I work as a trainer, consultant and therapist. I am a registered social worker and accredited cognitive behavioural therapist. I am trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Solution Focused Therapy, Theraplay, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and Systemic Family Psychotherapy. I am currently in my 10th year of training in Systems Centred Theory.
I am one of only two licenced ARC (Attachment, Regulation and Competency) trainers outside of the United States. Please see arcframework.org more information.
I specialise in working with trauma, both Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Developmental Trauma and am dedicated to bringing trauma informed practice into schools, residential care, foster care, child protection services, early help, inpatient services, youth offending services and any other service that would like to consider how becoming Trauma-informed could change the outcomes for their service users. I also provide ongoing training and consultation to support a whole system transformation to trauma informed practice.
I have a small private therapy practice working with a broad range of issues; including anxiety, low mood, trauma and phobias and clients throughout the life span.
I also to offer group work and processing spaces for teams and organisations.
I am based in Hertfordshire but travel nationally to consult and train.
Please contact me using the form below.
I look forward to hearing from you.
What is Trauma-Informed Practice?
Trauma-Informed Practice is a whole systems approach which means that every aspect of an organisation pays attention to the impact of traumatic stress on the children, families and adults that use their services.
How is it different to trauma specific therapeutic intervention?
Unlike interventions such as Trauma-Focussed Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, Trauma-Informed Practice is an encompassing ethos that means that all the caregivers within a system understand how early trauma makes sense of the behaviour of a child or adult and seek to create a feeling of safety for their service users.
“Trauma-Informed Practice is a strengths-based framework grounded in an understanding of and responsiveness to the impact of trauma, that emphasises physical, psychological, and emotional safety for everyone, and that creates opportunities for survivors to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment”. (Hopper et al., 2010).
What do we mean by Trauma?
“We have learned that trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by that experience on mind, brain, and body. This imprint has ongoing consequences for how the human organism manages to survive in the present. Trauma results in a fundamental reorganization of the way mind and brain manage perceptions. It changes not only how we think and what we think about, but also our very capacity to think”.
Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
The Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACES)
ACES lists a number of early experiences both of abuse and neglect that impact on the development of children. However we also need to include both cultural and community adversity to get a full picture of the early trauma for children and families.
A Trauma-informed approach asks:
- What happened to you NOT what is wrong with you?
- How does this child / young person / adult make sense?
- How is the current behaviour a necessary survival adaptation?
- What do the caregivers need in order to be the people the child / young person / adult needs them to be?
- What do they need from us to feel safe?
Why should we consider a Trauma-informed approach for our school/ agency/ community?
Children, adults and young people who have had multiple early traumatic experiences are caught in a loop of enacting the experience of trauma, being triggered repeated by things that remind them of the time when they needed to survive. Small reminders of early traumas (often not obvious to either themselves or others), can illicit big responses. Until these children, young people and adults feel safe they will struggle to progress academically, socially or emotionally. Traditional behavioural interventions are irrelevant, and rewards and sanctions aimed at the “thinking brain” have little impact as this part of the brain is not online when they do not feel safe.
A Trauma-informed approach is not an enormous shift in the way in which services operate, more a thoughtful, logical shift for working out how people make sense and based on that how best to intervene to support traumatised youth and adults to develop and meet their potential.
A Trauma-informed approach is also linked to reducing violent or disruptive incidents, challenging behaviour restraint and exclusions in a variety of settings.
“I found Kati’s training easy to access and that it had the right balance between practical, hands on advice and theoretical content. There is always space within training for personal and professional reflection and allowing time for questions gives participants an opportunity to apply the content to their own roles and families they are working with. When I am struggling to find direction with a case speaking to Kati reminds me of the skills I have to help carers and the more time I spend working with an ARC based the more natural it becomes.”
Senior Supervising Social Worker
“I found the training very useful and enjoyable (I have been to a few training sessions where this is not the case!!). It has helped continue to shift and shape my own perspective and practice in the classroom. A surprising outcome was how it made me reflect on my own and colleagues’ mental health and I am striving to keep good mental health a priority!”
“During consultations with Kati she is able to support me in putting the dilemma I am facing into context of the wider system, breaking down the goals and talking through anxieties and worries that allow me to move when working with foster carers to create a common goal.”
“A positive training experience, great delivery that generated an electric buzz in the room!”
“I absolutely loved everything about the training, the subject matter, the way it was delivered and Kati’s clear knowledge on the subject. For me, it was completely inspiring.”
Learning Support Assistant
“I really enjoyed Kati Taunts session on ARC Training. She kept us engaged. It helped me to understand more about helping the child to regulate, rather than them reaching crisis mode. It plays a big part of the child’s wellbeing. They are ‘reaching out’ for help, and not ‘acting up’ for a no reason. I didn’t realise how much I was already applying in my everyday working with our pupils. It made me think more about my behaviour so I could model and co-modulate with our pupils. We need to regulate ourselves before we can help a child to regulate”
Learning Support Assistant
“In my general practice I will be more aware of my own reactions when working with care leavers experiencing trauma, that I will modulate my own responses to not respond with my interpretation of what they are sharing, I will also be applying active listening when I’m aware that a young person in survival mode to ensure that I prompt responses that will help young people ask themselves what do they need to do to regulate and manage themselves regarding wellbeing.”
Leaving Care Manager