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Understanding Trauma

This is a free, pre-recorded, online course designed to help you understand common trauma symptoms and develop simple coping skills to manage them.

Each session will take about 20-25 minutes to complete.  The session will look at a symptom of trauma and provide guidance on coping skills to help you manage them and support your recovery.

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How to attend

Start the course by clicking on the Session 1 video below. There are five videos each lasting around 20 minutes. You can pause at any time and come back to them if you need to take a break.

We recommend having a few days between each video so that you can practice the learning.

Produced by

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Session 1

What is Trauma?

This session aims to help us understand trauma reactions by looking at definitions of trauma, how traumatic experiences affect the brain and how we process events. Includes coping skills of grounding and mindful breathing.

Session 2

Anxiety & Avoidance

This session looks at symptoms of anxiety and the impact on our bodies. It helps us understand why someone may turn to avoidant behaviour to manage the anxiety and how to develop coping skills to manage this. The coping skill covered in this session is a mindfulness technique to help with managing unwanted thoughts.

Session 3


This session looks at hypervigilance, which is a heightened state of awareness common after experiencing a traumatic event. It also explores the Window of Tolerance, which is the zone in which we can function and manage our emotions. The coping skill covered in this session is colour breathing.

Session 4

Re-Living Symptoms

This session looks at managing re-living symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares and intrusive thoughts. The coping skill covered in this session is progressive muscle relaxation.

Session 5

Wellbeing & Functioning

In addition to the common symptoms in the previous sessions, this video explores how our general wellbeing can be impacted by trauma. Here we cover mood, sleep and relationships and emphasise the importance of self-care and self-compassion. The coping skill in this session is the healing light exercise.

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