Good Practice Conference 2024

Trauma-Assumed PBS

Here we are hosting all of the videos from our fantastic 2024 PBS Good Practice Conference. 

We would like to thank all of our speakers for their very valued contribution - please direct any questions through our contact page. 

Unfortunately, due to issues this year with our video conferencing software, the file for our Keynote session (Dr Jen Austin) became corrupted - we would encourage you to read the original paper.

Brodie Paterson - Understanding Traumatised Organisations

Understanding Traumatised Organisations

Good Practice Conference 2024

A growing awareness of the significance of trauma in the lives of people with an intellectual disability / ASD and their families has led to a greater emphasis on integrative practice. Such practices seek to incorporate an understanding not only of trauma but of the role played by attachment in the development and maintenance of behaviours of concern. A potential criticism of many of these developments is though that they often fail to consider the impact of trauma not only on staff but on teams and ultimately on the organisation providing services. The long and growing litany of abuse scandals illustrates however that services which do not overtly manage their organisational cultures risk the development of a corrupted culture with all that entails. Using a trauma informed lens to foreground and actively manage the processes involved provides a series of tools to review, develop and maintain the positive organizational cultures those who provide and those who use our services need.

Dr. Paterson is an experienced practitioner, manager, and researcher with degrees in psychology, education and social policy and has published more than a hundred papers, book chapters and research reports. He has held posts in the NHS, academia, and the private sector. His present research interests include the development and evaluation of trauma informed professional curricula, the significance of compassion fatigue in human services and how we can ensure an understanding of the significance of trauma underpins policy and practice at a national level.

He has acted as an expert advisor to government private and not for profit sectors in the UK, Ireland, and Australia on the introduction of trauma informed practice and restrictive intervention reduction. He pioneered the introduction of restrictive physical intervention reduction in the UK following a series of ground-breaking UK research studies that explored why cultures of care were prone to becoming toxic and corrupted and what could be done to prevent this. He has a long-standing interest in trauma informed approaches to supporting people who are socially and economically excluded because of poverty, racism and trauma to access training, education and employment and is a Director of Joblinkplus who have pioneered this approach in Australia.

As a consultant psychotherapist he has particular expertise in the support of children and adults whose distress may present as behaviour that challenges including violence. He presently Chairs the European Network for Trainers in the Management of Aggression and is a trustee of the UK Restraint Reduction Network He is an Honorary fellow Ad Eundem of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, a Fellow of the European Academy of Nursing Scientists and an honorary Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary’s University, London.

Twitter @Drbrodiepaters1

Sandy Toogood - Using the PBAS App

Description Active Support for people with intellectual disabilities increases opportunities for (a) meaningful engagement in everyday activities, (b) exercising choice, and (c) community involvement, in order to enhance people’s quality of life and (where needed) avoid challenging behaviour. In this presentation I will describe how supporting personal routines is person-centred support, and how a recently developed app makes this possible. I will demonstrate a selection of the PBAS app’s core features and explain why each was developed.

Mini-Bio Prof Sandy Toogood is an academic practitioner with over 40 years of experience in the field. In the 1980s Sandy contributed to the development of Active Support before joining the first peripatetic behavioural support service in the UK. Sandy later helped establish and teach the first BCBA course sequence in the UK. He has sponsored a number of service developments and initiatives and is the principal architect of the PBAS app.

I-Support Behaviour: Comfort Stretch No Panic - Trauma Recovery through Co-Production

This presentation will use a case study to explore the work with an autistic individual experiencing a paralysing mental health crisis and trauma. It will present the journey to recovery using co-production and utilising evidence-based approaches. This includes the PBS framework, the principles of Trauma Informed Care as well as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Attachment Theory. It will touch upon upskilling the circle of support to prevent further traumatisation and will address barriers as well as progress.

Bethany Green is a BCBA with an M(Sc) in Applied Behaviour Analysis. She has extensive experience working with the PBS framework implementing executive function(s) interventions, applying and disseminating behaviour-analytic practises as well as applying, and adopting educational evidence-based interventions for people with Intellectual Disabilities and autistic people.

