Trauma Informed Care for the Legal Profession Webinar Series: Episode 1: The Importance of Promoting Safety in Trauma Informed Care

"Trauma Informed Care for the Legal Profession" is a 6 part webinar series, led by Eden Dales, focused on the core concepts of trauma informed care (Safety, Trustworthiness and Transparency, Peer Support, Collaboration and Mutuality, Empowerment and Cultural, Historical and Gender Issues).

The webinar will include evidence supporting the relevance of this model, and review how trauma is experienced and the impact of trauma on every day life. The science and neuro-biology will be reviewed, with references to studies and articles published in academic journals. Learning objectives are specified to meet the Law Society’s definition of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as a means to maintain or enhance a lawyer or paralegal’s professional knowledge, skills, attitudes and professionalism.

Each episode includes a one hour presentation and 30 min discussion.

Accreditation by The Law Society of Ontario:

This program contains 7 hours and 30 minutes of Professionalism content and 1 hour and 30 minutes of EDI Professionalism content.

Learning Objectives:

  • Healthy Personal and Professional Boundaries
  • Effective Conflict Resolution and interpersonal effectiveness
  • Self-Compassion, mindfulness & empathy for sustainable collaboration
  • Emotional Intelligence: Emotional Regulation, Self Regulation, Empathy, Support
  • Sensitivity training for interviewing, assessing, relating to others (clients, staff)
  • The 4 R's of trauma informed care
  • Identifying risk factors for trauma, (developmental trauma, Big & Little "t" trauma)
  • The impact of trauma on the brain (function, structure, development) over the lifespan
  • Sensitivity training skills to prevent re-traumatization
  • A review of Adverse Childhood Event's Scale and relevance to legal profession
  • Empathy and Authenticity for transparency in legal practice
  • The neuro-sequential model for stress reduction
  • Tools for a strengths based model to promote resiliency and desired outcomes
  • EDI: awareness of trauma, neurodiversity, diversity and challenging beliefs/ "othering" with a model for risk and harm reduction and inclusion
  • Discussion of power imbalance, organizational structure and traumatic aspects of the legal profession and tools for change

Module One Covers:

  1. Understanding the importance of safety in trauma-informed care, includes learning about how trauma impacts one's sense of self, and sense of safety in the world. Trauma impacts the nervous system and those who experienced trauma struggle to feel safe even when not in danger. Understanding this will allow for compassion and awareness to resist re-traumatization.
  2. How trauma-informed care can promote physical safety, including recognizing the impact of trauma on physical health, providing a safe and secure environment, and addressing safety concerns with specific tools for communication throughout the legal process (timing, language, body language, messaging).
  3. Effective communication strategies for promoting psychological safety, with an understanding of developmental trauma, sense of self, stress response system, chemical changes in the brain following trauma, and the impact of trauma on adult relationships with power imbalance, including reflective listening, validation, and empathy. 
  4. Strategies for supporting client safety, awareness of the client's unique perspective and experience, and shifting the power dynamic which promotes client-centered approaches to care and resilience.
  5. The importance of self-reflection in promoting safety, including recognizing biases and assumptions, being open to feedback, and working collaboratively with clients to develop solutions.
  6. The role of the legal profession in promoting client safety, includes education for all team members, developing policies and procedures that promote safety, and advocating for client safety and well-being in the legal system.
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