Post-Master’s Certificate in Trauma Counseling

Post-Master of Science in Counseling: Trauma Certificate

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Earn a Postgraduate Trauma Certificate

The psychological consequences of trauma can be too overwhelming for individuals to work through on their own. Trauma counselors apply evidence-based therapy techniques to nurture human resiliency and mental health wellness. If you feel called to serve others in this capacity, you can earn your trauma counseling certificate at Grand Canyon University (GCU). The Post-Master of Science in Counseling: Trauma Certificate program, offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, is a rigorous curriculum designed to prepare working professionals to specialize in this subfield. 

In this postgraduate trauma certificate program, you will:

  • Learn to assess and treat childhood and adulthood trauma and related disorders.
  • Acquire the necessary diagnostic and counseling skills to work with individuals across the lifespan.
  • Benefit from a study of human nature and trauma-informed care, including the mind-body experience of trauma.

This certificate in trauma counseling program is designed for working professionals who hold a master’s degree or doctorate in counseling or a related behavioral health field. Individuals with a graduate degree in substance abuse counseling, social work, clinical psychology or psychiatric medicine are welcome to apply.

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What You Will Learn in GCU’s Postgraduate Trauma Counseling Certificate Program

You can build a personally fulfilling career by serving others in Christ’s name. During this post-master’s certificate in trauma counseling program, you will develop the leadership qualities and communication skills needed to connect with clients and co-workers on a meaningful level. Deepen your understanding of childhood and adolescent disorders as well as their long-term effects. Explore individual and community-wide crises and consider the use of technology to address crisis situations.

With GCU’s intuitive online platform, you can immerse yourself within a supportive learning environment from anywhere at any time. Earn your postgraduate trauma certificate through online or evening courses. A total of 15 credits are required for completion. Each online course is eight weeks in length, giving you the time needed to thoroughly explore topic areas in depth.

In courses such as Working with Developmental Trauma and Relational Trauma: History and Treatment Issues, you will study the following areas:

  • Current best practices in the assessment and treatment of trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder and other anxiety cluster disorders
  • The contributing factors and treatment implications of interpersonal violence, with a look at bullying behaviors and gender perspectives
  • The short-term and longitudinal impacts of childhood trauma, including attachment disruption and the developmental effects of childhood trauma
  • The best practices of working with a community in crisis, with a look at school-based crisis effects and responses


Careers With a Postgraduate Trauma Counseling Certificate

This certificate program will prepare you to apply evidence-based trauma counseling techniques when working with individuals affected by trauma. Trauma counselors may provide psychological first aid to individuals recently affected by trauma, and individuals who suffer from the long-term effects of past trauma. Aspiring trauma counselors may pursue work opportunities in a variety of settings, including the following:

  • Schools and universities
  • Military facilities and veteran organizations
  • Nonprofit organizations and NGOs
  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Community-based agencies

Some trauma counselors may pursue opportunities in private practice.

Postgraduate Trauma Counseling Certificate FAQs

A post-master of science certificate program is designed for professionals who already hold a master’s degree to gain advanced skills and expertise in their fields. Instead of having a more broad focus of a degree program, a certificate program concentrates on developing competencies in a particular specialty. For example, a master’s certificate in counseling can focus in the area of trauma.

For many students, earning a postgraduate certificate is worth it. A post-master's certificate program is a valid option for advanced degree holders who want to build their expertise without the time and financial commitment of a traditional degree program.

A trauma counselor works with and treats individuals to help them address and recover from traumatic events. These professionals often work with patients over a long period of time. Trauma counselors create treatment plans for their patients and teach them strategies to express themselves productively and handle potential triggers that can cause further stress and anxiety. They also provide guidance and support to trauma victims and prepare them for handling daily tasks, looking for a job and maintaining their mental health along the way.

Students in a trauma counseling certificate program will take an in-depth look at issues specifically associated with trauma, stress, crisis, disaster experiences, assessments and theories. Students will gain advanced competencies in the different types of interventions, trauma assessments and diagnoses. A master’s certificate in counseling is beneficial for clinical counselors, substance abuse counselors, school counselors and clinical psychologists and social workers.

To be trauma-informed means that you recognize the reality of trauma in our world and are mindful of the personal and societal consequences of trauma. Being trauma-informed allows you to be empathetic to this reality and take action to create a world that fosters growth, resiliency and healing for all.1

1 Retrieved from Psychology Today, What Does it Mean to Be Trauma-Informed? in July 2022.

Total Credits: 15
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $575 per credit [More Info]

Course List

15 credits
Degree Requirements:
15 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This survey course provides an introduction to the graduate certificate programs in childhood and adolescence disorders, marriage and family therapy, substance use disorders and addiction, and trauma. Students are introduced to the University policies and procedures, the learning management system, the library, and proper APA formatting for academic writing. In addition, students are introduced to the current DSM and how the information relates to the field of counseling. Students also learn about researching and utilizing community resources, and becoming certified in specializations.

Course Description

This course teaches students the basics of diagnosing and treating post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, and other anxiety cluster disorders. This course also provides a historical context for treatment of trauma-related disorders as well as current best practices in the treatment of trauma.

Course Description

This course helps students develop a comprehensive understanding of interpersonal violence. Students analyze the contributing factors of interpersonal violence, treatment implications, and best practices within the context of the helping professions.

Course Description

This course outlines the short-term and longitudinal impacts of childhood trauma. This course pays special attention to the effects of trauma on attachment in the child and the family.

Course Description

This course investigates community and global crisis. This course also reviews best practices of working with communities in crisis.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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