Why is confidentiality so important for young people who have survived trauma?
You may be aware that our centre is not generally open to visitors. We love to show people around, introduce them to our horses and tell them about our innovative services but we always do so by appointment only. Have you ever wondered why we don't just open our doors for potential volunteers, referrers or service users to just drop in and see what we're about?
We're a trauma informed organisation. We're about to start the Stable Moments project, where we will work with children and young people whose environments can be chaotic and unpredictable. For them, a knock on the door isn't always a good thing and adults are not always safe. They are often stuck in trauma responses, living in fight, flight or freeze mode. As the name Stable Moments suggests, their time here with the horses might be the only stable moment in their week. Eventually, young people learn that they can relax here, that they can breathe, that they are safe. Horses don't judge, they don't lie and they have no hidden agenda. Even the most traumatised child can learn to trust a horse. But that takes time and space.
All of the sessions that happen here are confidential. Confidentiality is a key part of trauma informed care. It's about building trust and creating safety. Confidentiality means protecting personal information. This information might include details of a service user’s identity, lifestyle, family, mental health or care needs which they want to be kept private. It might even include the fact that they are here at all.
Service users expect the professionals who are involved in their care or treatment to protect their confidentiality at all times. Breaking confidentiality by dropping in on a young person's session- even by accident-can affect the care we provide, as service users will be less likely to trust us or to provide the information we need to care for them. Please help us to help young people feel physically and emotionally safe at our centre by arranging your visit in advance.