Top Online PhD in Trauma Counseling Doctorate Programs

If you are interested in a Ph.D. in counseling, this is a great time to earn this coveted degree. The demand for psychologists and counselors is rising; the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports jobs in the psychology field will increase by 14% by 2028, which is much faster than average. (

You can now earn your Ph.D. in Trauma Counseling online, so getting your advanced degree has never been easier. Below are the five best online programs for this counseling degree.

#1 The Chicago School of Psychology

The Chicago School of Psychology offers an online Ph.D. in International Psychology with a Trauma Services concentration. Students are taught the skills needed to be leaders of organizations to develop preparedness and prevention training. The online degree program also teaches students how to establish programs to help with mental health problems due to trauma. (

Graduates of this online Ph.D. program in trauma counseling will possess the skills to work on mental health problems around the world for organizations including nonprofits, government, education, the American Red Cross, international aid, and embassies.

A vital part of the program is two mandatory, nine-day field experiences abroad. Students are in the country for a week and in the field for six full days. The Chicago School has professional agreements with international organizations around the world to facilitate field experience activities.

Required courses to complete your online Ph.D. are:

  • Self-Care Strategies in Humanitarian Efforts
  • Assessment of Psychosocial and Mental Health Reactions to Traumatic Stress
  • Mental Health Interventions

#2 Northcentral University

Northcentral University offers an online Ph.D. in Psychology with a concentration in Trauma and Disaster Relief. This four-year, online doctoral program will prepare students to grasp the needs of people who have endured abuse, physical injury, bullying, accidents and natural disasters, and who are struggling to cope with feelings related to these experiences. (

Learning outcomes of this Ph.D. in Trauma and Disaster Relief program are:

  • Be able to appraise principles and theories in trauma psychology to understand and inform professional contexts.
  • Be able to evaluate research methodologies in trauma psychology.
  • Be able to choose psychological principles and research to apply to social, personal, and organizational problems.
  • Be able to evaluate ethical principles in psychology in professional and academic matters.
  • Be able to design effective and clear communication for trauma psychology professionals and the general public.

Required courses for this specialization are:

  • Psychology of Violence
  • Psychology of Traumatic Stress
  • Disaster, Terrorism, and Mass Violence: Impacts on Mental Health
  • Trauma-Informed Assessment, Risk, and Diagnosis
  • Trauma-Informed Interventions with Disaster and Trauma Survivors
  • Gender and Cultural Considerations in Disaster Trauma and Response
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#3 Walden University

Walden University offers an online Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision with a concentration in Trauma and Crisis. Students in this accredited program learn to apply best practices and theory to crisis and trauma management as they work with groups and individuals recover from the effects of natural disasters, violence, war, or terrorism. (

Students will broaden their understanding of the leadership roles, models, and proper strategies to respond to crises as a counseling manager or leader. You also will learn appropriate legal and ethical responses to community, individual, national and international crises.

Doctoral students also will develop an advanced understanding of counseling theory; teaching and supervision; research; and individual and group counseling skills. With the use of experiential practice, technology, collaboration, and contextually relevant curriculum, students will be ready to take over leadership positions in the trauma counseling profession.

Required courses include:

  • Professional Orientation, Ethics, and Identity
  • Teaching in Counselor Education
  • Advanced Counseling Theories
  • Clinical Supervision
  • Professional Consultation, Program Evaluation, and Leadership
  • Survey Research Methods
  • Vicarious Trauma and Compassion Fatigue
  • Crisis Management

#4 Liberty University

Liberty University offers an online Ed.D. in Community Care and Counseling with a concentration in Traumatology. This doctoral degree is designed to provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to offer professional trauma counseling services to people in all populations. Students will be prepared to serve communities and individuals as they recover from natural disasters, abuse, and personal crises. (

The Ed.D. in traumatology gives you the skills and advanced tools needed to address and identify the effects of disasters, emergencies, and tragedies on families, individuals, and entire communities. This is the ideal training program for professional counselors, pastors, crisis counselors, trauma therapists, and clinical social workers who want to enhance their knowledge to better help people dealing with tragedy.

Students will study crisis response and trauma therapy topics, from understanding the signs of child abuse to helping a community to recover from a terrorist attack.

The program does not require you to possess current state licensure for clinical counseling. It will, however, advance your knowledge and skills in a licensed clinical practice or alternative counseling ministry.

Required courses are:

  • Child and Adolescent Trauma
  • Adult and Familial Trauma
  • Disaster Mental Health and Community Response
  • Assessment and Testing in the Treatment of Trauma

#5 Regent University

Regent University offers an online Ph.D. in Counseling and Psychological Studies with a concentration in Trauma and Crisis Counseling. This program will prepare you for a rewarding career in research, mental health counseling, education, and psychological science.

Students will study advanced models of forgiveness, inner healing, critical incidents, crisis management, and community disaster and trauma. This program is designed for the doctoral student who wants to affect the culture in the counseling field but does not require professional accreditation. (
Learning outcomes are:

  • Learn to identify the major stages of trauma recovery after mass violence and disaster.
  • Develop advanced emergency management techniques that help in providing psychological first aid.
  • Apply supportive care and intervention strategies during critical and traumatic events.
  • Identify spiritual resources and challenges that affect grieving.

Required courses are:

  • Information Research and Resources
  • Introduction and Leadership
  • Supervision
  • Qualitative Research Methodology
  • Addictive Behaviors
  • Research Methods in Psychological Sciences
  • Disaster Trauma and Psychological First Aid
  • Appraisal and Psychometrics
  • Grief and Bereavement
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The counseling field is growing, and students who earn their Ph.D. in trauma counseling will have a multitude of personally and financially rewarding job choices available to them.

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