Emotional PAIN Relief for Traumatised Young People: Description of a Tool for Providing 'First Aid Plus'


  • Jenny Dwyer
  • Annette Jackson Take Two, Berry Street, Richmond
  • Raeleen McKenzie Take Two, Berry Street, Richmond
  • Margarita Frederico La Trobe University, Bundoora


emotional first aid, youth, trauma, intervention


This paper presents a tool that forms part of an emotional first aid approach to prevent or reduce escalation of emotional and behavioural difficulties for young people who are facing threatening situations and other overwhelming events. PAIN is an acronym designed to help workers, carers and young people learn and remember the value of: Predicting and Preparing; Acknowledging feelings; Informing and Nurturing and Noticing. It is not an intervention approach in itself but a tool to support those at risk of becoming increasingly dysregulated. lt has been developed out of practice experience and informed by theories regarding development, attachment and trauma. It has been applied in a variety of settings including child protection, residential care, youth justice, and primary health settings. This paper presents on the development, rationale and application of the tool and aims to encourage discussion regarding this and other approaches that emerge from practice.

Author Biographies

Jenny Dwyer

Private Consultant, Melbourne, Australia.

Annette Jackson, Take Two, Berry Street, Richmond

Take Two, Berry Street, Richmond, Australia.

Raeleen McKenzie, Take Two, Berry Street, Richmond

Take Two, Berry Street, Richmond, Australia.

Margarita Frederico, La Trobe University, Bundoora

School of Social Work and Social Policy, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia.