Trauma-Informed Care & Counseling

Trauma-Informed Care vs. Trauma Specific Services

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“Now I am more observant of trauma indicators, more compassionate to those who self-medicate to avoid trauma issues…”
D. A., Tonawanda, NY

Our hybrid certificate program — with in-person courses held in Buffalo, NY, as well as online self-study courses — offers an in-depth clinical look at trauma. For those who live out of the area, it is possible to complete the program fully online. Refer to details below.

Program Overview

The program includes approximately 96 hours of coursework; many participants find the online self-study component allows it to be completed in less time. 

Participating in this program will:

  • Provide a foundational knowledge about trauma and the needs of trauma survivors with a specific focus on stabilization.
  • Prepare you to work with trauma survivors through psychoeducational and strong stabilization skills in a trauma-informed approach.
  • Allow you to view agency systems and clients through a new trauma-informed perspective.
  • Provide you with a career planning framework as you advance your trauma treatment skills. 

Knowledge & Skills

Upon completion of the certificate program, you will be able to:

  • Recognize how psychological trauma contributes significantly in the development of many problems such as various psychiatric disorders, addictions, behavioral disorders, suicidal behavior, personality disorders, violent behavior and chronic health problems.
  • Understand that based on expert consensus, the three-phase model of trauma treatment is best practice:  stabilization and managing responses to the trauma; resolution of the traumatic memories which includes processing and grieving the memories; and personality re-integration and rehabilitation (reconnecting with life, relationships and the world in healthy way).
  • Know the models of trauma, the neurobiological basis of trauma, symptom criteria for Acute and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), evidence-based and other effective treatment methods.
  • Use self-care methods to minimize burnout, vicarious traumatization and compassion fatigue.
  • Know how to implement a Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) model in an organization.
  • Integrate intervention methods into work with individuals with co-occurring trauma/mental health and substance abuse disorders.
  • Demonstrate skills in working with individuals who have had repeated life events resulting in complex trauma/complex PTSD. The majority of clients you see will have complex PTSD.
  • Increase knowledge and skills on other trauma-specific services for youth, adults and specific populations through the elective courses you choose.

Please note that this certificate program does not verify competence in the field, but rather indicates completion of the required training. Acquisition of new knowledge and skills improves your ability to deliver services.

Program Format

  • Apply anytime: You may apply to the program at any time. You have up to three years from the time of your first workshop to complete the program although many people find the online course offerings enable them to complete the program in less time.
  • How many hours of training do I take? There are approximately 93 hours of training offered in a combination of online courses and seated workshops held in Buffalo, New York. It is possible to take the certificate program without coming to Buffalo. Refer to details in sections below.
  • How long does it take to finish the program? While some people find they can complete the program in less time, we allow up to three years. Many people find that the online course offerings allow them to proceed at a faster pace.
  • What courses do I take? There are four types of course components: Foundation, Elective, Skill Intervention, and Grounding and Experiential Methods. The Foundation courses and some Elective courses are only available online in a self-study online format. Some elective courses are offered in Buffalo. A 12-hour Skill Intervention course is available in Buffalo at least one a year and there are other online or alternative options explained below in the Skill Intervention section. The courses that fulfill the Grounding and Experiential Methods requirement can be fulfilled by select courses as identified in the descriptions; one is available online and others are occasional scheduled in Buffalo. For all Buffalo trauma courses, you can easily find them on the Trauma Training Held in Buffalo web page (courses appear as they are scehduled).
  • How do I take the online Digital Seminar self-study courses? Online  self-study Digital Seminar courses are provided in a video format that you will view on your computer (Internet access and speakers are required). PowerPoints, readings and other materials are included on the course website. A quiz is required to verify your acquisition of knowledge. The Digital Seminar access never expires from the date of purchase. It offers you two options: watch as a streaming video and/or download the video and watch as often as desired. Both can be done at a time of your convenience. You may print your certificate of completion with any applicable CEUs from your online course account when you finish each course. Review the introduction to the online format for more information before proceeding to the online catalog to set up your account and purchase courses.


Program content covers trauma-informed care, care specific to certain populations or ages and some trauma-specific services. Courses are designated as foundation, skill intervention, elective, and grounding and experiential methods.

For many people, the coursework is a combination of online self-study Digital Seminar courses and in-person workshops held in Buffalo, New York.

We do have options to complete the program without coming to Buffalo. Refer to all details on this page.

> Use the link below to the online course catalog to select applicable Foundation, Elective,  Skill Intervention, and Grounding and Experiential Methods trauma courses.

> Review trauma workshops offered in Buffalo

> Review the introduction to online self-study course catalog

Visit our online self-study catalog- use the categories to find applicable trauma certificate courses

Foundation Courses

Complete all of the foundation courses. We recommend you take the foundation courses in the order listed. Each underlined course title is hyperlinked to the online catalog so you can see the price and all details.

Grounding and Experiential Methods Course

Take one Grounding and Experiential Methods course. Courses offered in Buffalo are identified in the descriptions and may include trauma-focused topics such as art therapy, play therapy, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, yoga and breathing, etc.  When available, trauma courses designated as  meeting this requirement will be identified on our Trauma Trainings in Buffalo web page.  

Choose the courses in the online catalog that are designated to meet the Grounding and Experiential Methods requirement.

