The Trauma Toolkit Community

An online community to help you learn, practice, and teach real trauma-informed care. Our goal is to help you help trauma-impacted populations to the best of your ability.

Join a global community of trauma-informed therapists, educators, counselors, mentors, case managers, and other professionals

The Trauma Toolkit Community is an engaged online community in the Center for Adolescent Studies with the mission of supporting helping professionals practice and implement trauma-informed care broadly defined. The 30-Hr Trauma Toolkit Certification for Youth Providers (3 online self-paced courses of 30 hours of content) + monthly live Zoom calls comprise the Trauma Toolkit Community Membership. The heart of this community is spiral learning through ongoing training and support. The best way to have sustainable impact on the people you work with is by having top notch training AND an ongoing community to practice with and get support from. 

Trauma Toolkit Community Membership Benefits

The 30-Hr Trauma Toolkit Certificate for Youth Providers is made of of 3 separate completely online, self-paced courses:

  1. The “basics:” Trauma Basics for Youth Workers (2 hrs)
  2. The “essentials:” Trauma-Informed Care for Professionals Working with Youth (8 hrs)
  3. The “advanced:” Advanced Trauma Toolkit for Youth Workers (20 hrs)

You also get a certificate when all three courses are completed in recognition of the 30-hr certificate. This 3-course certificate walks you through the basics to the advanced of working with trauma-impacted youth. Get the skills you need to transform the lives of trauma-impacted youth today. Access all three courses completely online from any of your devices as long as you have internet. More on the course lessons and content below.

While the 30-hr certificate is extremely valuable, this is actually where you get the most bang for your buck! Join monthly practice sessions where we as a community can practice and discuss trauma-informed care, resilience and self-care strategies, and interact with one another via the Zoom meeting (everyone on screen) format. We will commonly dissect one or two pragmatic concepts and support each other in working with impacted populations. Some sessions we may be role playing, others we may be practicing the art of teaching mindfulness, and others we may be supporting each other in our witnessing of the suffering of trauma.

This is where we’ll connect and enact spiral learning so we can make sustainable impact!

Live Call Schedule for the rest of 2020 (all are Fridays @ 10AM PST)

  • 08/21/2020
  • 09/18/2020
  • 10/16/2020
  • 11/13/2020
  • 12/11/2020

We know many employers want verification of participation in continuing education and professional development activities. All of our courses and live meetings will have Certificates associated with them.

Continuing Education (CE) will be available for all courses and live meetings. We are continuously submitting applications to more CE sponsoring organization. You can rest assured that you will be able to get MOST of your CE needs met by being a part of this community.

For now, we have these credentials:

  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)
  • National Board of Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC)

Learn more at https://centerforadolescentstudies.com/ce

The core of what makes the Trauma Toolkit Community effective is community. We are a community of educators, therapists, mentors, coaches, youth workers, and other helping professionals committed to facilitating trauma-informed care and healing-centered growth. The vision is that we create an atmosphere that supports both our ability to serve the people we work with through our collective wisdom. Our commitment is to continuously improve online community experience. We are dedicated to building a supportive and impactful community!

Hear's what your colleagues are saying...

I am grateful that I have an opportunity to comment on how meaningful Dr. Himelstein's classes have been for my work. I am the Executive Director for an organization that brings trauma-informed, mindfulness-based, social emotional learning curriculum to schools in a large urban school district. I have over 25 years of experience working with at-risk youth., my dissertation for my Ph.D. was on at-risk youth, and I taught at the University level for over a decade working with teachers. I have a post-doctoral certification in trauma counseling and, Dr. Himelstein's trauma courses were the best and most informative courses I have ever taken on this topic. I learned a TREMENDOUS amount from Dr. Himelstein's course content, from his life experience that he shares, and more importantly how he connects with traumatized youth to build authentic relationships. The courses are extremely well-organized, incredibly thought-provoking, filled with relevant materials, and extremely practical when working with students or youth with trauma histories. I now consider Dr. Himelstein one of my greatest mentors, and strongly believe that anyone working with youth who have experienced trauma must take these courses. I cannot recommend any course I have ever taken with more conviction and passion. Let's put it this way, if you work with traumatized youth and don't take Dr. Himelstein's courses, you are missing some of the most critical information you need to connect with the youth you serve.
Anna Silberg, PhD
Executive Director
I appreciate the way Dr. Himelstein tailored this course to be relevant for classroom teachers. He did a great job of explaining things clearly with examples from his practice and acknowledging the nuance of situations. I really like how the assignments got me thinking about the application of concepts in my context. Dr. Himelstein offered helpful heuristics and conceptual frameworks that help me to name what I'm seeing and start making informed choices about how to respond. It's the first week of spring semester and I'm already seeing the disengaged student sitting in the corner through a new lens and strategizing about how to foster trust and draw her in. The live webinar is a great addition; I love that we can participate in the future after having some time to try things out. I will definitely recommend this course to others. Thanks!
Jen Levinson
Educator / Teacher
As a professional who is not trained specifically in mental health, Dr. Himelstein's courses and the CAS model for trauma-informed care for youth have given me concrete practices and clinical language to communicate with other professionals working with youth about the need for mindfulness practices and trauma-informed approaches to working with youth in our area. His focus on interpersonal safety and building authentic relationships with youth is much needed and has been very beneficial for our violence prevention program.
Alison Dunn
Prevention Coordinator

