Respond Rather Than React: Introduction to Intentional Trauma-Informed Practice

The Respond Rather Than React workshop is a two-day introduction to Intentional Trauma-Informed Practice. In this experiential workshop, trainees acquire the core knowledge and skills to employ intentional scripts and strategies to:

  •  Respond to the trauma, wellbeing, growth or developmental “needs” of clients, as opposed to react to their behaviour.
  •  Grow the awareness, skills and mindsets for clients (children, young people or adults) to respond to stressors and expectations with frontal-lobe and value informed decision making, as opposed to react from their emotional or lower brain areas.

Respond Rather Than React represents the Specialist or middle layer of the 3-Tier IMPACT Program (Intentional Model and Practice Approach for Clients to Thrive).  The core material and frameworks can be tailored to any supporting adult context, for instance: teaching, mentoring, coaching children or adults, supervising employees, responding to challenging behaviours, parenting children or clinical/counselling roles. Core competency domains covered in the material include:

  • Understanding brain development and functioning, and the healing, wellbeing, growth and developmental needs of clients with backgrounds of stress, adversity, instability and trauma.
  • How to activate and consolidate skill acquisition through moment-to-moment supporting adult communication, and employing the What, What, How Strategy.
  • The use of the Activation Cycle as a trauma-informed framework of intentional practice, and how it can be applied to support the delivery of safe and high impact practice outcomes.
  • The growth of awareness, skills and mindsets through the side-by-side processes of validation, curiosity and coaching.
  • An introduction to intentional practice.
  • Activating values to build motivation for change and growth.
  • Mindfulness, value activation and goal planning as foundational skills to respond rather than react (for adults and children).

Supplementary competencies mapped to the specific supporting adult context (e.g., education, youth, supervising adults) supports the frameworks, resources and strategies to be nuanced to the specific needs of the client (e.g., children, youth or adults) and context. The training introduces the key processes and outcomes of the Life Buoyancy Model and the Intentional Practice approach.

All participants will receive a workbook and colour copies of the Activation Cycle and “What, What, How” framework for individual use. Workshop completion accredits participants to undertake the two-day Advanced IMPACT Training (Intentional Practitioner).

The course content has been mapped against the Australian Childhood Foundation’s Strategies for Managing Abuse Related Trauma (SMART) Training Package – see trauma-informed practice competencies and positioning statement.


  • “Feedback from the training from people I have spoken to has been great.  Overwhelmingly people obtained a high level of value out of the training and were easily able to recite 3-4 key concepts.  Personally, the training resonated with me, I felt the concepts were affirming of my practice approach and what I have attempted to support workers to deliver over many years. The concepts are clear, easy to understand and to draw upon when working directly with young people.  The content is highly relevant to our client group and I have a strong sense that our people will be putting the training into practice into the future. I am now very motivated to ensure we embed the Respond Rather Than React, IMPACT package into our supervision, PDP and practice development for all staff.  I am keen to achieve some traction with this and ensure it is well embedded into the way we work with young people” (Operations Leader, Connected Self).
  • “Team members have responded well to RRTR training, immediately applying the concepts to daily interactions with the children and young people. The training content provided seamless connection points and an additional layer to strengthen existing practices. Respond rather than react concepts are a must have when planning to embed Intentional practices throughout program systems and daily work practices. RRTR training has given staff real life skills to drive a transformation process to become Intentional Practitioners in order to support and provide opportunities for client growth. “What, What How” – three little words, yet with the knowledge and skills provided in this training have grounding and frontal lobe activation benefits for both supporting adult and young person. Simple technique that can easily be applied in all situations from every day communication to complex planning and problem solving” (Manager, Therapeutic Strength Based Care,