Post-Graduate Diploma in Traumatology & PTSD 2015

Implementing a systematic treatment approach for trauma and PTSD.

This course is offered as a joint venture between Integrative Cognitive Solutions Limited and The Grove. Lucia Hall, Director of Integrative Cognitive Solutions, wrote the course in order to give participants the training necessary for competent delivery of a systematic, evidence-based treatment approach for diverse forms of trauma.

The 2014 intake for this course is currently underway according to the 2014 dates shown further down this page. The 2015 intake will commence in January 2015. It is a programme of 17 days’ training, usually at weekends, usually with 1 training date per calendar month. The full syllabus and course requirements are listed below. Please email Sarah Briggs at The Grove for further information or an application form:

Level 7: Accredited by the National Council of Psychotherapists (NCP)

This course provides 102 hours of CPD (Continuous Professional Development).

Course Overview

A 12-month part-time training programme for practitioners who are already qualified and established in their way or working. This course is designed for counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists and mental health professionals.

The 2014 intake is currently running and the next intake for this course will run for 12 months from January 2015. Course participants will meet once each month for training workshops over either one or two days. The course comprises a total of 17 days. Dates are listed below.

The Post-Graduate Diploma in Traumatology & PTSD was specifically designed by Lucia Hall, an experienced traumatologist, to address the shortcomings that she and her supervisees encountered in other trauma courses. So often courses give a vast amount of theoretical knowledge, but at the end participants still do not have a clear idea of how to practically treat complex trauma clients. This course will provide participants with clear, comprehensive and systematic procedures to effectively assess and treat trauma clients. The course includes two days of training dedicated to treating trauma in children, utilising an approach that has been effective with traumatised children throughout the world.

The effective treatment of complex trauma is inherently integrative; as complex trauma is different from normal counselling or psychotherapy, it requires a separate approach. The process learned on this course can be used by practitioners trained in different counselling and psychotherapy models, although many of the techniques are in the cognitive realm. We encourage learning in a multidisciplinary environment where both theoretical differences and similarities are encouraged, where trainees can learn from each other as well as the course tutors.

As this a postgraduate course it will be challenging, but the learning environment will be supportive and interesting with a lecturer who presents in an engaging manner.

Attendance on this course is recognised by ESTSS (European Society of Trauma Stress Studies) and UKPTS (UK Psychological Trauma Society).

Course methodology

The course is designed for counsellors and psychotherapists who want to work with a high degree of knowledge and skill with trauma clients. Participants will need to engage in at least 30 hours of clinical practice with trauma clients, including at least 6 sessions with 2 different complex trauma clients.

In the USA, trauma treatment has been divided into two broad categories by traumatologists. Type I, or simple trauma, involves a singular traumatic event such as a car accident. Type II, or complex trauma, involves a number of separate traumatic events. Different approaches have been shown to be effective each of these types of trauma. Participants will learn to treat both types, but with a focus on complex trauma as the treatment is more challenging.

The course consists of theoretical, experiential and supervisory components. The theoretical input encourages critical engagement with the theory and practice of trauma treatment. Assessment is ongoing and aims to ensure that students are able to work with the dynamics and processes of trauma; that there is congruence between the student’s theoretical knowledge and their clinical practice. Teaching and supervisory methods emphasise the multi-layered, multi-faceted processes of trauma treatment.

Course philosophy and theoretical orientation

This course caters for a range of professionals who wish to develop their role as trauma specialists: counsellors, therapists or psychotherapists, psychologists, managers of clinical teams.  The syllabus covers treating adults as well as children and adolescents, the latter being addressed in a special two-day course utilising an approach that has been used throughout the world to help traumatised children and adolescents.

As mentioned, effective trauma treatment is integrative as it utilises techniques from a variety of schools of thought. The trauma treatment approach taught on this course is not tied to any one approach, but uses aspects of many. As such it may be utilised effectively by practitioners from diverse theoretical backgrounds. We appreciate the training and approach that course members bring. Onto that foundation we offer the opportunity to build a cohesive integrative way of working with trauma clients.

