Allender Center certificates

Certificate in Narrative Focused Trauma Care Level I – Online

The Allender Center is committed to training professional therapists, lay counselors, ministry leaders, and advocates to work on behalf of healing and redemption through story—beginning with their own. The interactive, online Certificate in Narrative Focused Trauma Care Level I is rooted in trauma-focused narrative therapy. Our unique approach emboldens practitioners and leaders to facilitate healing through engaging individuals’ stories with courage, compassion, and skill.

This certificate is now offered in a live, interactive, fully online format! This is your opportunity to complete this training with greater flexibility and the benefit of no travel costs.

Connect with Our Admissions Team   Program Details & Application Process


Who is this for?

  • Lay counselors
  • Professional therapists
  • Community leaders and advocates
  • Corporate professionals
  • Ministry leaders
  • Healers and caregivers in a professional or supportive capacity
  • Artists and creative thinkers

About Level I

We have the courage to believe that redemption is possible—even in the face of betrayal, pain, abuse, and trauma. The world is in need of kind, courageous leaders who are trained in Narrative Focused Trauma Care in order to offer deep care for the sake of healing, freedom, and redemption.

Lasting change requires the capacity to understand and delve into the complex realms of the human condition. Our program is designed to tailor the teaching material and group work for a diverse array of leaders and practitioners caring for people in a variety of contexts—from professional counseling settings to church communities, and nonprofit organizations to business settings.

Training takes place online over the course of four intensive weekends, with one orientation session prior to the first weekend.

2023-2024 Cohort Dates:
September 14, 2023 – Two-Hour Orientation
September 21-24, 2023 – Session 1
November 9-12, 2023 – Session 2
January 25-28, 2024 – Session 3
April 11-14, 2024 – Session 4

Each four-day session runs on a similar schedule: 8:00am-4:00pm PT Thursday-Saturday and 8:00am-12:30pm PT Sunday. A detailed schedule for the 2023-24 cohort will be provided.

Certificate in Narrative Focused Trauma Care Level I engages categories of abuse and trauma through in-depth teaching that emphasizes:

    • The nature of story
    • The impact of trauma and abuse
    • Neurobiology
    • Attachment
    • Identity development through personal and collective stories
    • Story in context: family of origin & culture
    • Sexual development
    • Interplay of trauma, theology, and spiritual formation
    • The biblical narrative
    • Key story categories of faith, hope, and love
    • Spiritual warfare: the impact of evil and reclaiming the capacity to bless

Key Takeaways

  • A deeper understanding of the nature and impact of trauma and abuse as it relates to story and personhood
  • Transformative engagement with your story and a growing awareness of how it has shaped your identity, style of relating, imagination, and calling
  • An understanding of the key elements of a person’s story arc, how family of origin impacts attachment style, and beginning to identify and engage a person’s cycle of shame and contempt
  • Ability to describe arousal structures and begin to identify and engage their impact in one’s story
  • Explain why physiological self-care is essential for growth and healing
  • Gain awareness in personal identity formation, and insight into how culture, gender, race, sexuality, and socioeconomic experiences inform how you understand and engage with one’s story
  • Supervised opportunities to practice the narrative focused trauma care skills you are learning in a facilitated small group setting
  • Certificate of completion verifying 100 seat hours (50 hours of teaching, 50 hours of group work) for those seeking CEUs
  • Eligibility to continue your training in Narrative Focused Trauma Care, Level II

Your Experience Includes:

Each weekend:

  • Interactive teaching from Dr. Dan Allender and our skilled Teaching Team (10 hours)
  • Facilitated group work with a skilled Allender Center facilitator who is trained to lead in a virtual format (12 hours)
  • Specific space during the weekends hosted by our staff of color for non-majority participants to connect and converse.
  • Downloadable handbook to guide you through each program weekend
  • A schedule that is designed with intention for rest and sustainability, including provision of self care resources to utilize throughout the program and beyond
  • A seamless learning environment hosted by Zoom technology with access to technical support

Between weekends:

  • Preparatory reading, films, and writing assignments to support your learning and development
  • Two to three hours of teaching via video to introduce core learning concepts in advance of each program weekend
  • Access to a private Facebook group to connect and interact as a cohort during the program year
  • Access to recordings of all teaching sessions throughout the duration of the program year
  • Three optional teaching sessions to enhance core program content and guided body care experiences to support stress relief and emotional well-being. You will be notified about the dates and times for these extra sessions after registration.


The Allender Theory is characterized by trauma informed care with a narrative focus. We begin with the concept of story–the story of God and the foundational origin stories that have deeply shaped us–particularly stories of harm. We consider these formative stories through the lens of these key categories: faith, hope, love, and calling.

Session 1—Framework of Faith, Hope and Love: Learning the Components of the Story and the Impact of Trauma & Abuse
Learn about the impact of harm and the redemptive power of engaging narrative while growing in awareness of your own story as you increase your capacity to support and care well for others.

Session 2—Faith: Bridging the Gap Between the Present and Past
Gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which your family of origin, your cultural identity, and collective stories impact your style of being, relating, and leading.

Session 3—Hope: Bridging the Gap Between the Past and the Future
Become empowered to boldly step into the sacred realm of sexuality and desire in order to offer impactful care to these revealing stories that will lead to transformation personally and collectively.

Session 4—Love: Revisiting the Present in Light of the Future
Develop an integrated view of the intersection of your story, God’s story, and your unique calling to join God in the restoration of all things.

Continuing Education Units

Participants in the Certificate in Narrative Focused Trauma Care Level I at The Allender Center receive a certificate of completion verifying 100 seat hours (50 hours of teaching, 50 hours of group work). Participants may apply for recognition of these hours for CEU credit with their respective licensing bodies. The Allender Center is an organization housed within The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology. The Seattle School is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), is authorized by the Washington Student Achievement Council, and meets the requirements and minimum education standards established for degree-granting institutions under the Degree-Granting Institution Act.

The Allender Center at The Seattle School will not be held responsible for professional licensing boards or states that do not recognize the requested CEUs.


  • Prepare your space: Locate a space in your home or other getaway location that is comfortable and offers privacy throughout the duration of the workshop
  • High-speed internet connection and device: All small groups and teaching sessions will take place online. A stable internet connection with video and audio capabilities is required to participate.

Connect with Our Admissions Team   Program Details & Application Process