The Learning Catalog

AWARE Training Certificate: Asian Women’s Action for Resilience and Empowerment

Online Certificates


Young, Asian American women are a diverse population who often traverse two worlds as they navigate the challenges of young adulthood, mainstream American culture, and their parents’ traditional culture.

The Asian Women’s Action for Resilience and Empowerment (AWARE) intervention is an innovative, culturally grounded, holistic group psychotherapy treatment that is designed to treat and prevent mental health problems and health risk behaviors among Asian-American young women. AWARE incorporates a novel trauma-informed psychotherapy approach that is unique to treating women in the Asian-American community.

The AWARE Training Certificate program, developed by Dr. Hyeouk Chris Hahm of Boston University School of Social Work, aims to train social workers, mental health counselors, advisors, and education professionals to support and empower young Asian-American women who may be facing these challenges. Based on extensive research on the mental health of Asian-American women, the curriculum includes a focus on the cultural, familial, and racial factors that need to be taken into consideration in order for this population to access and fully utilize mental health care, so that interventions can be effective.  The curriculum integrates gender and culturally-specific elements, such as enhancing the participants’ understanding of their own identities and common gender roles and preparing practitioners to understand and support Asian American women as they navigate the dynamics of living in an immigrant family and learn methods for coping with discrimination.

AWARE provides a “safe space” for Asian-American women who often deal with culturally specific burdens and mental health problems. AWARE incorporates culturally grounded stressors that were identified from epidemiological research on AA women, and the intervention is founded on an understanding of AA women’s lived experiences.  Hahm et al. identified specific Asian- American parenting styles in research, and we translated those findings into the AWARE intervention: ABCDG (Abusive, Burdening, Culturally-disjointed, Disengaged, Gender prescriptive) parenting is a predictor for suicidal behaviors among AA women. We also address immigrant Asian American family dynamics: high stress, high ambition, low resources, low support. Women develop a sense of empowerment, hope, and coping skills to deal with depression, suicidal ideation, and risky behaviors. Unlike other treatments available to the public, AWARE emphasizes family conflicts, disempowering parenting, and mental health stigma and shame as key factors influencing AA mental health and well- being.

In this unique training, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from Dr. Hahm, and Dr. Aileen Lee of Boston University Student Health Services, as you train to become an AWARE practitioner. This self-paced, online curriculum is comprised of 4 courses that include videos, reading materials, and knowledge checks as you work through the 10-hour program at your own pace. Learn how you can be effective in facilitating sessions and interventions as a certified AWARE practitioner.

After you successfully complete the program, you will receive ten (10) CEs and the AWARE Training Practitioner Certificate.

Overview Video:

Watch this new introductory video here for a complete overview of the course and more detail on the AWARE program.

Learner Feedback:

“This was an excellent, self-paced course. The flow of the topics worked very well. I appreciated the AWARE commitment logs, as this was a perfect example of how to utilize and apply direct intervention skills.”

“I truly enjoyed this course! I found it to be effective with having videos, articles, session check-ins and other forms of learning intertwined.”

Contributing Authors:

Hyeouk Chris Hahm, MSW, PhD, is the Associate Dean for Research and a Professor of Clinical Social Work Practice at Boston University School of Social Work. As the developer of the AWARE Intervention training, Dr. Hahm specializes in Mental Health with a focus on Asian Americans, acculturation, and health risk behaviors.

Dr. Aileen Lee, MA, Psy.D,  is a clinical psychologist with Boston University Student Health Services and a contributing instructor in the AWARE Training Certificate.


AWARE Training Certificate Objectives:

  • Understand the unique and multidimensional challenges that affect the mental health of Asian American women
  • Confidently lead an AWARE group sessions using the provided leader’s guide
  • Empower Asian American women to unlock their full potential and have healthy and productive lives

Course Outline

The AWARE Training Certificate is comprised of 4 courses:

Course 1: AWARE Foundations

  • Describe what AWARE intervention is
  • Describe the basic session format
  • Introduce yourself and the concept of AWARE intervention to your group
  • Clarify expectations and rules of confidentiality during the AWARE intervention

Course 2:  Facilitating the AWARE Intervention: Addressing Cultural and Parental Impacts

  • Describe the ABCDG disempowering parenting style and its impact on Asian American women
  • Examine how those parenting styles have contributed to a sense of empowerment or disempowerment in their lives
  • Describe four different types of traps that Asian American women experience as well as the “double-bind,” that Asian American women often find themselves in
  • Describe the impacts of body image and self-image and how they are shaped by racial microaggressions and societal stereotypes
  • Learn to recognize and acknowledge future race-related experiences and appropriately protect themselves from internalizing the events

Course 3: Facilitating the AWARE Intervention: Addressing Unhealthy Relationship and Substance Use Patterns

  • Facilitate participant sharing and reflection on romantic relationships, unhealthy relationship patterns
  • Facilitate discussion around sex and substance use with the goal to destigmatize this type of discussion
  • Provide resources on how to seek help if they have/are experiencing abuse and/or sexual assault
  • Share techniques for participants to advocate for their own safety and health

Course 4: Facilitating the AWARE Intervention: Moving Forward

  • Guide participants through recognizing their own intrinsic worth
  • Help participants learn how to be compassionate towards themselves
  • Guide participants in reflection on the topics that were covered and how they have grown through the intervention
  • Help participants explore their thoughts and feelings about the treatment coming to an end
  • Help participants create goals to continue their therapeutic journey after AWARE ends

Course Policies

For information about refunds, cancellations, accommodations and to contact us please visit the policies page.

Accessibility Information

All online courses are self-paced and are designed as reading-based and include interactive multimedia components including simulations, video, audio, and discussion boards.

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