Traumatic Stress Studies Certificate Program

A 7-month, self-paced program led by Bessel van der Kolk, MD featuring 25 of today's leading trauma experts.

The next cohort begins September 2024. Registration will open in July.
Registration for the February 2024 cohort is still open!

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An Invitation from Bessel van der Kolk...

Ever since The Body Keeps the Score was published in 2015 and, since then, has been read by well over 1,000,000 people, the Trauma Research Foundation (TRF) has been inundated by requests for referrals to experienced clinicians who are capable of providing the various treatment modalities discussed in that book.

In response, TRF is dedicated to setting up networks of clinicians around the United States, and possibly around the world, who have a solid understanding of the nature, impact, and resolution of traumatic stress and who are deeply familiar with a variety of treatment options and approaches.

This certificate program is, among other things, meant to be a foundation for the creation of such networks of expert clinicians.

Our intensive post-graduate level certificate program consists of 32-weeks of immersion into the fundamental issues necessary to become an expert clinician treating adults and children who suffer from traumatic stress.

In addition, students will have a monthly opportunity for a face-to-face interaction with one of the senior supervisors of this program to discuss lessons learned and clinical challenges, as well as for the formation of peer support groups.

While most advanced training programs are geared to teaching clinicians a particular treatment modality, this course provides a comprehensive overview of a variety of different treatment approaches, relevant to the particular conditions that your clients live under, their presenting problems, their developmental stages and the cultural context and resources of the traumatized individuals.

This course will provide an overview of the basic biological and psychological processes at work that form the foundation for innovative and effective treatment approaches, such as a variety of body based techniques, IFS, ARC, SMART, sand tray therapy, neurofeedback, EMDR, psychedelic therapies, yoga and theater, and address issues of assessment, culture, race, spirituality, families and other contextual issues.

~ Dr. Bessel A. van der Kolk

The Trauma Research Foundation remains dedicated to helping clinicians integrate leading-edge research on PTSD and developmental trauma with clinical practice through global training and education.

  • TRF’s comprehensive 7-month online Certificate Program in Traumatic Stress Studies is offered twice per year.  We launch a new cohort every February and August.
  • Learn how trauma impacts the brain and body, and the efficacy of a wide array of clinical treatment methods to apply in your practice to improve your clinical treatment. This program bridges advanced research on PTSD and developmental trauma with today’s most optimal clinical methods, treatments and modalities to improve outcomes and help clients heal.
  • The Certificate Program is presented at the post-graduate level, but anyone with an interest in treating trauma is invited to participate.
  • Students will have the opportunity to have a monthly face-to-face interaction with our experienced senior supervisors to talk about learning points and clinical challenges, along with forming close supportive bonds with your peers which fosters mutual improvement.
  • After receiving your certificate, qualified licensed clinicians are eligible to apply to the Group Supervision and Consultation Program, which is facilitated by one of our faculty members. You will also be eligible for up to  74.45 CE credits. 

This post-graduate level course is recommended for practitioners who are licensed mental health providers and who currently see clients or provide mental health services.  However, anyone interested in learning is welcome to enroll.

  • There is no other training program available that offers the depth and breadth of this exclusive certificate program.
  • Participants who complete the weekly teachings program will be awarded a certificate of completion from the world-renowned Trauma Research Foundation.
  • Your certificate not only showcases your personal and professional accomplishment, it distinguishes you from your peers and shows your clients, your colleagues, and employer your continued dedication to improving therapeutic outcomes.
  • Earn up to 74.5 Continuing Education Credits.

Register for this Certificate in Traumatic Stress Studies online course without risk. If you’re not completely satisfied within 30 days, give us a call at 800-844-8260. We’re that confident you’ll find this learning experience to be all that’s promised and more than you expected.

Hear what one of our participants has to say about the program

7-month Post-graduate Certificate Self-Paced Program

Weekly Sessions

Each week, a new session will be available for viewing.

Self-Paced Viewing of Videos

Follow our recommended weekly schedule, or go at your own pace. You decide when the time is right to learn - and take as much time as you need!

Online Community

Network and share ideas in online discussions with your peers in the course.

