Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2023

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Counseling


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Aaron Suomala Folkerds


IDD, PTSD, Counselor Training



Individuals with intellectual developmental disorder (IDD), also called intellectual disability, have received little attention when it comes to counseling research. Though there has been a push for increasing amounts of multicultural counseling within the field in recent years, this demographic has not been examined with very much scrutiny. This is especially true when considering individuals who have a diagnosis of IDD alongside a diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), despite a high prevalence of co-occurring disorders of IDD and PTSD. The purpose of the proceeding literature is to provide a training program that can be utilized by counseling professionals to learn the terms and skills necessary to provide adequate care to this niche demographic. A literature review will cover three key points. First, to consider the effective treatment modalities that are available when working with this specific population. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and adapted versions of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy have been shown to be the most efficacious. Second, to consider the current state of assessment when working with this specific population; and finally, to consider the role of the counselor-client relationship when working with this demographic. This will then be followed by a training module that is based around the information developed within the literature review to highlight important areas of training alongside gaps in current research. This training will include an introduction to EMDR and CBT, adaptations for working with this population, best treatment approaches, the importance of the therapeutic relationship, and a case study. Finally, there will be an exit evaluation to both encourage trainees to reflect on what they have learned alongside areas in which this training could be improved (Cooney et. al., 2018; Khan, et. al., 2021; Birk et. al., 2019; Karatzias et. al., 2019; Smith et. al., 2021; Fernando and Medicott, 2009).

Keywords: IDD, PTSD, Counselor Training



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