Assessment and Treatment of PTSD in Adults

This certificate program will prepare professionals with evidence-based competencies in engaging, assessing, and intervening with adults presenting with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Course content includes principles of trauma-informed clinical care, such as trauma-informed assessment, trauma-specific interventions, and trauma-informed contexts.  The program will strengthen clinicians’ ability to help adults experiencing PTSD as a result of:

  • Sexual trauma
  • Combat trauma
  • Physical or emotional abuse during childhood
  • Other traumatic events

The program includes learning the principles and practices of the first line, evidence-based treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder: Prolonged Exposure Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing.

Please sign up to be notified when a new cohort forms.

Is this program for me?

This program is intended for individuals who already hold a master’s degree in the mental health field and have an interest in expanding their knowledge of working effectively with adults experiencing PTSD.  Most qualified applicants hold a master’s degree in social work, psychology, counseling, or marriage & family therapy.  If your graduate work is in a different field, please contact us prior to application.

Program participants will familiarize themselves with the research supporting the effectiveness of each intervention as well as the theory, principles, and practices of each intervention. This program is an educational program and does not certify participants in the delivery of any clinical intervention. Participants can seek further certification through the appropriate certifying bodies in accordance with the organizations charged with intervention certification.

At the close of the program, participants will better be able to:

  • Apply evidence-based practices to assessment and treatment planning with adults presenting with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  • Articulate intervention principles and strategies from evidence-based psychotherapy protocols, including Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE), and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR).
  • Apply a trauma-informed clinical care lens to interventions and services.
  • Identify next steps to further strengthen trauma-informed clinical care.

The group will meet intensively online over 13 weeks to to learn and practice interventions.  The program includes 3-hour Zoom class meetings on 9 Tuesday evenings (5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Central), as well as 18 hours of asynchronous content to complete between meetings.  Program components include:

  • reading assignments from two texts (included in program fee)
  • self-study modules completed in the Canvas learning management system
  • in-session demonstrations and practices

Successful completion of the certificate program includes class participation, submission of a case conceptualization, and successful completion of the self-study modules.

How to Apply

A completed application will include:

  • Online application form, including a statement of purpose (300-500 words).
  • Submission of your current resume.
  • Transcript transmitted from your master’s program.

While an official transcript from the issuing institution is preferred, due to the current public health situation, an emailed scan of your graduate transcript is acceptable.  Official electronic transcripts should be routed from the issuing institution to

If you have more than one graduate degree, please send the transcript from the degree most closely related to this program

Admissions decisions will be made on a rolling basis. Generally it is possible to provide an admissions decision within two weeks of receipt of a completed application. Complete applications must be received by August 16, 2022.

Admission prerequisites.  Applicants must:

  • Hold a master’s degree in a counseling or mental health-related field from an accredited university.
  • Have access to a computer, internet and a webcam to participate in consultation sessions.
  • Be willing to comply with Washington University policies, including the requirement that all students furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 and influenza, or formally request and obtain a waiver.

Want to get a flavor the program? Here is a past Open Classroom featuring two of your instructors:

Meet Your Instructors

Megan D Keys

Megan D. Keyes, PhD
Adjunct Faculty, Brown School
Founder, Trauma Empowered Consulting

Dr. Keyes is a clinical psychologist with expertise in the assessment and evidence-based treatment of PTSD as well as the provision of clinical consultation to mental health providers. She has over twenty years of experience delivering clinical services to trauma survivors. For the past decade, Megan has also provided expert consultation and training to clinicians learning to implement evidence-based treatment for PTSD.

Ryan Lindsay

Ryan Lindsay, MSW, LCSW
Associate Professor of Practice
Chair, MSW Mental Health Concentration, Brown School

Ryan Lindsay’s career has focused on training new and experienced providers in various evidence-based treatments, consulting with organizations on how to implement evidence-based programs, and aiding organizations in program development utilizing evidence-based principles. At the Brown School he chairs, teaches, and advises students within the Mental Health concentration in the Master of Social Work program.

Julie Mastnak

Julie Mastnak, PhD
Senior Lecturer, Brown School

At the Brown School, Julie Mastnak teaches Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Applied Behavior Therapy, Differential Diagnosis, and Cognitive Processing Therapy. Since 2006, she has worked on the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinical Team at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in St. Louis, specializing in providing diagnostic assessments and evidence-based, trauma-focused treatment.

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