Irit Garty is a qualified counsellor (BACP Accred) with an MA in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities from the Tizard Centre. She has over two decades of experience working with autistic adults in social care settings and in private practice. Irit applies the PBS framework as well as therapeutic practices such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to support people’s emotional wellbeing and quality of life.

Irit and Beth work at I Support Behaviour, a consultancy agency that aims to apply evidence-based practices to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism.

Achieve Behaviour Consultancy: Supporting Young People to Build Resilience

In Trauma-Assumed Practice there is a need for Behaviour Analysts to be supporting clients to increase their autonomous skills around experiencing emotions and behaviours.

In this course, we will explore how emotions are relevant to Positive Behaviour Support practitioners, and what interventions may support us to increase resilience in young people who are struggling to regulate their emotions and behaviours.

I have around 12 years of experience working with young people with learning difficulties in a variety of roles.

Additionally, I have worked with companies such as Priory Adult Care, National Autistic Society & Leonard Cheshire.

More recently, my practice has expanded to young people in Care, and in Mainstream Education. My true passion lies in supporting this population by training staff teams and formulating Positive Behaviour Support Plans which are person-centred and consider consent and socially significant programming.

Samantha Chandler

BSc, MSc, PGDip, BCBA.

MacIntyre: Compassion First PBS: A Commitment, A Case Study & Call to Action

Macintyre as an organisation has been on a ten-year journey in relation to PBS, mirrored only by the journey PBS itself has on at the same time. This presentation is an opportunity for us to share with you, some of that journey; our learning and how we are now in place to make a genuine commitment to Compassion First – PBS. It will explore the need for active compassion in practice, balancing the real person, their experiences and their needs within a model of PBS support that is so often misunderstood and at times even misused.

I have over 12 years experience as a specialist practitioner in the field of PBS and Complex Support, prior to which I came from a support worker, service manager and learning and development lead background within social care. My journey has led me to study Behaviour Analysis both at degree and post graduate level and now has me leading on developing our vision for Compassion First PBS, as a framework for supporting people with a learning disability, who may also be autistic to overcome barriers t learning and engagement. I lead a team of PBS Lead Specialists across the UK in MacIntyre’s Adult, Young People’s and Children’s services and it is my lived experience that shapes my values, as I am Mum and also Nanna to two amazing human beings who are autistic and living with other additional needs, both of whom represent something very different in terms of the realities of living a life that makes sense to them.

Please note - this talk ended up being covered by Belinda Bradley - Head of Best Practice at MacIntyre Charity.

The Behaviour Clinic: A Behaviour Approach to Trauma Informed Care

This presentation will introduce the TRIBE model which is a behavioural approach to Trauma Informed Care currently being used to support care experienced children. The model emphasises understanding the impact of trauma on young people’s development, behaviour, and well-being. The connection between trauma and behavioural responses informs interventions that are sensitive to young people’s experiences and learning histories. The model takes a contextual perspective considering environmental variables and the young person’s network within all intervention. This presentation will discuss the TRIBE model, the contextual approach used, and a range of therapies that support trauma recovery using case studies to demonstrate practice application.

Laura Neal, BCBA, Clinical Director at The Behaviour Clinic.

The Behaviour Clinic is a company based in South Wales that provides therapeutic support to children and young people who have experienced early life trauma. Laura was a childcare social worker for ten years before completing an MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis and founding The Behaviour Clinic specifically to use a behaviour analytic approach to working with care experienced children. The Behaviour Clinic now supports local authorities across South Wales to implement trauma informed practices within, foster, adoptive and residential placements. Laura also specialises in childhood attachment, therapeutic life story work, placement transition, childhood adoption and working with children who have experienced sexual abuse and has integrated practices from these specialisms into The Behaviour clinic's model of support.

Barney Huxtable, BCBA, Residential Service Manager at The Behaviour Clinic.

