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Stress- and trauma-sensitivity (Basic principles)

Security, strengthening, solidarity, Mindful Organisational Culture and self-care

The basic principles of stress- and trauma-sensitivity presented below are guidelines for action. They counteract psychological and social dynamics which can be triggered by the existentially threatening traumatic experiences and then have destructive and stressful consequences:

1. Security

  • Reduce fear and stress in the face of threats.
  • Convey a sense of security despite the stress of simply surviving and/or fundamental insecurity.
  • Create trust and confidence in light of breaches of trust and loss of confidence in oneself or other people.

2. Strengthening

  • Empowerment in light of the experiences of extreme helplessness.
  • Strengthen self-esteem in light of gender-specific denigration.

3. Solidarity and connection

  • Acknowledge the suffering in light of the feelings of shame and guilt.
  • Convey an experience of solidarity, connection and social participation in light of isolation and discrimination.
  • Adopt an integrated, holistic view of the affected person in their social environment in light of dissociation mechanisms.

4. Mindful Organisational Culture, and self-care

  • Promote competencies to deal with stress in light of heightened exposure to stress.
  • Awareness for dynamics of splitting and disunity in the group when faced with systemic trauma dynamics.
  • Mindfulness when faced with the risks of indirect traumatisation and burnout. • Enhance resilience when dealing with existential crises.