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Treatment of Complex Trauma: A Sequenced, Relationship-Based Approach

About the Course:

This insightful guide provides a pragmatic roadmap for treating adult survivors of complex psychological trauma. Christine Courtois and Julian Ford present their effective, research-based approach for helping clients move through three clearly defined phases of posttraumatic recovery. Two detailed case examples run throughout the book, illustrating how to plan and implement strengths-based interventions that use a secure therapeutic alliance as a catalyst for change. Essential topics include managing crises, treating severe affect dysregulation and dissociation, and dealing with the emotional impact of this type of work. The companion Web page offers downloadable reflection questions for clinicians and extensive listings of professional and self-help resources.

This course is based on the book, Treatment of Complex Trauma: A Sequenced, Relationship-Based Approach created by Christine A. Courtois PhD, ABPP and Dr. Julian Ford in 2012.

Publication Date:

November 7, 2012

Course Material Authors

Christine A. Courtois PhD, ABPP

Christine A. Courtois PhD, ABPP specializes in the treatment of trauma, particularly for adults experiencing the effects of childhood incest and other forms of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Dr. Courtois has worked with these issues for 30 years and has developed treatment approaches for complex posttraumatic and dissociative conditions for which she has received international recognition.

Dr. Courtois offers integrative and evidence-based relational treatments for clients and consultation for loved ones that involve respect, information, and hope to counter the effects of trauma and abuse. She offers individual and group treatments that use strategies and protocols, personalized to the clients’ needs.

Dr. Courtois also offers educational, consulting and support services for professionals involved in treating trauma and complex posttraumatic and dissociative conditions. Seminars, training courses, and individual and group consultation services on numerous trauma-related topics are offered on-site as well as in other locations (nationally and internationally).

Dr. Julian Ford

Dr. Julian Ford’s research, clinical work, and teaching focuses on assessment and psychotherapy of posttraumatic stress disorder, emotion regulation, healthcare utilization, and ethnocultural factors.

Dr. Ford developed and conducts research on the TARGET psychosocial intervention model for adult, adolescent, and child traumatic stress disorders. Dr. Ford has prepared expert white papers on trauma and mental health for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, and the Child Health and Development Institute, and provided expert consultation on traumatic stress research and treatment to the World Health Organization, the U. S. Public Health Service Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and committees of the American Psychological Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (for which he serves on the Board of Directors).

Course Creator

Keith Gibson, Ph.D.

Dr. Gibson is a Clinical Psychologist with over 30 years in research, clinical and consulting practice. He has also held leadership roles in research administration and program evaluation and more recently has specialized in program evaluation and system analysis. He draws upon his years of expertise as a practicing psychologist, administrator, researcher and technologist to help universities evaluate their programs to implement, meet, and maintain CACREP standards.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially psychologists, counselors and social workers who seek knowledge about the treatment of complex trauma. It is appropriate for an intermediate level of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to identify the ways in which complex trauma and childhood development interact to determine adaptive strategies for the child and subsequent symptoms.

  2. Participants will be able to identify seven categories of trauma-based symptoms commonly seen in complex trauma that are not included in the DSM criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

  3. Participants will be able to identify the basic tenets essential for orienting the therapist in preparing to treat complexly traumatized individuals.

  4. Participants will be able to identify how to set treatment goals from specific assessment techniques unique to complex trauma.

  5. Participants will be able to identify the basic components of Phase 1 (stabilization) treatment.

  6. Participants will be able to identify and explicitly describe the main objectives of Phases 2 (trauma resolution) and 3 (integration).

  7. Participants will be able to identify how and when to apply systemic and group therapy modalities concurrent with individual trauma treatment.

  8. Participants will be able to identify the subjective effects of dissociation in complex trauma survivors and methods to address these effects.

  9. Participants will be able to describe the basic tenets of and complexities inherent within the therapeutic relationship with the complex trauma survivor.

  10. Participants will be able to describe some typical examples of transference/countertransference re-enactments that tend to occur in the psychotherapy of complex trauma.

Use our CE Approvals tool to look up your state requirements and how can help you meet them, or log in to your member account to show approvals relevant to your licensure.

American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders (AAHCPAD)

15 CE Credit hours

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American Psychological Association (APA)

15 CE Credit hours

CE Learning Systems is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CE Learning Systems maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

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Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)

15 CE Credit hours

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National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

15 CPD hours

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Treatment of Complex Trauma: A Sequenced, Relationship-Based Approach

Exam Questions

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Course Number 102107
15 credit hours
Log in for credit hours relevant to your licensure.

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