Certification Programs

Trauma-Informed Certified ® Victim Advocate

The Trauma-Informed Victim Advocate Certification is one of a kind, offering professionals the tools to work with clients in crisis and to safeguard themselves from the impacts of secondary trauma. This certification blends trauma-informed care theory with real-world application customized to the realities of what advocates and their clients face in navigating legal and social realities. This course is taught by instructors who are both survivors and former VAs.

Certification Programs

Program Details

This certification goes far beyond trauma-informed 101 and gives participants several unique advantages:

  • Participants leave as distinguished experts in how trauma impacts their clients and how to use TI principles for self-preservation and sustainability.

  • Victim advocates differentiate themselves as industry leaders, providing next-level competencies of care to their survivors and team members.

  • Certified professionals differentiate their services by offering intersectional and research-informed care in all aspects of their work—from hospital escorts, to trial emotional support, to long-term care planning.

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Learning Objectives

Upon completion, participants will be able to:

  • Explain what the neurobiological impacts of trauma are and how they intersect with client response—from the brain to the polyvagal body system.

  • Understand how intersectionality and bias play into the advocacy field.

  • Use coping and compartmentalizing strategies to improve side effects from vicarious/secondary trauma.

  • Create clear messaging around what being a trauma-informed is/is not and clearly define how it looks in their daily lives.

Dr. Laura McGuire

About Your Instructor

Dr. Laura McGuire is a nationally recognized sexuality educator, trauma-informed specialist, inclusion consultant, and founder of the National Center for Equity and Agency. They have worked as an instructor, presenter, educator, consultant, and trainer. In 2015, they served as the first Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Program Manager at the University of Houston, and in 2017, they became the first Victim Advocate/Prevention Educator at the US Merchant Marine Academy. In both roles, they worked simultaneously as a victim advocate and restorative practice provider for respondents. As a survivor navigating the legal system, Dr. McGuire saw the major gaps between what research showed and what those reporting experienced. They utilize their experience and scholarly expertise to give insight and actionable tools to attorneys and providers across the country.

Certification Programs

Topics Covered

  • Understanding Trauma-Informed Care

  • Types of Trauma

  • Intersectionality & Inclusion

  • Vicarious Trauma & Resiliency

  • Application of ACE Scores and Polyvagal Theory

  • De-escalation

  • Unconscious Bias

  • Restorative Practices

  • Long-term Planning

  • Co-regulation & Effective Communication

  • Resiliency & Spoon Theory

  • The Trauma-Informed Workplace

  • Using Your Certification

National Center For Equity & Agency

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