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Trauma in the Developmental Context

Richmont is opening a portion of this introductory course in the Trauma Certificate to Richmont alumni and the surrounding community for Continuing Education Credit. Please note that this is only a portion of an entire course offered for a reduced fee. If you are interested in auditing or taking the entire course for course credit, please contact our Registrar. This event is not sponsored by the alumni association and does not fall under the benefits of founding membership status.

When: Friday, October 18 – Saturday, October 19, 2019

*Format for both days is 8:30am – 5:00pm with an 1 hour break for lunch.

Where: Richmont Graduate University / Chattanooga Campus / 1815 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37404

Presenter: Jana Pressley, Psy.D, Director of Trauma Training and Development, Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute, Boston, MA

Dr. Jana Pressley is the Director of Trauma Training and Development at the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute. At the Trauma Center, Dr. Pressley oversees the postdoctoral fellowship and advanced clinical practicum training programs, as well as the annual Certificate Program in Traumatic Stress Studies. Additionally, Dr. Pressley holds a clinical role as a therapist and supervisor. Her research interests are focused on the experience of court-involved youth and adults who have experienced relational trauma in the midst of chronic poverty, community violence, and racial oppression. She is also involved in research and training related to the impact of complex trauma history on adult spirituality and meaning-making. Dr. Pressley teaches trauma-related courses at the graduate level, and has designed and implemented trauma counseling specialization courses for graduate programs in close collaboration with the Trauma Center senior leadership. She is a national trainer and consultant in both the ARC and Component-Based Psychotherapy (CBP) treatment model. Dr. Pressley was formerly the Director of Clinical Training and Associate Professor in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program at Wheaton College Graduate School, and she currently serves as Adjunct Associate Professor at Richmont Graduate University in the trauma certificate track.

Topic: This introductory seminar will focus on the impact of trauma exposures on the developing child, and ways these impacts may continue to manifest through the lifespan.  The course will include a review of normative development, and impact of trauma on developmental tasks; an overview of the attachment system and variations in attachment formation; and a discussion of the functional nature of behaviors.  Implications for treatment will be briefly discussed.

Target Audience: Marriage and Family Therapists, Clinical Mental Health Counselors, Psychologists, and Graduate Students.

Learning Objectives: As a result of this seminar, participants will be able to:

  • Summarize an overview of the status of current knowledge regarding exposure to traumatic stress, including epidemiology and clinical course.
  • Define “complex traumatic stress.”
  • Describe and explain long term consequences of exposure to traumatic stress.
  • Explain basic ways that traumatic experiences impact brain functioning.
  • Discuss the biological systems implicated in the traumatic response.
  • Explain the developmental pathways model of the impact of early experience.
  • Explain the relation between early trauma and long-term consequences
  • Describe key processes relevant to the long-term impact of trauma, and the functional nature of adaptation.
  • Utilize a greater understanding of the contextual variable that contributes to complex trauma.
  • Differentiate between simple and complex traumatic responses.
  • Describe the role the early care-giving environment plays in the childhood development of basic self regulatory capacity.
  • Explain the ways in which the caregiver context can both help and hinder recovery to traumatic stress.
  • Define factors associated with resiliency.
  • Identify core themes of spiritual impact that may overlap with a complex trauma history.

Basic Agenda

Date Lecture
Day 1 Understanding Complex Trauma:

·        Prevalence

·        Etiology

·        Diagnostic issues

·        Developmental impact

·        Core components of complex trauma


Day 2 Application of complex trauma understanding

·        Applying core components to case material

Understanding risk factors and protective factors in complex trauma impact

Continuing Education: 13 CEs Awarded


Alumni – $330.00

Guests – $345.00

Note: Attendees are required to attend both days to receive CE credit for this eventPartial credit will not be awarded. Space is limited. Please register early to reserve your spot. Attendees will be admitted to this seminar on a first come, first serve basis.

Registration: Please click here to register for this event.

Please direct your questions regarding this seminar to Martha Busby at or 404.835.6121.

Refund Policy: In order to receive a full refund requests must be made prior to must be requested prior to October 11, 2019.

There is no known commercial support for this program.

Richmont Graduate University has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 4534. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Richmont Graduate University is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. 

Richmont Graduate University is approved by the American Psychologist Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Richmont Graduate University maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

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Trauma in the Developmental Context