Certificate training programs for the treatment of PTSD may be quite different, depending upon the institution. Generally, students are taught assessment, diagnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy treatment methods. They will gain the skills necessary to assist patients who have experienced stressors such as military combat, abuse or assault, an automobile accident or a natural disaster. Graduate-level psychology programs may offer certificates in conjunction with the degree program. Applicants must have a master's degree and a current license as a mental health care practitioner. Program length varies from one intensive weekend to 18 months. Students must complete hands-on training with patients before graduating. Clinical training elements incorporate classroom lectures and seminars.
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Graduate Certificate in PTSD Counseling
Elements of PTSD counseling programs may be specific to various types of cognitive behavioral training therapy. Depending upon the program's emphasis, specific course topics may include:
- Trauma counseling
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing
- Etiology and assessment of PTSD
- Assessment and treatment of sleep disturbance
- Traumatic brain injury
- Assessment and treatment of deployment-related depression
Career Outlook and Salary Info
The employment rate for mental health counselors was expected to rise 19% between 2014 and 2024, according to data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As of May 2015, mental health counselors earned a median wage of $43,190 (www.bls.gov).
All licensed mental health counselors, social workers and physicians are required to complete continuing education hours. Additionally, many counselors pursue doctoral degrees. The exception is the field of social work, where a master's degree is generally considered the terminal degree.
Certification options are also available through the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. Areas of specialization include sexual abuse, domestic violence, bereavement and acute trauma stress management. The programs require completion of an application and examination in the specialty area.
Graduates of a PTSD counseling certificate program are prepared to work with patients suffering from an anxiety disorder resulting from overwhelmingly stressful events. Subjects students learn about include desensitization, depression in specific populations and sleep interruption treatment.