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NASW VA/Metro DC Professional Certification in Trauma & Resilience Informed Care Training Program and Recertification

Please note, this certification program is only offered in the spring and fall. If you are looking for the recertification application, the application will reopen in the fall of this year. 


Key Components of a Trauma-Informed Model for Collaborative Therapeutic Care


Through this certification, you will learn:

  • Transdiagnostic skills (e.g., managing therapeutic alliance and rupture, building motivation, clarifying expectations of treatment, and engaging in collaborative planning)

  • Knowledge skills [e.g., childhood trauma (ACEs and other types of trauma), impacts on individual attachment style, building next-generation health via community resilience and system change work]

  • Brain science (e.g., trauma outcomes on the brain)

  • Identification and assessment skills

  • Gold-standard treatment (e.g., phase-oriented care)

  • Impacts of trauma and resilience work on you as a professional (vicarious trauma)

Trauma Certification Courses (Fall and Spring – twice a year)

Foundational Course and Collaborative TX Planning (3.5 hours–2 on-demand, 1.5 live)

  1. Common factors critical to optimizing therapeutic change

  2. Collaborative treatment planning


Trauma Perspective Series (31 hours–17.5 on-demand, 13.5 live)

  1. Trauma and the brain: Innovations in neuroscience and trauma-informed practices

  2. Emotional agility-building and engaging in trauma-informed, phase-oriented treatment with clients

  3. Impact of vicarious trauma (VT) and keys to building professional and personal resilience

  4. Trauma and resilience in the community: Building next-generation health


Phase-Oriented Treatment Approaches

During the last 20 years research, leading institutions recognize that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are common across all populations and provide the basis for many common public health challenges and social problems that adults, children, and families face (Anda & Felitti, 2011). For some individuals, ACEs can result in traumatic memories and responses that become barriers to overall health and well-being.


Trauma-informed models of care are critical in addressing biological alterations, arousal functioning, and relational challenges that can arise as a result of singular or chronic forms of trauma. As Dr. Ricky Greenwald (Greenwald, 2012) explains, trauma can create sore spots around certain experiences. Normally, when this experience happens, a person would have a small response, but with a sore spot, clients respond disproportionally to everyday experiences. These inflated responses often harm clients by preventing them from accessing goals related to health, relationships, and overall quality of life.


Research suggests that phase modeled programs are the standard of care for clients who have experienced trauma (Foa, Keane, & Friedman, 2009). Trauma-informed, phase-oriented models of care focus on clients’ treatment motivation and their progression through the phases based on clients’ readiness for each stage of change. These models usually incorporate three phases of treatment focused on Safety and Stabilization, Reprocessing of Traumatic Memories, and Reintegration (Herman 1992, Janet, 1889).


Using evidence-informed interventions throughout each phase of treatment, clients are encouraged to understand the impact that traumatic events (including, but not limited to, ACEs) have had on their ability to reach their goals, develop skills in achieving safety, become educated on techniques to reduce the physiological impact of past trauma, process their trauma, and feel empowered to harness their strengths to move beyond the barriers their past trauma has created.


Additional Evidence-based Therapeutic Treatment Factors

During the last few decades, clinical research has identified important therapeutic treatment factors that enhance clinical outcomes across client groups. These key factors are the foundation of the Trauma Therapy Certificate: The Resilience Effect™ training program and are integrated into all treatment goals and life planning goals.


Common Factors

It has become widely accepted that certain trans-diagnostic common factors exist in the therapeutic process. These common factors relate to the impact of client and clinician characteristics, relationship factors, motivation, clarity of expectations of treatment, and other ingredients of the therapeutic process common to any psychotherapy, regardless of treatment modality or model. Successful treatment models embrace these factors and incorporate them as part of their foundation.


Valuing the Importance of Feedback

Feedback helps everyone get a better picture of where they are and where they are going. Regular feedback ensures that clients and their support systems are truly heard throughout the therapeutic process. Feedback allows clients, their support systems, and professional(s) to evaluate changes in client progress, strengthen therapeutic alliance, provide more accurate case conceptualizations, and facilitate a deepening in treatment planning discussions (Hatfield & Ogles, 2006).


The NASW VA/Metro DC Professional Certification in Trauma and Resilience Informed Care Training Program shares feedback approaches that clinicians can integrate into their assessment and treatment planning process both at the start and end of each treatment session, as well as during the evaluation of discharge planning. Key areas for feedback include motivation for treatment, life satisfaction, and therapeutic alliance. Additional opportunities for feedback are incorporated into the treatment process based on case-specific needs.

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