Clinical Psychology Graduate Programs - PTSD Specialization

There are many graduate programs that offer a specialization in trauma studies for professionals serving clients in the mental health field. Below you will find information on different types of programs that are available to students from all over the country. This article can help you make an informed decision about what educational path you wish to take. Schools offering Clinical Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Graduate Degrees in Clinical Psychology with a Focus in Trauma Studies

When continuing your education towards a clinical psychology degree, you might decide to specialize in a specific area, such as trauma studies. Clinical psychologists who specialize in trauma studies work with individuals who have post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of enduring a traumatic experience.

Knowing how much previous schooling you have and what direction you want to take your career in will help choose which degree program is right for you. You might want to take a master's in clinical psychology before beginning a doctorate so that you're better prepared for advanced programs. Here is a bit about each type of graduate degree in clinical psychology with a specialty in PTSD, sometimes known as trauma studies.

Master's Degree Programs in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Trauma Counseling

You can earn a license as a mental health counselor specializing in trauma with a master's degree in clinical psychology. Most master's degrees take 2-3 years to complete. When applying, make sure you have ready: 3 letters of recommendation, a resume as well as curriculum vitae, your GRE scores, an entrance essay, and any prior academic transcripts. You should also prepare for a potential interview. As a mental health counselor, you may wish to work in a school setting with troubled youth, at a substance abuse rehabilitation center, or with military veterans, as all of these populations can have complex histories with PTSD.

Expected coursework may cover the following:

  • Treatment and assessment of children with PTSD
  • Treatment and assessment of adults with PTSD
  • Treatment and assessment of adolescents with PTSD
  • Intervention strategies
  • Professional counseling strategies for clinical settings
  • Exploring different types of trauma
  • Psychopathology
  • Internships

PhD Degrees in Clinical Psychology with a Focus in Trauma Studies

Advanced careers in clinical psychology often involve a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) or PsyD (Doctor of Psychology). PhD programs that specialize in clinical psychotherapy counseling for patients who have experienced trauma are for students who wish to pursue careers as researchers, private psychotherapists, or postsecondary psychology teachers. PhD programs typically last 6-7 years and require GRE scores, academic transcripts, a personal statement, letters of recommendation, either a resume or CV, and specific skills like writing and research.

Expected coursework covers the following topics:

  • Assessment strategies
  • Treatment methods
  • Diagnostic methods
  • Psychological theory
  • Methods of psychotherapy
  • Research methods (statistics, data analysis, research design)
  • Internship
  • Research projects fellowships
  • Practicum
  • Dissertation

PsyD Degrees with an Emphasis in Trauma Studies

If you desire to work as a psychologist in a clinical setting, such as school rehabilitation centers or mental health organizations, a PsyD program can help you prepare for your career. Expect to have all academic transcripts and GRE scores ready before applying, in addition to letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal statement. These programs generally take 4-6 years and prepare you to work with different age groups in the field of trauma studies.

Coursework to expect in these programs may include the following:

  • Trauma intervention strategies
  • Professional practice skills
  • Psychological theory
  • Psychopathology
  • Diagnostic research methods
  • Clinical perspectives on mental health, trauma focus
  • Treatment, assessment, and diagnostic skills
  • Research projects
  • Internship
  • Practicum

Graduate Certificates in Trauma Studies

Graduate certificates with a specialized focus are a great option for busy professionals who are already licensed mental health counselors, social workers, and psychologists. Any professional who wants to explore specific areas of mental health, such as trauma studies, can benefit from taking a graduate certificate course, and there is even the option of taking courses online for some programs. These programs generally take a year or less to complete, which saves a lot of time and money. For admission, make sure you have all transcripts ready, as well as your resume. You will want to supply letters of recommendation, and most schools request a personal statement of interest in your field of study.

Expected coursework in certificate programs in trauma studies may cover:

  • Intervention strategies
  • Psychological theory
  • Approaches to different types of trauma
  • Childhood trauma
  • Adolescent trauma
  • Sociocultural perspectives on trauma

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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