M.S. in Community and Trauma Counseling

Advanced Studies Certificate

Jefferson's (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) Certificate of Advanced Studies in Trauma Counseling is designed for professionals who have already earned a graduate degree in counseling or a related mental health discipline. The 4-course program provides 128 contact hours (provided through NBCC and PA State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors) and builds advanced trauma competencies and knowledge.

Certificate Courses will meet two Saturdays per month for a total of four 8-hour sessions.

Philadelphia University has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 3034.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified.  Philadelphia University is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.



The Advanced Studies Certificate requires the completion of four courses; Neurobiolgy of TraumaFoundations of Trauma Counseling and Advanced Clinical Interventions in Trauma Treatment are required.

Foundations of Trauma Counseling (required)
32 Contact hours

This course provides an understanding of the phenomena of trauma and human responses, treatment, and recovery.  Discussion includes identifying major types of trauma, effects, assessment, and a survey of clinical interventions.  The neurobiology of trauma and responses is explored, with attention to its relevance to understanding response behaviors and treatment.

Neurobiology of Trauma (required)
32 contact hours

Neurobiology of Trauma provides an understanding of the neurobiological processes involved in trauma experiencing, processing, and post-trauma adaptation. Study includes affective neuroscience, arousal modulation, memory processes involved in trauma experiences, executive functioning, and post-trauma adaptation of these and other areas and processes. Discussion examines application of neuroscience to understanding trauma experiencing and treatment.

Advanced Clinical Interventions in Trauma Treatment (required)
32 contact hours

This course provides a detailed examination of clinical interventions for treating posttraumatic stress disorder. Specific study includes trauma-focused cognitive behavioral treatment of adults and children, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, dialectical behavior therapy, body-oriented therapy, and expressive group processes. Discussion examines evidence-based practices and evaluation of therapeutic interventions.

Childhood Trauma and Effects
32 contact hours

This course provides an understanding of the environmental factors that contribute to and constitute adverse childhood experiences, and the effects on children’s development and subsequent behavior. Discussion will include attachment theory and the influence of attachment on development, historical and contemporary research on adverse childhood experiences and subsequent mental health and illness, and an overview of prevention and intervention, and treatment.

Knowledge and Skill Requirements for Community Disaster and Trauma
32 contact hours

Disaster mental health intervention involves unique clinical skills and knowledge. This course will aid in developing the requisite competencies to enable mental health clinicians to successfully help survivors, rescue workers, and other volunteers in the aftermath of a disaster. Topics include the psychological phases of a community-wide disaster, common patterns of immediate and long-term public response, mental health risks that rescue workers and victims face, assessment of mental health needs, as well as a focus on self-reflection and self care. Course content will align with standards proposed in the Disaster Mental Health Handbook (American Red Cross, 2012).