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Talking About Trauma - Guide to Everyday Conversations for the General Public

Talking about trauma

Members of the general public are becoming more aware of the prevalence of trauma and how it can affect people. However, many people are still reluctant to have conversations with people they know or suspect have experienced trauma.

Talking about trauma: guide to everyday conversations for the general public is a simple guide, in plain English, to establish the importance of having these critical conversations. Whether you are starting the conversation (because you suspect a person is experiencing/has experienced trauma) or you are responding to a person telling you about their trauma, the following information, evidence and tips will help you manage the challenges and minimise the risks.

The principles are highly relevant in any context in which a conversation takes place. In different ways and with minor modifications, they apply to conversations with a person we know (such as a family member or friend) or someone we don’t know (such as a ‘friend of a friend’ or a stranger).

This paper is the first in a series on the topic of Talking about trauma. The various publications, and the series as a whole, are intended to build the knowledge and skills of everyone in our community. Whether in a personal or professional capacity, we all need to engage in conversations about trauma.