The Traumatology Institute was founded in 1996 in Tallahassee, Florida at Florida State University's College of Social Work with three main functions: Certification, Training, and Research. In 1998 The FSU Traumatology Institute established its Training and Certification Program in 1998 (Figley, 2003). The Program was originally established as the "Green Cross Registered Traumatologist" in response to the Oklahoma City bombing in April of 1995 (Figley, 2004). The Program and Green Cross humanitarian organization was in response to a needs assessment among Oklahoma professionals. Rather than needing more outside experts on trauma, these mental health professionals in Oklahoma needed training and certification in traumatology practice. As an indication of its excellence the Florida State University Traumatology Institute was named Outstanding Program Award for 2000 by the University Continuing Education Association at its UCEA 's 85th Annual Conference, April 18, 2000 in San Diego. In 2003 the certification program and the accreditation of training programs was acquired by the Academy of Traumatology, along with the Green Cross Assistance Program. At the same time, the Institute retains its research and development functions and continues to support the Academy.

Since 2003 the Institute has engaged in a variety of activities associated with understanding and helping the traumatized. Since 2004 the research program has included focusing on resilience and resiliency, starting with a longitudinal study of undergraduate students. The study tested the resiliency as trait hypothesis. The results were presented nationally and internationally and has been submitted for publication. Another program of research in Kuwait (see Al Naser, Ridha, & Figley, 2005) is investigating the phenomenon of "al raha." It is Arabic for "personal comfort" or well being. After developing a measure that was indigenous to the culture of Kuwait (Ridha, Al Naser, & Figley, 2008) the research team completed a national survey of household randomly selected from census data. The initial findings were presented at an international conference in Kuwait in May, 2007 and at the American Psychological Association in August, 2007. 

In 2008 the Institute moved to Tulane University in New Orleans for the purpose of continuing the vision of the Institute in the process of helping New Orleans heal from the 2005 Hurricane Katrina including the failure of the US Levee System that was to protect New Orleans from flooding.
Until 2011 the Institute served asas the as the home to the international journal, Traumatology, published by the American Psychological Association. It continues to serve as the home of the Routledge Book Series in Psychosocial Stress, the leading book series in the field.

Figley, C. (2004). From Necessity to Reality: The History, Philosophy, and Programs of the Green Cross FoundationTraumatology, 10:1, 55-56.
Figley, C. R. (2003). Fishing Lessons for Treating the Traumatized:  History of the Traumatology Certification Program. Traumatology, 9:4, 187-192.