The course is taught at postgraduate level; course participants are expected to work academically on this basis. This includes the ability to evaluate theoretical concepts and a commitment to reflect critically and open-mindedly on one’s own process, philosophy, theoretical orientation and skills. Discussion in the full group or smaller groups is as important as the tutor-taught components. The experiential process of development encourages participants to learn from one another as well as from the course tutors. The integrative philosophy underpinning this course fosters a multidisciplinary environment where theoretical differences and similarities are creatively valued. Participants are encouraged to integrate the ideas from the course into a personally coherent model of trauma treatment.

Course Content


PTSD: Introduction to a Systematic Treatment Approach

  • Defining trauma
  • How PTSD develops
  • Evidence-based models for treating Trauma I and Trauma II


Introduction to Imagery Approaches for Processing Trauma

  • The theoretical basis underlying an imagery approach to trauma treatment
  • The current evidence-base for this approach


Definition, Diagnosis of Complex PTSD

  • Defining  PTSD and complex PTSD
  • The relationship between attachment styles and responses to trauma.
  • How to develop a therapeutic relationship in the process of complex (Type II) PTSD and simple (Type I) PTSD


Assessment & Formulation of Complex PTSD

  • Completing a full assessment including PTSD diagnostic instruments.
  • Treatment problems that can arise during therapy
  • The clinical difficulties in constructing complex PTSD formulations
  • How to work with these difficulties
  • Demonstrate understanding and ability to work with complex PTSD


Safety, Stabilisation & Normalisation of Complex PTSD

  • The need for safety and stabilisation techniques with complex PTSD
  • Grounding techniques that can be used at the start, during and after a psychological process


The Neuroscience, Dissociation and the Psychopharmacology of PTSD

  • The neuroscience of trauma
  • The impact of dissociation in complex trauma


An Evidence-Based Treatment for Type I PTSD

  • The theoretical underpinnings and research the effectiveness of this approach.
  • Imaginal exposure and in vivo exposure


An Imagery Approach for Treating Complex Type II PTSD

  • The theoretical basis underlying Imagery approaches to trauma and how they work with complex PTSD
  • Session-by-session components and delivery of treatment for complex PTSD
  • Demonstrate the use of imagery in clinical practice and supervision


Trauma and Comorbidities

  • Mood disorders
  • Traumatic nightmares
  • Spiritual health
  • Suicide ideation


Other Approaches and Working with Specific Populations

  • Specific approaches to the management of traumatic stress in specific populations
  • The key elements of other trauma models: Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing), Trauma-Focused CBT, Cognitive Processing Therapy (for Rape Victims), Parks Inner Child Therapy (Imagery Rescripting), Lifespan Integration (LI), Phase-Based Treatment for PTSD, Levine’s Somatic Approach


Trauma and Children: KIDNET

  • How PTSD manifests differently in children and adolescents
  • The value of the voice of the child, children’s rights and the UNCRC, in regard to PTSD treatment
  • How to facilitate children with in-vivo exposure in an empowering way
  • The importance of using child-friendly measures in the treatment of PTSD


Clinical Requirement

Participants are required to complete at least 30 hours of documented clinical work with trauma clients during the course. This is to include at least 6 hours with a Type I trauma client and at least 6 hours with each of 2 Type II trauma clients.

The National Council of Psychotherapists (NCP)

This course is accredited by the National Council of Psychotherapists (NCP) and course participants can join the NCP as student members free of charge.

The NCP is one of the longest established societies of its type in the United Kingdom, being formed in 1971 following the “Foster Report” on the statutory registration of psychotherapists.

The NCP is a National and International Association of therapists, mainly in private practice to whom the public may confidently refer. Most schools of psychological thought are represented and a wide variety of therapeutic approaches are offered.


The venue address will at Lucia’s location in Berkshire at Ocean House, The Ring, Bracknell, RG12 1AX.

A map and parking information will be provided to all students (there is a multi-storey car park directly across the street and it costs just £6 per day on Saturday and £1.20 on Sunday).

