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IV Course on Psychotraumatology of the Trauma Observatory
 2021 – 2022


In recent years, professionals from different areas have shown significant interest in the area of Psychotraumatology. In fact, natural disasters and the increasingly frequent climatic disasters, road accidents and generalized situations of violence are present in the daily life of present-day societies, constituting potentially traumatic events and placing the concept of trauma at the core of modern psychopathology. In addition, the pandemic experience we have been living through has made the need to mobilize communities as active partners in the prevention and elaboration of responses to crises glaring.
This highlights the need to promote, within a context of interdisciplinary dialogue, knowledge about prevention and intervention in psychological trauma in situations of crisis, disaster or catastrophe.
In this sense, the Trauma Observatory of the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, as a Member Society of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS), will begin the IV Training Course in Psychotraumatology with access to the European Certificate of Psychotraumatology, validated by ESTSS.



1. Provide trainees with theoretical and practical knowledge in psychological trauma, notably in post-crisis trauma, disaster or catastrophe;
2. Promote, in the area of psychological trauma, common terminologies and practices, based on scientific evidence;
3. Disseminate information on prevention and intervention in psychological trauma, in line with internationally recognized criteria;
4. Facilitate access and knowledge sharing with international networks of intervention in Psychotraumatology;
5. To take advantage of the reach of the online format, disseminate training in Psychotraumatology and attract students in several Portuguese-speaking countries (Brazil, Mozambique, ...);
6. Conciliate the training obtained, with the curricular data necessary for both the General Certificate in Psychotraumatology, validated by ESTSS.



Target audience:

• Professionals and students from different areas of Health and Social Sciences;
• Other professionals acting in potentially traumatic situations (emergency team members, military personnel, first-aid workers, members of the security forces, journalists, etc.). 
Minimum criteria for selection:
• Higher Education, 1st Cycle of Bologna Program or equivalent.
• Bachelor's degree finalist students in the referred areas, adjacent or related to psychological trauma.



Curse Structure:

• The IV Training Course in Psychotraumatology will consist, in general, of 10 periodic modules (workshops), organized into 15 sessions, which will be held every two weeks, mostly online, with the first and last session being held in a mixed format;
• This edition of the course will start on 30 October 2021;
• The modules are scored with fixed credits and subject to compulsory assessment;
• Each training day will consist of two sessions of one and a half hours each. Each class will be followed by a moment of clarification of doubts and debate;
• If necessary, each assessment moment will be preceded by a discussion/clarification session.

Criteria for Certification:

• Participants of the Training Course in Psychotraumatology wishing to apply for the ESTSS European Certificate in Psychotraumatology are required to be an ESTSS member. Trauma Centre associates are, by default, ESTSS members.
• Participants who are not yet Trauma Observatory associates must sign up by completing an online form available at the Trauma Observatory website: or at the workshop(s)’ registration form.
• Each module will have a mandatory assessment through a questionnaire of 10 multiple-choice questions. The questionnaire will be made available by the Trauma Observatory, which will communicate to the ESTSS the results obtained by each candidate. ESTSS is responsible for recording the accumulated credit and for assigning the Certificate.





1. Trauma: different perspectives, the same concept?
(14 points)

• October 30, 2021 – Part I

Contents: The construction of the concept of Psychotraumatology. Different conceptual readings of psychological trauma in the humanities and psychological sciences. Sociocultural factors in psychological trauma.

Speakers: António de Sousa Ribeiro (Emeritus professor of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra; Director of the Centre for Social Studies (CES) of the University of Coimbra); Evaldas Kazlauskas (Professor of Clinical Psychology and Psychotraumatology; President of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS)); Luísa Sales (Psychiatrist; Coordinator of Trauma Observatory/CES); Paula Coutinho (Intensivist doctor at in Intensive Care Medicine at the Hospital and University Center of Coimbra (CHUC)).

• November 13, 2021 – Part II

Contents: Different concept readings of psychological trauma in medicine and in the development of psychotherapeutic theories.

Speakers: António de Sousa Ribeiro (Emeritus professor; Diretor of CES); Jorge Câmara (Psychiatrist; Psychoanalyst at SPP); Luísa Branco Vicente (Psychiatrist; President of SPP).

2. Brain, memory and trauma: neurobiology of trauma
(7,5 points)

• November 27, 2021

Contents: Neurophysiology and neuroendocrinology of psychological trauma. The role of the immune system in the association between health/illness and traumatic experience.

Speakers: Albino Oliveira-Maia (Psychiatrist, Researcher and Director of the Neuropsychiatry Unit of the Champalimaud Clinical Centre); Margarida Figueiredo-Braga (Psychiatrist and Assistant Professor at FMUP).

3. Trauma: normal and pathological reactions and preventive therapeutic strategies
(14 points)

• December 11, 2021 – Part I

Contents: Trauma: normal and pathological manifestations. Differential diagnoses. Complex trauma.

Speakers: Ana Araújo (Psychiatrist, Coordinator of the Leiria Norte Community Psychiatry and Mental Health Team; Coordinator of the Mental Health Intervention - Pedrogão, 2017); Joana P. Becker (Psychotherapist; Researcher at OT/CES; Professor at FPCE, University of Coimbra).

