Concentration in Trauma & Abuse

Become equipped to foster restoration

We are surrounded every day by evidence of trauma and abuse—including the heartbreaking revelations of widespread, systemic abuse in institutions; the rising tide of individual stories brought to light through the #MeToo movement; and the myriad ways that more subtle effects of trauma and abuse play out all around us. More than ever before, our world is faced with an urgent need for well-trained practitioners who are equipped to address the complex realities of trauma as they help individuals and communities pursue healing.

The Seattle School’s MA in Counseling Psychology with a Concentration in Trauma & Abuse prepares you to become a counselor or therapist with specialization in leading-edge, whole-person engagement of trauma and abuse.

This integrative concentration offers a unique specialization in Trauma-Informed Narrative Therapy, a modality that has been developed over decades of experience by Dr. Dan Allender and The Allender Center. Trauma-Informed Narrative Therapy is a therapeutic approach integrating in-depth story engagement and an awareness of trauma science through the lens of a dynamic Christian spirituality.

Our Concentration in Trauma & Abuse will provide experiential training in how to address particular effects of the complex trauma that occurs in relationship—including sexual abuse, domestic violence, harmful attachment experiences, and abusive institutions and systems. Our curriculum is informed by neuroscience, research on shame, somatic psychotherapy, bodywork, and spirituality.

Develop the artistry and skill to thoughtfully engage trauma and abuse

Through this concentration, you will:

  • Understand a broad range of theories and approaches to treating trauma and abuse
  • Understand the nuanced impacts of trauma and abuse
  • Clarify and refine your unique calling and therapeutic approach
  • Develop an understanding of your own experiences of harm and how this impacts your work
  • Develop trauma-informed strategies for client assessment, treatment, and goal settling
  • Develop in-depth understanding of Trauma-Informed Narrative Theory
  • Develop the skills to facilitate story engagement with individuals and groups
  • Develop the capacity to walk people into their stories of abuse without retraumatizing
  • Understand secondary and vicarious trauma and tools for developing resilience

“This concentration is for those willing to listen and attune to the pain and harm they have experienced in their own life. We can only take someone else as far as we have gone ourselves. From that foundation, we train wounded healers to help others understand and heal from the complex impacts of trauma and abuse by listening to the stories their body remembers and longs to tell the truth about.”

Abby Wong-Heffter, LMHC
Affiliate Faculty, and Allender Center Teaching Staff
Meet our teaching team


A Concentration in Trauma & Abuse is designed to be completed concurrently with the MA in Counseling Psychology. The MACP with a Concentration in Trauma & Abuse is 70 credits: 4 concentration-specific credits, 4 required MACP electives, and two intensive offerings from The Allender Center. Courses will be offered in a laboratory-style, experiential learning environment, combining theoretical learning with practical application. Clinical formation will be facilitated by our practitioner/scholar faculty with immersive learning from The Allender Center.

  • Story Workshop*
  • CSL 564 Assessment and Treatment of Trauma and Abuse (2 credits)
  • CSL 514 Issues of Abuse (2 credits)
  • SFD 519 Evil, Abuse, & Spiritual Warfare (2 credits)
  • Allender Center Training Certificate Level II*
  • CSL 556 Engaging Trauma From a Narrative Lens (2 credits)

*Non-credit bearing offering facilitated by The Allender Center. Fees may be applied to student account.

“Trauma gives us a context to engage upheaval, not only to help mitigate it and stabilize, but to actually walk with a person through the process of helping them reform and reconfigure who they wish to be in the midst of a world that allows this kind of harm.”

Dr. Dan Allender
new student orientation

Ready for the next step?

Connect with us! Request more information or apply today, and we’ll send you everything you need to know begin your journey.