This course explores racial trauma, which is a form of race-based stress and refers to reactions on the part of people of color and indigenous (POCI) individuals to dangerous events and real or perceived experiences of racial discrimination. Such experiences may include threats of harm and injury, humiliating and shaming events, and witnessing racial discrimination toward other POCI. This content is based on three short web-based video presentations, a PDF publication, and original content regarding clinical interventions. The first video presentation explores posttraumatic slave syndrome (PTSS), while the two video clips present concise personal statements of how racially traumatic experiences can affect individuals. Participants will read the American Psychological Association (APA) introductory chapter (the PDF document) for a recent book that examines how racial trauma presents both individual and collective injuries caused by exposure and re-exposure to race-based stress. The chapter introduces conceptual approaches, research, and healing models to challenge racial trauma. The section dedicated to clinical interventions briefly addresses issues related to assessment and diagnosis, self-awareness and countertransference, intervention principles and techniques, and re-traumatization. The last two sections of the course incorporate related but optional resources (publications and videos) and references. Participants must pass the online posttest with a score of 80% or better to print a certificate of completion.
This course is designed for social workers, behavioral health professionals, and psychotherapists nationwide. The course content is relevant to developing assessments and an empathic understanding of those who have experienced racial trauma in clinical practice, and it is also pertinent to the development and implementation of community organization and social policy advocacy regarding the impact of systemic racism.
After completing this course, readers will be able to do the following:
- Identify specific psychosocial consequences of exposure to racially traumatic experiences.
- Identify principles for providing direct services to those who have been traumatized by racially traumatic experiences.
- Identify goals and strategies for treatment plans when providing services to those who have been racially traumatized.
- Identify related web-based resources, including publications and websites relevant to both social policy and clinical-level responses to systemic racism and its effects.