Charles Sturt University logo
What years of studying social work really taught me…

What years of studying social work really taught me…


”At the end of the day every one of us wants to feel loved, wants to feel heard and wants to feel seen.”

Written by Denna Healy

Knowledge is definitely power, especially trauma-informed knowledge and care when working with people in the human services field.

What I’ve realised after completing my courses in Counselling, Social Work, Gender Equity and Family Violence response, is that you can know theories and practice frameworks, but if you are unable to genuinely emphasise and be curious about where someone is at in their journey and how they are feeling, those theories and frameworks won’t be able to be implemented as effectively.

Regardless of what someone is going through, it is our duty as universal human service workers to see someone, to truly listen to them and value what they are saying and what they are experiencing.

At the end of the day, every one of us wants to feel loved, wants to feel heard and wants to feel seen.

This is the biggest learning I have had so far and one I will continue to bring with me into the future.

By seeing people through the lens of trauma-informed knowledge and care, we can see beyond behaviours, beyond thoughts, beyond uncertainty, addiction, whatever the situation might be, and begin to explore the ‘why,’ the root-cause behind why this person’s journey started taking this turn and really stay in a compassionate and open-minded space.

As a developing practitioner, this knowledge has really helped me to form my practice framework and to reflect on how I want to show up for people out in the sector. It requires you to constantly self-reflect, seek supervision, keep up to date with the latest research and to be mindful and intentional with how you support people – which in turn makes you both a better practitioner and a better person in general.

Personally, the growth I’ve endured has been immense.

I’ve delved and will continue to delve into my life experiences past and present, and this has helped me gain a deeper understanding of my own ‘why’, my own hopes and dreams, my barriers, and also how I can best support myself to feel safe and supported in my own life, mind and body.

Although trauma-informed knowledge and care can be words that seem to be thrown around a bit in the field, my hope is that the importance of this knowledge and care can really be noticed in the field and it can be actioned appropriately.

This is so that in the future there will be practitioners who are well-equipped to support others and also themselves in ways that allow them to be the best they can be.

As humans, we all deserve to shine our brightest.

Denna Healy shining bright

Want to read another student voice?

This is an SSAF funded initiative
Write for Charlie Graphic