Trauma Certificate Course 2021

Nov 4 - Apr 21,  Thursdays from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM (via Zoom)
Nationalities Service Center
Philadelphia, PA 19107
November 4th, 2021 to April 21st, 2022
Thursdays from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM EST via Zoom
Hosted by Nationalities Service Center 


This 6-month, 30-hour Trauma Certificate Course is designed for case managers, lawyers, interpreters, interns and other direct and indirect service providers. The material will focus on working with refugee and immigrant populations but can be generalized to other client communities. This is a practical and strategy-focused training that will include lecture, readings, discussion, reflection interactive activities, guest speakers. All participants will receive a copy of The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk and Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky.

Topics Include:

Trauma 101: Defining trauma, Fight/Flight/Freeze Response, Identifying trauma responses

Trauma 102: Neurobiology of Trauma, PTSD and Complex Trauma, ACES study, Trauma and the Body, Trauma and Memory

Trauma and Culture: Western bias mental health, Cultural expression of trauma, working with refugees, asylum seekers, survivors of torture, trafficking, domestic violence

Trauma-Informed Care: Agency wide, Case management, Lawyering, Education, Interpreters, Interviewing, Screening, Creating safe spaces, Addressing re-traumatization

Vicarious Trauma, Self-Care, Agency Care, Signs and symptoms, Body-based strategies, Trauma Stewardship

Special Interest Topics: All participants will either work individually or in a group to research and present on a trauma topic of their choice.


Individuals or small organization (<100 employees): $250/person

Medium organization (50-100 employees): $350/person

Large organization (100+ employees): $450/person

Scheduled Sessions:

All sessions will be through Zoom. Two Thursdays a month from 2pm -3:30pm. 

November:  11/4/21, 11/18/21

Decemeber: 12/2/21, 12/16/21

January: 1/6/22, 1/20/22

February: 2/3/22, 2/17/22

March: 3/3/22, 3/17/22

April: 4/7/22, 4/21/22


Gwen Soffer, MSW, TCTSY-F, E-RYT serves as the Manager of Wellness at Nationalities Service Center (, coordinating onsite clinical and holistic trauma-informed wellness programming as well as staff self-care and professional development. She holds Master's degree in Social Work with Trauma Specialty Certificate from Widener University. She is TCTSY-F certified through the Center for Trauma and Embodiment at the Justice Resource Institute and has been working in the trauma-informed wellness field for over fifteen years. She co-developed Trauma-Informed Lens Yoga, presents regularly on the topic of trauma and wellness and has published multiple articles and chapters on trauma- informed wellness practices. Her belief in the power of connection and the potential of healing drives her passion for trauma-informed practice.