Trauma Competencies

Guidelines on Trauma Competencies for Education and Training

The scientific literature on trauma is large and growing. However most mental health professionals only have a cursory knowledge of this science (Courtois & Gold, 2009) . In addition, they have no formal training in nor apply evidence-based psychosocial treatments for trauma-related disorders (Cook, Dinnen, Rehman, Bufka, & Courtois, 2011; Gray, Elhai & Schmidt, 2007 ). A national consensus conference was held at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut in April 2013 to develop a comprehensive model of trauma-focused, empirically-informed competencies—knowledge, skills, and attitudes that professionals should aspire to have when working with traumatized children and adults (Cook, Newman, & the New Haven Trauma Competency Group, 2014).  APA has now officially approved the model, deemed the New Haven competencies, as the Guidelines on Trauma Competencies for Education and Training. They can provide the basis for training a trauma-informed mental health workforce.