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5 Best Trauma-Informed Coaching Certifications

Last updated on May 13, 2024

Did you know that 70% of adults have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives? If you want to aid people in their trauma recovery, but don’t have the qualifications for trauma therapy, you can find your calling in a trauma-informed coaching career.

Begin this journey by enrolling in the best trauma-informed coaching certification program that will equip you with knowledge, resources, tools, and experience in trauma-informed coaching. Here are our top picks for trauma-informed coach certifications. 

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What Is a Trauma-Informed Coach?

Trauma-informed coaches use coaching techniques and strategies to recognize the influence of personal traumas in clients’ lives with the purpose of helping them overcome barriers and improve their well-being and quality of life. 

What does a trauma-informed coach do? As a coach, you collaborate with clients to identify the traumas and their impact, provide clients with a safe environment so they can discuss and heal from their trauma, explore the links between past events and present behaviors, encourage clients to reflect, and provide them with guidance so they heal and grow. 

Can a life coach work with trauma? A life coach who has been trained and preferably certified to work with trauma can be trauma-informed. 

Difference Between Trauma-Informed Coaching and Therapy

The intensity of trauma varies, and depending on the depth of the trauma, individuals turn to either a coach or a therapist. 

Therapists are medical professionals who work with clients with more serious trauma-inflicted consequences, whether that’s mental illness or severely damaging behaviors. Coaches work with people whose trauma isn’t as severe and who need some guidance to overcome their problems. 

Trauma clients may require switching between coaching and therapy. Those who have recovered from mental illness can benefit significantly from trauma coaching for additional support. However, if an individual experiences a mental crisis, they must be transferred to a therapist. A skilled trauma coach should be aware of when to refer a client to a therapist.

How Do You Become a Trauma Coach?

Coaches in this field need to have a deep understanding of how trauma affects people and a knowledge of tools and approaches that work best in different situations. They also need to adhere to ethical standards of working with clients with trauma.

The best way to gain skills, experience, and knowledge of ethics in trauma-informed coaching is through a trauma-informed coach certification. 

Getting certified isn’t requiredñ however, having the credentials can entice clients and give them confidence in your level of expertise.

Besides certification, traits that make a successful trauma-informed coach are:

  • Mental strength 
  • Listening skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Open mind
  • Compassion
  • Patience

Factors to Consider When Choosing Trauma-Informed Coach Training

How can you know which trauma-informed coach training is the best for you? Consider the following factors to make an informed decision. 

Program Cost

The cost of trauma-informed certification programs varies greatly, but on average, the fee amounts to a couple of thousand dollars. One of the factors that influences the price is whether the program is online or in-person. Since there are more options online, it is more likely that you’ll find a program that suits your budget on the web. 

Course Length

Trauma-informed programs can have a set deadline for completion or be self-paced so you can learn and get certified on your own time. Some courses can be completed in less than a week, and other programs may take up to a year to finish. When choosing a program, it is important to consider your certification objectives and the timeline you have in mind for your coaching business. 

Accreditation

Although there is no governing body that oversees the licensure of coaches, there are accreditation entities that evaluate coaching organizations. The International Coach Federation (ICF) is the most prestigious accrediting body.

Choosing an accredited certification program can be a plus in terms of building greater confidence in the training curriculum and practices since they were approved by a third party. However, whether you’ll pursue accreditation or not is a personal choice. 

Best Trauma-Informed Coaching Certification Programs

Top Pick: Trauma-Informed Coaching 

Trauma-Informed Coaching is the global leader in the field. To enroll in the Trauma-Informed Coaching Certification (TICC) program, you need to have a coaching certification or complete Trauma-Informed Coaching Basics (TICB). TICB covers the full spectrum of coaching, from coaching mindset to ethics, standards guiding principles of the ICF, and setting client expectations.

Trauma-Informed Coaching – Trauma-Informed Coaching Certification (TICC)

Then, through the TICC, you’ll dive deep into trauma-informed practices. You’ll learn about what trauma is, the types of trauma, the connection between the brain and body, client regulation, the ability to identify when to refer a client, behavioral responses, underlying causes, and their corresponding symptoms. There’s also a practical part—mandatory participation in coaching triads with mentors, supervision and support, passing exams, and more. 

  • Course Length: 8 days–TICB + 12 days–TICC + 6 sessions (600 minutes)–ICF mentoring
  • Program Cost: $6,250 for TICB+TICC+ICF mentoring 
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Beginner Option: Coach Training World 

The Trauma-Informed Training program by Coach Training World is a 6-week course that can help you gain comprehensive knowledge and a set of tools for working with trauma clients. They teach you how to identify different types of trauma and provide support to clients by leveraging powerful techniques. 

Coach Training World – Trauma-Informed Training program

The program also includes a 12-hour practicum so you can deepen your learning. This course has a robust curriculum, includes practicing the given tools, doesn’t demand coaching experience, and doesn’t take long to finish, so it can be a great choice for beginners. 

