In 2018, the MTSU Professional Counseling Program decided to become a trauma-informed program. This decision was based on feedback received from former students practicing in the community. After consulting practitioners, we learned that a common issue with clients they were serving was trauma. Due to this common issue, the faculty began a journey to learn about trauma and how to train counselors-in-training to deal with clients who are experiencing trauma. To accomplish this goal, the faculty participated in trauma trainings including a two-day trauma competency training, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Brainspotting. In addition, trauma trainings were offered to the local community.
In order to train trauma-informed counselors, trauma concepts, approaches, and treatments are infused in all courses. More specifically, the students will meet the following trauma competencies upon graduation:
- Explain the etiology and development of trauma through various theoretical models.
- Identify and describe protective and risk factors for the development of trauma.
- Explain the various types of stress, including acute, episodic, chronic, and complex stress.
- Demonstrate use of diagnostic and assessment criteria for PTSD and other trauma disorders.
- Demonstrate case conceptualization for trauma from a biopsychosocial, cultural, and spiritual perspective.
- Understand and demonstrate evidence-based interventions for the address trauma.
- Describe the importance of stabilization (e.g., self-regulation) in with trauma.