Live Q&A Calls

Attend live Q&A calls with Dr. Bessel van der Kolk and course faculty for additional insight, guidance, and answers to questions.

CE Hours

This self-study course will provide continuing education credits. CE provided through PESI. For credit details call PESI at 800-844-8260 or [email protected].

Earn Your Certificate

End this program with an elite Certificate in Traumatic Stress Studies from the Trauma Research Foundation.

Over the next 7 months you will learn how to set the stage for trauma resolution:

To pendulate between states of exploration and safety, between language and body, between remembering the past and feeling alive in the present.

When you accept your invitation to earn your certificate in Traumatic Stress Studies, you will:

You'll get comprehensive training from today's leading experts in...

How trauma impacts the brain and body, and the efficacy of an array of clinical treatment methods to apply in your practice.

  • Neurobiology of PTSD and Developmental Trauma
  • Sensorimotor Treatment and Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment (SMART)
  • Treatment Foundations and Assessments
  • Attachment, Regulation and Competency (ARC) and Supporting Regulation in Childhood
  • Adult Treatment and Component-Based Psychotherapy (CBP)
  • Dissociation and Internal Family Systems (IFS)
  • Trauma Processing and EMDR
  • Attachment Theory and Relationships
  • Sand Tray Therapy, Play and Activity, Theater and Trauma-Drama, and Trauma Sensitive Yoga
  • Trauma Focused Neurofeedback
  • Vicarious Trauma and Self-Care
  • Special Issues including Sexual Exploitation, Community Trauma, and Sexual Behavior Problems

A Collaborative Learning Environment

Monthly Live Q&A’s are offered with leading experts on trauma, including:

  • Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., founder of the Trauma Center, Co-founder of the Trauma Research Foundation and New York Times best-selling author of The Body Keeps the Score
  • Richard Schwartz, Ph.D., developer of the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model
  • Stephen Porges, Ph.D., creator of the Polyvagal Theory and Social Engagement System
  • Elizabeth Warner, Psy.D., lead developer of Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment (SMART)
  • and more!

Upon completion of this course, participants are invited to apply for  Trauma Research Foundation’s 6-Week Group Supervision and Consultation Program.

  • Enrollees will join group settings led by a skilled Certificate Program faculty member in a secure environment that allows clinicians to reflect on and discuss their practice.
  • Each week, the group will examine one case study in depth and discuss clinical challenges.

Course Faculty

Bessel 2021 TRF smile

Bessel Van Der Kolk


Licia Sky


Richard Schwartz


Stephen Porges


Margaret Blaustein


Elizabeth Warner

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Deborah Korn

Gary Bailey

Gary Bailey


Frank Anderson


Jana Pressley


Ruth Lanius


Alexandra Cook

Vivian Khedari

Vivian Khedari

Michael Niconchuk

Michael Niconchuk

Matthew Sanford

Matthew Sanford

Ainat Rogel

Ainat Rogel


See what recent participants say...

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“I am really impressed with the materials in this course. What a gift that we get to benefit ourselves and our clients with this knowledge that was gained through years of study by Bessel and all the experts in this course. I am very grateful for the opportunity.”
Jill, Ph.D.
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"I feel very fortunate to be a part of the Traumatic Studies Certification Program. I do not think it's an overstatement to say that the course has revolutionized my understanding of trauma and it has changed my career trajectory. I am grateful that you opened up this program to distance learners."
Candance, LMFT, LPCC
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"This Trauma Certificate program has been comprehensive and growth-producing, and my clients have benefitted substantially from my having had this training. My thanks to Dr. van der Kolk, Dr. Blaustein, all the presenters and PESI for having made this opportunity possible. I am profoundly grateful."

2022 Scholarships window has closed

We are proud to have rewarded well over 1,000 scholarships for the 2022 Traumatic Stress Studies Certificate Program, to students all over the globe.

Limited spaces available


Certificate in Traumatic Stress Studies


Registration is still open! You can join now, or wait for our next cohort to begin in September 2024.


The program launched on February 26, but registration is still open!
The full price of the program is $999.

Your registration includes: