Working with Trauma in the Justice System - Understanding Trauma Informed Practice

City Law School and IfJ joint CPD Courses

Event details


12 Jan 2023
19 Jan 2023


Thursday 12th & 19th January
From 09:30-15:00 each day
Registration: 09:15


Zoom Online
United Kingdom

Event Fees

2-day course £ 210.00

Booking info

Max participants: 20

Course facilitator(s): Catherine O'Neill, Christina Enright & Kevin Smith

Course facilitator(s) bio:

Catherine O'Neill

Catherine O’Neill is a Registered Intermediary in the Justice System, a Speech and Language Therapist and an Arts Psychological Therapist. As a therapist she has worked with adults and children with Communication Needs and Mental Health issues, in a variety of settings including palliative care, acute mental health wards and day hospitals, schools and clinics. She has worked on hundreds of cases involving vulnerable witnesses and defendants, in the Criminal, Family and Tribunal courts. She is currently researching for a Phd on: The knowledge and experience of Trauma Informed Practice in the Justice System. She is currently Chair of IfJ and has a firm belief in equality of access to justice for all. Catherine currently runs trainings for the police on communication to Achieve Best Evidence and on Trauma Informed Practice.

Christina Enright

Over the past 16 years, Christina has worked as a psychotherapist with children, adolescents, birth parents, foster carers and adoptive parents. Her experience includes the development of a multidisciplinary clinical service for families experiencing trauma and attachment problems who were reluctant to engage with mainstream social care and mental health services. From 2015-2017 Christina provided trauma constultancy to the clinical team developing a children's service within the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in the UK. She also delivers training on child development, trauma and attachment, both within the NHS and other education and social care systems across the UK and Ireland. 

Course requirements: IfJ Member

Who is this course for: Intermediaries and training intermediaries looking to expand their knowledge on trauma in the justice system

The course aims to give an understanding of the physiological and psychological effects of trauma on children and adults. We will orientate the course towards the work of intermediaries and the experiences frequently encountered in this role. There will be discussion about vicarious trauma, which can occur.

This course is an introduction to working with trauma in the Justice System. It is aimed at a range of professionals but principally at Intermediaries. It will build an understanding of the neuroscience of trauma and how this can impact upon people. Drawing from an understanding of the physiology of trauma, this course will explore how Trauma Informed Practice (TIP) can be used effectively. We aim to offer practical suggestions on how to apply this knowledge and how to work more effectively with traumatised individuals. Likewise, we will be considering how to protect from the insidious effects of secondary trauma.

Course content:

Building on paricipants' knowledge about TIP, the course will: 

  • Introduce key trauma theory, drawing on core texts (such as those by Judith Lewis Herman, Bessel van der Kolk, Stephen Porges and Bruce D. Perry)
  • Examine the neuroscience of trauma and trauma's long-term impact
  • Explore the impact of trauma on communication 
  • Introduce key concepts:
    • dissociation
    • hypervigilance
    • window of tolerance
    • emotional regulation
    • secure base (attachment theory)
    • sensory integration-disintegration
  • Use case studies from within the justice system to demonstrate the above concepts
  • Consider how trauma may manifest within the justice system
  • Highlight the importance of safety and creating a safe environment
  • Explore techniques for managing trauma
  • Introduce the notion of secondary/vicarious trauma and explore it in the context of the justice system using relevant evidence
  • Explore self-care strategies to prevent and manage secondary trauma
  • Consider the implications of working remotely with trauma
  • Experiential activities will enable an understanding of the effects of trauma, using a variety of approaches to cater for different learning styles

Course aims/objectives:

Participants will:

  1. Have an understanding of the different types of trauma and their impacts.
  2. Appreciate the fundamental importance of safety for human beings.
  3. Have an overview of human functioning in conditions of safety and threat. 
  4. Understand dissociation as an essential human survival strategy.
  5. Understand how complex trauma impacts upon long-term human functioning.
  6. Understand how complex trauma specifically impacts upon communication.
  7. Understand the concept of the window of tolerance and its relationship to emotional regulation.
  8. Understand the concept of the secure base, attachment theory, attunement and emotional regulation, as well as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
  9. Understand the role of Registered Intermediaries in supporting emotional regulation to promote effective communication.
  10. Develop an understanding of secondary/vicarious trauma. 
  11. Appreciate the risks of working with traumatised individuals.
  12. Develop an awareness of strategies to manage the impact of secondary trauma on selves. 
  13. Learn different practical approaches to supporting traumatised individuals. 
  14. Have an understanding of how visual material/props can assist when working with traumatised people.
  15. ABEs with TIP knowledge/shame and self-blame. 

Course method:

The workshop is run in the form of a small group training. The presenters will persent information and will invite high levels of participation and sharing of knowledge and ideas.

The following materials are provided: 

  • Powerpoint presentation
  • Bibliography and further reading list
  • Additional relevant resources

- Participants to log on 15 minutes prior to start of each session.

- It is required that all participants keep their cameras on throughout the workshop.

- Participants to complete online feedback form post workshop.

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel your booking with 14 or more days notice, you will receive a full refund minus a £15 admin charge. If you cancel your booking with less than 48 hours' notice, we are unfortunately unable to offer a refund. However, you may substitute another delegate or transfer to another course by giving IfJ at least 24 hours’ notice - please email

In exceptional circumstances IfJ reserve the right the issue a full refund. Please inform us at the time of cancellation of your particular reason for cancelling. If you wish to cancel your booking please do so by emailing:

We will endeavour to respond to all cancellation requests within 2 working days. Refunds will be made using the same method of payment as you used for the purchase and will be paid within 7 days of refund confirmation. Places are limited to a maximum of 20 participants. There is a minimum requirement of 12 participants. If the minimum number is not met, IfJ reserve the right to cancel the course with at least 2 week’s notice and a full refund will be issued.