• Professional Development Program

    Trauma Coaching

    Travel to South Africa and become a certified Integrative Trauma Treatment Coach (38 CE credits).


Dates: October 2-9, 2022

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Credit: 38 CE credits (NBCC)

Program fees: US $2,890 + $2.300 ITTC workshop fees (discounted workshop fees of US $1,800)


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Program overview

Are you passionate about increasing support to people who suffer from trauma? Did you know that trauma coaching can support mental health treatment and assist survivors in their recovery process? Trauma coaches also play a role in the interruption of self-perpetuated intergenerational trauma through skill-based supports.
Have you dreamed of visiting South Africa to experience the richness of the country’s diverse cultures and wildlife; and to learn about the country’s ongoing efforts in building a rainbow nation?
We invite international professionals interested in becoming trauma coaches to travel to South Africa and join us in a trauma coaching training workshop to learn how to approach interactions through a trauma-informed lens and to develop new competencies in a unique multicultural environment.
Masters level mental health care providers who are licensed in the U.S. may be eligible for up to 38 CEs. NBCC ACEP # 6912. Check with your licensing board to verify CE eligibility.



  • Learn the principles of coaching within a multicultural context.
  • Experience a high-level, specialized training on trauma-informed interactions.
  • Gain invaluable competence to be a trauma coach.
  • Share your knowledge and gain new insight through a unique African perspective on mental health.
  • Explore an exciting destination and immerse yourself in the culture of your hosts.
  • Broaden your personal and professional network, and build lasting international friendships.

You can view and download a copy of the program overview – with full itinerary (both main program and optional extension) – here.

  • Program location

    South Africa


Your program location: Cape Town / South Africa

  • Cape Town also goes by the nickname the “Mother City”. It is a thriving cosmopolitan city in development. Wamkelekile eKapa!
  • Capetonians love their food, so it’s little wonder that Cape Town is one of the leading culinary destinations in Africa.
  • Take the aerial cable car up to the top of Table Mountain – one of the world’s Seven Wonders of Nature – and you’ll marvel at the spectacular views over Cape Town.
  • If you’ve ever wanted to meet an African penguin, Cape Town is the place to do it!
  • Learn about the local cultures: Famously known as the ‘rainbow nation’, South Africa is made up of dozens of diverse cultures. There’s Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Tswana, Shangaan, Hindu and Afrikaner communities – and that’s just to name a few! There are also at least 35 indigenous languages spoken in South Africa, and they even have 11 official languages.
  • Discover the legacy of Nelson Mandela.
  • Sustainability is at the heart of Cape Town’s tourism industry. The United Nations World Tourism Organization has highlighted Cape Town’s successful water conservation strategies as a new standard for other global cities to emulate.
  • South Africa is home to no less than 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • There are over 230 species of mammals and more than 850 species of birds in South Africa. If you go on a safari, you will be able to see the big five (lion, buffalo, leopard, elephant, rhino). In Cape Town, we have the sixth big one, namely whales. Whale season is July – November.


Welcome to South Africa!

Whether you’re after extraordinary nature, rich history and culture, or amazing food and wine, South Africa has got it all.




Training Objectives & Core Competencies

    • Participants will be able to identify the key principles of coaching.
    • Participants will gain a basic understanding of trauma and its effects.
    • Participants will understand the basics of trauma-informed interactions.
    • Participants will be able to learn about emotion regulation & trauma recovery skills.
    • Participants will understand the ethics of trauma coaching.
    • Participants will learn to apply self-reflection & regulation capacity.
    • Participants will understand coaching mindset (growth mindset, personal empowerment, strengths-based work, and person-centered work).


Additionally, participants will interact and engage with local trauma-support organizations, allowing for rich conversations about local experiences, challenges, and approaches, and to discuss trauma-informed care in the South African context. Each participant is eligible to receive a Trauma Coach certificate from the ITTC and GEI after completing 10 practicum hours with clients that occurs after the initial training.


Trauma Coaching is a 3-level certification process. Level III offers the title of Master Trainer. This program covers only level I of the certification with the following structure (Total hours 70):

    • Total classroom hours: 50 hours ( 24 in person & 26 asynchronous learning prior to in-person meeting))
    • Total Student Mentorship Meeting Hours: 10 hours (7 group, 3 individual).
    • Total Client Practicum Hours (Required Prior to Level I Certification): 10 hours*
      • *Coaches offer 10 hours of free coaching to a minimum of two clients (5 coaching sessions each) in exchange for recording of the sessions. Recordings will be used for evaluation of core competencies.
      • *Performance Evaluation: Required Prior to Level I Certification Performance evaluation. Includes evaluation of core competencies, application of coaching principles, and evaluation of coaching sessions.


