Psychologists, Social Workers, Counselors, MFTs

Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services


Course Description: This course addresses the variety of ways that substance abuse, mental health, and trauma interact; the importance of context and culture in a person’s response to trauma; trauma-informed screening and assessment tools, techniques, strategies, and approaches that help behavioral health professionals assist clients in recovery from mental and substance use disorders who have also been affected by acute or chronic traumas; and the significance of adhering to a strengths-based perspective that acknowledges the resilience within individual clients, providers, and communities. In addition, this course provides an overview of programmatic and administrative practices that will help behavioral health program administrators increase the capacity of their organizations to deliver trauma-informed services.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe specific trauma-informed intervention and treatment principles that guide clinicians, other behavioral health workers, and administrators in becoming trauma informed and in creating a trauma-informed organization and workforce
  • Describe the traumatic experience including types of trauma, traumas that affect individuals, groups, and communities, trauma characteristics, and socioecological and cultural factors that influence the impact of trauma
  • Explain the impact of trauma, trauma-related stress reactions and associated symptoms, and common mental health and substance use disorders associated with trauma
  • Discuss screening and assessment as they relate to trauma and the processes and tools that are useful in evaluating trauma exposure, its effects, and client intervention and treatment needs
  • Analyze clinical issues that counselors and other behavioral health professionals may need to know and address when treating clients who have histories of trauma
  • Compare specific treatment models for trauma, distinguishing integrated models (which address substance use disorders, mental disorders, and trauma simultaneously) from those that treat trauma alone
  • Describe the essential ingredients, challenges, and processes in creating and implementing trauma-informed services within an organization
  • Describe key development activities that support staff members, including trauma-informed training and supervision, ethics, and boundaries pertinent to responding to traumatic stress, secondary trauma, and counselor self-care
  • Analyze the literature review on trauma-informed care and behavioral health services

Course Components:

  • Online text (included)
  • Multiple choice online exam (included)
  • Electronic certificate of completion (free)

Course Credit(s): 12 CE Credits or Hours

Course Format: Online Text (format of this course is noninteractive)

Course Schedule: Self-paced

Course Author(s): Lisa M. Najavits, PhD, and Linda B. Cottler, PhD, MPH

Content Publisher(s): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Course Author(s) Qualifications:

Dr. Najavits is Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine; Lecturer, Harvard Medical School; clinical psychologist at the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System; and psychologist at McLean Hospital. She is author of the books Seeking Safety: A Treatment Manual for PTSD and Substance Abuse (2002) and A Woman’s Addiction Workbook (2002), as well as over 125 professional publications.

Dr. Cottler is Associate Dean for Research and Planning at the College of Public Health and Health Professions and Dean’s Professor and Founding Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the College of Public Health and Health Professions and the College of Medicine at the University of Florida. 

Course Level: Beginning/Introductory, Intermediate, Advanced

CEmobile, LLC, #1558, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. CEmobile, LLC maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 5/2/2018-5/2/2021. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits.
Social workers participating in this course will receive 12 clinical continuing education clock hours.

American Psychological Association
CEmobile, LLC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CEmobile, LLC maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work
CEmobile, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0454.
The Education Law and Commissioner’s Regulations allow a LMSW or LCSW to complete no more than one-third of the required hours as self-study in each registration period. This would translate to a limit of 12 hours for a typical 36-month registration period.
A New York State LMSW or LCSW is responsible for complying with New York laws, rules and regulations.

National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)
CEmobile, LLC has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6879. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. CEmobile, LLC is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

The following are California BBS-recognized approval agencies:
Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)
National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC)
American Psychological Association (APA)

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