Complex/Developmental Trauma

Post-Master's Certificate

This program provides post-master's training for helping professionals in the fields of counseling, social work, corrections, and education. 

The first course of this certificate provides an introduction to complex/developmental trauma research, theory, and practice. Subsequent courses will focus on evidence-based practices for children and adolescents, and for adult survivors. 

Courses may be taken as stand-alone professional training or as part of the graduate certificate.

Certificate Description

Who: Open to students with a master’s degree or higher in counseling or related behavioral/mental health field.

What: Three, 3-credit graduate-level courses. 

Where: Dixon University Center in Harrisburg, PA

When: Six face-to-face meetings held one night a week, every other week. 

The course materials developed for this certificate are in line with professional accredidation and training standards (CACREP, NBCC). 

Participants will be able to:

  • Define, discuss, and apply updated cross-disciplinary theory and research in complex/developmental trauma
  • Design, deliver, and assess effective and ethical interventions
  • Design, deliver, and assess effective preventative and intervention practices for professionals to protect against various trauma

Student Testimonials

Here's what our current and past students have to say about their coursework in Complex/Developmental Trauma:

"It's been a long time since I learned material so impactful."

"It helped me look at the client layer by layer and realize how many other factors come into play during treatment."

"I feel more confident, effective, and hopeful for my students and their families. I would highly recommend this course." 

CNS 605: Introduction to Complex/Developmental Trauma: Research, Theory, and Practice

This course serves as an introduction to research, theory, and practice pertaining to complex/developmental trauma (Complex/DT) resulting from childhood adverse experiences (ACEs).

Topics to be covered include: contributing factors, neurobiology of attachment, impact on physical and behavioral health across the lifespan, symptom recognition and differential assessment, individual and systemic interventions, and professional resiliency.

Special attention will be given to intergenerational, historical, and race-based trauma as primary or contributing factors. 

CNS 606: Complex/Developmental Trauma: Best Practices for Children, Adolescents, and Caregivers

This course will build from the introductory course (CNS 605: Introduction to Complex/Developmental Trauma) and will focus specifically on effective services for child and adolescent survivors.

Content will cover a variety of interventions organized within a universal framework for developmental trauma recovery (attachment, self-regulation, competency). Interventions will emphasize attunement and attachment, sensorimotor development, executive functioning, and resource-building strategies. Special attention will be given to addressing intergenerational, historical and race-based trauma.

Participants will be expected to explore personal attachment history as pertains to providing effective clinical/direct service, and continue work with professional resilience building.

CNS 607: Complex/Developmental Trauma: Best Practices for Adult Survivors

This course will build from the introductory course (CNS 605: Introduction to Complex/Developmental Trauma) and will focus specifically on effective services for adult survivors.

Content will cover a variety of interventions organized within a universal framework for developmental trauma recovery (attachment, self-regulation, competency). Interventions will emphasize addressing the adult behavioral and mental health outcomes of childhood trauma. Special attention will be given to addressing relational dynamics and the development of a cohesive and positive sense of self.

Participants will be expected to explore transference and counter-transference dynamics as pertains to providing effective clinical/direct service, and continue work with professional resilience building.

Current & Past Students

Log in to your MyShip Portal using your Ship email address and password to register for this course.

Non-Degree/Visiting Students

Review the Non-Degree/Visiting Students application instructions. 

Information about tuition, fees, paying your bill, and the refund and withdraw policies are available on the Student Accounts page. 

For additional questions regarding tuition and financial aid, contact the Financial Aid Office

If you are receiving financial assistance from your employer to pay your tuition and/or fees, you must complete the Employer Reimbursement Tuition Deferment Application.

Program Questions & Academic Advising  

Dr. Kathryn Newton Assistant Professor, Counseling and College Student Personnel

(717) 477-1658 | knewton@ship.edu

Financial Aid Questions 

(717) 477-1131 | finaid@ship.edu

General Questions 

Office of Professional, Continuing & Distance Education | (717) 477-1502 | pcde@ship.edu