations about some of the thorny, nuanced, multi-layered aspects of TI practice in teams, systems, & organisations. Full of golden nuggets & enriching discussions.  You can read the FAQs & what to expect including contents here- FAQ trauma informed thinking space And you can see a sense and flavour of the types of conversations which are included in the module so here is a 17 min one which is from the myths & dilemma’s section focusing on the question “Is TI just about being sweet, nice, and kind?”-

This page is focused on providing resources, websites, information, & services around moving towards and sustaining being a culturally, adversity, and trauma-informed, infused, and responsive organisation and system. We at Safe Hands and Thinking Minds also offer a range of consultation, support, and training packages to support and enhance this transformation.

Introduction into adversity, culturally, trauma-informed, infused, and responsive practice:

flower bloom

An adversity, culturally, dissociation, and trauma-informed, infused, and responsive organisational lens acknowledges & advocates that “trauma-informed” practice and organisational cultural change is so much more than a buzz word, a one-off training event, a fruit bowl being placed in a reception area, an adapted policy collecting dust on a shelf, or a tick-box exercise. It is more about meaningful, multi-layered, and whole-system wide transformation; and is a journey. This focuses on supporting, creating, embedding, & sustaining cultural & paradigm shifts & transformation across all levels of the organisation.

This shift & vision recognises the prevalence, & multi-layered impact of trauma & adversity at an individual, family, societal, & organisational level; as well as the crucial parallel processes which can occur within & between these systems. Therefore, culturally, adversity, and trauma-informed and responsive organisational transformation focuses on humanising systems & making them healthier, more relational, more integrated, more reflective, & more connected. It is about changing how systems do what they do, & who they are- their very fabric. This also includes embodying & infusing adversity, culturally, dissociation, and trauma-informed ideas & practices into everyday practice, into the feeling of the place, & into the whole system; from policies to supervision, to team meetings to the language used, to recruitment procedures, to the physical environment, & so forth (Please see the infusing & weaving worksheet below).

sandra bloom quote

Under a trauma-informed process, this knowledge, values, principles, & assumptions aim to be embedded into the culture of the organisation, & are ideally owned & contributed to by everyone; including those from multiple levels, roles, & those with lived experiences. A trauma-informed process can not be trauma-informed without being interconnected with areas of cultural humility, cultural inclusiveness, & cultural responsiveness; including integrating & acknowledging historical trauma, oppression, cultural trauma, social injustice, intersections of identity, & inter generational trauma.

Within trauma-informed organisational change there are various steps, guiding values, & stages; however, like with people, this can be slow, complex, not linear, & messy. Therefore, the progress, development, embedding, & sustaining of meaningful trauma-informed ideas, attitudes, policies, & practice is an ongoing process & a journey.

To engage more with these ideas. Please see worksheets & websites for more information & resources.

A bit about our story, journey, & passion in this area:

be the change

Dr Treisman & associates passionately believe in social, contextual, societal, & systemic impact & that trauma-informed practice is a social movement. As the quote above says, “If the flower doesn’t bloom, you don’t try to fix the flower, and you certainly don’t blame the flower, but you try to make environments which support flowers to bloom”. Therefore, we need to make adversity, culturally, and trauma-informed, infused, & responsive environments which not only acknowledge, respect, & are structured around the pervasive, extensive, & multi-layered impact of trauma, dissociation, toxic stress,  and adversity in our societies; but also ones which actively resist & reduce further re-traumatising, blaming, marginalising, exclusion, & oppression.

Dr Treisman & associates have also experienced the vast difference, impact, & physical/social/spiritual/emotional consequences of working in traumatised, trauma-inducing,  and unhealthy systems; verse working in connected, supportive, healing, & nurturing teams. This has further validated & fuelled their passion & dedication to trauma-informed organisational practice.

To develop further, connect, & expand on these ideas & passion, Dr Treisman was also awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship which involved travelling to 14 cities across America, attending 3 international conferences, & having meetings with over 100 specialists in this area to learn from best practice in culturally, adversity, dissociation, and trauma-informed, infused, & responsive systems. The report from this trip can be found below; and is expanded much more richly in Dr Treisman’s Trauma-informed organisational books on this topic. Dr Treisman wishes to extend a huge thank you to the incredible people & organisations who gave their time, energy, & knowledge to the trip; as well as to the Winston Churchill Fellowship for a phenomenal opportunity.

trauma infused organsiation

Therefore, to disseminate these ideas, & expand on them, Dr Treisman & associates have drawn on their extensive clinical experience in the areas of relational trauma, developmental trauma, disrupted attachment, trauma-informed organisational change, refugee & asylum-seeking people; as well as in the areas of implementation science & groups dynamics to offer a range of support, consultation, & training packages; & to create multiple free trauma-informed organisational resources & useful links (See below). They are also currently proactively putting these theories, concepts, models, values, & ideas into practice by offering trauma-informed & trauma-responsive transformation packages (of different lengths and levels) to multiple organisations within the UK & internationally (Africa & Asia) including residential homes, social services, foster care systems, prisons, youth offending services, schools, hospitals, homelessness shelters, & domestic violence shelters.

Please contact us to learn more about the fellowship, the worksheets, training, consultancy, and support offered around meaningful trauma-informed practice.

Karen has 2 books specifically focused on this topic- trauma informed organisations and trauma-informed healthcare- and one set of trauma deck of cards.

