Association for NPD/Psychopathy Survivor
Treatment, Research & Education

The International Associational Body for
the Narcissistic Abuse Counseling Field

Certificate and Certification in Narcissistic Abuse

The Certificate and Certification training is post-graduate trauma-specific training for treating survivors of pathological relationships known as ‘narcissistic abuse’ by field pioneer Sandra L. Brown, M.A., and the field body Association Board.

Sandra L. Brown, M.A. is referenced as a field pioneer for her earlier books, work, and research that introduced the concept of pathological relationships theory and treatment methodology. As a founding source of theory and treatment, these flagship Certificate and Certification programs teach the originating theory, concepts, and practices for practitioners to refine their application of the principles and trauma-based approaches. And to acquire a comprehensive view of these relationships related to survivors’ unique traumatic stress responses, treatment needs, and specific corresponding methodologies.

Types of Training

Two types of training exist, depending on the needs of therapists. 

Both types of training (Certificate and Certification) require the following:

  • The therapist is licensed in a mental health profession at the master’s degree or higher from an accredited university in a psychology/psychology-related discipline.


Professional Standards

Psychologist: LP, LCP

Marriage and Family: LCMFT, LIMFT, LMFT


Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner: NP

 Psychiatrist: MD

Social Worker: LCSWLCSW-C, LICSW, LISW, LISW-CP, LMSW (Michigan or Nebraska), LMSW-ACP, LSCSW

Psychoanalyst: LP

How Certificates and Certifications Differ

Certificates and Certification contain the same ‘core competency’ training (three specific workshops) taught by The Association Board.

Certificates were created for therapists who already have the required Trauma Certification and do not need that training.

Certifications were created for therapists who do not already have the required Trauma Certification and do need that training and would like it incorporated into the Narcissistic Abuse Certification training.

To differentiate the trainings, the Certificate program (for those with pre-existing Trauma Certification) is called ‘N.A.S.T.’ or ‘Narcissistic Abuse and Survivor Treatment’ The Certification program (for those who take the inclusive package with Trauma Certification in it) is called ‘N.A.T.C.’ or ‘Narcissistic Abuse Treatment Clinician.’ The core competency training for Narcissistic Abuse is the same in both. 

Trauma Certification Training Standards

Students are required to have, or acquire, Trauma Certification as both the Certificate and the Certification is an advanced trauma training course requiring prior trauma training to understand, and institute, the trauma treatment methods. Evergreen Certifications requires the CCTP-Level II training or similar, as what is minimally required. You can read these standards here.

For therapists who need to acquire Trauma Certification and the Narcissistic Abuse courses, the Narcissistic Abuse Certification through PESI, Inc. is an inclusive package that provides both Trauma Certification training and Narcissistic Abuse training in one package. The Narcissistic Abuse portion of the course is taught by the Association board. Use this link: Certification Training in Narcissistic Abuse and Survivor Treatment (

For therapists who already have Trauma Certification and just need the Narcissistic Abuse courses, the Association Certificate program is the same package but without Trauma Certification. The course is taught by the Association board.

For therapists who have already taken some of the course work (from The Association or PESI) and don’t need PESI’s inclusive package and would like to simply add Trauma Certification ‘ala carte,’ the course that is recommended on PESI is this course by Dr. Arielle Schwartz.

**Students should have, or acquire, Trauma Certification BEFORE taking our core competency workshop ‘Treating the Survivor’ which requires Trauma Certification, for that course or any other adjunctive courses offered by The Association in the future. If you are taking PESI’s inclusive package, Trauma Certification is taught first in the package, so you have learned it before going into the Narcissistic Abuse core competency workshops within the package.

Educational Standards

The candidate is required to attain the specialized educational training referenced as ‘core competency workshops’ associated with either the Certificate (which is a minimum of 40 hours of post-graduate topic-specific continuing education courses if you already have Trauma Certification) or the Certification (which is a 50+hours of post-graduate topic-specific continuing education courses if you need Trauma Certification included.)

Both the Certificate and Certification continuing education courses are taught by The Association board and are identical courses although sometimes they are titled slightly different at The Association and at PESI, Inc. (See below).

Topic Specific Core Competency Certificate/Certification Level Courses Required

(These can be taken on the Association website individually or as a package, or on PESI individually or as a package.) 

Courses have been offered individually for those interested in the content but not pursuing Certificate/Certification. (Or for those who took a course and then later decided to pursue credentials and are using an ‘ala carte’ method of acquiring individual courses.)

1. Core Competency Certificate and Certification Course: Workshop 1 (Taken first) 2 days—12 hours.  Offered individually and within course packages at The Association and PESI.    

Title on The Association website and PESI website are the same—

‘Narcissistic/Psychopathic Abuse: The Clinician’s Guide to the New Field of Traumatic Pathological Love Relationships’ (Narcissistic Abuse) Read more and register here CEs available.        

Or at PESI: 2-Day Intensive Training on Narcissistic & Psychopathic Abuse | PESI US

2. Core Competency Certificate and Certification Course: Workshop 2 (Taken second, requires Trauma Certification before taking)—16.5 hours. *If you need Trauma Certification, take the PESI inclusive package. This course is offered individually on The Association website, or in the inclusive package at PESI.

Title on The Association Website- ‘Treating the Survivor of Narcissistic and Psychopathic Abuse: A Clinical Focus on Evidence-Based and Trauma-Informed Treatment Protocols (Advanced) Read more and register here. CEs available. Inclusive package at PESI: Certification Training in Narcissistic Abuse and Survivor Treatment (    

3. Core Competency Certificate Course: Workshop 3 (Taken third) (1 day 7.5 hours) Offered individually on The Association and PESI website or in the inclusive packages at The Association or PESI.

Title on The Association Website—’Therapeutic Legal Aid: Family Court Impact on Survivors of Narcissistic Abuse’ Read more and register here. CEs available

Title at PESI—Narcissistic Abuse: Must-Know Insights to Support Clients in High-Conflict Legal Cases & Custody Narcissistic Abuse: Must-Know Insights to Support Clients in High-Conflict Legal Cases & Custody Battles (

Acquiring Documentation of the Certificate or Certification Completion

  • When the inclusive Certification package (with Trauma Certification) is taken through PESI, Inc., you will have the ability to download your Certificate after your online testing. 
  • If you take the courses through The Association website, you will be given a letter of completion after each course (if taken individually) or the Certificate, if taken as a package.

Once you have completed the Certificate course, you are eligible to be listed in our therapist directory.

Therapist Directory

As the field association, we offer therapists who have completed the Certificate or Certification course (through The Association or PESI) the opportunity to be listed in our Therapist Directory as someone who is certificate or certification trained. This gives survivors the ability to find someone who is a licensed mental health professional, who is trauma-certified, and who holds post-graduate training in narcissistic abuse.

For those who meet the qualifications as listed above, complete the Certificate or Certification course, and submit documentation, you may follow this link to submit your information and materials to qualify for inclusion in the Directory.  

Other Narcissistic Abuse Courses

As the field association for Narcissistic Abuse, and as the field association establishing the Standards of Care and Clinical Practice Guidelines for this field, other courses outside of those created or sanctioned by The Association are not accepted towards certificate credit. For an outside course (including those on PESI that are not part of the courses listed in the Certificate or Certification taught by The Association) to be accepted towards a ‘mix and match’ approach in building a certificate, the course author would need to submit the content to be reviewed by The Association Board for its congruency with theory, and clinical application in treatment. Many popular courses or teachers are not necessarily congruent with foundational principles of originating theory.

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