Center for Global Affairs
Foundations in Trauma-Informed Fieldwork
This course is built on the premise that we do no harm - beginning with ourselves. Peacebuilders and practitioners in humanitarian, human rights, development and peacebuilding fields must recognize the importance of trauma awareness and context sensitivity in working with people and communities impacted by potentially traumatic experiences. To do so, we need a critical foundational trauma literacy and biopsychosocial scaffolding for working within trauma-impacted communities, as well as for recognizing and buffering the potential effects of trauma exposure on ourselves in the field. This integrative, science-based, and practical course offers an interdisciplinary overview of research, science, case studies, and culturally-sensitive approaches supporting trauma-informed fieldwork, and emphasizes the experiential integration of practices with psychological first aid, trauma-informed interventions, trauma-sensitive interviewing, and resilience-building as personal and community resources. A foundational knowledge of stress, trauma, and the ¿experience-dependent¿ brain, the impact of trauma on the nervous system and cognition, and the impacts of traumatic stress on people in helping professions can strengthen critical capacities for burnout prevention, expand cognitive flexibility in different contexts, sharpen appraisal and response under stress, and learn skills necessary for self-agency, self and collective care, and efficacy in challenging conditions for personal and professional sustainability.