Certificate in Trauma Response Services

Purpose

The Post-Graduate Certificate in Trauma Response Services is designed to train professionals who will advance the field of traumatology, and promote the safe and effective care of individuals and communities impacted by traumatic incidents. The program serves mental health, education, medical, and ministerial professionals seeking demonstrated competency in providing immediate or ongoing trauma-informed services in local, regional, and international settings. Most courses are taught in a blended format (face to face and online meetings). The 12-unit certificate can be earned within 1 calendar year or extended according to the student's own pace.

Student Learning Outcomes

Educational Objectives

To further the development of trauma-informed services by:

  • Equipping independent mental health practitioners, school professionals, ministerial, and health care providers (responders) to view and respond to individuals and communities through a neurobiology, attachment, and trauma-informed lens.
  • Training responders in the use of best practice strategies relative to the nature of a traumatic event, stage of recovery, and assigned role.
  • Preparing responders to serve on multidisciplinary response teams with an understanding of the responder's role within the larger response structure.
Professional Objectives

To further the development of trauma-informed services by:

  • Assisting organizations to apply best-practice standards for recruitment, supervising, and debriefing responders.
  • Contributing to the understanding and application of professional and ethical standards in trauma-informed care whether providing immediate trauma response or long-term recovery interventions.
  • Equipping responders with an understanding of sociocultural factors increasing vulnerability, requiring a multi-systemic response beyond immediate care in the aftermath of an event.
  • Strengthening trauma-informed leadership in service to community and organization preparedness and response.

Admission Requirements

TRI courses and the Post-Graduate Certificate in Trauma Response Services program are open to a variety of current graduate students in qualifying degree programs and post-graduate professionals in qualifying professions. Qualifying graduate degree programs and professions include mental health, education, health sciences, and ministry.

To Enroll in TRI Courses:

Students may enroll in select TRMA courses even though the post-graduate certificate is not being pursued. All current George Fox University graduate students in good standing and post-graduate professionals from a qualifying profession are eligible to enroll in select TRI courses. Post-graduate or graduate students enrolled elsewhere in a qualifying profession are eligible to enroll in TRI courses by completing a special student application. https://www.georgefox.edu/offices/registrar/registration/specialstudent/online_app_spec_student.html.

To Apply for the Certificate Program:

Current George Fox Graduate Students in qualifying degree programs may take eligible TRMA classes without enrolling in the certificate if they are in good standing within their degree program. Admission requirements are as follows:

Transfer Credit

Transfer of up to 2 hours credit from accredited graduate schools is allowed toward the Post-Graduate Certificate in Trauma Response Services. Students must have earned a grade of B or better for a course to be considered for transfer. In addition, only courses taken elsewhere within 10 years of the date of matriculation to the Post-Graduate Certificate in Trauma Response Services will be considered for transfer. Continuing education workshops, seminars, and conferences do not qualify for transfer credit. Transferability of credits earned at this institution and transferred to another is at the discretion of the receiving institution. Consult the registrar's office for information on eligibility of transfer credit.

Residence Requirements

Of the 12 hours required for the Certificate in Trauma Response Services, a minimum of 10 credit hours must be taken in resident study at George Fox University. All work leading to the certificate must be completed within 5 years from the time of matriculation. Extension of this limit requires approval of the Graduate School of Counseling faculty. Reinstatement to the program after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the program. A leave of absence is valid for up to one year after which the student must re-apply to the program.

Course Requirements

The Post-Graduate Certificate in Trauma Response Services can be completed in 1 to 5 years with 12 semester hours of course work required as a minimum for certificate completion. Of those hours, 4 are in foundational knowledge coursework, 4 in best practice strategies, and 4 in trauma research and leadership credits.

Other Program Requirements

TRMA courses are not available for audit. Contact the TRI office for information on available Continuing Education (CE) options.

Completion Requirements

In order to complete the Post-Graduate Certificate in Trauma Response Services program students must:

  • Satisfactorily complete a minimum of 12 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.
  • Achieve no grade lower than a B in all courses. If a grade of a B- or lower is received in a required course, that course must be retaken (for more specific information, please refer to the student handbook).
  • Satisfactorily complete a trauma research project.
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Curriculum Plan

Complete the following:

