We cannot afford to overlook or minimize the effects of trauma in our nation any longer. The National Trauma Institute (NTI) reports that 60% of American adults have experienced abuse or traumatic family circumstances (e.g., neighborhood violence) in their lifetime (2014). While that number is staggering enough, more than a quarter of American children will witness or experience a trauma by the time they reach the age of four (NTI, 2014). This means trauma effects more of us than not, with alarmingly high rates during childhood.

Sadly, the effects continue throughout the lifespan. The cessation of a trauma does not necessary equal the restoration of the survivor. In fact, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that traumatized individuals are:

  • 15 times likelier to attempt suicide
  • 4 times likelier to develop alcoholism
  • 4 times likelier to contract a sexually transmitted disease
  • 4 times likelier to become intravenous drug users
  • 3 times likelier to be routinely absent from work as adults
  • 3 times likelier to suffer major depression
  • 3 times likelier to have difficulty maintaining a job (2011).

Richmont recognizes the gravity of this societal need. We offer students the opportunity to earn an additional certificate in trauma counseling, giving them the ability to provide trauma-informed care to hurting individuals. Standard therapeutic techniques have been shown to have limited effectiveness with trauma-exposed clients; however, in learning how to care specifically for those exposed to trauma, Richmont attends to the needs of its community and world. This is truly the work of the Gospel.

The certificate program includes the following courses: Trauma in Developmental Context, Trauma and Biology, Adult Trauma Intervention, and Child Trauma Intervention. These courses can also be taken separately for continuing education credit. For more information, contact Jama White (jwhite@richmont.edu) or Vanessa Snyder (vsnyder@richmont.edu).