Barney joined The Behaviour Clinic in 2018 as a Behaviour Analyst. Barney specialises in supporting residential homes to provide setting wide Trauma Informed Care and works with a range of young people who have complex needs. Barney supports residential homes across South Wales to implement the TRIBE model. The homes Barney works with often accommodate children who engage in high-level risk-taking behaviour such as self-harm, absconding, substance misuse and aggression. Barney has designed multiple interventions to reduce these challenges using trauma informed approaches that are derived from behaviour analysis. Barney is also trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Therapeutic Life Story Work and has a keen interest in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

TRFS: Co-Produced Methodologies to Develop Interventions


In this workshop The Richmond Fellowship Scotland will present a case study example through the use of video, interviews and testimony of one supported individuals reflections of coproducing their PBS plan. The workshop will introduce the use of Zones of Regulations to support one individuals experience of developing self-regulation, emotional understanding and wellbeing to develop reactive strategies that support social care staffs understanding.


With 20 years’ experience in the social care sector working with individuals with complex needs, Chloe is an experienced Positive Behaviour Support practitioner. Chloe has worked within The Richmond Fellowship Scotland’s PBS team for four years developing PBS supports across services and delivering credit rated PBS programs of study to services across Scotland. Chloe has a keen interest in co-production and teaching others how to incorporate this into their practice. With a higher education in law, focusing on healthcare ethics and equality, Chloe has also undergone her PBS BTEC diploma with BILD.

The Tizard Centre: Attitudes Amongst Professionals to Trauma Informed Care

Trauma Informed Care is a topic which has piqued the interest of many practitioners in behaviour analysis. The purpose of this study was to collect and compare information about attitudes towards Trauma Informed Care amongst professionals working with individuals with learning disabilities who exhibit behaviours that challenge. Participants provided some qualitative data about their understanding of trauma informed care and how to implement this in practice, and they completed the Attitudes Related to Trauma-Informed Care (ARTIC-10) Scale—short version. This tool measures attitudes related to trauma-informed care among staff working in schools, human service systems, and healthcare serving individuals with histories of trauma. A descriptive comparison between people that have and do not have training and experience in behaviour analysis or Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) was carried out using the ARTIC-10, and will be presented. Preliminary findings indicate an overwhelming number of people identify as having had experience or training in behaviour analysis or PBS, and findings need to be considered tentatively given unequal groups for comparison.

Marta is a PBS Practitioner working for Home Farm Trust (HFT), she has 20 years of experience working across different settings and with a variety of people. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Forensic Psychology and is currently completing an MSc in Positive Behaviour Support at the Tizard, University of Kent.

Suzy is a Doctoral-level Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and a UKBA(cert). She holds a PhD in Applied Psychology, with a focus on Behaviour Analysis, an MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) and BA in Psychology and has studied in the UK and the US. Suzy works as a Lecturer in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at the University of Kent where she primarily teaches on the Postgraduate Applied Behaviour Analysis and Positive Behaviour Support programmes. Suzy has also worked with autistic children and children with learning disabilities and their families in a clinical and research capacity both in the US and the UK.

PSG: Everyday Experiences - The Pain of Sensory Trauma

We have become increasingly aware of the impact of the sensory chaos of everyday life, for people who have sensory differences. As more people have been able to advocate for themselves and others who have similar needs but are unable to tell us their experience, our understanding has grown, as has the evidence base to support the lived experience of those speaking out. It is imperative that our PBS practice is trauma assumed in relation to sensory experiences and that we can ensure we deliver support which accounts for and is grounded in alleviating distressing inputs and increasing regulatory inputs. We will examine the evidence base and consider how we can ensure our practice delivers the best outcomes to avoid re-traumatising those we support and supports access to parasympathetic nervous system states, where people can be supported to relax, learn, play and recover.