Application Process: Respond to initial questions on the form and submit a CV. ITTA will inform you of admission acceptance or denial within 15 days of your application. We accept maximum of 15 students per session.


Training workshop host institution: Integrative Trauma Treatment Center
The program is based on a collaborative effort between GEI and the Integrative Trauma Treatment Center. The Integrative Trauma Treatment Center (ITTC) provides trauma treatment to survivors of physical, emotional, and political trauma from a prism of honor, reverence, and optimism. It works from the assumption of inherent goodness, health, and capacity in all people. ITTC practitioners have various specialties in other arenas of mental health in addition to post-traumatic stress. Trauma is their specialty, which increases their ability to address other concerns with sensitivity, compassion, and skill. Medication management, acupuncture/Chinese medicine and massage are offered in conjunction with psychotherapy as an integrative approach to mental health.

Dates and fees


Program Application due Start date End date Fees*
South Africa August 1, 2022 October 2, 2022 October 9, 2022 US $2,890

* Early bird discount (10%) available until May 1, 2022.

* This number doesn’t include the ITTC workshop fee (US $2,300). For this inaugural South Africa program, however, the fee is discounted at US $1,800.


We value full transparency and no hidden costs. As a result, you won’t have any disappointing surprises when you arrive.

Included in your program fees are accommodation (7 nights with breakfast and free WIFI), most meals (all breakfasts as well as 6 lunches and 3 dinners, each with 1 non-alcoholic drink), in-country transportation (including airport transfers), admission to all activities, mineral water on the vehicle, coordination/guiding, and 24/7 emergency support.

It is important that you take note of what is explicitly not included in the program fees. This helps you budget. Not included are the transportation to/from the program location airport (including international airfare and taxes), visas, travel and medical insurance, immunizations, some few meals, extra beverages and alcoholic drinks at the restaurants, potential COVID-19 requirements (such as RT PCR tests, self-isolation, etc), and personal expenses and other extras. Most importantly, the fee for the Trauma Coaching workshop itself is not included and needs to be paid directly to the Integrative Trauma Treatment Center and its education arm, the Integrative Trauma Treatment Academy, here. The regular fee for the workshop is US $2,300. For this inaugural South Africa program, however, the fee is discounted at US $1,800.


Optional post-program extension:

We also offer an optional 3-day post-program extension for those interested to explore Johannesburg’s Soweto township and the Apartheid Museum, as well as go on safari in one of South Africa’s stunning nature reserves, the Pilanesberg Nature Reserve.


Program overview download:
The Program overview – with full itinerary (both main program and optional extension) – can be viewed and downloaded here.

Program leaders

Athena Phillips, LCSW
Founder, Integrative Trauma Treatment Center
Author & Lead Master Trainer, Trauma Coaching
Cailin Human, MBA
GEI Regional Director, Southern Africa
Assistant Trainer, Trauma Coaching




Where are you located?
We are officially incorporated in New York and headquartered in Berlin. Our GEI Regional Study Centers are located in Kigali (Rwanda), Nairobi (Kenya), Cape Town (South Africa) and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam).
Where do you operate programs?
Our study abroad programs generally focus exclusively on our GEI Regional Study Centers in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, and Vietnam. That said, institutional affiliate partners regularly request that we provide their faculty-led and custom programs also in neighboring countries. As such, we have the operational capacity and experience to provide programs across our three regions – in East Africa (Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda), Southern Africa (Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe), and Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam).


Application & credits

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to join your programs?
We welcome applicants from all nationalities in our programs. If you seek academic credits or continuing education credits, please make sure that your home institution will accept the (typically U.S.) credits that we offer. More details about credits can be found on our program pages.
Is a deposit required to apply?
Yes, your application is only complete with the payment of a non-refundable deposit payment of US $510 that goes towards your total program fee.
Is my deposit refundable?
No. Your deposit is not refundable. However, should you not be able to join a program, deposits can be stored for one year and used for another GEI program after discussion with your GEI coordinator. Please contact us immediately if you need to cancel your participation.
Before I apply, is it possible to contact a program leader or an alumnus?
Sure, if you’re still looking for answers, we’ll be happy to connect you with one of our program leaders or alumni.
What kind of CE credits do you offer?
For this program, up to 38 CE hours are available for licensed mental health providers via the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc (NBCC). Please check with your licensing board to confirm they honor CEs issued through the NBCC. (NBCC ACEP number 6912)


