by Deysi

Can you think of a 5-day class that you had to take in the summer and found yourself nostalgic afterwards because it came to an end a bit too soon?  Well, I can think of one. I feel privileged to share my personal experience and participation in this class: “Core Concepts in Trauma for Children and Adolescents” taught by Professor Lopez and Dr. Taylor.

“Core Concepts in Trauma for Children and Adolescents” is a course designed to help train students to be trauma informed, especially when working with children and adolescents who are living through traumatic experiences.

I entered into this class with a positive attitude, putting aside all fears and doubts of completing a course successfully in a very short amount of time (the course was held over 5 full days of class), especially when one has to attend to other outside responsibilities. I remember feeling enthused about the content described in the syllabus. I was eager to learn from the textbooks and other required readings resources such as the FREE online Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy Web Course, and from the personal experiences of my student colleagues in the class.

 The class began with a warm welcoming by the professors, setting a safe and comfortable environment for everyone with the most relaxing ton.  However, serious expectations were set making everyone aware that “we’re going to take care of business”, and that’s exactly what we all did.   This intensive course included: required readings for each day of class, high expectations of engagement and participation in class discussions pertaining to case vignettes, independent learning through our own research and reflective papers, and the best part—being mindful about our personal process and developing our own self-care plans at the end of each day. 

The teaching style of this course was phenomenal. The professors used an inquiry based learning approach, which made everyone in the classroom become an integral part of the course. This means, every student had the opportunity and responsibility to explore the real life situations of our clients guided by the core concepts and seek solutions through a framework of intervention all while keeping in mind ethical obligations, implications and using best cultural practices. This learning approach made it possible for me to acknowledge the missing core concepts and identify the ones being presented in the pertaining case. It enhanced cohesiveness in the class, which made it even more difficult when it actually came to an end – a bit too soon!

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