Sophie Scott-Harman is a Service Lead at Positive Support Group. She has supported people with a variety of needs, including those who are autistic, learning disabled, or have mental health diagnoses, since 2004, having worked previously in dementia care since 2000. She is a strong advocate for truly person-centred planning and action, keeping the person’s needs and wants at the centre of every discussion and at the heart of the support they receive. Sophie has interests in and specialises in autism, neurodiversity, sensory needs, and trauma. She loves to work directly with individuals and their support networks to ensure the best possible holistic support is delivered to help people achieve their goals and work towards their dreams. Sophie achieved her PGDip in Autism Studies at Tizard in 2011 and then worked as part of the Autism Studies team for the Undergraduate programmes. She is Autistic herself and this helps her to understand with a depth of empathy how others might be perceiving the world around them. Throughout her career it became increasingly apparent that so much of the distressed behaviour she was witnessing and having reported to, was the result of trauma and after a spell working alongside a highly specialised service, with traumatised women, the lens of trauma responses could not be lifted – she began to assume trauma and encourage awareness, followed by compassionate responses from those in supporting roles.

Jasmine Zadeh is a PBS Practitioner at Positive Support Group who has worked in a variety of social care and mental health settings throughout her career, from an internal PBS practitioner within a large care provider to intensive work within stepped-down services and therapeutic communities, and SEN specialist roles within the education system. She has supported people with a variety of additional needs, including those with acquired brain injury and neurological disorders. In 2019 Jasmine completed an MSc in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology, building on her existing Psychology and undergraduate BSc degrees. She then began a PhD programme in Psychology at the University of Chichester, where her passion for well-being led her to examine the relationship between nature-based interventions and psychological wellbeing. Jasmine has a passion for implementing research into practice, working form a strong evidence base to support people across all neuro diversities to flourish and live the best lives possible.

Jeredith Lord - Stalking and Domestic Violence: A functional analysis from the perpetrators perspective.

Percy Hedley School is an all-through special school based in the North East of England. Percy Hedley School offers provision for pupils with cerebral palsy and motor disorders; autism and communication difficulties; visual impairment and blind; and receptive, expressive and pragmatic language difficulties. Teachers, therapists and learning support assistants work together in trans-disciplinary teams to meet the individual needs of every pupil.

Hannah Newcombe (PBS UK Associate Director) has been supporting the school through a training and PBS implementation process since April of last year. This talk will reflect upon this process and the elements that have made it a successful project.

Barry Reed is Deputy Headteacher at Percy Hedley School; his responsibilities include strategic leadership for behaviour. He has taught and led in mainstream secondary, all-through special schools and a residential special FE college. Barry is a PBS Coach and in a previous role was an advanced behaviour trainer for managing actual and potential aggression.

Andy Hall is Positive Behaviour Support Lead, behaviour trainer and a class teacher at Percy Hedley School. Andy has eleven years of experience in Special Educational Needs and Disability and five years of experience as a behaviour trainer. Andy has played a significant role in establishing Positive Behaviour Support at Percy Hedley School. As Positive Behaviour Support Lead, Andy leads a team of fourteen PBS Coaches spanning the full range of classes within school.

PSG: Engaging Trauma-Experienced Parents & Carers

While there are many tools available to professionals on how to assess and support service users through a trauma-informed or trauma-assumed approach, often times their parent or carer has their own trauma history that goes unaddressed. This can impact their engagement with professionals and their readiness to implement positive behaviour support (PBS) strategies. This presentation will review how to establish rapport and engage with families and carers through a trauma-assumed approach as well as how to compassionately coach parents and carers on how to implement PBS recommendations.

Susan Tirella is the Clinical Lead at Positive Support Group (formerly PBSC). A board certified behaviour analyst (BCBA®) since 2007 and UKBA(cert), she has over 23 years of experience supporting autistic people with and without Learning Disabilities and their parents/carers across home, school, community, and interdisciplinary centre settings in the US and UK. She has conducted research on increasing spontaneous play through video modelling and school based practical functional assessment in addition to presenting at local and international conferences on assessing and addressing social skills development and a behavioural approach to suicide prevention with autistic people. Susan is currently working towards a PhD in psychology with a specialization in behaviour analysis at Capella University.