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Course Title

Implementing a Trauma Informed School Program

Course Number


Course Overview

Adverse life experiences (trauma) has an impact on students and the entire school system. When school counselors and administrators understand the multiple ways trauma can impact all stakeholders, they are empowered to tailor their leadership and school counseling program to accurately meet the needs of students and staff.

We know that we are in unprecedented times and our delivery of school counseling services must change. It is vital that we understand the long and short term impact adversity and trauma has on human behavior so that we can assess and implement a program that meets the needs of our students.

Upon completion of this course, school counselors and leaders will understand the impact of trauma on the human nervous system. They will know the multiple ways humans respond to the threat of their sense of safety at all ages, and gain tools for implementing responsive services. The attendee will have exact next steps mapped out so they can begin implementation.

Each module will follow the topics listed and answer the questions. Each module will also provide PDF takeaways to implement in staff meetings, group counseling sessions, advisory, or individual sessions with students. This course is designed to be highly informative and practical in application.

Module 1 (3 hours) Understanding Student and Staff Interactions

  • What qualifies as trauma and why it is sometimes difficult to determine
  • What happens to the human brain and nervous system when traumatized
  • Why it is sometimes difficult to regulate self
  • What trauma looks like at each age
  • How do traumatized staff present themselves at work
  • What do staff members need from students and administrators
  • How students react when staff is dysregulated due to trauma
  • How staff and students keep each other dysregulated
  • How staff and administrators keep each other dysregulated
  • Teaching and Implementation strategies for your program

Module 2 (3 hours) Building a Program with Adequate Responsive Services

  • Why meeting the needs of students only is not enough
  • How to think comprehensively and not get lost in the details
  • How to get administrators on board
  • Review resources available to use
  • Building common language among administrators, staff and students around experiences and self regulation
  • A framework for where to start and how to build year to year

Module 3 (3 hours) Self Assess - Are You Ready to keep yourself and Others Safe?

  • Understanding how our “help” can sometimes contribute to the problem
  • What does self care realistically look like
  • Practical steps, tips, and strategy for being a safe person to everyone on campus
  • How to not feel so overwhelmed and alone
  • Practical tools, strategies and support to implement immediately for self and staff

• SE:A1:2 Identify and express feelings and emotions

• SE:A1:3 Develop self-awareness and self-management skills essential for mental health

• SE:A1:4 Take action (individually or with support) to positively impact one's own mental health

• SE:A1:5 Describe the relationship between feelings and behavior

• SE:A1:6 Develop healthy ways to identify, express, and respond to one's emotions

• SE:A1:11 Identify strategies to cope with loss and grief

• SE:A1:13 Identify the signs of stress and use techniques for reducing stress

• SE:A2:4 Engage with opposing viewpoints in a respectful manner

• SE:A2:6 Differentiate between situations requiring

• SE:A2:5 Demonstrate effective conflict resolution skills

• SE:C1:10 Identify trusted adults in the school and community, and know how, when, and where to ask for help for self and others

ASCA Ethical Standards (2016)

B.2. Responsibilities to the School counselors:

a. Develop and maintain professional relationships and systems of communication with faculty, staff and administrators to support students.
b. Design and deliver comprehensive school counseling programs that are integral to the school’s academic mission; driven by student data; based on standards for academic, career and social/emotional development; and promote and enhance the learning process for all students.

ASCA Professional Standards and Competencies

B-PF 6. Demonstrate understanding of the impact of cultural, social and environmental influences on student success and opportunities

a. Demonstrate basic knowledge and respect of differences in customs, communications, traditions, values and other traits among students based on race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or intellectual ability and other factors

b. Explain how students’ cultural, social and economic background may affect their academic achievement, behavior, relationships and overall performance in school

Intended Audience

This course is suitable for all school counselors and administrators

Essential Questions

How have the adverse experiences of my students over the last year and a half impacted their social and emotional development?

How have the adverse experiences of the adults on staff impacted their ability to perform at work and connect with students in meaningful ways?



Participants will have knowledge about:

Participants will be able to:

  • The impacts of trauma on the human brain and nervous system
  • The specific ways human behavior changes due to these experiences
  • How the threat of safety impacts day to day performance and interactions
  • The importance of maintaining a school counseling program for everyone - why this matters
  • The basic needs of everyone in the building
  • Communicate with administrators on advocating for student and staff needs
  • Ground the staff so they able to connect with their job in a meaningful way
  • Educate the staff and students on why they are acting and feeling differently than “normal”
  • Implement school counseling activities to ground the students

About the Facilitator

Janice Holland is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor in the state of Texas, and a certified Trauma Model Therapist through The Ross Institute. Prior to moving overseas to be a school counselor in China, Janice owned a private practice in Dallas, Texas, where she specialized in the emotional impact and subsequent treatment of Trauma. While she enjoyed helping those who have experienced extreme childhood trauma receive healing and freedom, her greatest interest was in training other therapists in understanding how adverse life experiences impacts us as humans and how we, as mental health professionals, can help. Janice traveled throughout Texas and several surrounding states to train therapists on this topic. Janice has had the privilege of presenting for ISCA on trauma on three separate occasions .

Dates and times of offerings

February 8, 2024 - 8:00AM to 11:00AM GMT

February 15, 2024 - 8:00AM to 11:00AM GMT

February 22, 2024 - 8:00AM to 11:00AM GMT

Contact hours

9 hour course

Time commitment between sessions

1-2 hours of reading. More if they would like to start developing curriculum

Required Resource(s)

Souers, K., & Hall, P. (2016). Fostering resilient learners (1st ed.). ASCD

Approximately $30 per book -- Purchase from www.bookdepository.com or www.amazon.com.


Anodea, J. (2011). Eastern body, western mind. Ten Speed Press.

Judith, A. (1993). The sevenfold journey. Crossing Press.

Levine, P. (1997). Waking the tiger. North Atlantic Books.

Matsakis, A. (1998). Trust after trauma. New Harbinger Publications.

Souers, K., & Hall, P. (2016). Fostering resilient learners (1st ed.). ASCD.

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