This advanced elective course explores the impact of trauma on individuals, families, and groups. Students develop an understanding of the impact of trauma on an individual's development of self. Students differentiate between the needs of an individual experiencing acute trauma from those experiencing distress rooted in a trauma history and select appropriate interventions based on these needs.
Special attention is given to the impact early childhood trauma has on healthy attachment and the ramifications of attachment on selecting appropriate interventions. By utilizing a rudimentary understanding of neuroscience, students gain insight into the function of memory, dissociation, somatization of trauma, and the treatment modalities best suited for clinical work with clients based on their individual presentation and personal strengths. This course also explores how trauma victims are impacted by the cultural and societal values of their environments.
Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:
- Recognize the presence of transference/counter-transference dynamics that frequently arise in clinical work with trauma and practice critical examination of the use of self within clinical interventions. (G2e)
- Respond effectively to the systemic and historical trauma of oppression, discrimination, injustice, and poverty, choosing interventions tailored to a client’s comprehensive experience of trauma. (C3b)
- Utilize assessment skills that identify the broad range of symptoms and psychological sequelae related to traumatic experiences. (C7a)
- Select intervention strategies that privilege matching a client’s current capacity to manage safety and tolerate distress. (C8a)
- Through use of self-awareness and clinical consultation, identify trauma-related issues existing outside the clinician’s scope of practice and make appropriate referrals as necessary. (C8b)
- Articulate the differences among acute trauma, developmental trauma, single event trauma, and complex trauma in clinical assessment and intervention. (C3a; C7a; C7e; C7f; C8a)
Prerequisite or Co-requisite: MSW 650 Clinical Methods I with Individuals