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Jax Wechsler - Trauma-Informed Design Research

March 18, 2021

Jax Wechsler - Trauma-Informed Design Research

Trauma is common within society at large and is particularly prevalent amongst vulnerable populations, First Nations peoples and people with Lived Experience of mental health issues. Trauma informed practice is a strengths-based framework that supports responsiveness to the impact of trauma, enabling physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both providers and survivors. In this presentation Jax will discuss the five guiding principles of trauma informed practice; safety, choice, collaboration, trustworthiness and empowerment and consider how they may apply within design research contexts


March 18, 2021

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  1. Photo by Jesse Bowser on Unsplash Talk Overview • Lets

    talk about Trauma • Key concepts relating to Trauma • 5 Principles of Trauma Informed Care (TIC) • How HCD Research can cause harm • TIC Principles in Design Practice • Resources
  2. Defining trauma “an event, a series of events or a

    set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.” SRC: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. SAMHSA’s concept of trauma and guidance for a trauma-informed approach. Rockville2014. (SMA) 14-4884 Definition. Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash
  3. Some types of trauma Acute Trauma Chronic Trauma Complex Trauma

    Relational Trauma PTSD Photo by Anandu Vinod on Unsplash Intergenerational Trauma Collective Trauma Racialised Trauma Vicarious Trauma Traumatic Stress …..
  4. Loss of control Betrayal Confusion Helplessness Pain Loss Abuse of

    Power Circumstances typically involve Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash
  5. Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash Many people with

    Lived Experience of Mental Health challenges have experienced Trauma
  6. Trauma is intergenerational Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash encoded

    in our DNA, through families”
 - Resmaa Menakem “
  7. Australia by Sergey Demushkin from the Noun Project 65% of

    Australians are expected to experience trauma at some stage of their life
  8. Photo by Ondrej Machart on Unsplash …we know we cannot

    live in the past 
 but the past lives in us’ 
 -Dr Charles Nelson Perrurle Perkins in One Night the Moon 2001). “
  9. Trauma informed practice 
 is a strengths-based framework that supports

    responsiveness to the impact of trauma, enabling physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both providers and survivors. Photo by Karson on Unsplash
  10. Human Centred Design
 can cause harm for
 people who

 experienced trauma Photo by Kenrith Mills on Unsplash
  11. Photo by Stefano Pollio on Unsplash Trauma interferes with the

    proper functioning of brain areas that manage and interpret experience… - Bessel van der Kolk “
  12. • To feel safe • To feel in control •

    To express their emotions • To know what comes next
 (Office for Victims of Crimes, 2001, Using a Trauma-Informed Approach Photo by Matthew Waring on Unsplash What do trauma survivors need?
  13. Signs of Distress Physical signs • a person turning pale

    • breathing fast/panting breaths • dilated pupils • shivers or feeling cold • profuse sweating Look by Alice Design from the Noun Projec Other signs • Difficulty concentrating • Difficulty remembering • Confusion • Disorientation • Irritability • Anxiety • Restlessness Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash
  14. You can help someone move through anxiety and come back

    to the present moment by (1) asking them to name the objects in the room (2) state the date and time (3) invite them to feel their in and out-breath (4) fidget toys e.g. plasticine - somatic comfort First Aid icon by Linseed Studio from the Noun Project Meeting Distress Photo by Colin Watts on Unsplash
  15. put the wellbeing of the person in front of you

    before your research objectives. ALWAYS IMMOVABLE RULE Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

    CULTURAL SAFETY SAFETY Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash + INTERVIEWS + FEEDBACK
  17. + BIAS 

    Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash + CAPACITY + CO-DESIGN 
  18. + CLARITY 

    TRUSTWORTHINESS Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash + INTERACTIONS 
  19. + OTHERS 

  20. Identify SMEs, allies and advocates Pre-work / sensitisation activity Trauma

    informed charter What are my assumptions? Community involvement in planning Planning by Justin Blake from the Noun Project Identify safe and appropriate locations Bring broader team/ client on the journey Do your background work. Photo by sanjiv nayak on Unsplash Plan Space for adaptation Opportunities to connect
  21. Ask what may be needed to create ease when participating

    If not selected - not an abandonment experience Clearly outline what is expected Work with allies/ partners - channels of safety Might you offer choice in how to engage e.g. online, in-person etc. Recruitment by Adrien Coquet from the Noun Project Transparency about the research/project Check location is appropriate and culturally safe A safe person/ worker? Flexibility in schedule Photo by reza shayestehpour on Unsplash Recruit Ask about triggers?
  22. Door is visible Inviting 
 and comfortable Appropriate
 (not institutional)

    + culturally safe Fidget toys - things to hold/ play with
 place by Qomariyah from the Noun Project Water Allow people to sit where they want Photo by Jessica Knowlden on Unsplash Physical
  23. Longer duration of interviews Show hospitality Include breaks Ask for

    permission to move to next topics Go at their pace Never force sharing be aware of nonverbal cues Build in choice & flexibility Non- linearity Visuals and art “It’s OK to stop” Be patient dialogue by Bernar Novalyi from the Noun Project Validate/ repeat what you hear Strengths Based / Appreciative Inquiry Appropriate Language Photo by mohammad alizade on Unsplash Engaging
  24. Follow up counselling services for participants Team Debriefs Follow up

    counselling services for your team Next by Alice-vector from the Noun Project Payment!!! Closing the loop Photo by Kushagra Kevat on Unsplash After Writing can help you debrief Ensure there is time for team self care