Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist – Individual (CCTSI)

Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist –Individual (CCTSI)

How to Take this Certification

You must have attended the Certified Trauma Specialist (CCTSI) class to take this certification!

Please follow these steps before taking this certification.

  1. Make sure you have attended the Certified Trauma Specialist class.
  2. Click the (Get Certified Now) button above to enroll to take the certification
  3. To enroll
    1. Click enroll button
    2. If you have registered type your username and password to login, if you have not register complete the form to register
    3. Add the certification to your cart
    4. Complete the purchase of the certification
    5. Clink the link on receipt that reads (Start the (CCTSI) certification here
  4. Complete online certification

Certification Resources

Click the links below to download resources for this certification.

Course Outline with Corresponding Trauma Competencies Guidelines .pdf
Works Cited – Supporting Bibliography .pdf

Certification Description

Qualified participants who successfully complete the Trauma Competency for the 21st Century:  The Empowerment & Resilience Treatment Structure for Adult Traumatic Stress course, competency examination and application are eligible for the Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist – Individual (CCTSI) designation available through the Trauma Institute International.  This knowledge-based certification is an attestation, through the Trauma Institute International, that the student has met the educational requirements of the Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist.  Participants completing this certification may use the CCTSI designation to indicate to peers and potential clients that they have acquired this knowledge and offer their services to survivors of trauma.  Completing this certification is a demonstration of the clinician’s dedication to achieving and maintaining a professional knowledge base.

Professions Applicable

Counselors • Social Workers • Psychologists • Case Managers • Addiction Counselors Therapists • Marriage & Family Therapists • Other Mental Health Professionals

Certification Requirements

  • Proof of attendance for the educational component of the Certified Trauma Specialist – Individual (CCTSI)
  • Application for the certification (Online Application)
  • An up-dated resume reflecting the (CCTSI) training
  • Proof of education (scanned copy of degree, transcripts, or licenses can be used for this)
  • Proof of degree/license (scanned copy licenses can be used for this)
  • Statement that they are in good stead with the Licensure of their state (if licensed) – optional
  • Pay fee for certification

Minimal Requisite for Learner 

  • Bachelors level Behavioral Health Technician/Case Manager, OR
  • Master/doctoral student in psychology, counseling, social work, or marriage and family therapy, OR
  • Master or doctoral degree from an accredited university in psychology, counseling, social work or marriage & family therapy
  • Licensed at the Associate or Professional Clinician Level

Learning Objectives

Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist – Individual (CCTS-I)

Course emphasizes a balance between the science and skill of treating traumatic stress, and the development of cross-cutting competencies in clinicians. Clinicians will learn both principles and techniques for rapidly and safely accelerating treatment with clients who suffer from traumatic stress. The course teaches clinicians how to think critically and act deliberately to:

  1. Recognize and appreciate the seminal 19th and 20th Century luminaries and their discoveries that have led to the current state of the art and science in treating post traumatic stress;
  2. Discover the “active ingredients”/common elements for treating post traumatic stress advocated as best practice for treatment of PTSD by leading agencies and organizations (e.g., APA, VA/DoD).
  3. Employ a staged“active ingredient”/common elements approach to evidence based practice for treating survivors of trauma. This is contrasted with current practice of utilizing only EBT model-driven approaches;
  4. Conceptualize, articulate and utilize specific evidence-based treatment tasks within each of the (dynamic elements/active ingredients) of treatment that resolve symptoms of post traumatic stress;
  5. Learn and employ the Empowerment & Resilience Treatment Structure (Gentry, Baranowsky & Rhoton, 2017) for delivery of treatment with trauma survivors;
  6. Efficiently and effectively facilitate resolution and healing of post traumatic conditions;
  7. Learn specific psycho education and cognitive restructuring techniques for maximizing engagement and participation in early treatment;
  8. Explain the symptoms of traumatic stress to clients in a way that helps makes “good sense” of their experiences, that facilitates self-compassion, and helps them to understand their symptoms as adaptations to past painful learning experience instead of a pathological affliction;
  9. Develop insight into the importance of developing/maintaining positive expectancy and skills to achieve this therapeutic task;
  10. Maximize engagement and collaboration in the healing process utilizing evidence based skills of data collection and feedback processing with clients,
  11. Succinctly articulate the role that perceived threat and subsequent autonomic nervous system dysregulation plays in the etiology and perseverance of symptoms with trauma survivors;
  12. Acquire insight into the Polyvagal Theory and how this explanation of ANS functioning assists clients with understanding their symptoms and clinicians to conceptualize tasks of treatment with trauma survivors;
  13. Develop, practice and master skills of interoception and acute relaxation to monitor and self-regulate clinician’s own autonomic nervous system as primary intervention to facilitate rapid return to comfort in body (i.e., stress amelioration), maximize neocortical functioning and the ability to remain intentional instead of instinctual reactivity. (Note – This is a primary skill for professional resilience and the prevention of compassion fatigue. This course teaches participant to develop mastery of this skill BEFORE beginning to teach clients this skill.)
  14. Teach clients skills for self-regulation of their own autonomic nervous system and then to employ these skills to catalyze reciprocal inhibition and Direct Therapeutic Exposure to lessen their anxiety symptoms immediately;
  15. Develop CBT skills for helping trauma survivors to rapidly develop stability, self-efficacy, anxiety management, and relational capacities;
  16. Learn the 20 symptoms of PTSD sufficient to make an accurate diagnosis;
  17. Learn empirical markers to know when it is both necessary (i.e., Criterion B symptoms still present) and safe to transition from the safety/stabilization phase of treatment into the trauma memory processing phase without guesswork and minimal crises;
  18. Learn and practice a five-part Narrative Exposure Therapy process ntegrate and desensitize trauma memories in a safe and efficient manner. Participants will employ graphic, written, non-verbal, verbal, and recursive narratives paired with regulated arousal to catalyze reciprocal inhibition in a method that prevents abreaction and the risk of re-traumatization;
  19. Develop state­ of-the-art insight and skills techniques supporting and facilitating healthy grieving and healing complicated bereavement;
  20. Learn to effectively employ Forward-Facing Trauma Therapy ™ as a self-employed method to facilitate post traumatic growth and resilience for clients.

