Copyright© 2021. Deborah J Crozier. The right of Deborah J Crozier to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All Rights Reserved. No part of this works may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written consent of the Copyright owner.

S.T.A.N.D© is an acronym for Stop, Think, Act, Never Doubt –   A trauma informed response to be applied in situations when an individual may be triggered by the behaviours of others.   Developed in 2014 for Adverse Childhood Experience’s trauma support, S.T.A.N.D© continues to be an effective tool for those prone to negative automatic responses, driven by fear and uncertainty due to previous experiences of trauma.

Rather than responding with confidence and conviction in a way that is beneficial for self, trauma victims can be prone to people-pleasing, often finding it impossible to put their own interests before the interests of others, inadvertently making themselves vulnerable. Hyper vigilance and high levels of empathy mean they are often overwhelmed by negative emotions when faced with what others may perceive as simple decision-making.

People- pleasing behaviour occurs when a person doesn’t know how to say no, and have difficulty with boundaries. They mask their true feelings with smile,  going along with something they disagree with, rather than expressing how they truly feel for fear of disapproval, rejection or reprisal. They may feel ‘put on or put out with others who they see as taking advantage, when they are the ones giving out mixed messages, saying they don’t really mind when infact they do.

This happens because a trauma victims focus automatically shifts to the other person or persons well-being rather than their own. Their main concerns tend to revolve around what other people will think of them, how they will be perceived by others, and how others are likely to feel as a result of the victims decisions. All of these concerns for others (family, friends, work colleagues, neighbour’s, even strangers often leaves them swamped by feelings of guilt, awkwardness and apprehension, victims tend to bypass their own thoughts and feelings of well-being, prioritizing others  and frequently suffering as a result.

The way our brains process information, often draws on previous experience, filling in the blanks with the ‘most like outcome’. We call this Bottom-Up processing. If, due to previous experiences,  our first thought is likely to be a negative automatic thought (NATs)  – the way forward from a trauma response is by retraining our brains to recognise and intercept the NATs,  to ensure the thoughts that follow are mindful, intentional and balanced.

Even when victims of trauma recognise negative negative responses, such as people- pleasing behaviour in themselves, they may have difficulty over coming these behaviours because they may be ingrained because of childhood trauma and/or because victims of trauma rarely trust their own judgement – another side effect of the trauma they have suffered.

As observers,  we may be surprised by a trauma victims response to a situation. It they may appear to a bystander that the individual is not being genuine or applying any common sense to their responses, instead they appear to be opting for the ‘same old mistakes’ time and time again. With hindsight, the individual is likely to arrive at the same conclusion, which only serves as a big stick to beat themselves up with, reinforcing the negative views that the traumatized individual already holds about themselves, further impacting on their low self-worth.

“If we look at this man’s behaviors without knowing anything about his past, we might think he was mad. However, with a little history, we can see that his actions were a brilliant attempt to resolve a deep emotional scar. His re-enactment took him to the very edge, again and again, until he was finally able to free himself from the overwhelming nightmare of war. ACCIDENTS “JUST” HAPPEN”
― Dr. Peter A. Levine, 


Perpetrators are keen observers who can easily recognise automatic people pleasing responses in others, making them easy prey.

This happens because people who live with unresolved trauma, often become stuck. They may find themselves going round and round in circles; different faces, different places – same old mistakes and outcomes.

If I didn’t have bad luck, I would have no luck at all” is often a belief held by the traumatized, who tend to view their own lives as spectators from the sidelines, rather than being actively involved in the decision making, due to a lack of control. In these circumstances, people tend to default to people-pleasing rather than expressing their true inner feelings in relation to any situation, because facing emotions leaves them vulnerable, and feels like a scary or even dangerous place for them. Some people may default to anger, appearing passive-aggressive or defeated, because their responses are driven by fear or panic due to the stuckness or disassociation.

“Re-enactments may be played out in intimate relationships, work situations, repetitive accidents or mishaps, and in other seemingly random events. They may also appear in the form of bodily symptoms or psychosomatic diseases. Children who have had a traumatic experience will often repeatedly recreate it in their play. As adults, we are often compelled to re-enact our early traumas in our daily lives. The mechanism is similar regardless of the individual’s age.”
― Dr. Peter A. Levine,

Over time, with practice, the acronym; S.T.A.N.D©Stop, Think, Act, Never Doubt – serves as an aide memoir prompting the individual to stay calm and focused in the present moment, reminding them to turn their attention inwards and to connect to how they are feeling, as opposed to allowing their minds to run riot, whizzing back and forth searching for answers which is what often leads them to a place of panic and anxiety.

By turning the attention inwards, they are guided by how they feel,  an indicator of what feels right for them and what feels wrong for them as their internal navigation system fires up thus assisting them to respond in ways that are healthy and in their own best interests. Over time, with practice, S.T.A.N.D© becomes the new go to response.

To find out more about S.T.A.N.D ©and how it could work for you, register for our upcoming Webinar Today!

Feelings of helplessness, immobility, and freezing. If hyper-arousal is the nervous system’s accelerator, a sense of overwhelming helplessness is its brake. The helplessness that is experienced at such times is not the ordinary sense of helplessness that can affect anyone from time to time. It is the sense of being collapsed, immobilized, and utterly helpless. It is not a perception, belief, or a trick of the imagination. It is real.”
― Dr. Peter A. Levine



S.T.A.N.D© As a toolkit for the prevention of

Grooming Behaviour’s©

CPD Certified Instructor Course | Become an Instructor

The impact of trauma can be devastating and being  groomed for any reason, is a traumatic event. The experience often leaves victims feeling embarrassed, ashamed and guilt ridden for years to come as they struggle to make sense of what has happened to them. 

Being deceived by someone we trust and respect is a difficult situation for anyone. It can take its toll on our emotions and well-being, adversely impacting a victims confidence and self-esteem.

The experience of Grooming behaviours may lead victims to question their reality, causing confusion and/ or anxiety, as the process of grooming usually involves manipulation and gas-lighting.

Grooming may cause victims to feel in some ways complicit; as they convince themselves that they should have seen what was coming or they should have known better.

Understanding that we are not responsible for the behaviours of others may make sense, but understanding it and accepting it are two separate things entirely – it may not always be enough to prevent the negative emotional impact that follows. Victims regularly blame  themselves despite being able to reason that they could not possibly have known and are not to blame for trusting someone unworthy of their trust. 

This is especially true if a victim has encountered a trauma or multiple traumatic events in the past.

How to respond to the negative behaviours of others is often out-with the control of victims who have experienced previous trauma as they become triggered yet often unaware of what is happening to them or why.  Knowing how to respond in a way that keeps us safe and empowered in such a situation is vital if we hope to protect ourselves.

This is where S.T.A.N.D© comes in.

To Learn more about our online workshops, how S.T.A.N.D© is an effective strategy for victims of trauma and for Lived Experience Trauma Support, Get In touch.


There’s one more symptom we need to look at before looking at how trauma actually gets into the body and mind and causes long-term problems. This one is a little less straightforward than the others. Here’s one of the more unusual and problem-creating symptoms that can develop from unresolved trauma: the compulsion to repeat the actions that caused the problem in the first place. We are inextricably drawn into situations that replicate the original trauma in both obvious and less obvious ways.”
― Dr. Peter A. Levine