Graduate Certificate in Trauma Therapy Course Descriptions
Required Courses – 15 Credit Hours
This course focuses on the assessment and treatment of PTSD, as distinguished from Complex PTSD. Treatment approaches discussed include Prolonged Exposure Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and EMDR, among others. Included is how to work with veterans suffering from combat trauma and moral injury. The neurobiology of trauma, including the effects of trauma on the developing brain is examined, in addition to the possibility of posttraumatic growth. Vicarious/secondary trauma is covered, as well as guidelines for developing resistance to the negative impacts of ministering to traumatized individuals through physical, emotional, spiritual, and professional self-care. Discussion regarding how to help develop trauma-informed churches and organizations is included. Prerequisite: None
This course describes psychological crisis intervention approaches and techniques in the face of natural and human made disasters, such as floods, earthquakes, fires, transportation accidents, school shootings, workplace violence, and terrorism. These disasters typically affect large groups of persons at the same time and require a planned response for the victims, their families, and helping providers who may or may not have a faith background. Course content focuses on the theological issues of a disaster; spiritual, physical, and psychological responses to disaster; intervention techniques; and care for the caregivers to prevent or mitigate compassion fatigue. As a part of this course, students are trained and receive a certificate in Group Crisis Intervention: Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) through the International Critical Stress Foundation (ICSF)* and/or earn certification in Psychological First Aid (PFA). Another component of the course involves discussion of the assessment and practical intervention techniques related to individual crisis situations in the first 72 hours following a crisis such as suicide, domestic violence, addiction, homicide, death, divorce, health issues, and life transitions. *An additional fee is required for CISM training and certification. Prerequisite: None
This course explores the counseling implications of grief and loss across the life span. Attention is given to therapeutic strategies that are effective with persons who struggle with grief and loss, as well as to biblical material regarding grief and loss. Differences between normal grief, complicated grief, and traumatic grief are addressed. The less obvious losses that are often associated with traumatic events are discussed. A theology of suffering is addressed. Prerequisite: None
A number of topics related to specific issues in trauma treatment are addressed in this course. They include treatment of intimate partner violence (IPV)/domestic violence (DV), perpetrators of IPV/DV, clergy abuse, spiritual abuse, trafficking, traumatized children, and refugees. Also covered are trauma care in developing nations, and trauma treatment of missionaries/international workers. An additional focus is the effects of trauma on families and strengthening family resilience to trauma. Prerequisite: None
The focus of this course is the assessment and treatment of complex PTSD (C-PTSD). C-PTSD, which is usually the result of chronic, relational, physical, emotional, verbal, and/or sexual abuse in childhood, is contrasted with PTSD with respect to the source of the trauma, symptoms, and treatment. The effects of C-PTSD on development, including the neurobiological effects and the use of dissociative defenses are addressed. A phased treatment approach, which is the standard of care for C-PTSD, is presented. This includes an in-depth look at navigating the intricacies of: Phase I – Safety and Symptom Stabilization; Phase II – Trauma Processing; and Phase III – Consolidation and Resolution. Use of the survivors’ dissociative capacities, grounding techniques, relaxation exercises, mindfulness practices, and other methods to aid with managing intrusive posttraumatic symptoms and dealing with overwhelming emotions are discussed. Also considered is how to deal with the spiritual issues with which both Christian and non-Christian survivors struggle. Some explicitly Christian approaches such as inner healing prayer are addressed and contrasted with secular approaches. Specific subtypes of complex trauma survivors such as those with dissociative disorders, and those that have experienced organized abuse, ritual abuse, and mind control are covered. Perpetrator treatment is also addressed. The danger of vicarious/secondary trauma for the counselor is discussed as well as appropriate self-care strategies. Prerequisite: None
The Toccoa Falls College Orientation is designed for students who are new to graduate studies at TFC. The course equips students with knowledge, skills, and resources necessary for a positive experience as a graduate student at TFC. The College does not charge tuition for this course since it is a non-credit course; however, a passing grade in the course is a requirement to continue in the program.