Certified Trauma Specialist Training

You can change the world starting in your own Community.

When we respond to each other in healing instead of reactivity, we create healthy, safe, inclusive spaces. –Pepper Joy CTRC-S

About the program

For five years The International Association of Trauma Recovery Coaching has been offering courses to those wishing to become Trauma Recovery Coaches. Lately, we’ve had people ask for a certification course for those who don’t want to coach, but that still offers the high-quality education about trauma and how it impacts individuals that the Association is known for and has a track record of providing.

In response to those requests, the Association is launching its Certified Trauma Specialist program in January of 2023. These courses are specifically designed to provide students who don’t wish to offer healing interventions, but who instead wish to incorporate a knowledge of trauma into their existing profession – teachers and other school staff members, clergy people and church staff, non-profit agency staff, those who work in medical and dental offices…the list is limitless.

Sadly, trauma surrounds us everywhere. If your business serves people, it serves trauma survivors. Knowing how to best support your customers and create policies, procedures and processes that make you able to serve them more effectively is what the Certified Trauma Specialist course is all about

What You Will Learn:

  • The definition of trauma, its subtypes, and classifications, including moral injury
  • The biological aftereffects of trauma on the brain, nervous system and the body systemically including Polyvagal Theory
  • The psychological aftereffects of trauma
  • The emotional aftereffects of trauma
  • The relational aftereffects of trauma
  • The Parish Trauma Response Model – a framework for how people respond to and recover from trauma
  • The intersection of trauma, attachment and childhood psychosocial development
  • Healthy and toxic shame
  • Somatic trauma responses including Fear and Shame Adaptation
  • Understanding and de-pathologizing trauma coping strategies
  • Intergenerational trauma
  • Understanding the multi-dimensionality of trauma survivors, being able to understand trauma in the context of social, gender, racial, ethnic and historical frameworks
  • Relationship rupture and repair in the context of trauma
  • What is trauma informed care and how can you incorporate it into your business’ policies, procedures and processes as well as understanding the needs of your clients who are trauma survivors
  • How to work with trauma survivors safely
  • How to remain centered, grounded and anchored in your work which benefits you as well as the clients you work with who have experienced trauma
  • RReST the Restorative Response System Theory and how to take the science of healing Soul deep. We focus on how to respond vs react when we see signs of trauma and shame in others.

When are these courses being offered?

Course Option #1 Starting Tuesday Jan. 31st, 2023

Course Option #2 Starting Thursday Starting Feb. 2nd, 2023

12:00pm EST. 11:00am CST. 10:00am MST. 9:00am PST.

How long does the course last?

10 weeks, meeting every week for 1.5 hours.

What is the cost?

Cost: $2,300 USD. Payment plans available.

What are the certification requirements?

Each course has required reading and homework. The Association requires specific homework assignments and that you read both Bessel Van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score and Pete Walker’s Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving. This course also requires RReST the Restorative Response System theory by Pepper Joy Greggs.

After you have completed the course, your instructor (Pepper Joy CTRC-S) will let the Association know that you have completed all your homework to a satisfactory level and paid your tuition in full. Then you will take an examination through the Association, which you must pass with a score of at least 80%.

After you meet those three requirements you will be credentialed as a Certified Trauma Specialist. Your credential will come from The International Association of Trauma Recovery Coaching, not the individual instructor.

Once you are credentialed you will be listed on our new directory of Certified Trauma Specialists.

Your credential will be good for two years. If you wish to renew your credential you must obtain 15 hours of Continuing Education credits, complete a Code of Ethics Review and pay a certification renewal fee of $50.

You can review the Certified Trauma Specialist Code of Ethics and the Guiding Principles.

Limitations with the Certified Trauma Specialist credential

The Certified Trauma Specialist course gives an individual an in depth knowledge of trauma, the various forms that it takes, how it might impact an individual as well as ways that this information can be integrated into a career or business in order to provide trauma informed services. You may offer trauma informed interactions, psychoeducation and formulate policies and procedures that are trauma informed in your and other’s businesses.

For example, if one is a teacher they can use their certification as a Trauma Specialist to make their classroom experience more trauma informed as well as having the ability to understand the behaviors and responses of their students through a trauma informed lens.

If one is a business owner, they can use their certification as a Trauma Specialist to develop policies and procedures that make it safer and easier for trauma survivors to access their services, as well as understanding why some of their customers may have the needs and responses they do in interacting with your business.

However, certification as a Trauma Specialist does not give you skills to serve as an interventional helping professional in any manner. You may not use it to coach, treat or help a trauma survivor heal in any capacity. This would be a breach of the Certified Trauma Specialist Code of Ethics and could jeopardize your credential. If you wish to offer interventions you should enroll in our Certified Trauma Recovery Coaching course. You can access that course here.

If you complete the Certified Trauma Specialist course and decide you wish to continue on with your education through the Association to get your coaching credential you may join our Certified Trauma Recovery Coaching Course for a reduced tuition rate of $1500. You can move into the course in progress the week of April 17, 2023. We will make a link available to complete that registration to you after you have enrolled in your CTS course. 

Registering for a Certified Trauma Specialist Course

After you review the available courses, you may register for the one that best meets your needs. When you register you will pay a non-refundable deposit equaling 25% of the cost of the course. The Association will collect initial registration information from you, ask you to complete our course agreement (which you can review here) and invite you into our learning platform, Mighty Networks. From there your instructor will contact you and provide you with information specific to your course, set up remaining payments and request any additional information they might need from you.


If you have general questions about the Certified Trauma Specialist, you may reach out to Bobbi Parish, MA, CTRC-S at Bobbiparish@iaotrc.com.

If you have questions about specific courses. please reach out to Pepper Joy CTRC-S at Theinsideoutexperience@Gmail.com

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