Trauma-Informed Ethical Decision-Making: Employing the 10 Principles of Trauma-Informed Ethical Practice

Presented By Cortny Stark, PhD | Kylie Rogalla, PhD
Cortny Stark, PhD Kylie Rogalla, PhD

3.5 Hours | 3.5 CEs

This on-demand professional training program on Trauma-informed Ethical Decision-Making: Employing the 10 Principles of Trauma-Informed Ethical Practice is presented by Cortny Stark, Ph.D., and Kylie Rogalla, Ph.D.

The proposed trauma-informed ethical decision-making model provides helping professionals with a two-part framework for addressing ethical dilemmas with client survivors of trauma. The 10 Principles of Trauma-informed Practice (authors, 2022) and decision-making framework enable the clinician to utilize their knowledge of individuals’ responses to trauma to inform how they interpret and understand the client’s behavior, thought process, and emotional experience. This understanding informs every step of the ethical decision-making process.

The principles outlined below build upon the SAMHSA (2014) three E’s, four R’s, and eight key principles of trauma-informed care. Key concepts, including Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and their long-term impact (Anda, 2007; Edwards et al., 2015; Felitti et al., 1998; Felitti, 2009; Wade et al., 2016) further inform the principles of trauma-informed ethical practice.

The 10 Principles of Trauma-informed Practice (authors, 2021) include:

  1. Attachment and Developmental Considerations
  2. Physiological and Neurobiological Changes
  3. Intergenerational and Historical Trauma
  4. Minority Stress
  5. Cognitive Schema
  6. Self-Concept
  7. Protective Behaviors
  8. Family and Community
  9. Clinician Health and Wellbeing
  10. Military, Veteran, and Law Enforcement Status and History

This program is intended for intermediate-level professionals. The target audience for this presentation includes helping professionals from all backgrounds, namely social workers, case managers, mental health counselors, addictions counselors, rehabilitation counselors, and psychologists. Counselor educators may also be interested in learning more about this approach and including the model in their ethics and fieldwork courses.
Multiple methods are used to increase attendee engagement, including (for sharing brief blurbs about attendees’ personal and professional experiences relevant to the topic) and poll everywhere to assess attendees’ understanding of key concepts and perceptions of the topics discussed.

The presentation structure is as follows:

  1. Review key concepts associated with trauma-informed practice and ethical decision-making,
  2. Briefly explore the impact of trauma on survivors' health and mental health outcomes and physiological and neurological processes,
  3. Discuss the practical application of the trauma-informed ethical decision-making framework (to include Kitchener and Anderson’s (2011) ethical decision-making model and the 9 Principles of Trauma-informed Ethical Practice),
  4. Discuss attendee questions.

Intended Audience

This on-demand professional training program is intended for mental health and other allied professionals

Experience Level

This on-demand professional training program is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

CE / CPD Credit

APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC Click here for state and other regional board approvals.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program you will be able to:

Describe behavioral ethics and the role of ethical principles and professional values in ethical decision-making and practice

Describe the key components of SAMHSA’s (2014) trauma-informed practice guidelines to one’s own helping context, and during supported case study analysis

Describe the ecological view of trauma, and its role in understanding the trauma response

Describe foundational knowledge regarding the impact of exposure to trauma on an individual’s neurobiological processes, cognitive processes, emotional regulation, and decision-making

Describe the 10 Principles of Trauma-informed Ethical Practice through the application of core concepts and the trauma-informed ethical decision-making framework to the case of “Adam”.


Presented By

Cortny Stark, PhD

Cortny Stark Ph.D. (she/her/hers) is an Assistant Professor with the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) Department of Counseling and Human Services and Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Fellow. Dr. Stark is the coordinator for the substance use and recovery counseling undergraduate and grad...

Presented By

Kylie Rogalla, PhD

Dr. Kylie Rogalla received her Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision from the University of Northern Colorado, including two doctoral minors in Higher Education and Student Affairs Leadership (HESAL) and Applied Statistics and Research Methods (ASRM). Dr. Rogalla earned her Master's degree ...


1. Introduction

2. Getting Started

3. Key Concepts - Part 1

4. Breakout Introduction

5. Breakout Discussion

6. Key Concepts - Part 2

7. The Impact of Trauma and Stress - Part 1

8. The Impact of Trauma and Stress - Part 2

9. Adverse Childhood Experiences

10. The Role of Ethics

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