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Warren Larkin

Trauma informed consultancy, training and coaching


Warren is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and is also Visiting Professor at Sunderland University where he is working with the Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing, to develop their research programme and training curricula for a broad range of health care professionals.

Warren completed a 2-year tenure as the Clinical Lead for the Department of Health Adverse Childhood Experiences programme and is now working with NHS Health Scotland to implement routine ACE enquiry in GP practices in some of the most deprived areas in Scotland.

He has a long-standing interest in the relationships between childhood adversity and outcomes later in life and has published numerous research articles on the topic of adverse childhood experiences, trauma and psychosis and published an edited book in 2006 exploring this theme.

Warren is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and is also Visiting Professor at Sunderland University where he is working with the Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing, to develop their research programme and training curricula for a broad range of health care professionals.

Warren completed a 2-year tenure as the Clinical Lead for the Department of Health Adverse Childhood Experiences programme and is now working with NHS Health Scotland to implement routine ACE enquiry in GP practices in some of the most deprived areas in Scotland.

He has a long-standing interest in the relationships between childhood adversity and outcomes later in life and has published numerous research articles on the topic of adverse childhood experiences, trauma and psychosis and published an edited book in 2006 exploring this theme.

Warren has also been involved in policy development and has acted as an advisor to a number of UK and foreign government agencies. He was a member of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services National Task Force, the NICE expert reference group on first episode psychosis, the ‘Tackling CSE’ advisory group and was a contributing author of the recently published Personality Disorder Consensus Statement. He is currently supporting UNICEF in the Western Balkans to develop trauma-informed policy and practice.

Warren Larkin Associates was founded in the Spring of 2017 and since then we have worked with a diverse range of public and private sector organisations, including UK governments.

Our associates are all successful system leaders who have been at the cutting edge of health and social care innovation and reform for over a decade, having designed and managed nationally recognised and award-winning services. We are bound together by our shared values which guide everything we do.

Our work is evidence-based or where an evidence base isn’t established, we will work with our clients to generate practice-based evidence. We work with our clients and stakeholders to co-create innovative solutions, and we never forget that strong relationships are the basis of successful projects. For Warren Larkin Associates, every project is the start of a relationship and it is that relationship that creates change.

Warren Larkin Associates offers bespoke training, which is tailored to an organisation’s specific needs, in terms of content and delivery methods.

A Trauma Informed Perspective for schools:

The fight, flight or freeze response as a result of toxic stress caused by an unsafe home or an abusive parent means the allostatic load (wear and tear on the immune system) becomes damaging for a child in the long term.

Short term, a child will struggle to self-regulate and it will be physiologically impossible for them to learn and feel settled in school.

Punishment doesn’t work for these children and we are simply compounding trauma.

Traumatised children are hyper-vigilant to threat and often over-react and live with a sense of persistent threat and fear. They are simply adapted to survival and so enabling them to feel safe via a reliable and trusted adult relationship is paramount.

We try to work with schools to create a culture based on embracing the fact that toxic stress prevents learning and a supportive educational approach changes behaviour – punishment does not. Children need safe, stable, nurturing relationships and teachers are often the only adult in a child’s life that can offer that.

We believe that teaching staff must be our partners in co-designing programmes of trauma informed practice and should be engaged and ready to co-create this change – if they are resistant to considering alternatives because they are feeling burnt out – success will depend on addressing these needs and concerns first. Trauma-sensitive means caring for everyone and if teachers are unhappy and don’t feel cared for, they will have little emotional resource to give to their students.

The initial priority for any school or educational setting is establishing psychological safety for everyone in the school including, staff – When every child can rely on safe, stable, nurturing relationships – then we can move into resilience building activities and more targeted therapeutic approaches.

Trauma sensitive schools can buffer the impact of the ACEs children experience at home or outside of school. A whole school effort is required – this is a cultural, philosophical and practice change journey. We see our role at WLA, as thinking partners for the headteacher and leadership team in creating vision and set of practices that are appropriate and sustainable for their own school. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach here.

Helping all children, including those who are experiencing adversity, to understand their own emotional needs and wellbeing, to build self-esteem and learn to self-regulate are all skills that need to be learned and are also better predictors of adult-life satisfaction than test results and intellectual attainment.

Part of our approach is to ensure there are effective professional supervision and support systems in place for all staff in order to allow space for reflection, restoration and professional development.

Services are available Nationwide.

Our services cover advice and consultancy, coaching and the development of staff support systems.We also offer a broad range of training across the areas of Adverse Childhood Experiences, Trauma, Resilience, Mental Health and Supervision Approaches. We also specialise in designing and implementing Trauma-Informed change programmes and practice development initiatives.

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