More on the 30-Hr Trauma Toolkit

The 3 Courses

The "Basics" Course

  • Course Title: “Trauma Basics for Youth Workers”
  • Length: 2 hours
  • Format: Online; self-paced
  • Continuing Education (CE): 2 CEs for eligible professionals
  • Certificate: Certificate upon completion
  • Access: Lifetime access!

The "Essentials" Course

  • Course Title: “Trauma-Informed Care for Professionals Working with Youth”
  • Length: 8 hours
  • Format: Online; self-paced
  • Continuing Education (CE): 8 CEs for eligible professionals
  • Certificate: Certificate upon completion
  • Access: Lifetime access!

The "Advanced" Course

  • Course Title: “Advanced Trauma-Informed Care Toolkit for Youth Workers”
  • Length: 20 hours
  • Format: Online; self-paced
  • Continuing Education (CE): 20 CEs for eligible professionals
  • Certificate: Certificate upon completion
  • Access: Lifetime access!

Interested in signing up for the trauma courses individually?

Click below links for individual course pages and registration information:

Course Syllabi

This is a 2-hour/credit course that overviews trauma-informed care; what trauma is, how it impacts learning and the brain, and the core aspect of trauma-informed care every youth worker should know: how to foster interpersonal safety.

  • Module 1: Defining Trauma and How It Impacts Youth
  • Module 2: The Bedrock of Trauma-Informed Care: Relationships
  • Module 3: Final Quiz and Evaluation

Trauma-Informed Care for Professionals Working with Youth is a completely online, self-paced, and affordable course designed to teach education, mental health, probation, and any other professionals working with young people the basics of a trauma-informed approach: What trauma is, how to identify it, and some basic action steps to engage trauma skillfully. This course is 4-modules long with a start and stop date, and all requirements (all lessons, quizzes, and evaluations) need to be completed to get a certificate of completion.

  • Module 1: Introduction to Trauma-Informed Care
  • Module 2: The Physiology of Trauma
  • Module 3: Traumatic Adaptations
  • Module 4: Trauma-Informed Interventions

The Advanced Trauma Toolkit for Youth Workers is a completely online and self-paced course designed to teach education, mental health, probation, and any other professionals working with young people advanced techniques and actionable skills regarding trauma-informed care with youth roughly aged 10-25. This course is 8 modules and you can complete on your schedule. You must fulfill all requirements (all lessons, quizzes, and evaluations) to get a certificate of completion.

  • Module 1: Review of introductory trauma course + expansion of key concepts and practices
  • Module 2: Advanced approaches to fostering safe, trusting, and authentic relationships with youth
  • Module 3: Front loading your classroom, group, or other environment with daily trauma-informed practices and principles
  • Module 4: Working with triggered youth
  • Module 5: Foundations for working with resistance
  • Module 6: Advanced approaches to working with triggered and resistant youth
  • Module 7: Trauma-specific and mindfulness interventions
  • Module 8: Training others in the trauma-informed perspective (colleagues, supervisors, employees, and the general public)

Content Access

Content is accessed by logging in at https://courses.centerforadolescentstudies.com. Once logged in you’ll be redirected to your student dashboard. Click on the course you’d like to access and click on the lesson you want to take.

Certificate of Completion

Lifetime access is granted for course participants. To obtain your certificate of completion you must complete all lessons and take and pass all quizzes, and fill out the course evaluations. When finished with all above lessons, your certificate of completion will be available for download in your course dashboard.

Learning Objectives + CE Info

  • DEFINE: trauma within the lens of working with youth
  • DISCUSS: How trauma impacts the brain and learning 
  • REVIEW: 3 practices that foster interpersonal safety
  • Define the various types of trauma
  • Discuss the current diagnostic criteria for trauma-related disorders and their limitations
  • Review the effect of trauma on the brain and central nervous system (and how this affects learning, self-regulation, and subsequent behavior)
  • Identify how symptoms of trauma may manifest for youth
  • Review the therapeutic qualities of adults necessary to skillfully enage youth affected by trauma
  • Discuss the importance of both an individualized and collective approach to healing trauma
  • Demonstrate at least 3 practices that help adults manage their emotions in the face of triggered trauma
  • Demonstrate the need for self-care in the wake of compassion fatigue, burnout, and vicarious traumatization
  • Review the various types of trauma
  • Present an Ecological Systems approach to complex trauma 
  • Review the effect of trauma on the brain and central nervous system 
  • Review the Polyvagal Theory and it’s relevance to the central nervous system  
  • Present at least 4 concrete, actionable techniques to build trust and safety in relationships
  • Discuss “daily practices and policies” for developing a trauma-informed classroom, group, or other context
  • Review the therapeutic qualities of adults necessary to skillfully engage youth affected by trauma
  • Discuss the importance of both an individualized and collective approach to healing trauma
  • Discuss the importance of cultural safety and the impact of oppression on trauma
  • Present 3 advanced approaches to working with resistance
  • Demonstrate how to teach trauma-impacted youth self-regulation skills 
  • Demonstrate at least 6 mindfulness practices for youth impacted by trauma
  • Review evidence-based treatment models for youth impacted by trauma
  • Define vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and burnout
  • Present a rationale for the need for sustained self-care
  • Demonstrate 3 ways to develop a sustained self-care practice
  • Review methods for sharing trauma-informed approaches with colleagues
  • Present a methodology for conducting trauma-informed care trainings with colleagues, agencies, and the general public

