Counselor and patient

Trauma, Crisis, Grief & Loss (C)

Graduate
  • Certificate

About this Program

Become an engaged and empathetic practitioner of trauma response and crisis intervention.

Program Overview

There is an increasing demand for professionals who understand the nuances of trauma management. Our certificate program provides a strong grounding in psychological trauma, grief and loss as well as crisis intervention and disaster behavioral health response. You will acquire the knowledge, skills and confidence to help people who are dealing with the complexities of grief, trauma and crisis across a diverse spectrum.

The certificate requires the completion of four courses (12 credits), including two foundational courses, one contextual course and one elective. Courses are offered in a hybrid format (combination of online and in person) for added flexibility and convenience.

Our program is the perfect complement to a master’s degree in counseling. The certificate also appeals to working professionals in a wide variety of fields, including education, healthcare, hospice, social work, clergy, military and more.

Program Requirements and Course Listings

Students applying to the certificate in Trauma, Crisis, Grief, and Loss program are required to:

  • Submit the online application and application fee.
  • Submit a personal statement describing the applicant's background and interest in the certificate and how it aligns with their future goals.
  • Request that a copy of the official electronic transcript be submitted from the institution where the highest degree was conferred. Must have a min. 3.0 GPA.

The 12-credit trauma, crisis, grief, and loss certificate is composed of the following:

  • 6 credits of foundational courses (required)
  • 3 credits of a contextual dimensions course (student’s choice)
  • 3 credits of elective courses (student’s choice)

COUN 507 Trauma and Crisis Intervention (3 credits)
This course provides students with an introduction to research, theory and practice within the field of trauma counseling. The course covers the historical evolution of the field; biopsychosocial underpinnings of trauma and trauma spectrum disorders; issues in diagnosis, assessment and intervention from a culturally diverse framework; and a synthesis of best practices as they are currently evolving. Using a developmental and systemic approach, the course provides a counseling perspective based on knowledge from the multiple disciplines that contribute to the field of traumatology.

COUN/THAN 521 Grief, Mourning and Bereavement (3 credits)
This course offers an in-depth study of mourning and the grief process. Students explore all aspects of theories of grief in natural and accidental death as well as special losses, suicide, prenatal death, stillbirth, homicide, etc., differentiating between normal and complicated grief.

COUN/THAN 528 Developmental Perspectives in Thanatology (3 credits)
This course examines death, dying and bereavement at different stages of life. Students will understand how death confronts human beings at important moments in the life cycle and how we can learn to appreciate the significance and value of such varied approaches and understandings.

COUN/THAN 529 Historical and Cultural Perspectives in Thanatology (3 credits)
Students explore three areas in the field of thanatology: 1) the role played by death in Western history; 2) Egypt as a death culture; and 3) how death and bereavement are experienced across cultures, ethnic groups and religions around the world.

COUN 562 Attachment Theory in Clinical Practice (1 credit)
This course provides an overview of the Attachment Theory as applied to clinical practice. Students will be exposed to the neurobiology of attachment, evaluating attachment as a developmental model, reviewing the history of attachment theory as well as the incidence of attachment disorders in the clinical population. Discussion and training is provided on the various therapeutic techniques and approaches to consider when working with attachment disorders, both in children, with families and with adults. Students are expected to integrate their learning by evaluating research trials with this treatment modality. Upon completion of this course, students are expected to understand Attachment Theory and its clinical practice application.

COUN 563 Foundations in EMDR Therapy (1 credit)
This course provides an overview of the Adaptive Information Processing (AIP) model and conceptualization behind Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR). Students will be exposed to the neurobiology of trauma as well as the incidence of trauma in the clinical population. Discussion and training is provided on the various therapeutic techniques that are unique to EMDR therapy and that make it effective for various treatment groups. Students are expected to integrate their learning by evaluating research trials with this treatment modality. Completion of this course provides students with an understanding, not a certified training, of EMDR Therapy.