Applying outside courses to this requirement: Select trauma trainings offered in the Western New York area by Annie Monaco, LCSW-R and her colleagues may specify in their marketing material that they can be applied to this requirement for an additional fee. If you see this wording in one of the brochures or marketing emails, contact us at for the form with instructions and fee to apply the outside ours to your trauma-informed certificate program. 

Skill Intervention Course

Select one 12-hour skill intervention course from our Trauma Trainings offered in Buffalo, New York. If you take more than one, the additional hours can be used toward your elective requirements. One skill intervention course is offered each year and topics vary. Topics may include: Schema Focused Therapy, Psychological First Aid; EMDR; Acute Critical Incident Trauma Management, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and others.

Application of outside courses to the 12-hour skill intervention requirement: Select courses  from other providers that are approved in advance may be used to fulfill our skill intervention requirement. There is an additional $100 fee for this service. This process allows the certificate program to be more accessible to those outside the Western New York area or those with schedule conflicts. Courses that may be used to fulfill this requirement include:

  • Trauma-Focused CBT Course - free, web-based course. Email us for the form to submit this document along with your certificate of completion and the additional fee.
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy Course - free, web-based course. Email us for the form to submit this document along with your certificate of completion and the additional fee.
  • EMDR Basic Training - Provide your certificate of completion from an EMDRIA approved EMDR provider. Approved providers include Western New York organizations that have permission to specify that  their EMDR Basic Training course may be applied to the our trauma-informed certificate programs; courses taught through Francine Shapiro's EMDR organization; courses taught by an EMDRIA approved instructor; or EMDR courses taught through Ricky Greenwald's Trauma Institute/Child Trauma Institute. Email us for the form to submit this document along with your certificate of completion and the additional fee. Note: EMDR courses taught by PESI or The Bodymind Institute are not approved by EMDRIA and cannot be accepted as our Skill Intervention hours.
  • Western New York trauma training offered by Annie Monaco, LCSW-R and her colleagues: Applicability of the hours to this requirement will be specified in the brochure and marketing email. Contact us at for the form with fee and instructions to apply these hours to our program. 
  • If you have questions about other instructors for the above courses or other topic applicability, please email us.

Elective Courses

You will need to complete 42 hours of elective courses offered in a wide selection of advanced and special topics. Online self-study electives are offered in this certificate program elective course category of our self-study online catalog 365 days a year as well as select elective topics offered in Buffalo. We encourage you to select the topics most relevant to your career and client needs.  

Applying outside courses to this requirement: Select trauma trainings offered in the Western New York area by Annie Monaco, LCSW-R and her colleagues may specify in their marketing material that they can be applied to this requirement for an additional fee. If you see this wording in one of the brochures or marketing emails, contact us at for the form with instructions and fee to apply the outside ours to your trauma-informed certificate program. 

University at Buffalo MSW Credit Courses: Some University at Buffalo MSW credit courses may count toward the certificate program if taken within three years of the program start date.

> Check the MSW Credit Courses page for a current list 

Eligibility & Application



  • Enrollment is available at any time that is convenient for you. Online courses are available 365 days a year. Live courses are scheduled in Buffalo.
  • Eligibility: You must have earned either a master’s degree in a clinical human service discipline or be currently enrolled in a clinical master's program;  or have earned a bachelor’s degree in a human service discipline (psychology, criminal justice, sociology, nursing, social work, etc.). With a bachelor’s degree, you will also need one year of work with clients in a human service organization.
  • Register: You can use the button below to register online with a credit card or eCheck, or you can print and mail the application at the button below. Include the $25 application fee, your résumé and proof of degree. If you are uploading or attaching your transcript as proof of degree, please black out your social security number (if inlcuded) before uploading.
  • Once you receive email notification of acceptance, you will be able enroll in courses.
  • For online courses, this is a separate process and you will need to set up an online account to choose and pay for courses. With acceptance to the certificate program, you will be eligible for the discounted price option for trauma courses.
  • In the online catalog, choose the desired trauma courses in the foundation, elective, and grounding and experiential methods courses. The link to the online catalog is below this section.
  • To enroll at on-site workshops held in Buffalo, NY, view the current schedule and follow the online registration instructions on each workshop page.


Questions about registering? Contact us at or 716-829-5841.

Cost, CEUs & Certificate of Completion



  • As indicated above, there is a $25 application fee.
  • You can pay for one course at a time. The average cost of a 5-6 hour course is approximately $100-199. Once accepted into the certificate program, you will be eligible for the discounted price option for select trauma courses.
  • You may continue to pay the discounted price for Buffalo, NY trauma workshops even after you have completed the certificate program.
  • The cost of the whole program varies depending on whether you are taking all online courses or are including some Buffalo courses. You do not pay in advance; you pay for each course as you register.
  • CEU (approved continuing education hours) wording is in the credit tab of each course. If you need CEUs, please check before you purchase to ensure the course provides them.
  • Certificate of Completion: For those who finish the certificate program, please email us at and include your current mailing address. We will mail you a frameable certificate of completion. 



Self-Care in Trauma Work Sampler

As you prepare for the Trauma-Informed Care & Counseling Certificate Program, we invite you to watch a sample video from Elaine Hammond, LMSW, about the importance of self-care in trauma work. You may also download the PowerPoints.