By successfully completing this course and integrating the above learning goals we expect clinicians will build both their clinical trauma expertise and their professional confidence to significantly enhance effectiveness, reduce client crises and facilitate treatment to move forward at an accelerated pace.

Certification Competencies

  1. Develop knowledge and understanding of the philosophy and practice of Trauma-Informed Care and adopt these procedures as the underlying interactional principles for relating with all clients;
  2. Demonstrate the ability to articulate and utilize the evidence-based”active ingredients”/common elements approach for successful and rapid resolution of post traumatic stress symptoms;
  3. Demonstrate the ability to conceptualize and organize treatment or individual adults suffering from the symptoms of post traumatic stress utilizing the Empowerment & Resilience Structure (Rhoton & Gentry, 2014). This structure is a generic organizational and navigational process through the treatment trajectory That is a also a delivery system for the “active ingredients”/common elements of effective trauma treatment (Note – this structured generic approach is individually fitted to each client and is contrasted with a manualized, model-driven approach);
  4. Acquire the knowledge and skills for assessing post traumatic stress conditions using quantitative assessment instruments (PCL-5; TRS; ACE) and clinical interview sufficient to accurately diagnose PTSD;
  5. Acquire the knowledge and skills for assessing post traumatic stress conditions using quantitative assessment instruments (PCL-5; TRS; ACE) and clinical interview sufficient to develop preliminary treatment and case planning;
  6. Acquire the knowledge and skills for ongoing quantitative and qualitative assessment to monitor treatment effectiveness and demonstrate ability to identify any treatment shortcomings and adjust treatment accordingly. This competency includes the implementation of a mid-treatment reassessment of Criterion B symptoms to determine the need for trauma memory processing to desensitize and integrate memories generating these intrusive symptoms;
  7. Articulate why and how relational factors are important in the resolution of traumatic stress symptoms and in helping survivors to heal from these past events;
  8. Ability to implement and utilize evidence-based processes for developing/maintaining/enhancing therapeutic relationship with trauma survivor clients. This capacity includes the ability to elicit and utilize negative feedback from clients to better attenuate treatment delivery to the needs and capacities of the client;
  9. Ability to implement and utilize evidence-based processes for developing/maintaining/enhancing & positive expectancy with trauma survivor clients as an important early treatment intervention;
  10. Demonstrate the ability to understand causes, symptoms and treatment of traumatic stress sufficiently to provide comprehensive trauma-informed psycho education to clients;
  11. Ability to articulate and employ psycho education and cognitive restructuring activities for early treatment interventions that assist a trauma survivor in ameliorating shame and enhancing self-compassion by helping them understand their symptoms as instinctual adaptations to their traumatic pasts instead of psychopathology;
  12. Demonstrate the ability to teach all clients the role that perceived threat and the autonomicnervoussystemplaysinthedevelopmentandcontinuationoftraumatic stress symptoms, reactive behavior, and all distress experienced by our clients;
  13. Demonstrate the ability to achieve, maintain and teach self-regulation through interoception and acute relaxation skills to master self-regulation as both integral clinical skill and as an important professional resilience/compassion fatigue prevention capacity;
  14. Demonstrate the ability to teach and coach post traumatic clients to implement and utilize the principles of reciprocal inhibition employed through the CBT process of Direct Therapeutic Exposure/Forward-Facing Trauma Therapy™ as an important adjunct to early treatment for lessening generalized anxiety, enhancing comfort, ameliorating distress and improving functioning;
  15. Demonstrate the ability to utilize CBTskillsof grounding, containment, anxiety management and self-rescue for helping trauma survivors to rapidly develop stability, self-efficacy, anxiety management, and relational capacities;
  16. Recognize the evidence-based treatments for PTSD and the ability to articulate their strengths and weaknesses;
  17. Develop the capacity to desensitize and integrate trauma memories for resolving Criterion B symptoms through a structured Narrative Exposure Therapy protocol taught during the course. (Note – for certification requisite training in one of the EBTs for trauma treatment may substitute);
  18. Develop knowledge and skills to effectively assist clients who are suffering a recent loss with uncomplicated bereavement with a passive grief-focused supportive process.
  19. Develop knowledge and skills to effectively assist clients who are suffering a protracted loss with complicated bereavement using an active CBT grief-focused intervention process for integration, desensitization and expression of painful affect.
  20. Develop knowledge and skills to effectively assist clients in fostering post traumatic growth and resiliency using Forward-Facing Trauma Therapy ™ as a pre-termination future that helps them re-start normal adult development and lead intentional lives.


Instructor Requirements:

Qualified instructors are those who have

  • Masters and or Doctoral-level education;
  • Achieved certification as an expert in treating traumatic stress through a qualified certification-granting entity (e.g., AAEST; TII; ATSS);
  • Have successfully completed a minimum of 10 years of clinical trauma practice with no ethics complaints.
  • Biography of presenter must be posted and CV available upon request.


Certification Evaluation Criteria 

  • Posttest for Content (20 questions – one from each Competency)
  • Certification Exam (100 questions – five from each Competency. For those seeking Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist – Individual designation)
  • Satisfaction Evaluation