A Consensus Statement on Trauma Mental Health: The New Haven Competency Conference Process and Major Findings

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Abstract

Although the scientific literature on traumatic stress is large and growing, most psychologists have only a cursory knowledge of this science and have no formal training in, nor apply evidence-based psychosocial treatments for, trauma-related disorders. Thus, there exists a clear need for the development and dissemination of a comprehensive model of trauma-focused, empirically informed competencies (knowledge, skills, and attitudes). Therefore, the New Haven Competencies consensus conference was assembled. Sixty experts participated in a nominal group process delineating 5 broad foundational and functional competencies in the areas of trauma-focused and trauma-informed scientific knowledge, psychosocial assessment, psychosocial interventions, professionalism, and relational and systems. In addition, 8 cross-cutting competencies were voted into the final product. These trauma competencies can provide the basis for the future training of a trauma-informed mental health workforce.

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