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The Centre for Developmental and Complex Trauma, St Andrew’s Healthcare 

The Centre for Developmental and Complex Trauma (CDCT), St Andrew’s Healthcare, focuses on improving the lives of marginalised populations, subject to repeated trauma exposure. The centre was established to provide a forum to network, coordinate and engage in activities to improve outcomes for people who live with the impact of trauma.  

In keeping with this focus, the CDCT has a strong co-production and multi-disciplinary focus to ensure that all stakeholders involved in the care and support of people with trauma-related needs have a voice. A sense of ‘ownership’ by providers and recipients of care is key to the success of the CDCT in achieving its aims.  

 

The Values of the CDCT 

The the centre also works within a framework of:  

  • Advocating and empowering: for those who have experienced trauma and assuring that marginalised voices are heard  
  • Mainstreaming: ensuring that the needs and voices of marginalised populations are embedded in policy practice rather than approached as ‘add ons’
  • Partnerships: working with others to strengthen voices to bring about change  

 

Aims and Key Objectives of the CDCT

The broad aims of the Centre are achieved through developing partnerships and practices to deliver comprehensive research, teaching and CPD programmes that incorporate holistic and survivor coproduction work that will focus on some of the most marginalised and disenfranchised sections of society.   The core aims of the Centre are the advancement of clinical practice to achieve better outcomes for people who have experienced repeated incidents of trauma.  The Centre will operate according to three broad principles: 

  • To improve the lives and outcomes for of people who have experienced repeated trauma 
  • To bridge the gap between academic knowledge and clinical practice
  • To increase awareness of the trauma experiences and care needs for the most marginalised sections of society 

 

To improve the lives and outcomes for of people who have experienced repeated trauma. 
Through recognising the whole person impact of trauma and to place those affected by trauma at the centre of activities to improve the effectiveness of services.  This will be achieved through research, hosting continued professional development events and through influencing the national policy agenda to ensure that the voices and needs of our populations are reflected in government policy.  

To bridge the gap between academic knowledge and clinical practice. 
To support the development of models of care derived from research driven by a strong academic rigour and developed by clinicians and peer researchers working in the field. This will be achieved through employing people with lived experience and providing comprehensive training to promote the quality of survivor research. Our service evaluation and research programmes will also have a strong applied clinical focus and will report findings based on the intersection needs of our populations.  

To increase awareness of the trauma experiences and care needs for the most marginalised sections of society who are typically excluded, or who are minimally present, in trauma research and have limited access to trauma services. 
This will be achieved through focusing our CPD, service evaluation and research activities with these populations and using this platform to inform and influence national policy agenda’s. 

Meet the Team

 

Dr Deborah Morris, Lead for the Centre for Development and Complex Trauma

Deborah is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist.  During her career she has worked clinically with adults with complex personality disorder, neurodevelopmental, forensic and mental health needs in the community, assertive outreach, crisis, residential and inpatient settings.  Deborah has previously worked in professional and clinical lead positions.  Her publications include; treatments for personality disorder, intellectual disabilities, developmental trauma disorders, intimate partner violence, gendered approaches to trauma and trauma care, adverse childhood experiences and the physical health impact of exposure to trauma.

Elanor Webb, Senior Clinical Research Assistant Psychologist

After graduating from University with undergraduate and master’s degrees in psychology and clinical psychology research, Elanor has worked within research at St Andrew’s Healthcare. Her research interests include psychological trauma in forensic populations, physical health, and moral injury and wellbeing in mental healthcare staff. Elanor’s publications include gendered approaches to trauma informed care, adverse childhood experiences in developmental disorder populations, and the physical health impacts of trauma.

Vicky Sibley, Specialist Trauma Nurse

Vicky began her career in mental health services as a healthcare assistant in rehabilitation services and was seconded to complete her nurse training.  After graduating from university as a mental health nurse, Vicky worked for a number of years in acute mental health services as a staff nurse before progressing to be a ward manager. Vicky joined St Andrews in 2018 as a Nurse Manager, working across the charity, including within the physical health team. where she assisted in the expansion of the physical health services available at St Andrews.

Vicky joined the team in 2020 and her research interests include moral injury and barriers to physical healthcare.

Students & Volunteers

We also have a number of postgraduate students and volunteers working with the centre. For more information about the placements that we offer and other opportunities to get involved with the centre, head over to the 'collaborations' page.