Certificate Program in Traumatic Stress Studies

NOTE: Applications for the 2015-2016 academic year will be accepted beginning May, 2015, with participants accepted on a rolling basis until all spots are filled.

CLICK HERE to learn about our Distance Learning Initiative

For 15 years, The Trauma Center at JRI has offered a state-of-the-art advanced training program in traumatic stress studies. Geared toward licensed mental health professionals, this nine-month, weekly program offers post-graduate specialized training in the treatment of posttraumatic and dissociative disorders in children and adults. The program includes extensive didactic training, integrative group discussion, and small group consultation on case application. Program faculty are recognized experts in the field, including Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., Trauma Center founder and medical director.

Program Schedule

The program runs on Mondays, from mid-September through mid-May.

  • 9:30—12:30 Core Seminar
  • 12:30—12:45 Brief Break
  • 12:45–2:00 Small Group Clinical Consultation

Selected Topics

  • Neurobiology of trauma
  • Attachment theory
  • Understanding trauma in developmental context
  • Complex and acute trauma
  • Dissociation and memory
  • Stabilization
  • Trauma Processing: Cognitive, Expressive, Mind-Body, EMDR
  • Play therapy with traumatized children
  • Trauma and resiliency
  • Vicarious trauma and self-care


Readings for this seminar are drawn from an array of sources, including the text The Body Keeps the Score (van der Kolk, 2014; required purchase), classic and recent journal publications, and related works. Readings not drawn from the required text will be accessible via an electronic course pack at the start of the program year. Click here to view our most recent seminar syllabus.

Clinical Consultation

Program participants will attend small-group consultation, with particular attention paid to the configuration of groups so that participants are complementary in terms of experience level, population, and areas of interest. These groups are led by Trauma Center faculty, and provide an opportunity to discuss application of seminar concepts to individual cases and to the participants' general practice, as well as opportunity for further small-group discussion of seminar content.

Application Procedure

Important Note: Information in this section applies to the in-person / live program ONLY. To apply to our online / distance program, please visit this page. For questions regarding the distance learning initiative, please contact PESI directly; by e-mail here ; or via phone at (800) 844-8260.

This program is geared toward licensed mental health professionals; unlicensed and affiliated professionals with appropriate training and/or practical experience; those who work with trauma-impacted populations will be considered at the discretion of the program director. Upon submission of application, appropriate applicants will be invited to an in-person interview.

Although applications are accepted throughout the year, preference is for receipt of applications from May-July for the following September. Admission to the program will occur on a rolling basis until all positions have been filled. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply early to ensure securing a position.

To apply for admission to the program, please submit the application form along with an updated curriculum vitae, two letters of recommendation, and a copy of your license to:

Elizabeth Hopper, Ph.D.
The Trauma Center at JRI
1269 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02446
(617) 232-1303 x 211
Elizabeth Hopper email.

Fee Schedule

Course Offerings:

Core Seminar
Clinical Consultation
Integrative Discussion
Digital Course Pack

Cost for 9-month program: $4,500 total

A 10% deposit ($450) is due at the time of program acceptance; this deposit will be applied toward program tuition. A full fifty percent of tuition (inclusive of deposit) is due two weeks before classes begin; the remaining fifty percent is due by January 1. Refund of program deposit and/or fees is as follows: up to a month before program start date, full refund less $100 processing fee will be provided. Within 2-4 weeks of program start, 50% of deposit will be refunded. No refund of program deposit can be made within two weeks of program start; however, if additional tuition has been paid, that money will be refunded.

No refunds will be issued after classes begin, and enrolled participants will be expected to honor the payment plan until payment in full is made. For participants for whom payment of the fee in two installments would represent a financial burden, alternative payment plans may be arranged; however, payment in full must be received by April 1 of the program year. The Trauma Center reserves the right to cancel this program with full refunds to paid registrants.

Selected Faculty

  • Robert Aikin, LICSW
  • Frank Guastella Anderson, M.D.
  • Margaret E. Blaustein, Ph.D.
  • Alexandra Cook, Ph.D.
  • David Emerson, E-RYT
  • Lisa Goldblatt Grace, LICSW, MPH
  • Steven Gross, MSW
  • Frances Grossman, Ph.D.
  • Michele Henderson, LICSW
  • Hilary Hodgdon, Ph.D.
  • Elizabeth Hopper, Ph.D.
  • Deborah Korn, Psy.D.
  • Erika Lally, LMHC, ATR-BC
  • Joseph Spinazzola, Ph.D.
  • Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.
  • Elizabeth Warner, Psy.D.
  • Anne Westcott, LICSW
  • Jodie Wigren, Ph.D.
  • Marla Zucker, Ph.D.

Continuing Education Credits


The Justice Resource Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. JRI maintains responsibility for all programs and their content.

Social Workers:

Application for social work continuing education credits has been submitted. Please contact Taryn Marcorelle for the status of social work CE accreditation.

Licensed Mental Health Counselors:

Application for MaMHCA/MMCEP continuing education credits has been submitted. Please contact Taryn Marcorelle for the status of LMHC CE certification.


Educational programs offered by TC-JRI meet the requirements specified by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing-244 CMR 5.04.

*Note: Continuing education credits are NOT available for time spent in clinical consultation groups. Continuing education credits cannot be guaranteed until approvals have been received. Receipt of a certificate of attendance is contingent upon your attendance of a full program and completion of an evaluation form; partial credit cannot be provided.


WORKSHOP: December 15 & 16, 2015: Trauma-Sensitive Yoga in Therapy: Bringing the Body into Treatment


SAVE THE DATES! June 1-4, 2016: 27th Annual International Trauma Conference in Boston