Empirically-Supported Treatments for Trauma – TRMA 840

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 12/12/2022

Course Description

This course examines evidence-based (or empirically supported) treatments of trauma with sensitivity to client characteristics, cultural backgrounds, and preferences. Students will consider how science informs human services counseling practice for these clients with the goal of ethical, effective, and biblically grounded care

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


Evidence-based practice is increasingly mandated in the human services field. Accordingly, students must have a clear understanding of the current therapeutic approaches that are empirically supported to treat trauma-related conditions in adults, children, and adolescents.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will be using all the technical means available to us to make this both a fun and academically thought-provoking experience. The goal of this course’s Discussions is to engage in an enjoyable, meaningful conversation almost like in a classroom setting.

The student will complete 2 Discussions in this course. The student will post of thread of at least 500 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday of the assigned Module: Week. The student must then post 1 reply of at least 250 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of the assigned Module: Week. For each thread, students must support their assertions with at least 4 scholarly citations in APA format. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years. Acceptable sources include course learning, articles or publications from traumatology experts, Christian counseling authors, biblical scholars, and other scholarly publications.

Reflection Journal Assignments (3)

The student will submit 3 Reflection Journal assignments. Each journal entry will contain the following: (a) A description of 3 key ideas he/she has gained from the modules' materials since his/her last Reflection Journal and why these ideas are important (3 paragraphs), and (b) What Christian worldview integration thoughts come to mind from this section of course material (1 paragraph). See the Reflection Journal Instructions for more information.

Quiz: Continuing Education Credits

Being able to list on a vita that a student has Continuing Education (CE) training in an empirically supported treatment is very useful for employment. The student will select a professional online or local training program on 1 of the approaches discussed in this course to obtain 6 credit hours of Continuing Education credit. Several online training options will be presented in the course that the student can choose from for the completion of this assignment. In the list, the student will see that some of the options will be free and others will require payment to complete the training. With instructor approval, the student may also do alternative professional training programs online or in his/her local area for this assignment. See the Continuing Education Credits Instructions for more information. 

Presentation Assignment

For this assignment, there are 3 options. Choose 1 of the 3: (1) Integrated Trauma Treatment Presentation, (2) Case Presentation of an Application of an Empirically Supported Treatment, or (3) Role-Play Demonstration. If the student is a licensed mental health professional or works under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional, he/she has the opportunity to choose any of the options. If the student is not licensed as a mental health professional, he/she is limited to (1) and (3) as his/her potential projects.

(1) The Integrated Trauma Treatment Presentation involves the student putting together the empirical approaches from class with his/her current counseling theory to present his/her existing working model for treating clients with PTSD. The student must include Christian worldview aspects if these fit with his/her faith background. While the presentation may be done as a PowerPoint, Prezi, or other software, the student is encouraged to develop a narrated presentation using Microsoft Office Mix, narrated PowerPoint, YouTube video, Videoscribe, or other communication software.

(2) The Case Presentation of an Application of an Empirically Supported Treatment (EST) consists of an analysis of the student's therapeutic or ministerial work applying an empirically supported treatment to a client with PTSD. This may be a case from the student's past work or current work. A prerequisite for choosing this option for current work with a client is licensure or supervision by a licensed mental health professional, adequate training in the empirically supported approach, and the availability of consultation, if needed in its application. Choosing and sharing this option will help the class see what it looks like to apply ESTs in human services counseling work. The student must include Christian worldview integration information, if applicable. The case will be de-identified in accordance with current APA and ACA ethical guidelines on how to report a case study (use a pseudonym, alter age slightly, do not report precise city, etc.). While the presentation may be done as a PowerPoint, Prezi, or other software, the student is encouraged to develop a narrated presentation using Microsoft Office Mix, narrated PowerPoint, YouTube video, Videoscribe, or other communication software.

(3) Role-Play Demonstration involves the student demonstrating an application of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) or Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy with a student peer in a mock 30–45-minute session. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is not permitted as a role-play since specific certifications are needed for that treatment (unless the student already has these certifications). Here are some example role-plays the student can perform. The student might videotape an application of a specific module of CPT or PE. For example, the student might video the fifth module of CPT in working with a peer “client.” The student client applies a role-play situation that does not involve a real personal trauma, but is fictional. The student must briefly introduce the client’s history, how the modules have progressed in prior sessions, and then share the role-play of what the fifth module looked like in working together. Another role-play example is the following. The student might record a mock session doing prolonged exposure with a student peer on a fictitious trauma. The student must provide a brief introduction of the client’s history, and then do the demonstration. Several software programs would permit the student to record the role-play demonstration online with his/her peer. For example, Skype for Business permits students to record a session.

For 1, 2, or 3, the files will be too large for the student to post in the discussion board if narration is used, so the student will post the link in the discussion forum dedicated to any narrated presentations. The student will also review at least 2 presentations of his/her peers, and post comments related to their presentations. Finally, the student will respond to any questions classmates post regarding his/her own presentation. See the Presentation Instructions in the Assignment Instructions folder on Blackboard for more information. (CLO: A, B, C, D)

The student will submit an initial assignment as they begin to consider their own worldview of trauma and trauma-informed treatments. This initial assignment is intended to orient the student to their own ideas as they relate to trauma and how the Christian worldview relates to their conceptualization of trauma. The assignment is 1-2 pages long, not including title page or references, and is to be written in APA formatting including references to support the student's viewpoints of the topics.