Complex Trauma and Disaster and Emotional Spiritual Care



Complex Trauma and Disaster and Emotional Spiritual Care is designed to help counselors gain Biblical wisdom and scriptural insight into how to help clients working through traumatic grief and loss. This course addresses faith-based disaster relief techniques and provides learners with practical and relevant information for working in disaster relief.

Course Lessons

  • CRCT 101: International Helping: Ethics and Cultural SensitivityCrisis responders must recognize the need for sensitivity when working with victims of another culture. In this lesson, participants will learn how to avoid common mistakes that could offend those already victimized. Additionally, participants will learn practical steps to becoming an efficient helper, as well as tips for developing positive relationships with a new culture. These concepts are keys to becoming an effective responder in another culture.
  • CRCT 102: Complicated Issues when Dealing with Complex Trauma: The Role of Crisis RespondersComplex trauma is particularly distressing to victims because of the personal nature of the event or experience. Crisis responders should be aware of this and should recognize why a trauma classifies as complex. In this lesson, students will learn the unique aspects of a complex trauma and appropriate response. Examples of complex trauma will further encourage familiarity with the types of complex trauma.
  • CRCT 103: International Issues: Genocide and Related TraumaInternational issues can be some of the most devastating forms of trauma humanly, politically, and spiritually speaking. By nature, genocide affects large numbers of people, and crisis responders must understand its numerous and shocking consequences. This lesson educates students about the unique nature of genocide and its ramifications for victims.
  • CRCT 104: Inner City and Gang ViolenceGang violence is a prevalent problem in society today. Society must overcome gang stereotypes and learn to view gang members as humans with real problems. Crisis responders can lead the way in responding to gang violence. This lesson will help responders to understand gangs and gives instruction on how to become a positive influence in ending gang violence.
  • CRCT 105: Acts of Violence Against the Church and ParachurchThis lesson educates students about how an act of violence directed toward churches or parachurches will impact those organizations. The response to the violence affects everybody involved, and churches need to know how to handle the crisis. The lecture talks about churches can do in preparation for and after the commission of a violent act.
  • CRCT 106: Injury and Loss of ChildrenDeath and injury touch every culture, people, and belief. Children are no exception. This lesson gives educates students about statistics concerning the injury and loss of children. It then proceeds to guidelines for crisis responders helping parents cope with the injury or loss. The final section gives practical guidelines and mistakes responders should avoid.
  • CRCT 107: A Victim’s Experience of Trauma and Appropriate InterventionsThe experience of trauma produces wounding on many levels. Trauma victims are physiologically, emotionally, cognitively, behaviorally and sometimes spiritually depleted. This course looks at these alterations that occur as well as the some disorders it produces. Several interventions will also be provided.
  • CRCT 108: The Impact of Disasters on Individuals, Families and CommunitiesDisasters range in severity, and their impact upon individuals, families, and communities vary as well. Responders must be prepared to enter varying levels of crises. This course discusses types of crisis incidents and how to interpret psychological distress, as well as specific symptoms of impact and a guide to stages victims will encounter throughout the experience.
  • CRCT 109: Stages of Response to DisasterThis course addresses the stages of disaster response and the stages that disasters survivors experience in order to give responders a better understanding and the full scope and impact of disasters or both survivors and response teams.
  • CRCT 110: The Nature if Disaster Deployment: Team Coordination and CareFor those in positions of leadership in disaster response, it is critical to understand core principles for selecting your emotional and spiritual care teams. It is also critical to have policies and procedures in place to take care of your team members on site and insure that they have proper debriefing before returning home.
  • CRCT 111: Assessment and Intervention in DisastersDisasters typically come unexpectedly and with great speed. Crisis responders might easily be overwhelmed by the chaos that ensues and the number of victims encountered. Learning how to access quickly situations and victims is key to effectively helping those in need. In this lesson, students will learn how to access disaster victims and offer psychological first aid.
  • CRCT 112: Faith and Spiritual Care for Disaster VictimsDrawing on one’s faith and a supportive community of believers can have a positive powerful and healing impact on disaster survivors. Understanding the impacts of incidents and how to help survivors through the aftermath is critical. A failure to understand the dynamics of appropriate spiritual care in a shared setting is essential.
  • CRCT 113: The Role of Evangelism in Disaster ResponseMost people who provide emotional and spiritual care in times of disaster, trauma, and loss do so out of their love for God and people. For many people their faith is an essential part of their life and desire to share their faith with others so they can draw on this incredible resource. Sharing one’s faith in the right way and time is essential and a failure to do this sensitively and appropriately can cause secondary wounding and cause spiritual harm.
  • CRCT 114: The Incident Command System: Ethics and Protocol for Disaster ResponseThe Incident Command System (ICS) is the standardized incident management tool used by government and non-governmental organizations to manage an incident. These principles have direct application to crisis response teams and an understanding of key ICS principles is essential for an effective response and working with other response organizations.
  • CRCT 115: Long-term Disaster Recovery: Supporting Communities for HealingDisasters extend beyond the day in which they occur. Trauma is a long process and can take a long time to appear. Victims heal at different rates. This lesson outlines the role the community plays in the recovery process, especially the church. Additionally, students will learn about the special challenges and rewards of handling a community-wide disaster.

Continuing Education

15.0 CE Credits available for LPC, LMFT, and LCSW.

15.0 IBCC CE Credits available.

The American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) offers some psychologists, therapists, counselors, social workers and play therapists Continuing Education (CE) credit due for good standing with certain states and a limited number of professional organizations. It remains the responsibility of each participant to be aware of state licensure and CE requirements. Participants should check their state and/or local regulations regarding required continuing education hours. For more information Light University Continuing Education programs, please visit: 

Additional information

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