Trauma Specialist Certification & Recertification Training – A NASW-VA sponsored & recognized certificate training program – A sequel to “The Body Keeps the Score” ©*

The CTS is a 42- hour peer-reviewed Certificate Training Program developed for master’s level behavioral science practitioners interested in a Virginia NASW Trauma Specialist Certification credential, certifying practitioners as specialists in Trauma Assessment and Trauma-Treatment Focused Intervention in the State of Virginia.

No certification training is currently scheduled; check the Calendar of Events for future sessions.

The training offers an overarching and inclusive developmental trauma conceptual framework based on the neurobiology of trauma, significant related attachment concepts and related research and evidence-practice-based intervention strategies designed for effective trauma treatment intervention.

*It is important to note that Trauma-Informed Care is an organizational paradigm/model with defined organizational policies and responsiveness  based on the recognition of adverse childhood experiences and the impact such experiences have on the emotional functioning and physical health of children, adolescents and adults.  NTSCN principles of Trauma-Informed Care are covered in the training, however, the focus of the Trauma Specialist Certification is providing an expert knowledge base about trauma, the conceptual models of trauma including etiological development, trauma types, trauma assessment and trauma treatment- focused interventions.

Certificate Training Program Overview

In the last 10 years, there has been overwhelming and increasing recognition as well as cutting-edge research in the trauma and attachment literature and in human services practice arenas that help define successful intervention with individuals, families and children who are trauma survivors or are currently in traumatic circumstances. Consistent outcomes of broad-based and smaller subject studies all suggest that trauma intervention requires specialized and nuanced clinical knowledge and training for identification and successful and sustained treatment outcomes.  This 42-hour intensive Certificate Training Program, grounded in the context of the NASW Code of Ethics, is especially designed to address this specialty education requirement for clinical practitioners.

The program will offer a cumulative and comprehensive approach for an in-depth understanding of trauma, including the neuroscience (biological) perspectives of trauma and trauma-mediated socio-emotional and psychological behavioral responses.  The training will include both didactic and experiential methods and will include case studies and targeted supporting videos to help explicate and support trauma-based concepts   requisite for successful mastery of expertise as a trauma specialist. Participants also will be expected to actively engage in case assessment and practice applications of theory and intervention identifying the basic 12 Core Concepts of Trauma-Informed Care and the Trauma Systems Therapy Intervention model (Saxe, Ellis & Kaplow, 2016). The curriculum will include specialized knowledge for identification of trauma survivor behavioral characteristics (symptoms/sequelae; identification and intervention for DSM-5 indicated types of Posttraumatic responses, and complex trauma presentations including child physical and sexual abuse sequelae and client medication implications for social work practitioners.

Participants will also be exposed to the impact of historical/generational trauma included in the content covering the impact of adverse childhood experiences that constitute trauma and significantly impact brain development which poses special developmental behavioral challenges for individuals, families and children. 

The trauma-specific Certificate Training Program is both intensive and comprehensive and will prepare graduate level behavioral science social work graduates and practitioners with an advanced level of training that meets CSWE practice competency skill sets in trauma intervention with individuals and families. Additionally, the specific intervention strategies from Trauma Systems Therapy that will be offered may also be successfully applied to practice with groups.

Eligibility Criteria

We believe that the more we provide opportunities for all graduate degreed practitioners to obtain critical information and learn enhanced practice modalities related to accurate assessment and intervention with populations presenting with developmental trauma and traumatic stress, we believe that we shall be honoring the practice standards incorporated in the mission of the National Association of Social Workers and supporting social work competency requirements of the Council on Social Work Education.

Therefore, without regard for licensure status, graduate level behavioral sciences practitioners are eligible to apply for the NASWVA Trauma Specialist credential. Such eligibility is operative for (1) LCSW independent practitioners; (2) MSW practitioners under the supervision of a graduate level agency-appointed eligible behavioral science practitioner; (3) Independent clinical supervisors approved by the Board of Social Work for supervision toward behavioral sciences clinical licensure.

Attendees will earn 42.0 Category I Contact Hours for the complete training series. Contact hours are not awarded for individual modules (#1, #2, #3) of the 3-part training series. Attendees must complete each of the 3 trainings in the series to receive Contact Hours and a NASW-VA Certificate of Completion for 42 hours of advanced peer-reviewed trauma training recognized by the Virginia Chapter of NASW and to be credentialed in Virginia to provide skilled services in trauma assessment and care.

All participants are required to pass a proficiency exam with a 70% pass rate at the end of the second day of each of the 3 modules.  Participants who are unsuccessful on any one of the first two exams are permitted to attend the morning session of the following module, but must retake the exam from the previous module during the lunch period of the current module. Participants who are unsuccessful may not continue the certification training at this point.  Participants who do not receive a passing grade on the 3rd module exam have a final opportunity to complete the certification. These participants may arrange with NASW to re-enroll for the 3rd module of the next scheduled training and re-take the 3rd module exam upon completion of the 3rd module of this training series.

Attendees who attend all 3 trainings in the series will receive a discounted price for the 3rd training. Three hours of the earned CEU’s will be credited as Ethics Training CEUs and may be counted toward the 30 hours of completed ethics training required every 2 years for the purpose of licensure.

To maintain active certification designed to maintain and enhance expertise currency, participants are required to attend a 7 hour training every 2 years for updating of cutting-edge research and to obtain new and latest practice/intervention developments in the specialty field of trauma treatment-focused practice.

Trauma Informed Care Recertification Training (Spring 2018 cohort)


Spring 2018 Cohort 2 Recertification
May 8, 2020



This announcement is directed to the current Credentialed Trauma Specialists who completed the NASW Certified 42-hour peer-reviewed Trauma Specialist Training Course in March 2018. This seven (7) hour required practice- application recertification training is scheduled to be held on a bi-annual or two (2) year cycle.  Upon completion, Certified Trauma Specialists will receive bi-annual recertification stickers updating the validity of their active certification status. Validation stickers are to be affixed to the original Specialist Certification Certificates. The recertification training is designed to maintain the active status of the NASWVA Certified Trauma Specialist credential and to provide cutting-edge evidence-based trauma theory and intervention content.


NASWVA is pleased to once again partner with Dr. Delores Dungee-Anderson to provide the required training to the NASWVA Trauma Certification/“The Body Keeps the Score©”.


The recertification training will provide a trauma-based Family Systems treatment approach designed for trauma-based intervention with biological and foster families who are caregivers of traumatized children. The training will provide a five-step structural and strategic family systems hybrid evidence-based approach.


The training will begin with an introduction to the Family Systems theory approach to trauma work and present the five phases of FST treatment. Participants will engage in experiential application of the model’s intervention strategies.


This comprehensive 7-hour seminar addresses and updates attendees on key information related to Trauma Informed Care, including:

·        An introduction to the Family Systems Theory approach to trauma work

·        The five phases of FST treatment

·        The identification of trauma wounds

·        Stabilization processes

·        How to evaluate progress within the approach, and

·        How to prevent relapse

Goals of the training include:

  • Offering Trauma Specialists the required recertification course to recertify and maintain an active NASWVA Certified Trauma Specialist credential

  • Providing a deeper understanding of trauma intervention from a family systems treatment approach

  • Offering additional tools for trauma-informed practice

  • Providing attendees with structured experiential practice application.

contact us

National Association of Social Workers - Virginia Chapter

4860 Cox Road, Suite 200 Glen Allen, VA 23060