Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that effects survivors of severe emotional or physical traumas, resulting in symptoms, such as nightmares, panic attacks or other anxiety-related problems. Some professionals specialize in PTSD treatment, but even general counselors may occasionally work with patients who suffer would benefit from PTSD education. Mental healthcare students or professionals can receive PTSD education in a number of ways, such as through internships or continuing education courses.
Like other mental illnesses, PTSD can cause physical, psychological and social problems, and different types of treatment or a combination of treatments are often necessary to address all of the symptoms. People in a variety of fields including medicine, psychology, psychiatry and social work may diagnose or treat patients with PTSD. The field of study will determine exactly what will be included in PTSD education.
Doctors and psychiatrists will concentrate on learning about the physiological and chemical changes that take place in the body as a result of this condition as well as what medications can help with its symptoms. Psychologists and counselors may receive training in cognitive-behavioral or other counseling strategies that work well for patients suffering from PTSD. Social workers, on the other hand, may learn to help trauma victims re-integrate into society.
Some PTSD education takes place before the professionals complete requirements for their jobs, such as during college or medical school. Many professional degrees require internships, which may specialize in treating patients with PTSD. Someone working on a degree in counseling, for instance, might work as an intern in a clinic that treats PTSD.
Other training in PTSD can come through continuing education classes. Many professionals are required to complete a certain number of hours of training each year in order to keep their license or certification up-to-date. Online classes, seminars or workshops on treating PTSD can often fulfill these requirements. These courses are geared toward helping professionals broaden their skills in treating a variety of patients, even if PTSD is not their specialty.
In the US in the early 21st century, some PTSD education was available through the government for those working in veteran's affairs. Military personnel returning from overseas conflicts resulted in an upsurge in diagnosed cases of PTSD, which the government found necessary to address. This training was similar to that of non-government training companies, but specialized in addressing the needs of those returning from war.