“Why Didn’t Anybody Ask?”: Trauma Informed Care, Ethics, and the Mental Hea...

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There is no fee to participate. This will be a live webinar.

Description: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study conducted by Anda & Felitti (1998) launched an explosion of research and professional action aimed addressing the high prevalence of traumatic exposure among the U.S. population (and beyond). Human service organizations/providers have been adopting a “trauma informed” approach in recognition that a vast majority of people who interface with the mental health system (especially within the community mental health system and/or psychiatric/residential settings) have had complex traumatic experiences, and further, that involvement in those very systems can inadvertently cause re-traumatization, increased stigma, and a loss of personal agency and control—all of which exacerbate the impact of trauma.

As mental health providers, deeply exploring our role in addressing the epidemic of interpersonal violence, trauma, and inequity in our country it is an ethical imperative. Social workers commit to tackling social problems and to enacting change for those that are vulnerable and/or oppressed.” Given what we know about ACEs, what is the role of the helper from an ethical perspective? Psychologists take an oath to obtain informed consent from participants and to avoid harm when foreseeable. What are the ethical implications in choosing to address trauma or not to address trauma for ourselves and our clients? Participants are invited to reflect on what we know and what we believe about trauma and mental health by exploring and understanding the utility, application, and limitations of a trauma-informed approach to our clinical and ethical decision-making process.

Target Audience: This workshop is an advanced professional development opportunity for professionals seeking to become “trauma competent” and to develop trauma-informed systems of care in their own agencies/organizations.

Learning Objectives:

1. Describe the prevalence of traumatic exposure in the U.S.

2. Explain at least three core principles of a trauma-informed approach

3. List potential sources of re-traumatization for participants in human services

4. Identify relevant ethical codes that will guide decision-making about discussing trauma with clients in terms of the cost/benefit ratio

5. Name three specific steps that you will take in fulfilling your ethical responsibility to address trauma in the human services field

Continuing Education


Southern New Hampshire Area Health Education Center is an Approved Provider of continuing nursing education by the Northeast Multistate Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

6.0 contact hours. Activity Number: 1311


The Southern NH Area Health Education Center, accredited by the NH Medical Society, designates this live activity for a maximum of 6.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


6.0 Category A Continuing Education hours for licensure have been applied for through NASW NH

For all other health professionals: 6.0 hours.

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