This course provides an introduction to traumatology and trauma-informed care including the nature of traumatic events and the impact on biological, psychological, and social functioning. In addition, students will identify risk and resiliency factors associated with PTSD prevention and intervention services. The various roles of the responder according to the nature of the event, stage of recovery, and professional scope of practice will be identified. Instruction format includes a blended learning environment including both face-to-face and online class activities.
This course prepares the student for designing trauma-informed individual and group interventions in the aftermath of a critical incident in accordance with one’s scope of practice and competence. Students will apply universal and foundational traumatic stress assessment skills in discerning appropriate intervention methods based on level of need, context, and stage of recovery. Psychological first-aid processes will be mastered. Vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue as it applies to the trauma responder will also be explored. Instruction format includes a blended learning environment including both face-to-face and online class activities.
This course examines the neurobiology of trauma and is intended to deepen the student’s knowledge base regarding the interplay between a traumatic experience, social interactions, and neurological functioning. The interpersonal neurobiology perspective allows the student to understand not only the immediate physiological impact of a traumatic incident, but the interconnectedness between our social, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being in the aftermath of chronic abuse and/or a sudden traumatic event. Students will demonstrate an interpersonal neurobiologically-informed assessment of human functioning and response, and an ability to communicate this information in psychoeducational arenas tailored for survivors of traumatic incidents. Instruction format includes a blended learning environment including both face-to-face and online class activities. Prerequisite: GCEP 587 Interpersonal Neurobiology and Pharmaology or equivalent.
Of central concern to the trauma responder is helping individuals and communities recover from extreme loss. This course examines the nature of grief in the face of loss as experienced across the lifespan. Students will gain a deeper awareness of common grief reactions as well as short and long-term psychosocial challenges congruent with common recovery processes. Using theories examining individual and systemic resiliency, students will explore personal and contextual issues influencing an individual and community’s resiliency in the face of loss. And finally, students will learn how to discern grief processes beyond one’s scope of practice within the trauma response setting. Instruction format includes a blended learning environment including both face-to-face and online class activities.

Complete the following:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is recognized as a best practice strategy effective in mitigating the impact of traumatic stress in those struggling in the aftermath of a critical incident. In this course students will learn a series of CBT techniques useful in early and middle stage interventions with individuals and groups. Students will identify the difference between using these techniques in the context of immediate trauma response verses ongoing therapy. Competence in the techniques will be demonstrated through class role-plays. Instruction format includes a blended learning environment including both face-to-face and online class activities. Recommended Prerequisite: TRMA 500, TRMA 501.

Choose three of the following:

Students must complete 3 additional TRMA semester credits from the following list.
This course is a deeper examination of the topic under review in the annual Trauma & Social Justice Conference. Held the second week of September, the conference is an annual event sponsored by the Trauma Response Institute. It is designed to promote and support the work of humanitarian aid, mental health, education, ministerial, health care, and social change professionals dedicated to naming and responding to socio-cultural factors that increase stress and trauma among marginalized & vulnerable populations. The course is taught in a blended format with 50% of class time including conference attendance, and the other half including online activities.
This course explores the multi-generational impact of racial and ethnic marginalization. The course will also explore the impact of social dynamics on our development across the lifespan. Students will be invited to see the role of privilege and marginalization in increasing vulnerable populations to additional stress and trauma.
Professional engagement and networking now occurs in online forums as often as it occurs in face-to-face environments. Students earning a specialty in trauma-informed service will likely network and share their expertise in various digital environments which require specific skills and dispositions. This course introduces professionals to the basics of building a professional online identity with an emphasis on the application of ethical principles informing safe and effective practice. This course is applicable to all graduate students exploring methods of building a practice and networking with other professionals. Instruction format includes a blended learning environment including both face-to-face and online class activities.
This course examines the theory and application of Emotionally Focused Therapy with couples from a trauma-informed perspective. The course will build on the empirically validated concepts of EFT, by applying its concepts, as well as those of attachment theory, specifically to trauma stemming from attachment injuries. These traumas can be precipitated by a variety of experiences including mental health issues or relational trauma such as miscarriage, military combat, or childhood sexual abuse. Through the use of EFT’s three stages and nine steps, couples reprocess emotional experiences and traumas within the context of finding a secure base and emotional comfort in one another. The course will specifically focus on working with couples from a trauma-informed perspective thereby addressing guilt and shame, and reducing fear and anxiety, through the use of these concepts. Prerequisite: GCEP 585 Seminar in COUN/MMFT: Emotion Focused Therapy
This course introduces independent mental health practitioners to the fundamentals of treating adults sexually abused as children. Since many adults challenged with recovery from incidents of childhood sexual abuse also experienced additional layers of abuse, neglect, or mis-attunement throughout childhood, the focus of this course will examine treatment from a complex trauma recovery lens. The student will demonstrate competence in understanding how to structure therapy for the adult client through the application of course materials. Competence in understanding the psychological, interpersonal, and neurobiological components of abuse will be demonstrated through a collaborative group project. Instruction format includes a blended learning environment including both face-to-face and online class activities. Prerequisite: GCEP 500
These courses focus on best-practice strategies related to trauma-informed care within specific settings and populations. Course offerings may only be offered once, or might be rotated on an every 2 to 3 year basis depending on interest. Prerequisite: On a per topic basis. Prerequisite: TRMA 500 Introduction to Traumatology. Prerequisite or Corequisite: TRMA 501 Basic Skills in Individual and Group Crisis Intervention.