  • Course Length: 6 weeks
  • Program Cost: $497
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Two Credentials (NBC-HWC+ICF) Option: Mentor Agility

Through Mentor Agility’s Trauma-Informed Coaching Certification, you can obtain two credentials: NBC-HWC (National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach) and ICF accreditation. In this way, you can become a certified health and wellness coach and accredited ICF trauma-informed coach.

Mentor Agility logo
Mentor Agility – Trauma-Informed Coaching Certification

In addition to using core competencies by both ICF and NBC-HWC, what makes this program distinctive is that you’ll learn how to apply their Hero’s Journey® Change Model in your practices. This model taps into people’s innate motivation to change in order to adjust their behaviors, build resiliency, and cultivate a growth mindset. 

  • Course Length: 8 weeks
  • Program Cost: $4,996
  • Accreditation: ICF; NBC-HWC
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Trauma Recovery Option: International Association of Trauma Recovery Coaching

The International Association of Trauma Recovery Coaching is a worldwide recognized association that has pioneered the field of trauma recovery coaching. They are a member of the Association of Coach Training Organizations (ACTO), and they uphold the ACTO’s code of ethics and core competencies.

If you want to practice a trauma-informed approach with a focus on working with childhood neglect and abuse survivors, this program is for you. Their teachings are science-based, and they’ll provide you with an effective coaching model for working with trauma recovery clients. The learning materials will be delivered online in the form of videos, audio files, and PDFs. You’ll also meet twice a week in a Zoom classroom.

International Association of Trauma Recovery Coaching (IAOTRC) logo
International Association of Trauma Recovery Coaching – Initial Trauma Recovery Coaching Certification

There are several certification options depending on your experience. You can start with the Initial Trauma Recovery Coaching Certification, which covers the basics of trauma recovery and coaching. Once you complete that first level, you can enroll in the Advanced Certification program. This course is a combination of learning new trauma recovery concepts, incorporating what you’ve learned, and practicing your coaching skills. 

You can explore their other specialized trauma-informed programs, such as Supervisor Certification, Trauma Recovery Group Coaching, and the Not Parent Expected Trauma Informed Certified Coaching Program. 

  • Course Length: Over 5 months–Initial Trauma Recovery Coaching Certification; Three weekend courses across three months–Advanced Certification
  • Program Cost: $2,800 (for individual certification)
  • Accreditation: None
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Somatic Option: Caroline Strawson Certification Program

Do you want to take a somatic approach to trauma-informed coaching? The Caroline Strawson Certification Program will take you on a self-healing journey along with equipping you with knowledge and tools to work in the trauma space.

Caroline Strawson Certification Program – Somatic Trauma Informed Coaching Certification™

After you finish the program, you’ll have a solid understanding of trauma, learn how to use the right tone of voice, verbiage, and body language to soothe clients’ nervous systems, apply effective trauma strategies, identify the inner somatic, psychological, and behavioral blocks, and provide clients with a safe space for stepping into self-leadership. 

Alternatives (non-niche)

Do you want to build your coaching confidence and find out more about establishing a profitable coaching business? You can gain this knowledge through life coaching certification programs.

Transformation Academy and Coach Training Alliance are our top picks in the life coaching realm, as they offer accreditation, an in-depth curriculum, and a hands-on approach for an affordable price. We’ve reviewed both TA and CTA, so take a look if you want to know the rationale behind our choices. You can also save on TA courses with our link, which gets you 50% off.  

FAQs

  • How much does a trauma-informed coach make?

A trauma coach’s salary ranges between $46,000 and $128,000, according to ZipRecruiter

  • Do you need a certification to be a trauma-informed coach?

Certification isn’t obligatory, but certain clients prefer certified coaches, so it’s advisable to obtain certification from one of the reputable coaching institutes.

  • How much does a trauma-informed coach certification cost?

Typically, you need a budget of several thousand dollars to afford a trauma-informed coaching certification, but there are also more affordable options that cost a couple of hundred dollars. 

  • Does accreditation matter in a trauma-informed coach certification program?

Accreditation isn’t mandatory, but it can give you and your clients assurance that the program respects the high standards of the issuing organization.

  • What is the most recognized coaching certification? 

There are numerous trauma-informed coaching programs, which makes it difficult to single out which are the most recognized ones. A more effective way of gaining recognition is to obtain a certification that is accredited by a reputable organization, as both coaches and clients are more familiar with the world-renowned accrediting bodies.

Conclusion

Working with clients who are dealing with trauma is a challenging job, but it is also incredibly rewarding. If you want to pursue a trauma-informed coaching career, a certification will provide you with the knowledge, tools, and credentials to do so.

We hope that our list of the most reputable trauma-informed coaching certifications will help you find the best program for you. If you want to further work on your coaching skills, programs like Transformation Academy and Coach Training Alliance can help you with that. 

Take the Coach Certification Quiz

Need help choosing a coach training and certification program? We created this short quiz to help you find the best program for you.

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