Trauma Education Program (TEP) - University of Houston
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Trauma Education Program (TEP)

Program Description

The mission of the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work Trauma Education Program (TEP) is to prepare diverse leaders in trauma-informed practice, through education, research and collaborations with community organizations.Through the lens of social justice, the TEP works to create trauma-informed clinical social work practitioners from initial assessment to treatment planning.

The TEP positively impacts the Houston/Harris County community in several areas; specifically the impact on clients, the impact on GCSW students, and the impact on the therapeutic community. Through the TEP, students are prepared to work with traumatized children, adolescents, and adults in a culturally-sensitive manner as they enter their second year of study. Social Workers are the most effective workers to introduce and maintain trauma-informed practices within agencies, and TEP Trauma Fellows continue to lead the way in our community.

Program Benefits

The broad nature of the TEP incorporates curriculum and field agencies that work with traumatized individuals of all ages. All students who are selected to become Trauma Fellows will have experiences in the curriculum that will expose them to working with children, adolescents, and adults who have been traumatized. Trauma does not exist in a vacuum; therefore it is vital that all Trauma Fellows be competent in recognizing trauma symptoms within all members of a family.

Additionally, former Trauma Fellows report an increase in their marketability upon graduation as they are able to work in a variety of settings, with a variety of clients, utilizing a variety of therapeutic models.

Eligibility Requirements

Students – Students interested in becoming a Trauma Fellow will complete the administrative process, which includes, but is not limited to, an application, interviews and affiliated agency placement.

Agencies - Agencies must be able to provide students with the opportunity to provide one-on-one therapeutic work with agency clients. Therapeutic group work is encouraged, but not a requirement. Agencies must be able to provide clinical supervision to students through licensed clinical social workers on staff.

Educational Components

Evidence-based, trauma-informed treatments are recognized across therapeutic disciplines as the gold standard of service provision. The GCSW educates Trauma Fellows in several models, specifically, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT). While TF-CBT is generally a model utilized when working with children and adolescents, other models will be incorporated into the curriculum to meet the needs of adult clients. Models currently under consideration include, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Neuro-Sequential Model of Therapeutics, and Somatic Experiencing Therapy.

The TEP focuses on one specific course, taught each summer, entitled Core Concepts in Trauma Treatment of Children and Adolescents. This course is offered to all GCSW students, once all Trauma Fellows have been identified and enrolled. The GCSW offers several additional trauma-related courses which are open to Trauma Fellows as well.

Instructions for How to Apply

All GCSW students interested in the (TEP) will receive information about the program during the fall semester. Program Information sessions are mandatory and will be held on campus, during the spring semester, at the GCSW and interested students may apply for the program by completing an application and successfully completing the interviewing process. Trauma Fellows will be identified and contacted prior to the beginning of the summer semester.

Once selected, Trauma Fellows are required to:

  • Complete a 10-hour online course through the Medical University of South Carolina. At this writing there is a $35 course fee payable by the student.
  • Successfully complete the Core Concepts
  • Successfully complete therapeutic model trainings scheduled throughout the fall and spring semesters prior to graduation.

Contact Information

Donna Amtsberg, LCSW-S
Clinical Assistant Professor
Director, Trauma Education Program
Graduate College of Social Work
3511 Cullen Blvd., Room 110HA
Houston, TX 77204-4014