The Certificate in Trauma Counselling program is designed for experienced front-line workers (nurses, clergy, social workers, residential workers, addiction counsellors) who provide short-term (non psychotherapy) counselling contact with vulnerable populations in community-based settings.

The trauma issues experienced by clients/consumers
may include: early childhood trauma , violent crime , work related trauma, motor vehicle accidents and chronic and terminal illness.

Participants will be given the most current information on the biopsychosocial phenomenon of psychological trauma, and training in how to assess and respond ethically and appropriately to clients, given the parameters of the workplace.  We will also examine how workers and organizations are affected by and respond to working with traumatized individuals and develop approaches to work that enhance personal and professional resilience.

Given the richness of professional and personal experience front-line workers bring to these trainings, the sessions will be small in size in order to maximize small and large group work learning and processing. 

Participants will learn: 

Identification: Participants will learn to identify and understand the range of reactions traumatized individuals may experience such as:

  • Acute PTSD, PTSD, Grief/Bereavement Reactions: Developmental Trauma, Complex Trauma, Developmental Trauma, chronic frustration and misery, dissociative reactions and anxious and disorganized attachment patterns.

Assessment: Participants will learn key questions to ask clients in acute and complex situation to assess and guide interventions.

Interventions: Participants will learn strategies that will assist clients in adaptive coping and overcoming the debilitating effects of:

  • Hypo/hyerarousal, affect dysregulation, sleep dysregulation, intrusive imagery, flashbacks and nightmare management, guilt shame, blame, client paralysis and therapeutic impasses.
  • The objective with clients who have experience a single incident trauma is to help clients recover to base-line functioning by using psych education and symptom management strategies.
  • The objective with clients who have experienced complex/ developmental trauma, is to mitigate layers of human suffering that has manifested in entrenched rigid maladaptive patterns. Our work with clients is to bring clarity to the origin, presence and manifestations of these patterns and to develop a systematic process for changing the core belied system, schema that drives these patterns.

Facing the Pain- Enhancing Worker Resilience: Working with human suffering on a daily basis and being sensitive to the despair, frustration and fear embodied in our clients does have an impact on us as workers. In order to be effective in our work we need to be grounded and aware of our clients and our own unconscious self-protective reactions. Four key strategies for enhancing resilience in workings will be outlined.