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Module 3: Supporting Recovery from Trauma

Training participants new to the disability field are asked to complete Module 1 prior to undertaking Module 3. People with established knowledge and experience are strongly encouraged to complete Module 1 as a contemporary refresher, prior to undertaking Module 3.

The learning outcomes of Module 3 are improved knowledge and understanding of:

  1. The experience of trauma by people with intellectual disability;
  2. General principles for supporting people with intellectual disability to recover from trauma; and
  3. Specialist skills and useful approaches for counselling people with intellectual disability who have experienced trauma.

Please note – The information presented in Topics 3, 4, & 5 of this module is designed to assist qualified counselling practitioners to develop their knowledge and skills for working with clients with intellectual disability. This information may also assist non-counselling service providers and support people to identify appropriate counselling opportunities for people with intellectual disability, but does not provide foundational counselling training.

Tips for completing this Module

  • This module includes a number of topics and will take approximately 3 ¼ hours to complete. You are free to work through the module at your own pace.
  • Written factsheets of the six topics can be downloaded and printed before or after you complete each topic. To download factsheets click on the links at the top of the module. Alternatively, you may like to record your own notes in a notebook or on a piece of paper.
  • Please proceed through the topics in numerical order. Each topic includes a series of tasks (or steps) for you to complete. Please work through these steps in numerical order.
  • Many topics include a “Personal Reflection Task”. You may like to record your thoughts in a notebook or on a piece of paper.
  • To adjust the speed of the training videos (to play them faster or slower), click on the cog symbol at the bottom of the video screen and select “Speed”. To play the video at a faster speed, select 1.25, 1.5 or 2. To play the video at a slower speed select 0.5 or 0.25.
  • For subtitles/closed captioning, click on the cog symbol at the bottom of the video screen and select “Subtitles/CC”, followed by “English (auto-generated)”.
  • Please complete the feedback questionnaire at the end of the Module to assist our ongoing review and development of this training.



WWILD (2016) Supporting Recovery from Trauma  for People with Intellectual Disabilities: Online Training Module; WWILD-SVP Association Inc., Brisbane, Australia. Published 25/11/2016.  https://wwild.org.au/module-3-supporting-recovery-from-trauma/


Copyright Disclaimer

All publications, resources and any other documents created and published by WWILD-SVP Association are subject to Copyright © WWILD-SVP ASSOCIATION INC. All Rights Reserved.


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Topic 1: Understanding Trauma

STEP 1: Watch this Video – “Understanding Trauma”

Step 2: Please CLICK HERE and read the case study – Kerry’s story (we first met Kerry in Module 1) Page
Step 3: Personal Reflection:
  • What trauma events can you identify Kerry’s story?
  • What type of trauma event are these experiences? Consider single episode, chronic, colonization/historical or war.
  • What emotions and/or behaviours does Kerry demonstrate that may be the result of trauma? Consider the Trauma-Emotion-Behaviour Triad.

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Topic 2: General Principles

STEP 1: Watch this Video – “General Principles”

Step 2: Personal Reflection

Reflecting back on Kerry’s story … You are supporting Kerry’s transition to independent accommodation following her discharge from the Mental Health Unit.

What would a trauma-informed response to Kerry’s current life circumstances include? Consider the principles of trauma-informed support (safety, relationships, collaboration, choice, voice, person-centered practice)

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Topic 3: The Role of Counselling

STEP 1: Watch this Video – “The Role of Counselling”

Step 2: Review Helen’s story  – (We first met Helen in Module 1)

CLICK HERE to read Helen’s Story

You are preparing for your first counselling session with Helen. What would be your key goals for this first session?

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Topic 4: Counselling Practice

STEP 1: Watch this Video – “Counselling Practice”

STEP 2: Watch this Video – “Adjusted Counselling Practice”

Step 3: Personal Reflection

What supportive communication practices do the WWILD practitioners discuss in this video?

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Topic 5: Supportive Communication Practices in the Counselling Context

STEP 1: Watch this Video – “Supportive Communication Practices in the Counselling Context”

Step 2: Personal Reflection

Reflecting back on Helen’s story … As you prepare for your first appointment with Helen, consider how factors of time, communication, compliance & acquiescence, and support needs may impact on the counselling process.

How will you adjust your practice to respond to Helen’s needs?

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Topic 6: Supporting Recovery From Trauma – Useful Counselling Approaches

STEP 1: Watch this Video – “Supporting Recovery From Trauma – Useful Counselling Approaches”

Step 2: Watch these Counselling Activity Examples

Examples of Some Useful Counselling Activities

These activity videos demonstrate a selection of strengths-based, narrative and creative activities used in counselling clients with intellectual disability, and include practitioner discussion of how these activities are adapted for use with people with intellectual disability.

Tree of Me (09:23)

Rocks and Flowers (13:02)

Victim/Survivor Drawing (14:35)

<h5>Poetics (11:04)</h5>

Step 3: Read Conclusion: Practice Points

This provides some practice points / example responses to the reflection questions.

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Participant Feedback

CLICK HERE to complete our Module Feedback Form



WWILD’s Online Training Modules, as part of WWILD’s E-Skilling Regional Queensland Project, was funded by the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General’s  – Victim Assist Queensland’s Building Capacity Grants.