The idea behind it all
This pool along with its website was initiated by heads of further education institutions for trauma education and trauma-informed counselling. The trigger for this was the flood disaster in the west of Germany in summer 2021, which highlighted the huge need for crisis and stabilisation counselling. This led to the idea of utilising the huge potential of trauma-sensitive psychosocial work for other crisis situations too, because often no therapy is required at all. The work of trauma education and trauma-centred counselling professional groups as well as trauma-sensitive work in care, midwifery, and in individual cases and other areas of psychosocial work is still relatively unheard of. In contrast to most therapists, psychosocial work is closely associated with everyday praxis and geared to the competences of clients. Rather than dealing with the past, it is about stabilisation and is therefore about becoming capable of acting again.
A few paragraphs on the history of trauma education and trauma-centred counselling
Many people require guidance during or after crises, somebody to lend an ear, together with information about what happens to our bodies in stress situations and when we are overburdened. When we are overburdened, this is often described as a trauma. This is not very helpful however, because it is more about finding ways of dealing with what we have experienced. Support from others and a person’s individual resolve and hope of emerging from what they have experienced are key to whether the crisis will give rise to a new opportunity or disorders due to the consequences of trauma.
People are astoundingly resilient and to a great extent capable of adapting themselves to new conditions. Lots of symptoms will come to light along this journey and a person’s key impression is often of their losing their mind and being bereft of all capabilities. What is needed above all is for people to be able to keep their feet on the ground, maintain a clear head and remain calm so that they can continue along their path. Just as essential are people who know that symptoms from crises can vanish again, can explain this and are capable of initiating the first steps.
In order to be able to cater for these particular goals, people began setting up trauma counselling and trauma education in Germany more than twenty years ago. The reason behind this is that it is not therapy that those in need of advice or a tip for dealing with their partner or child require but day-to-day help. This will prevent them from losing their temper next time they visit the immigration authority and enable them to keep a cool head so they can navigate their way through their experiences and regain a firm footing. An expert is needed who can lend an ear here, keep calm and provide assistance.
Nowadays, trauma education and trauma-centred counselling are taught at approx. 50 institutions in the German-speaking regions and trauma-sensitive work has become an integral part of almost all areas of psychosocial work.
However, there is no cross-institution, publicly available list of those qualified to perform this work. It is our goal to change this. For us, it is important that searches for various criteria can be carried out simply, quickly and without excessive complexity. The results of this can be seen via our search function.
The Fachverband Traumapädagogik (Trauma Education Association) has supported us from the outset quickly and unbureaucratically, assuming the bulk of the responsibility for administration, invoicing of foundation funds and legal matters, as well as providing us with opportunities for networking, all of which we would like to express our sincere thanks for here!
As a federal institution, Stiftung Ehrenamt (The German Volunteers’ Foundation) has supported our administration and website presence financially, for which we would also like to express our sincerest gratitude. All other work, such as definition of project content, the writing of texts for advertising and PR, all administrative work required for applications, organisation, etc. as well as the work of the advisory council that advises us and deals with ethical questions, is carried out on a voluntary basis. And this is also true of our fellow counsellors of course.