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Professional Addiction Studies

Building holistic skills for health professionals.

Program is offered entirely online!

ADD 209 - Trauma-Informed Care in Addiction- Fall 2021

Academic Credit Value:
3 units
Course Delivery Mode:
Hours of Study:
42 hours
Course Prerequisite(s):
Admission to Professional Addiction Studies Program
Course Anti-requisite(s):
Instructor Name:
Van Vu
Course Dates:
09/13/2021 - 11/21/2021

Required Course Materials:
All required materials are included in Avenue2Learn.
Optional Course Materials:
Course Description:
This course provides students with the opportunity to develop knowledge about the impact of trauma and implications for treatment of individuals who use substances and or engage in other compulsive behaviours. Students will explore trauma informed practices that are being used in screening, assessment and treatment of individuals. Given the potential for vicarious trauma, the development of a well thought out personal and professional self-care plan will be a focus of this course.
Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, students will:
1. Define and distinguish the various forms of trauma including a review of common stress reactions
2. Examine the neurobiology of trauma and responses to trauma
3. Recognize the relationship between trauma, substance use, other compulsive behaviours and the effect on the individual
4. Review current best practices that utilize a trauma informed lens and its application to the treatment  process
5. Identify attachment styles and implications for development of a therapeutic relationship and client-centered treatment
6. Develop skills to support stabilization in treatment and examine post traumatic growth
7. Identify the impact of trauma focused work on counsellors; also known as vicarious trauma, and develop a self-care plan
Course Evaluation
The final grade is calculated based on the following components:
Discussions (15%)
Assignment 1: Trauma and Addiction (25%)
Assignment 2: Agency Scan (20%)
Assignment 3: Trauma-Informed Treatment Services (10%)
Assignment 4: Stabilization and PTG (25%)
Assignment 5: Vicarious Trauma and Self-Care (5%)
Course Format:
This course is designed to present the fundamental concepts and theories in Trauma and Addiction and promote the application to the workplace and professional practice. Course activities will include instructor presentations, required readings and experiential learning activities (i.e. case studies, group discussions, projects, etc.).
Assignment Submission:
Course assignments are submitted to the appropriate A2L Assignment folder by the specified due date
Late Coursework:
Late assignments will be subject to a 2% per day late penalty (includes weekends and holidays) for up to seven (7) days. After this date, no assignments will be accepted and a grade of zero (0) will be applied. Extensions for course work must be approved by the instructor before the due date (see Academic Regulations below), and will be granted for illness or emergencies only. Students may be asked to submit supporting documentation for an extension request. 

Policy & Procedures:

Academic Regulations (Attendance, Coursework, Tests/Exams):
In accordance to McMaster University’s General Academic Regulations, “it is imperative that students make every effort to meet the originally scheduled course requirements and it is a student’s responsibility to write examinations as scheduled.” Therefore, all students are expected to attend and complete the specific course requirements (i.e. attendance, assignments, and tests/exams) listed in the course outline on or by the date specified. Students who need to arrange for coursework accommodation, as a result of medical, personal or family reasons, must contact the course instructor within 48 hours of the originally scheduled due date. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Program Manager to discuss accommodations and procedures related to deferred tests and/or examinations within 48 hoursof the originally scheduled test/exam, as per policy. Failure to contact the course instructor, in the case of missed coursework, or the Program Manager, in thecase of a missed test/examination, within the specified 48-hour window will result in a grade of zero (0) on the coursework/exam and no further consideration will be granted.

*Note: Supporting documentation will be required but will not ensure approval of accommodation(s).
Academic Integrity
You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
Improper collaboration in-group work.
Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Academic Accommodations:
Students with disabilities who require academic accommodations must contact the Student Accessibility Centre (SAS) to meet with an appropriate Disability Services Coordinator. To contact SAS, phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652, or email For further information, consult McMaster University’s Policy for Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities.
On-line Elements:
In this course, we will be using on-line elements, which may include email, Avenue to Learn, WebEX, and external web sites.  Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.
In this course, we will be using a web-based service ( to reveal plagiarism. Students will be expected to submit their work electronically to and in hard copy so that it can be checked for academic dishonesty. Students who do not wish to submit their work to must still submit a copy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, etc.). To see the Policy, please go to McMaster Academic Integrity Policy.
Course Changes:
The instructor reserves the right to modify elements of the course and will notify students accordingly.
Course Withdrawal Policy:
Policies related to dropping a course and course withdrawals are posted to the Centre for Continuing Education’s program webpage, FAQs & Policies (
Storm Closure Policy:

In the event of inclement weather, the Centre for Continuing Education will abide by the University’s Storm Closure Policy:, and will only close if the University is closed.  All in-class courses, exams and room bookings by internal and external clients will be cancelled if the Centre for Continuing Education is closed.  On-line courses will take place as scheduled.

Grading Scale:


Equivalent Grade Point

Equivalent Percentages








































Course Schedule:

Module Topics


1 - The Implications of Trauma Knowledge in Addiction Work

Discussion 1

2 - The Face of Trauma

Assignment 1 – Part I

3 - Trauma and the Brain

Assignment 1 – Part II

4 - Trauma and Addiction Treatment

Assignment 1:
Trauma and Addiction
Parts I, II, III

5 – Trauma-Informed Care

Assignment 2:
Agency Scan

6 - Trauma Specific Services

Assignment 3:
Trauma-Informed Treatment Services

7 - The Healing Process and The Therapeutic Relationship

Discussion 2

8 - Stabilization in Treatment

Discussion 3

9 – Post-Traumatic Growth

Assignment 4:
Stabilization and PTG

10 - Vicarious Trauma and Self-Care

Assignment 5:
Vicarious Trauma and Self-Care