Trauma Research Foundation’s Certificate in Traumatic Stress Studies


By: Tara Crowley, Traumatic Stress Studies Certificate program graduate and Reiki Master

I felt compelled to enroll in TRF’s Traumatic Stress Studies Certificate program. As a Reiki Master/Practitioner, I do not consider myself the typical candidate for this program.  However, as a healer, I felt it was important to educate myself on the medical studies on traumatic stress, which would absolutely benefit not only myself, my family, and my clients, but my overall approach to and understanding of those anywhere in the world, who have suffered trauma. The course addressed the many facets of trauma and multiple treatment approaches to healing trauma. 

There were times during the program when I was overwhelmed with the information provided, without a clinical background in counseling or therapy. However, since it was self-paced and without time limits, I was able to do independent research to support my learning and to complete each weekly module on my own time. Instead of stressing about the module quiz, which you could take as many times as necessary to be sure that the material was accurately absorbed and learned, I embraced it as a total learning experience, and I enjoyed the educational aspect of the program.

The presenters of the modules are experts: professional and engaging in how they present their material.  Dr. Bessel van der Kolk assembled an amazing group of practitioners who address multiple approaches/theories on traumatic stress and treatment, covering all ages and all facets of this field of study.  This program definitely exceeded my expectations of what I would take away from the course. I was particularly drawn to the holistic/integrative approaches that many practitioners utilize in their practices, such as meditation and yoga. These definitely enhance any program and healing in every way.

Takeaways from the program include a much more detailed understanding of traumatic stress, how it affects different individuals when someone suffers trauma at certain ages, and the lifelong effect it can have, especially if left untreated. The case studies and real-life stories of clients were profound; these really encompassed many genres of trauma and treatment and the actual effect of the different theories to approach and resolve issues relative to trauma. The program is truly enlightening, and I can incorporate many of the different aspects of these studies into my daily life and Reiki practice.

Sometimes when we jump out of the known into the unknown to educate ourselves on the human aspects of life, such as trauma, which almost everyone experiences from minor to catastrophic, we find a light of healing that affects us and those with whom we come into contact. This program has profoundly affected my continued ability to empathize and not judge those who have mental health issues, as you never know what tragedies/trauma they have gone through in their lives. We all have the ability to bring some healing within ourselves and to others with an attitude of compassion and kindness, 

When we are willing to explore elements outside the normal realm of our experience, it enhances our lives and the lives of those around us. I am truly grateful that I took this program. It certainly gave me insight into trauma, its definition and age-related effects, and the various treatment modes that can be effective in healing traumatic stress.  

Sometimes a simple word or smile can change a life.  So, for today, let’s be kind, non-judgmental, and grateful.

Photo by Marlis Trio Akbar on Unsplash

Learn more about Tara Crowley and her work as a Reiki Master here.

Sign up to our newsletter and be the first to get our news and updates direct to your inbox.