Trauma training: Competencies, initiatives, and resources.

Traumatic stress is currently not a required component of the standard curricula in graduate-level education in clinical and counseling psychology. However, due to the high prevalence of trauma and its potentially deleterious physical and mental health effects in the general and clinical populations, it is imperative that psychology graduate students and practitioners understand the relevance of trauma in their clients’ lives and its impact in clinical research. A comprehensive model of trauma-focused empirically informed competencies (knowledge, skills, and attitudes) was developed at a national consensus conference in 2013 and approved by the American Psychological Association in 2015 as part of that organization’s education and training policy. These trauma competencies predated the American Psychological Association’s Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Guidelines, and provided consensus about the scientific, theoretical, ethical, and professional foundational knowledge, skills, and attitudes for all trauma-informed professional practice, not solely treatment. The two endeavors are related and potentially synergistic, but separate. Intended to guide training programs’ curriculum development and psychologists’ self-monitoring, the trauma competencies serve as aspirational goals for psychologists. Training issues in these and other trauma competencies are discussed. Perhaps, most importantly, the scientific literature on trauma is constantly evolving, and thus embracing an ever-evolving curriculum and lifelong-learning approach is essential. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)