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    Saybrook University
  Jun 20, 2024
2018-2019 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum 
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2018-2019 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum [Archived Catalog]

Complex Trauma and the Healing Process Certificate

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Certificate Leads: Portia Rawles, PhD and Theopia Jackson, PhD

Sponsored by: Clinical Psychology and Department of Transformative Social Change


The impact of trauma on psychological and social wellbeing, while always having been a core aspect of psychology practice, has developed in its sophistication in the last two decades. There is now a recognition that chronic exposure to trauma-be it from combat, domestic violence, or other sources-can have a devastating effect on a person’s sense of self. As the leading academic institution for humanistic, existential, and transpersonal studies, Saybrook is the perfect stage for providing a unique program to meet the rising need for humanistic and integrative education in dealing with trauma-related issues. While the courses in the certificate program will review traditional conceptualizations and approaches to complex trauma, it will emphasize alternative and creative understandings, including spiritual, somatic, and cultural perspectives. This is what makes Saybrook’s Complex Trauma and Healing Processes Certificate program unique. Each course will provide a whole person-based, multicultural-sensitive training to practitioner-learners across the globe interested in a humanistic-existential-transpersonal perspective of trauma.

The Certificate is designed to address the gap in education surrounding traumatic stress and effective, innovative healing processes by offering a program for emerging scholars and practitioners. Our program integrates crucial humanistic understandings of the human condition while providing basic knowledge about the established foundations of trauma, and its intricate, complex, and often tragic impacts upon mind, body, spirit, and culture, with special attention to exploring both conventional and non- conventional healing processes. The curriculum and training also meets the growing interest among practitioners, students, and community members to learn more about the fundamentals of trauma integrated with the humanistic implications it has raised for research and practice in the United States and internationally. The curriculum and training provide students with a broad and rich understanding of trauma history, theory, research, practice, and cultural implications allowing for a pursuit of a specific area of interest. In addition, students are invited to collaborate with instructors in developing practical opportunities for unique field and research experiences and for scholarly publications, nationally and internationally.

Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of the Certificate, students will be able to…

  1. Understand the foundational, historical, cultural, and humanistic perspectives of trauma; Evaluate established and emerging global and cultural theories of traumatic stress;
  2. Gain skills and knowledge about empirically supported, evidence-based, practical, and humanistic approaches and non-conventional approaches to healing individuals and groups;
  3. Recognize the empirical and subjective experiences of traumatic stress and expressions of trauma throughout the lifespan;
  4. Understand the diversity and related implications of group and individual stress reactions to trauma across cultures;
  5. Develop an understanding of the assessment process, ethics, and risk management of traumatic stress in practice.
  6. Integrate concepts into practice for healing, research, and transformative social change

Clinical Psychology Certificate Programs

Saybrook University offers three exciting certificate programs through our Department of Humanistic & Clinical Psychology (HCP). Whether you are a non-degree student who seeks to enhance your clinical counseling practice or a Saybrook student in one of our degree programs, you might want to consider these options.

Certificates offer career development in areas such as treating post-traumatic stress disorder and bringing ethnocultural perspectives to treatments.

  • Complex Trauma and the Healing Process
  • Foundations in Existential-Humanistic Practice (offered in collaboration with EHTP Specialization)
  • Multicultural Psychology

For most 16-credit Certificates, you must complete four 3-credit certificate courses, one 3-credit practicum course, and a 1-credit integrative paper that ties course study and research together. If allowed, Saybrook students may transfer credits earned through a Certificate towards their degree program.

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