This location is very close to Bracknell train station, accessible from London Waterloo, and is conveniently adjacent to a shopping centre.

For those requiring overnight accommodation, the inexpensive hotel we recommend in Bracknell is within walking distance of the training venue: Premier Inn, Bracknell Central, Wokingham Road RG42 1NA

A more luxurious hotel, The Grange, is located above the adjacent shopping centre ( There are plenty more options, but these are the closest to the venue.

Tea, coffee and biscuits for breaks will be provided at the venue and there are a number of fast food restaurants and cafés in the adjacent shopping centre (Bracknell Town Centre) where lunch can be purchased. There is also a large business lounge area in Ocean House where you can eat your own food or a takeaway.


Course dates for 2015

Here are the dates for the course running in 2015, 10am to 5pm each day:

31 Jan (Sat)     PTSD: Introduction to a Systematic Treatment Approach

01 Feb (Sun)   Introduction to Imagery Approaches for Processing Trauma

22 Feb (Sun)   Definition and Diagnosis of Complex PTSD

14 Mar (Sat)    Assessment and Formulation of Complex PTSD – Part 1

15 Mar (Sun)    Assessment and Formulation of Complex PTSD – Part 2

12 Apr (Sun)    The Neuroscience, Dissociation and Psychopharmacology of PTSD

09 May (Sat)   Safety, Stabilisation and Normalisation of Complex PTSD – Part 1

10 May (Sun)   Safety, Stabilisation and Normalisation of Complex PTSD – Part 2

13 Jun (Sat)    An Evidence-Based Approach for Type I PTSD

04 Jul (Sat)     An Imagery Approach for Treating Complex Type II PTSD – Part 1

05 Jul (Sun)     An Imagery Approach for Treating Complex Type II PTSD – Part 2

12 Sep (Sat)    Trauma and Comorbidities 1A: Mood Disorders – Part A

13 Sep (Sun)    Trauma and Comorbidities 1B: Mood Disorders – Part B

03 Oct (Sat)    Trauma and Comorbidities 2: Traumatic Nightmares

04 Oct (Sun)    Trauma and Comorbidities 3: Treating Suicide Ideation

07 Nov (Sat)    Treating Trauma in Children and Adolescents 1

08 Nov (Sun)   Treating Trauma in Children and Adolescents 2

06 Dec (Sun)   Other Approaches and Working with Specific Populations



How is this course different from others?

This course is specifically designed to be different from others. Firsthand experience, as well as feedback from colleagues and supervisees, led Lucia Hall to write a course that would give participants the training necessary to implement a systematic, evidence-based treatment approach for diverse forms of trauma. Other courses tend to give a lot of theory from diverse trauma approaches, but leave participants without a clear idea of how to go about implementing a coherent treatment process.

Another special feature on this course is that participants will have monthly supervision with Lucia Hall to ensure that they are both grasping the theory and also demonstrating how to implement the learning in practice.

As the presentation of trauma is typically accompanied by co-morbid issues, this course ensures that participants will also be able to tackle these co-morbidities. Tackling such co-morbidities is frequently overlooked in other courses.

The length of the course allows for trauma treatment skills to be covered in depth and breadth, ensuring that participants are able to develop a comprehensive treatment approach.

Attendance on this course is recognised by ESTSS (European Society of Trauma Stress Studies) and UKPTS (UK Psychological Trauma Society).

Meet the Course Tutor

The course is taught by a highly experienced and recognised traumatologist.

Lucia Hall MSc is a therapist, lecturer, trainer, communication coach and supervisor. She has worked in Higher Education for over ten years, teaching degree level courses as well as owning a private counselling and training company. Lucia is a specialised traumatologist, but she works with a large range of conditions.

Lucia is an American citizen, although she was born and raised in Panama. She moved to the United States where she became a social worker in the Family and Child Protection units in Detroit, Michigan. Having married a Brit, she later moved to Berkshire and studied her MSc. in Mental Health at Guy’s Hospital, St Thomas’ Hospital & Kings College School of Medicine/Institute of Psychiatry. The main therapeutic approaches studied were CBT and CAT – two excellent and complementary cognitive approaches.

