Beginning in the fall 2017 term, JFK University College of Psychology will be offering a specialized Trauma Studies Certificate Program. Available in either one or two-year courses of study, the Trauma Studies Certificate Program will benefit professionals in a wide range of fields whose work brings them into contact with those who have experienced trauma.
As part of JFK University’s ongoing commitment to serving the community, our faculty and administrators always are on the lookout for underserved areas of need among the local population. One such area that continually appeared on the radar of Dr. Doreen Maller, Chair of JFK University’s Holistic Counseling Program, was trauma. Despite widespread media attention directed toward issues involving trauma and the resulting increase in public awareness, Dr. Maller observed in practice a lack of adequate education and training when it came to assisting those who have experienced trauma.
“Clinicians, first responders, police officers, teachers, clergy members, and all those working in urban settings with underserved and vulnerable populations interact regularly with individuals who have experienced some level of trauma on a routine basis,” Dr. Maller explained. “It is critically important to know how to best address the needs of these persons so as to facilitate their healing and mitigate the reoccurrence of the trauma.”
With these aims in mind, Dr. Maller and her team of subject-matter experts designed the Trauma Studies Certificate Program to suit students from a broad spectrum of backgrounds with the expectation that program graduates will take the knowledge and skills they have learned with them into a wide variety of fields. Those who would benefit from trauma-studies certification range from mental-health professionals to medical-care providers to bodyworkers such as massage and yoga therapists, and beyond. Dr. Maller believes any practitioner who, in the course of his or her profession, comes into contact with individuals who have experienced trauma would benefit greatly from an improved understanding of the issues facing those who have experienced trauma, both in terms of practical outcomes for their clients and career trajectory.
“Because trauma is so pervasive, there is a significant need for persons with expertise in trauma management,” said Dr. Maller. “Having a certification in trauma studies not only opens up new employment opportunities. It also enriches the skillsets of persons already employed in the clinical and public-health sectors, making such individuals more valuable to their respective employers.”
In order to deliver these benefits to participants, the Trauma Studies Certificate Program places a coequal emphasis on theoretical models and clinical approaches to trauma. Participants focus in detail on the underlying neuroscience, as well as on methods of assessment and treatment. Special attention also is given to ethical considerations related to trauma, including the development of multiethnic sensitivities.
The JFK University College of Psychology’s new Trauma Studies Certificate Program represents a great opportunity for those seeking to expand their understanding of trauma, its physical and social causes, and how best to address the needs of persons who have experienced its harms. Across a wide range of fields, certification in trauma studies demonstrates a commitment to the profession and a dedication to providing the best possible care for one’s clientele.