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Caring Reflection: Resourcing Researchers and Practitioners in Trauma-Based Work

The aim of this short course is to encourage researchers and practitioners to actively reflect and gain insight on their current work situations, the effect of their own experience on their clients, and themselves.

It will enable students to explore tools for engaging with safe and effective trauma informed practice in the future. The course intends to develop ethical and trauma informed reflection for those engaging in arts based and alternative forms of survivor care, and practice.

The course will equip researchers and practitioners who engage with traumatised populations in an ongoing and long term capacity, to explore safe and ethical trauma informed practice.

Dates and times

The course will run on Wednesday evenings, 5-8pm, over one term between:

  • 31st January-29th April 2024.

All classes are online with the exception of 10th and 17th of April 2024, which will be held on campus. These can be attended remotely if prefered. This is to facilitate the embodied work in person for those who are able to attend in person, whilst keeping the course open to an international cohort.

In addition, students will need self-study and prepare independently.


The full cost is £750 excluding the course assessment. Participants can opt to take the course assessment at an additional cost of £250. The deposit cost is £50, payable upon application.

St Mary's University alumni will receive a 20% discount, please email Short Courses

St Mary's University staff and students can receive a 10% discount. Please use the booking link on the Discounted Short Courses page (St Mary's login required).

The course fee excludes refreshments and accommodation. Information on accommodation on campus or in local hotels can be provided upon request.

Please ensure you can commit to the scheduled dates as unfortunately we are unable to give refunds.


This course is aimed to equip researchers and practitioners who engage with traumatised populations in an ongoing and long term capacity to explore safe and ethical trauma informed practice.

Whilst much commendable research has been done surrounding effective trauma informed practices for survivors themselves, there is less work done on assessing the impact of secondary trauma on researchers and practitioners who engage with this work.

There are few educational opportunities for researchers and practitioners to gain skills in trauma informed practices for themselves. Such skills enable individuals to assess and interpret the ongoing effects of interacting with trauma in their own work environment, be it through interviews, provision of services, or direct administration of care.

The aim is to combine methods of developing ethical reflection as part of practice, as well as considering the effects of trauma on an individual’s experiences.

Referencing the somatic aspects of trauma, embodied regulation methods would be drawn into wider conversations of trauma informed practice.


A final reflective portfolio (5,000 words).

The assessment is a portfolio compilation of critical reflections, based on main themes generated from the content of the module. These themes are then critically assessed and reflected on in light of the student's own research and practitioner experience.

This will also contain a reflective piece that applies theory critically to the student's individual contexts, in order to create an integrated framework for students to use in their communities. The content will be based on key aspects of bodied knowledge, research and dissemination, trauma regulation, hope-based practices, and trauma-informed survivor care.


This is a practice-based course for researchers and professionals working in the sector. Therefore, it is expected that your role will bring you into contact with victims/survivors of trauma. 

A minimum 2:2 honours degree (or equivalent) in arts, humanities, or social sciences. Undergraduate degrees in other disciplines may be considered.

Applicants with two years of relevant non-certified learning and professional experience in a relevant field of work, such as health, social services, police, and third sector organisations will also be considered.

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any section (or equivalent).


Successful students will receive a certificate of attendance and a transcript detailing 20 credits at Master's level. Please note that the transcript will follow once internal and external quality assurance processes have been completed.


Please complete the application form to apply for this course and forward references and evidence to supporting your application to

Upon acceptance you will be required to pay a £50 deposit to secure your place.  The balance can either be paid in full or by three instalments.

For more information about this course please contact the Short Courses team: