New qualitative research has just been published by researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience exploring UK practitioners experiences of supporting women with co-occurring histories of interpersonal abuse, PTSD symptoms and substance use. Based on a sample of 14 practitioners based in substance use, mental health, criminal justice and domestic/sexual violence sectors.The aim of this study was to explore how services in England have developed practice responses with limited historical precedence for this work.
Three key interlinking themes were identified: practitioners’ philosophical approach; tailored clinical practice, and system responsiveness. Analyses identified the importance of relational, non-pathologising practice, extensive focus on physical and emotional safety, and cautionary approaches towards using trauma-specific treatments involving trauma disclosure. Challenges included poor service integration, time-limited treatments and tokenistic trauma informed practice.
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