Free Resources and Worksheets (This is regularly being updated; as well as worksheets being updated- We also welcome suggestions, as well as ideas for new resources. For other clinical resources & worksheets around relational & developmental trauma, please see the other pages on this website)

Dr Treisman’s Winston Churchill Report on adversity, culturally, and trauma-informed, infused, and responsive organisations-

Recorded book launch of trauma-informed organization book and interview with Dr Karen Treisman-

Recorded book launch of trauma-informed health care book-

Key questions and reflection points for organisations enquiring about trauma-informed training (great document to read before enquiring, doing tenders, booking training etc)- Trauma informed queries and requests points to reflect on

Some of the rationale and whys as to why an organisation might want to move towards being more adversity, culturally, and informed, infused, and responsive-the why and rationale finalword

The different organisational elements and areas that trauma-informed principles and values should be infused & woven into- Visual Sketch note trauma-informed weaving into whole system 

Trauma-informed values, principles, and assumptions-Visual Sketch note– trauma-informed values, principles, and assumptions

Trauma-informed values and principles applied to the current covid situation written by Dr Karen Treisman- trauma informed values in covid

Karen Treisman- reading a poem written by Karen for Drop for Disorder about trauma, adversity, and culturally informed, infused, and responsive systems and organisational change- “trauma reducing not trauma inducing”- the topic of Karen’s forthcoming book on trauma-informed organizations-

Dr Mandy Davis and Dr Karen Treisman are very excited to release our new & unique online module (paid module- accessible here- however please first read the FAQs and below). A real, unscripted, unedited, & honest TI thinking space containing a series of reflective podcast style conversations about some of the thorny, nuanced, multi-layered aspects of TI practice in teams, systems, & organisations. Full of golden nuggets & enriching discussions. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it & sharing the space together. We are looking forward to your thoughts & feedback. You can read the FAQs & what to expect including contents here-FAQ trauma informed thinking space  We also wanted to give you a sense and flavour of the types of conversations which are included in the module. So here is a 17 min one which is from the myths & dilemma’s section focusing on the question “Is TI just about being sweet, nice, and kind?”-

An image from Karen’s trauma-informed health care book about how an organisation can be like a person- an organisation as a person worksheet

Karen Treisman  discussing some of the survival, protective, and coping responses  and skills which organisations, systems, and teams can use and rely on when in a place of threat, stress, trauma, and fear. Discusses fight, flight, freeze, and many more responses. and a worksheet on this (please ensure this is fully cited and referenced if shared or used)

A spotlight for research in practice around organisational trauma and organisational memory (an extract from the trauma-informed organization book by Karen Treisman)-

Karen Treisman discussing the importance of how organisations make people feel during this time; and how the values of trauma-informed practice need to be embedded and modelled; and our staff wellbeing needs to be at the forefront-

Karen Treisman and Lisa Cherry in conversation about trauma, adversity, and culturally informed, infused, and responsive organisations in the context of the pandemic-

A discussion with Lisa Cherry about trauma-informed organisational culture, language, nuances and much more-

A 2 min clip with Lisa Cherry and Karen taken from the above about if the walls could talk-

Trauma inducing and trauma reducing paper on health and medical settings- trauma-informed medical and health settings- trauma inducing or trauma reduci

A spotlight for research in practice on survival skills in the context of trauma – extract from trauma informed organizational book by Karen Treisman-
An infographic by Emma Paxton from one of Karen’s conferences on TI systems (see 2 more under the worksheets tab)-

Some tips and tools for “check-ins” in Team meetings- check-ins

Keeping momentum up, embedding it further, and breathing life into trauma-informed ideas- Some top tips to further keep the momentum alive

Some of Karen’s most meaningful and impactful work is when training is delivered over a long period such as 6 months to 18 months alongside reflective practice, supervision, and consultation. See the following evaluation for a flavour of the impact of such a course- candle summary paper pdf-compressed

Intersection of Identities- Cultural Humility & Responsiveness- Visual Sketch note- cultural humility sketchnote pdf

Anti-racist resources-

Anti-racist resources- 2-

Anti-racist resources- 3-

Anti- racist resources- 4-

Anti-racist resources- 5-

Trauma-informed implementation & sustainability obstacles, and things to hold in mind- implementation infographics with copyright word

Trauma-informed survival & coping responses- feeling safe & putting up defences

Trauma-informed survival & coping responses in an organisational context- organisational defences final bled

Multi-layered Organisational safety sketch note- mutli-layered safety sketch note

Different types of trauma & the impact & consequences Sketchnote- sketchnote types of trauma

Serious case review ramblings- Serious case reviews

Several more coming soon.

Recommended Websites and Links around Trauma-Informed Organisations, Systems, and Practice: (Not an exhaustive or prescriptive list; and not in a particular order. For clinical and other support links around trauma and attachment, please see other page)

National Child Traumatic Stress Network-

Trauma-informed Oregon-

Trauma-informed care: Perspectives and resources-

Sanctuary Model- Dr Sandy Bloom-

Some great webinars on trauma-informed care including from Sandra Bloom-

MARC Health federation (trauma-informed and trauma-responsive communities)-

ACEs webinar by Ken Epstein

Trauma-informed infographic-

Campaign for trauma informed policy and practice (USA)-

Trauma Transformed San Francisco-

International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies-

Chadwick Center-

Chadwick Trauma-informed Systems, Dissemination, and Implementation Project-

Ohio Domestic Violence Network- (Trauma-informed road map and trauma-informed approaches)

Children’s Crisis Treatment Center-

Traumatic Stress Institute- Klingberg Family Center-

Blackness and belonging podcast-

Anti-racism resources-

Social justice resources-

Your kids aren’t too young to talk about race-