Becoming Trauma-Informed: Applying Theory, Care, and Practical Skills for Research and Design

3-day virtual workshop
April 4-6, 2023, 8-11:30am PT

Today, almost everything we do has an atom of technology in it. But did you know that trauma is equally common? Most of the global population experiences at least 1, but usually 4+ traumatic events in their lifetime. With trauma on the rise, it’s inevitable that we will conduct research with and design products for people with trauma histories. A trauma-informed approach to research and design can help prevent or mitigate these harms. But what does it mean to be trauma-informed?

In this workshop, you’ll learn all about trauma-informed work, including trauma theory, trauma impacts and types, and its evolution. We’ll also detail trauma-informed practices in research and digital design based on the most up-to-date research, including self-awareness and harm mitigation strategies. Together, we’ll explore what trauma-informed organizations can look like, discuss ways to continue your journey toward becoming trauma-informed, and help you thrive in a long career that is mutually supportive, equitable, and healing for all.

Target Audience

  • Researchers and designers who conduct research with and to be used by humans and want to care for others and themselves during their research and design activities.
  • Researchers and designers who engage in trauma-informed work, but want to grow their practice and knowledge.
  • Students, including those who do not yet conduct research but are interested in understanding the importance of being trauma-informed and how they can prepare themselves to thrive in a long research/design career.
  • Anyone interested in trauma-informed research, design, and organizations.
  • Anyone interested in learning more about these topics – trauma, trauma-informed research, trauma-informed design – and finding community and support.


  • A willingness to learn, grow, and share.
  • A willingness to care for yourself and others.

Attendees will be able to:

  • Take steps toward trauma literacy, including having a working knowledge of trauma language, its prevalence, and its impact.
  • Distinguish between types of trauma, their pervasiveness, and their manifestation.
  • Learn how to avoid harm to self (the researcher[s] and/or designer[s]) and others (the participant[s], user[s], and beyond) before, during, and after the research and design process.
  • Evaluate a research situation for potential harm to yourself and/or others.
  • Design a self-care plan to avoid secondary trauma.
  • Have a framework to use when designing products, such as websites, apps, and other digital tools.
  • Walk away with a practical model for trauma-informed organizations or working groups.