Lucia has developed and added to that expertise by studying numerous other therapeutic courses, including a special Diploma in Trauma and Abuse (Dip. PICT), a Diploma in Christian Counselling (from London Bible College, now the London School of Theology), she is an EMDR practitioner (Level 3) and is trainer for MBTI (Levels 2 & 3). Additional specialised training includes Schema Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Trauma-Focused CBT, Trauma-Focused CBT for Children, Imagery Rescripting and Reprocessing Therapy (IRRT), Cognitive Behavioral Analysis System of Psychotherapy (CBASP), Lifespan Integration (LI), Behavioral Activation (BA), Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), KIDNET (NET for children) and various other trauma focused processes. Lucia is also a qualified hypnotherapist, having a diploma (DipH) in the subject.

Lucia’s training courses have been accredited by the Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (CPCAB) and recognised by the Open University. Two recent trauma workshops that she wrote were accredited by the European Society of Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS). The latest course that she has developed is the Posttgraduate Diploma in Traumatology and PTSD, accredited by the NCP. Lucia’s Panamanian and USA background, coupled with her extensive experience, make her a unique, dynamic and interesting lecturer.

Lucia is a member of many professional bodies including AACC, APA, BABCP, MBACP, CRSST, EMDR UK, ESTSS, GHR, NCP and UKPTS.


Application criteria

Applicants are expected to be qualified and experienced professionals in a helping profession, who are secure in their mode of practice. Specifically applicants would be qualified and experienced in their field; be practising and/or be able to access referrals of trauma clients for the clinical part of this training; be full members of their professional body (BACP, UKCP, AHPP, BPS etc) and hold professional liability insurance.

Applicants will be asked to complete an application form and submit a curriculum vitae.

Course fee

£3,300 + VAT @ 20% = £3,960, payable to The Grove Practice.

The fees may be paid in 10 equal instalments, the first instalment is due as a deposit to reserve your place. The remaining 9 instalments are due on a monthly basis.

A limited number of reduced-fee places may be available, dependent on student numbers and applicant circumstances.  If you would like to discuss this potential or apply for a reduced-fee place, please contact Sarah Briggs through the usual application process.

There is also a monthly supervision fee of £40 for 12 months, payable directly to Lucia Hall of ICS.

Application process

Please request an application form by contacting Sarah Briggs, Director of The Grove Practice, by email at .

Professional standards

The Grove Practice is a long-established counselling and psychotherapy practice based in central London, with a team of respected and accredited therapists. The Grove has developed a number of high quality professional training courses, including this supervision training. Indeed, the growing demand for the application of psychological models in organisational settings led to the additional establishment of The Grove’s training programmes, coaching team and organisational consultancy.

The Grove Practice appears on the UK Register of Training Providers, affiliated to the Learning and Skills Council and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

Attendance on this course is recognised by ESTSS (European Society of Trauma Stress Studies) and UKPTS (UK Psychological Trauma Society).

This course provides 102 hours of CPD (Continuous Professional Development).

The course is run in association with Integrative Cognitive Solutions Limited, which is an Open University recognised training provider. Lucia Hall is the Managing Director of Integrative Cognitive Solutions Limited.

Assessment criteria

Key assignments include:

An essay on a chosen subject related to complex PTSD (3,000-4,000 words).

A case study on Type I trauma.

A case study on Type II trauma.

In addition there will be class presentations (individual and group), compiling psychoeducation for clients, and take-home open book multiple choice questionnaires.

There will also be continuous assessment by the tutors of the student’s presence in the student group and the ability to integrate the taught material.

Additionally, a minimum of 80% attendance (14 days) is required to complete the course.

PG Diploma award

The PG Diploma award will be made on satisfactory completion of the assessment criteria including satisfactory attendance at supervision sessions and full payment of the course fee and NCP Student Membership fee (£30 if not already a member).

At the discretion of The Grove and ICS Limited, a certificate of attendance may be given if assessment criteria are not met but attendance has been at least 80% (including supervision).

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