Healthy & safety

Do you have a COVID-19 vaccination policy?
Yes. At GEI, we value the health and safety of all members of our worldwide community as paramount. This not only includes program participants, but also staff, instructors, host community partners, and logistics, activity, and excursion partners. We find that it is vital that we try to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 and its variants between and within the communities in which we live and work. It goes without saying that we have strong prevention measures in place. But vaccination is an important additional element of our health and safety strategy in order to significantly increase protection for all members of the GEI community. As a result, we have made it a requirement for all members of our worldwide community who have access to an approved vaccine – especially including all program participants – to be fully vaccinated no later than January 1, 2022. To report your vaccination status, you must provide us a copy of your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, or other acceptable form of proof, by uploading it to your GEI account before the start of your program. If you are receiving a multi-dose vaccine (e.g., Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca), the card or form of written proof should indicate that you have received all required doses at the time to count as “fully vaccinated”. We will only accept exemption or accommodation from the vaccination requirement upon request for documented medical or deeply held religious reasons, or for any reasons protected by your home country’s law. In such a case, please contact us so that we can provide you with a COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption Request Form that you need to complete. We shall review your request for exemption or accommodation, taking into consideration the particulars of the spread of the disease and the conditions of vaccination status of the host location. In any case, we may not be able to accommodate such requests, especially if country laws, policies, and public health regulations supersede our own GEI requirements.
How do you monitor safety and security at your program locations?
The continuous monitoring of safety and security at our program locations has been an intimate part of our daily work since the very beginning of our operations. All of our decisions are made after careful consideration of every resource at our fingertips – our GEI Regional Study Center staff, our diverse in-country institutional partners, contacts in the field, relevant local government and police sources, local diplomatic missions and a variety of news sources. Our program managers subscribe to various countries’ travel warnings and advisories, including those of the U.S. State Department. Resident managers make every reasonable effort to stay informed, and they disseminate updates to GEI staff and program participants about any changes that have implications on local safety, security and health risks. And, when necessary, we take immediate action, including program relocation or evacuation.
What does your response to crises look like?
Over the years of operating in Africa and Asia, we have unfortunately been forced to occasionally deal with diverse crises, ranging from civil unrest, terrorist attacks, politically motivated violence or street crimes to car accidents, public health and medical emergencies and natural disasters. As terrible and sad as every single one of these events has been, they have strengthened our ability to foresee and prevent many potential problems, and to respond swiftly and decisively to any crisis that really hits us. They have also helped us to develop the networks and relationships to those institutions and individuals who can make the difference in the event of an emergency.
Will you provide health insurance?
We include health insurance only as part of our student programs. For our professional programs, participants are required to obtain their own comprehensive health insurance that includes evacuation coverage. If you’d like us to help you procure such an insurance via our regular supplier, please let us know.


Trip arrangements

Do you help with flights?
No. We are not a travel agent and only provide in-country services. Our partners and clients regularly recommend StudentUniverse for affordable international options.
Can I arrive earlier or depart later?
No problem to arrive earlier or depart later. But you will be responsible for covering the added costs. If desirable, please contact us with your travel plans. If we’re able to assist with housing, transportation services, and excursions, we’ll gladly do so. Late arrivals are not permitted, unless previously discussed with GEI.
Do I need a power converter?
Most of the modern electronic devices no longer need power converters. Please check if all your devices can cover the current between 110–230 Volt.
Is there Wi-Fi available?
We typically select hotels and guesthouses where Wi-Fi is relatively reliable, as long as you take into account that you’ll be staying in a developing country where internet speed can be slow and patchy.
Can you accommodate my dietary restrictions?
In the great majority of cases Yes! A lot of the participants we host have dietary restrictions or food allergies. Please make sure to let us know in advance – on your application form – precisely what restriction of allergy you have. We will then try our very best to accommodate for your needs, whether at a hotel or guesthouse or with a host family or serviced apartment.



Does my deposit go towards the full price of the program?
Yes, the deposit counts toward your program balance and will hence be deducted from the final payment.
Is my deposit refundable?
No. Your deposit is not refundable. However, should you not be able to join a program, deposits can be stored for one year and used for another GEI program after discussion with your GEI coordinator. Please contact us immediately if you need to cancel your participation.
How can I finance my experience abroad?
Don’t wait until the last minute to take care of this important point. Various options are possible (scholarships, fellowships, financial aid, grants or loans) and seeking multiple resources, including from friends and family, may be a very good idea.