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What Careers in Psychology Are Appropriate for Those Wishing to Work with PTSD?

ptsdWhere Will You Find PTSD Sufferers?

If you want to make a difference in the lives of people tormented by their past, you might want to learn more about careers for treating PTSD. Individuals who have suffered traumas of many different types are often diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). This anxiety-related disorder can develop following child abuse, sexual assault, combat, natural disasters and other traumatic events. Currently, a lot of attention has been drawn to veterans with post-traumatic stress following tours of active duty, but people of all ages and many different life experiences need help managing the frightening symptoms of PTSD. How can you help?

You encounter people suffering from PTSD every day, whether or not you know it. Because the anxiety from severe trauma can emerge at any time, police officers, EMTs and other first responders are being increasingly trained to help those suffering from PTSD. In the field of psychology, you are likely to encounter PTSD sufferers in in-patient settings as well as in counselor’s or psychiatrist’s offices.

What Careers Help PTSD Sufferers?

Naturally, a career as a first responder will put you in touch with people suffering from post-traumatic stress. However, if you want to treat PTSD as a counselor or other mental health professional, you should follow a more traditional career path in psychology or counseling. Those who work to find treatments for post-traumatic stress include:

  • Counseling psychologists
  • School counselors
  • Research psychologists
  • Licensed counseling social workers
  • Psychiatrists

What Type of Degree Can Be Used to Help PTSD Sufferers?

Unless you plan to work in the medical field or as a first responder, you will need an advanced degree to work in careers for treating PTSD. Most school counselors and counseling social workers only have master’s degrees while most counseling psychologists hold doctorates. Psychiatrists are medical doctors and often complete post-doctorate studies or participate in research projects. If you wish to help alleviate the problems of those with PTSD through research psychology, you may be able to begin your work in the field while completing the coursework for your master’s degree and then continue your research through your doctoral studies and beyond.

How Can You Help Today?

Although treatment for PTSD requires help from individuals with advanced degrees, you can help today by raising awareness or volunteering with programs that exist to help survivors. Programs like MOCSA rely on lay volunteers to help spread the word about recovery following sexual assault. The Wounded Warrior Project needs volunteers to help support war veterans with a variety of wartime injuries, including post-traumatic stress. You can also find places to help in your own community through organizations that reach out to children and families.

People who care can do powerful good. If you want to show how much you care through careers for treating PTSD, you’ll need to spend a lot of time studying and learning. Now that you know more about these careers, do you think this job field is right for you?