The International Trauma Studies Program is in the process of revising its Comprehensive Course in Trauma Studies in New York and will not be offering the course this coming academic year 2008-09.

We will be offering advanced and international training and research opportunities from the Fall of 2008 to the Summer of 2009.


Founded in New York in 1997, the International Trauma Studies Program (ITSP) has achieved worldwide recognition as a leader in the field of trauma studies and community response to catastrophes. Our distinctive program is committed to global education promoting state-of-the-art knowledge, research, and the development of technical skills to assist people in coping with traumatic events. Our trauma and disaster response training program based in New York has attracted professionals from all over the world.

The International Trauma Studies Program has provided intensive training in trauma theory, treatment and prevention for professionals from such diversified fields of interest as health and mental health, law, human rights, community activism, the arts, journalism and the media.

The program focuses on multi-disciplinary approaches grounded in individual, family and community oriented interventions based on a resilience framework. The course will explore best practices in international psychosocial responses in the context of domestic, communal, natural and human made catastrophes and traumatic events. In addition to trauma theory and intervention, the program intertwines the psychosocial, political, ethical, and human rights dimensions of traumatic suffering and humanitarian intervention into the curriculum. Utilizing a multidisciplinary curriculum that also includes the arts, literature, performance, oral history, the media, body healing and indigenous practices, the training program seeks to create competency in the practice and implementation of trauma responses through practical skill building for everyday work and life. The program promotes the development of linkages with those allied professions that increasingly contribute to the recovery process: for example, human rights educators, and professionals working in conflict management, transitional justice and peace-building programs.

A variety of educational materials and resources, including media, information communication technologies and global conferencing are employed throughout the course. ITSP offers a dynamic combination of academic studies, research, and practical experience working with trauma survivors in New York City, the U.S., and abroad.

One of the most important and unique features of the program is the capacity of ITSP to supplement local faculty by bringing internationally renowned teachers in the field of family and community oriented treatment for trauma affected populations.

Format of the Course

Ten intensive one and a half day Symposia from September to May run by visiting local and international faculty who are renowned experts in the trauma field:

The class meets twice every month, roughly every two weeks. The Symposia, which are ten intensive one and half day workshops, are scheduled Thursday, 4:00-7:30pm and the next day Friday, 9:30am - 5:00pm. The ten monthly integrative Salons are scheduled on Thursday evenings from 6:00-8:30pm. This is especially designed to allow working professionals to attend the course. The course consists of 130 training hours. The exact dates for the upcoming 2007-2008 session have not yet been established.

Ten monthly integrative Salons provide participants opportunities to share their own work and host visiting experts.

A Class Project that actively integrates theory and methods taught in the course.

Voluntary Externships in a research group, clinical or community setting, available for local and international participants who wish to enhance their learning experience.


Below are a sampling of the extensive topics covered by the course. Current topical events and access to special faculty and presenters may influence the specific focus of the subject area from year to year. This flexibility allows the program to bring to participants a state of the art curriculum enriching the educational experience at ITSP.

Trauma: Understanding, Healing, and Prevention
Mapping Trauma: Multi-Systemic Perspectives
Individual and Group Approaches to Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Psychodynamic Approaches to Trauma
Impact of Trauma on the Lives of Children and Families
Trauma and Loss in the Family
Study of Trauma – Historical, Political and Cultural Perspectives
Building Resilience in Communities Following Mass Trauma
Trauma Response within an International Public Health Framework
International Psychosocial Interventions
Treating Survivors of Torture and Refugee Trauma
Collective Trauma: Promoting Coexistence and Reconciliation
Trauma and Transitional Justice
Trauma, Memory, and Cognition
Trauma, Testimony and Witnessing: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Trauma, Media and the Arts

Description of 2006-07 Curriculum
Description of 2005-06 Curriculum
Description of 2004-05 Curriculum
Description of 2003-04 Curriculum

Course Professor

Jack Saul, Ph.D.
Director, International Trauma Studies Program
Assistant Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health
Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

Faculty and Presenters

Over the years, ITSP has developed a distinguished, well-recognized international panel of experts to teach in the course. Our unique approach to teaching enables ITSP to bring in specialists from different expertise, each one working on and developing the most cutting edge practices, research, and technology in the field of trauma. Each Symposium and many of the Salons are taught by a different expert with specific competence in their respective fields.

Here is an illustration of our faculty and presenters from previous sessions of the ITSP Comprehensive Course. We anticipate that many of faculty will remain the same for the 2007-2008 Course.

Alastair Ager, Ph.D., Nancy Baron, Ed.D., Sandra Bloom, M.D., Pauline Boss, Ph.D., Claude Chemtob, Ph.D., Sara Cobb, Ph.D.,Esther Cohen, Ph.D., Allen Feldman, Ph.D., Peter Fraenkel, Ph.D., Eliana Gil, Ph.D., Brandon Hamber, Ph.D., Kenneth Hardy, Ph.D., Soeren Buus Jensen, M.D. Ph.D., Judith Landau, M.D., Robert J. Lifton, M.D., Esther Perel, M.A., Steven Reisner, Ph.D., Carlos Sluzki, M.D., Ruti Teitel, J.D., Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., Vamik Volkan, M.D., Stevan Weine, M.D., Michael White, M.S.W.


Applicants with a graduate degree in mental health, health, and allied professions are encouraged to apply. Applicants without a graduate degree but with experience in the trauma field will be considered for acceptance to the program.


ITSP offers 2 full tuition scholarships to mental health professionals and community leaders from foreign countries or immigrant and refugee communities in the New York metropolitan area. In addition, there are limited opportunities for partial tuition scholarships with a work/study component. Please inquire to the program directly for details.

Certificate of Completion

A Certificate of Completion from the International Trauma Studies Program (ITSP) is awarded to participants with consistent attendance and successful completion of the final project.

Now Accepting Applications for the 2007-2008 Course

Application Process

• Complete the Application Information Form
• 500-word essay describing your interest in the program
• A recent curriculum vitae or resume
• Two letters of professional recommendation
• An application processing fee of $40 (US)

Following the submission of the application form, each candidate will be contacted for a personal interview before acceptance to the program. ITSP will be accepting a maximum of 30 participants for the 2007-2008 Course.

Download Applications:

Application Form 2007-2008 [PDF File]
Application Form 2007-2008 [Word Document]

Enrollment is limited to 30 participants per year.
Early application is encouraged.
Early admission deadline is March 15, 2007.
Deadline to apply is June 15, 2007.

Tuition: $4800

Upon acceptance, a $300.00 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve a space in the 2007-2008 Course. The remainder of the tuition is payable in two installments, due August 15th and December 15th. For participants with special circumstances, alternate payment schedules may be available.

Please note that ITSP does not facilitate the travel or other arrangements of subsistence for any participants in the Training Course. All arrangements for travel, accommodations, and daily subsistence costs are the exclusive responsibility of the participants themselves.

Please contact the office directly with specific questions.
Telephone: (212) 691-6499

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© Tom Stoddart