• December 18, 2021 – Part II

Contents: Introductions to preventive and therapeutic strategies in psychological trauma. Cognitive-behavioral approaches. Virtual reality. EMDR. Psychodrama. Psychodynamic therapies.

Speakers: Guida Manuel (Psychologist, EMDR Therapist and President of EMDR Association Portugal); Luísa Sales (Psychiatrist, Coordinator of the Trauma Observatory/CES); Luíz Gamito (Psychiatrist, former President of the board of the College of Psychiatry of the Portuguese Medical Association); Maria Cristina Canavarro (Full Professor FPCEUC; Responsible for the Psychological Intervention Unit of the Maternity Dr. Daniel de Matos, of CHUC-EPE); Rui Aragão Oliveira (Psychoanalyst; President of the Teaching Commission of SPP).


5. Early intervention and psychological first-aid
(7,5 points)

• January 8, 2022

Contents: Early intervention in crisis, disaster and catastrophe situations - appropriate preventive and interventional strategies. Psychological first aid and vulnerability factors.

Speakers: Susana Gouveia (Psychologist specialist in Work, Social and Organizational Psychology and Community Psychology).


4. Views on specific populations
(14 points)

• January 22, 2022 – Part I

Contents: Approaches to specific populations: military and security forces, people with serious conditions/hospital experiences (COVID) and gender minorities.

Speakers: Graça Santos (Psychiatrist); Lúcia Monteiro (Director of the Psychiatry Unit of the Support Care and Psychosocial Oncology Department of the Portuguese Oncology Institute of Lisbon); Major Nuno Ribeiro (Head of the Army's Centre for Psychological Support and Intervention).

• February 5, 2022 – Part II

Contents: Approaches to specific populations: children and adolescents, refugees, rescue forces and victims of domestic violence.

Speakers: Ângela da Costa Maia (Psychologist, Lecturer at the Department of Applied Psychology, School of Psychology, University of Minho); Celina Manita (Associate Professor and Director of GEAV - Gabinete de Estudos e Atendimento a Aggressores e Vítimas - FPCEUP); Rafaela Lopes (Clinical and Health Psychologist); Rosario Suarez (Coordinator of the Mental Health Office, Jesuit Refugee Service).

6. Disaster management and intervention in communities at risk
(14 points)

• February 19, 2022 – Part I

Contents: Disaster management and intervention in communities at risk (cont.). Major incident management approaches. National and international guidelines.

Speakers: Manuel Velloso (Chief Coordinator National Association of Sanitary Formations - ANAFS).

• March 5, 2022 – Part II

Contents: Post-disaster psychosocial assistance plans. Role of the various stakeholders in the short, medium and long term post-disaster.

Speakers: Inês Ribeiro (National Coordinator for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support at the Portuguese Red Cross / Specialist in Clinical and Health Psychology); Sandra de Azevedo Tavares (Clinical Psychologist); Sofia Caetano (Expert Psychiatrist at the GMLF Dão-Lafões and Beira Interior Norte); Sónia Cunha (Psychologist at CAPIC-INEM).

7. Trauma, loss and bereavement
(7,5 points)

• May 7, 2022

Contents: Multiple interdisciplinary perspectives of trauma and aftermath. Support associations.

Speakers: Alexandra Pedruco (Psychotherapist; Family Therapist; (EIHSCPP) from Coimbra Pediatric Hospital); José Carlos Rocha (Clinical Psychologist and University Professor); Margarida Gaspar de Matos (Full Professor at the Institute of Environmental Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon).

8. The trauma of professionals
(14 points)

• April 2, 2022 – Part I

Contents: Trauma and journalism session. The media as first responders. The impact of news media.

Speakers: Ana Luísa Rodrigues (Journalist, Master in Social Sciences); Daniela Santiago (Journalist, Specialist in Journalism, Master in Communication, Culture and Information Technologies); Diana Andringa (Journalist, Associate Researcher - Trauma Observatory/CES).

• April 9, 2022 – Part II

Contents: Personal growth, burnout, secondary trauma and practical techniques.

Speakers: Margarida Figueiredo-Braga (Psychiatrist, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Porto, Researcher at I3S - Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde and Researcher-collaborator at OT/CES); Zita de Sousa (Clinical Psychotherapist, Visiting Assistant Professor at the Polytechnic of Porto).

9. Forensic aspects of trauma
(7,5 points)

• April 23, 2022

Contents: Forensic expertise in psychological trauma. Civil and criminal law and the (ir)relevance of trauma. Induced memories/false memories.

Speakers: Ana Luísa Afonso (State Prosecutor); Fernando Almeida (Psychiatrist and University Professor at the University of Maia; Hospital Lusíadas-Porto; i3S; Invited Professor at FMUP and ICBAS); João Pedroso (Assistant Professor of the Faculty of Economics and investigator at the CES of the University of Coimbra); Marta Ávila (Lawyer).

10. Traumatic experiences seen in the light of different cultural approaches

• Date to be annunced 

No evaluation.

Contents: The reality of psychological trauma prevention and intervention in Portuguese-speaking countries. The perspective of the Global Collaboration on Traumatic Stress.


This programme comprises a total of 60 hours and 100 points.