Allender Center certificates

Narrative Focused Trauma Care Level I

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. 

Narrative Focused Trauma Care Level I training is rooted in trauma-focused narrative therapy. This unique approach to healing from trauma equips practitioners and leaders to engage the significant stories of individual’s lives with courage, compassion, and skill, opening up pathways towards more joy, freedom, and purpose.

This fall, we’re excited to offer both in-person and virtual seats for our transformative NFTC Level I Intensive Training Weekends. As a Level I trainee, you will participate in four intensive training weekends from Thursday – Sunday. These training weekends include teaching and interactive, small-group work. This year, these small groups will be offered in-person and virtually.

Applications are open for the 2024-25 cohort of Narrative Focused Trauma Care Level I. Click below to learn more and begin your application.

 Get Program Details & Apply Here   Connect with Our Admissions Team


Who is this for?

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

About Level I

We have all experienced heartache and trauma. It is an inevitable part of living in the world. But we believe that redemption is possible—even in the face of betrayal, pain, and abuse.

The Narrative Focused Trauma Care training program is unique in its emphasis on empowering you to work on behalf of transformation in the lives of others through exploring your own story first, based on the belief that we can not take anyone further than we have been willing to go ourselves.

Becoming Level I trained is the beginning of a transformative journey. You’ll discover the profound narrative of God and learn crucial psychological and theological frameworks for healing from trauma. As you uncover layers of your own story under the kind care of our facilitation team, you will not only deepen your capacity to lead others but also gain clarity around your particular calling in this world – to live a life representative of God’s story of redemption and restoration.

It is transformative and disruptive in the best way. I deeply believe in this process, even though I have only just begun. -Level I Participant

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
  • A more nuanced understanding of your sexual development and beginning to identify and engage the connection between sexual development and a person’s style of relating to others
  • Ability to explain why physiological self-care is essential for growth and healing
  • Growing awareness of personal identity formation, and insight into how culture, gender, race, sexuality, and socioeconomic experiences inform how you understand and engage with your own and other’s story

NEW This Year: In-Person and Virtual Options Available

This fall, we’re excited to offer both in-person and virtual seats for our transformative NFTC Level I Intensive Training Weekends. Here’s what you can expect:

Teaching Sessions: All participants, whether attending in person or virtually, will access the same teaching sessions conducted via Zoom. In-person attendees will gather in a large classroom to watch these sessions projected on a large screen.

Interactive Story Groups: An integral part of the intensive training weekends is to participate in facilitated group work to engage your story and the stories of others. In-person trainees will experience group story engagement and the practice of Narrative Focused Trauma Care led by on-site facilitators, while virtual trainees will participate in similar online groups facilitated virtually.

Whether you choose virtual or in-person participation, you’ll receive the same exceptional teaching, content, and camaraderie with fellow participants.

With a limited number of available spots for the in-person option, consider joining us in Seattle for these immersive weekends to experience:

  • In-person Story Groups: Practice and experience firsthand the transformative power of group story engagement in person.
  • Community Connection: Forge meaningful connections and engage with fellow cohort members during breaks, fostering a supportive learning environment.
  • Focused Learning Environment: Escape distractions and fully concentrate on your personal and professional development within our dedicated training space.
  • Nourishment for Body and Mind: Enjoy complimentary boxed lunches, a breakfast buffet, coffee, and snacks throughout the training weekends, with ample time to recharge, take a walk, or engage in conversations with fellow participants.
  • Scenic Setting: Experience the beauty of Seattle and its waterfront from our convenient location, adding an extra layer of inspiration to your learning journey.
  • Break from Screen Fatigue: If you’re craving a respite from intensive, screen-heavy days, the in-person option might be just what you need!


May I attend some weekends virtually and some in-person? We ask that you commit to attending all 4 weekends either in-person or all 4 weekends virtually. Due to the limited nature of in-person seats, we want to ensure these spots are utilized by those who can attend in person.

What is the location? All training weekends will take place at the Allender Center located at The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology at 2501 Elliott Avenue, Seattle, Washington, 98121 – also lovingly known as “The Red Brick Building.”

Please reach out to our Admissions Team at with any other questions you may have as you discern if you’d like to participate virtually or in-person this year.

Level I Training Dates

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

2024-2025 Cohort Dates:
Orientation: September 12, 2024 – 3:00-5:00pm PT (Virtual for all)
Weekend 1: September 19-22, 2024
Weekend 2: November 21-24, 2024
Weekend 3: January 23-26, 2025
Weekend 4: March 13-16, 2025

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 2024-25 cohort will be provided.

If you’re traveling from out of town, you’ll want to arrive in plenty of time to feel rested and ready to engage in the training, which begins at 8:00 am PT on Thursday of each weekend.

Your Experience Includes:

Each weekend:

  • Immersive engagement for personal transformation combined with knowledge building and skill development.
  • Live, interactive online teaching sessions led by Dr. Dan Allender and our diverse and experienced Teaching Team.
  • Facilitated group work with a skilled Allender Center facilitator, with the option to participate virtually or in-person (limited spots available).
  • Supervised opportunities to practice narrative focused trauma care skills within facilitated small groups.
  • A carefully-planned schedule prioritizing rest and sustainability,with self care resources provided to utilize throughout the program and beyond.

You will also receive:

  • Downloadable handbook to guide you through each program weekend
  • 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 recordings of all teaching sessions throughout the duration of the program year

Benefits of completing Narrative Focused Trauma Care Level I:

  • Documented completion verifying 110 seat hours (55 hours of teaching, 55 hours of group work) for those seeking CEUs
  • Eligibility to continue your training in Narrative Focused Trauma Care, Level II


The Narrative Focused Trauma Care (NFTC) Model is an innovative methodology that integrates psychology and theology to holistically engage the heartbreaking impact of trauma and abuse with compassion and care.

Session 1— Shalom Framework: The Guiding Narrative,  Core Components of Story and the Impact of Trauma & Abuse

Gain foundational knowledge around the nature and impact of trauma and the redemptive power of engaging narrative and discover how understanding your own story in the context of God’s greater story equips you to care well for others.

Session 2—Story in Context: 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—Reclaiming Desire: 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 you toward true freedom from shame.

Session 4—Calling: 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.

It is far beyond any training or certification programs I’ve done in the past. -Level I Participant

Costs & Application Process

Click here to learn how to apply and view this year’s training fees, including information about payment plans and available need-based scholarships.

Continuing Education Units

Participants in the Certificate in Narrative Focused Trauma Care Level I at The Allender Center receive a certificate of completion verifying 110 seat hours (55 hours of teaching, 55 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.

Virtual Participant Requirements:

  • 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.


 Get Program Details & Apply Here   Connect with Our Admissions Team