Exploring Trauma, Building Resilience programme: A brief intervention for men

Published on News from HMP Peterborough

Exploring trauma can bring back a lot of feelings and emotions for residents who take part, so it’s really important that residential staff are made aware of the extra support that may be required. Lady Edwina and Dr Covington visited the prison on Monday 14 May 2018 to deliver the programme to staff from all areas of the establishment.

So what is Exploring Trauma?
The Exploring Trauma, Building Resilience programme is a brief intervention for men to improve their understanding of the impact of trauma, developed in response to clinicians beginning to recognise specific issues for men.

These include:

  • men’s silence surrounding abuse and other adverse childhood experiences
  • the impact of male socialisation on men’s response to said experiences
  • the risk of victims becoming abusers and perpetrators of violence
  • the need to understand men’s shame and fear to explore trauma

The programme is designed for men who have been abused or have experienced other forms of trauma.

Topics discussed include understanding trauma and its process; trauma’s impact on the inner self (thoughts, feelings, beliefs) and on the outer self (behaviours and relationships); coping and calming strategies. Participant-led grounding exercises are part of this interactive workshop.

The programme consists of six sessions which cover:

  • Process of trauma
  • Five core values of trauma-informed services
  • Power and abuse
  • Triggers, grounding and self-soothing
  • Building healthy relationships

The objectives of the course are to:

  • Define gender-responsive and trauma-informed services
  • Describe the process of trauma and typical responses through the lens of men’s socialisation
  • Understand men’s dissociative responses to discussions of trauma, abuse, shame and anger
  • Demonstrate physical and mental grounding exercises that are effective for men
  • Apply a variety of therapeutic interventions

Since Lady Edwina and Dr Covington visited us back in May we have planned a further five programmes to take us through to April 2019 and have recently delivered the first programme of its kind in a male prison within the UK.

We were delighted to have Lady Edwina and Claire Hubberstey (Chief Executive of One Small Thing) attend on Friday 3 August to present certificates to the male residents who took part in the programme. We were also joined by Damien Evans (Director), Mark Bennett (Deputy Director) and Bev Stephens (Head of Rehabilitation) to celebrate the huge achievement for the male estate.

All five residents successfully completed the programme and had the opportunity to give honest feedback to Lady Edwina about the course.

The programme is delivered by Trauma Champions with support from the trauma co-ordinator and is delivered once a week for around two hours per session, six sessions in total.

Tackling trauma together
Realise there is hope. If we give ourselves the opportunity to heal and grow, we can learn how to live happier lives in healthier relationships.

Taking a few extra minutes each day to make sure that residents have someone they can talk to is a really positive step forward.

Staff can also call the Trauma Champions to support residents if needed, as well as PCO Denise Eardley, trauma coordinator, who carries Q33 radio.

Referrals for the programme can be made by staff or agencies using the interventions spreadsheet, or by emailing Denise.Eardley@sodexojusticeservices.com. Residents can also apply on the kiosk.