Ethics of Trauma Treatment

Presented by Christine A. Courtois, PhD, ABPP on 06-05-2015 at 9 a.m. Pacific to 11 a.m. Pacific (2 p.m. Eastern)

Therapists often encounter numerous complex ethical issues when treating traumatized individuals. It is essential for therapists to develop strong personal and professional ethics to complement professional standards, relevant laws, and formal codes of ethics. These ethics need to be clear yet flexible to effectively manage the challenges associated with these treatments and address the needs of both client and therapist.

This presentation will review issues regarding mindful application of ethics, which could be further described as the therapist's self-reflection on his or her ability to treat traumatized individuals while maintaining awareness of the challenges and risks involved. This ongoing self-reflection evaluates the therapist's empathy toward and recognition of client needs and personal needs, anticipation of common pitfalls, and willingness to learn from mistakes and seek consultation as necessary. We will address issues associated with the treatment frame, the most common ethical dilemmas in trauma treatment, and the importance of maintaining professional boundaries, particularly during crises resulting from attachment and trauma-based relational challenges.

This intermediate, instructional level web conference is designed to help clinicians:

  1. List at least five risks associated with trauma treatment;
  2. Describe several common ethical challenges of treating traumatized individuals;
  3. Utilize several strategies for self-reflection and self-care in the event that ethical dilemmas arise;
  4. Identify several treatment frame issues that should be in place for the treatment of traumatized people.

If you have any questions or concerns about this web conference, or would like more information, please contact us here.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

2 CE credits will be provided by for attending this web conference in its entirety. is also an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within Legal, Ethical and Professional Development. is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. solely is responsible for all aspects of the program. is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content., SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

To receive CE credit hours for an archived event, you will need to complete a survey as well as a 12 or 15-question exam, verifying that you listened to or watched the event in its entirety. Archived CE events generally are considered "homestudy" by licensing boards.

Registration Information

Premium and Pro Membership with GoodTherapy includes access to this web conference at no additional cost, as well as other member benefits such as a profile listing in GoodTherapy's Therapist Directory. Not yet a member? Sign up for a Premium or Pro Membership, here.

Just want CE credits? Sign up for a monthly or annual CE Subscription with GoodTherapy to get unlimited access to our CE Program, including this event, other live CE web conferences, and hundreds of hours of homestudy courses.

Mental health professionals who are not members can access the homestudy recording for $14.95. Sign up here to purchase this CE course and earn a CE certificate.

If the event is canceled by GoodTherapy, registrants who purchased the event will be notified and the charge for the event will be refunded

If you have any questions or would like information regarding disability accommodations, please contact us.


Terrific topic and presenter! - Madeleine Babette Jenny, PsyD

​The depth of knowledge in this presentation was amazing. The presenter is obviously a great resource for working with individuals who are dealing with trauma. - Kristen Martinez, MEd, EdS, LMHCA, NCC






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Meet the Presenter

Christine A. Courtois, PhD, ABPP

Christine A. Courtois, PhD, ABPP

Christine Courtois, PhD, ABPP is an author, consultant, and counseling psychologist with a private practice in Washington, DC. She completed her doctoral degree in 1979 at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Courtois is co-editor of Treating Complex Trauma in Children and Adolescents and Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders: An Evidence-Based Guide, author of Healing the Incest Wound: Adult Survivors in Therapy, and co-author of The Treatment of Complex Trauma: A Sequenced, Relationship-Based Approach. Her latest work as a co-editor focuses on spiritually oriented trauma treatment and is scheduled for publication this year.

Dr. Courtois is a National Clinical Training Consultant for Elements Behavioral Health/Promises in Los Angeles and Malibu and a former president of the psychological trauma division of the APA. She is presently chair for the APA's Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Guideline Development Panel, and she has facilitated the development of guidelines regarding complex trauma treatment for three professional organizations. Dr. Courtois is a cofounder and former clinical and training director of an inpatient trauma program called The CENTER: Posttraumatic Disorders Program. She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation in 2006, the Distinguished Contribution to the Psychology of Women Award from the APA in 2005, and the Sarah Haley Award for Clinical Excellence from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies in 2003, among others. For more information about Dr. Courtois and her work, please visit

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content. received APA approval in May 2011. Events after 2011 may meet APA requirements for Continuing Education credits.
  • Logo has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo This course has been approved by, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

670 CE hours and counting!

All are available to GoodTherapy Premium or Pro Members at no additional cost.
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