COUN 565 Introduction to Using Creativity in Counseling (1 credit)
This course is designed to introduce students to the endless possibilities that a creative counselor may introduce in the therapeutic relationship. Students are exposed to different variations of creativity in counseling, such as art therapy, Sandtray therapy, music therapy, adventure-based counseling and ceremonies in counseling. Students are introduced to the ethical considerations for these forms of creativity in counseling as well as national organizations that govern creativity in counseling. This class is designed as an introduction to these models of therapy in which students will be provided with the basic concepts and methods of these specialty areas, which will be explored through experiential activities and discussions. Students are advised that this course is not a means toward accreditation in any one specialty, but rather an opportunity to evaluate the different specialties, so students may make an educated decision about further pursuing a specialty certification.

COUN 566 Mindfulness-Based Behavioral Approaches (1 credit)
This class introduces a range of mindfulness-based behavioral approaches, including a primary focus on mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive theory, acceptance and commitment therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy. Students will study the available research on the different approaches, specifically their effectiveness with a range of diverse client populations, including those with anxiety, mood disorders, chronic pain and borderline personality disorder.

COUN 567 Foundations of Disaster Mental Health (1 credit)
The purpose of this course is to expose students to fundamental concepts of disaster mental health (DMH). This includes definitions of key constructs related to working as a DMH responder within various response agencies/organizations. Theories associated with conceptualizing DMH are reviewed along with psychosocial factors associated with trauma responses (e.g., age, ability, gender, cultural and racial identities, class and spirituality/religious faith). Students are exposed to an overview of the cognitive, affective, behavioral, neurological sequelae associated with trauma. Introduction and application of skills and techniques utilized in disaster mental health—including assessment and triage, safety and security concerns, facilitation of validation, and preparation and rehearsal for maintenance—will also be addressed. Special topics in DMH are reviewed, such as assessment of lethality, mass disaster, death notification, suicide of the young and the role of spirituality. Understanding concepts related to caring for first responders and caregivers, including compassion fatigue and vicarious traumatization, are introduced. Students are expected to challenge themselves and consider their own strengths and limitations and understand how these might influence their work as DMH responders.

COUN 568: Crisis Prevention and Response in Schools (1 credit)
This course is designed to provide students with a variety of skills, insights, strategies and knowledge required to understand and respond to the social, emotional, and personal development of students. Students will learn to recognize indicators of mental illness and behavioral distress, including depression, trauma, violence, youth suicide and substance abuse. We will also identify professional resources to help students in crisis. Emphasis is placed on providing participants with real life experiences, while exploring the causes of and remedies for the prevention of suicide. This course meets the educational requirements for HB 947 (Lauryn's Law) for school counselors’ professional development for MSDE certification renewal.

COUN 570 Contemporary Perspectives in Veterans’ Health (3 credits)
This course explores contemporary issues and experiences impacting the health and well-being of military veterans. This course introduces students to the military/veteran culture and healthcare needs and concerns of this unique population. The course is particularly focused on the contemporary topic of post-traumatic stress disorder and how it impacts returning veterans and their families.

COUN 599: Special Topics
Additional 1-credit electives will be offered according to faculty expertise and student interest (e.g., Children and Loss; Trauma and Addiction; Traumatic Grief and Complicated Mourning).

Experiential Learning

Learning Outcomes

Student learning outcomes integrate the study of trauma, crisis intervention, and grief and loss, with the aim of serving current master’s students as well as professionals in behavioral health, healthcare, education, thanatology and other related fields. Through the trauma, crisis, grief and loss certificate program, students will:

  1. Learn the effects of crises, disasters and traumatic events on diverse populations across the lifespan (Foundational Knowledge, Contextual Dimensions).
  2. Develop an in-depth understanding of the grief, mourning and bereavement processes, including complicated grieving, traumatic grief and non-death loss (Foundational Knowledge).
  3. Understand trauma, grief and loss as related psychosocial processes occurring within developmental and sociocultural contexts (Foundational Knowledge; Contextual Dimensions).
  4. Learn the concepts and effects of historical, cultural and racial trauma on diverse clientele across the lifespan (Foundational Knowledge, Contextual Dimensions).
  5. Learn specific, evidence-based, trauma-informed counseling and/or crisis intervention strategies for specialized populations related to their field of study (Foundational Knowledge; Interventions and Issues).

Program Contact

Megan Shaine

Program Director

Phone
301-696-3166
Tanith Fowler Corsi

Tanith Fowler Corsi

Director of Graduate Admission

Phone
301-696-3603