American Psychological Association (APA)

Continuing Education (CE) is offered for psychologists in the United States.

  • Trauma Basics: 2 CEs
  • Trauma Essentials: 8 CEs
  • Advanced Toolkit: 20 CEs
  • To 30-hr Toolkit: 30 CEs

The Center for Adolescent Studies is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor CE for psychologists. The Center for Adolescent Studies maintains responsibility for all programs and its content. The State of California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE from APA sponsors for LMFTs, LEPs, LPCs, and LCSWs. Learn more herePlease note: If you are a non-psychologist mental health professional from a state outside of California, check with your licensing committee as many accept CE from APA approved sponsors.

Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)

The Center for Adolescent Studies Inc. (1640) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. The Center for Adolescent Studies Inc. maintains responsibility for the program. ACE Approval Period: (6/4/2019 – 6/4/2022). Social Workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in these courses will receive the following clock hours:

  • Trauma Basics: 2 continuing education clock hours
  • Trauma Essentials: 8 continuing education clock hours
  • Advanced Toolkit: 20 continuing education clock hours
  • 30-hr Toolkit: 30 continuing education clock hours

Teachers seeking professional development (PD) please get this course approved by your school board. 

If you have a specific request, training accommodation, or grievance you need to submit, please visit our requests page and all efforts will be made to address your needs.

More on the monthly live calls

Ongoing live, monthly calls for LIFE to help you be the best trauma-informed, healing-centered, professional you can be.

Real learning happens over time. You take an online course, try and remember the best info, forget some of it, and then really learn when you’re actually “in” the experience. You come to the same concepts (e.g., building trust, dealing with disruptiveness, etc.) over and over again and that’s how you ultimately gain wisdom and expertise. That’s spiral learning. That’s what our monthly live calls are about.

Here is the schedule for our calls through 2020 (all calls are on Fridays at 10AM PST and are recorded):

  • 08/21/2020
  • 09/18/2020
  • 10/16/2020
  • 11/13/2020
  • 12/11/2020

It’s simple: You pay the one-time fee and you’re in. It’s that simple.

You’ll get access to a student dashboard with all your courses, content specific to the Trauma Toolkit Community, and other great resources.

How It Works

Meet Dr. Sam Himelstein, your passionate facilitator

Sam Himelstein, Ph.D., is a Licensed Psychologist (PSY25229) based in Oakland, CA. He has worked in juvenile halls, chemical dependency settings, schools, outpatient hospitals, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, in community settings, and in private practice with teens and their families. He is passionate about training professionals from multiple disciplines in creating authentic, healing relationships with adolescents that contribute to positive outcomes. A formerly incarcerated youth himself, Dr. Himelstein was privileged to change his life from a path of drugs, violence, crime, and self-destruction to that of healing and transformation. His mission is to help young people become aware of the power of self-awareness and transformation, and train professionals with similar interests. Learn more about his philosophy and approach in his books: A Mindfulness-Based Approach to Working with High-Risk Adolescents (Routledge, 2013), Mindfulness-Based Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents: A 12-Session Curriculum (Routledge, 2015), and Trauma-Informed Mindfulness With Teens: A Guide for Mental Health Clinicians (Norton, 2019).

Register Is Now Closed. Check Back Soon.

Trauma Toolkit Community Membership

One-time tuition fee for LIFETIME license
$ 750 One-time payment
  • 30-Hr Trauma Toolkit for Youth Providers (3 Courses)
  • Live Monthly Practice and Discussion Meeting
  • Certificates of Completion
  • Continuing Education (CE) for Eligible Professionals
  • An Engaged Community to Help you Help others
Best value!

Trauma Toolkit Community Membership

Payment Plan for LIFETIME license
$ 210 Four payments (monthly)
  • 30-Hr Trauma Toolkit for Youth Providers (3 Courses)
  • Live Monthly Practice and Discussion Meeting
  • Certificates of Completion
  • Continuing Education (CE) for Eligible Professionals
  • An Engaged Community to Help you Help others
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