Complete the following:

Note: Students who do not complete the trauma research project by taking TRMA 571, 572 and 573 will need to register for the continuation course TRMA 575 until the project is complete.

Students completing the Post-Graduate Certificate in Trauma Response Services begin the research component by enrolling in TRMA 571 in either the Fall or Spring term. The Trauma Research Project is a thesis that represents the culminating demonstration of the student's trauma-informed expertise. The student will engage in a 9 to 12 month project designed to advance service delivery and/or research related to improving trauma response services. Post-graduate certificate candidates may opt to partner with government or non-government organizations, including the Trauma Response Institute, engaged in research or service delivery projects in progress, or design their own project to be developed and implemented within a designated setting. Students may also opt to collaborate together in the completion of a project as long as each student has clearly identified responsibilities. Successful completion of the thesis requires completion of the project as detailed in the candidate’s trauma research proposal, including a written summary of the project suitable for publication. Students will participate in monthly research team work groups during the Fall and Spring academic terms as all projects will be completed under the supervision of the Trauma Response Institute director. Prerequisite: TRMA 500, TRMA 501. Corequisite: Additional Block A, B, and C courses required for certificate completion.
Students completing the Post-Graduate Certificate in Trauma Response Services continue progress on their research component by enrolling in TRMA 572 in either the Fall or Spring term following the successful completion of TRMA 571. The Trauma Research Project is a thesis that represents the culminating demonstration of the student's trauma-informed expertise. The student will engage in a 9 to 12 month project designed to advance service delivery and/or research related to improving trauma response services. Post-graduate certificate candidates may opt to partner with government or non-government organizations, including the Trauma Response Institute, engaged in research or service delivery projects in progress, or design their own project to be developed and implemented within a designated setting. Students may also opt to collaborate together in the completion of a project as long as each student has clearly identified responsibilities. Successful completion of the thesis requires completion of the project as detailed in the candidate’s trauma research proposal, including a written summary of the project suitable for publication. Students will participate in monthly research team work groups during the Fall and Spring academic terms as all projects will be completed under the supervision of the Trauma Response Institute director. Prerequisite: TRMA 500, TRMA 501. Corequisite: Additional Block A, B, and C courses required for certificate completion.
Students completing the Post-Graduate Certificate in Trauma Response Services work towards the completion of the research component by enrolling in TRMA 573 in either the Fall, Spring, or Summer term following the successful completion of TRMA 572. The Trauma Research Project is a thesis that represents the culminating demonstration of the student's trauma-informed expertise. The student will engage in a 9 to 12 month project designed to advance service delivery and/or research related to improving trauma response services. Post-graduate certificate candidates may opt to partner with government or non-government organizations, including the Trauma Response Institute, engaged in research or service delivery projects in progress, or design their own project to be developed and implemented within a designated setting. Students may also opt to collaborate together in the completion of a project as long as each student has clearly identified responsibilities. Successful completion of the thesis requires completion of the project as detailed in the candidate’s trauma research proposal, including a written summary of the project suitable for publication. Students will participate in monthly research team work groups during the Fall and Spring academic terms as all projects will be completed under the supervision of the Trauma Response Institute director. Prerequisite: TRMA 500, TRMA 501. Corequisite: Additional Block A, B, and C courses required for certificate completion.
Students will complete a series of United States Federal Emergency Management Agency web-based courses related to trauma-incident preparedness and response. Course content will then be applied in service to a local organization or business through a readiness-review or employee in-service training. Prerequisite: TRMA 500, TRMA 501

Verification of trauma research completion submitted to Registrar.

Note:

Specific learning outcomes for each course are congruent with national traumatology certification expectations. Course requirements primarily involve project-based learning assignments requiring the student to demonstrate mastery and application of course content. In addition, all Certificate in Trauma Response Services course outcomes reflect core competencies expected in accordance with CA-CREP and NCATE educational standards.