Being faced with the prospect of finding a PTSD therapist can be daunting. There are a few things to consider that can be of assistance in the process to help you move towards healing faster.
To start, there are different levels of PTSD therapists. There are clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, master level psychologists, and psychiatrists. Psychiatrists are the only ones listed here who can prescribe medication (at the current time). However, not everyone undergoing treatment for PTSD requires medication. Often people will utilize the help of a psychiatrist in conjunction with one of the other PTSD therapists. The other three types of PTSD therapists mentioned can be licensed (by state), so in your search you should inquire about the licensure status of a therapist with whom you would like to work with.
As with any type of therapy, finances and insurance issues come into play in finding a PTSD therapist. You can often look at the list of providers your insurance covers. Some companies will include areas each therapist works within (e.g., adults, depression, couples). If they do, look for PTSD or “trauma”. If you do not have insurance, or a comprehensive plan that covers a wide range of therapists, and you live near a university contact the Psychology Department. If they have a graduate program they are likely to have a clinic for psychologists in training (often on a sliding scale). Sometimes there are faculty that specialize in PTSD and they may supervise graduate students in clinical work. If not, the clinic would likely be in a great position to recommend a PTSD therapist in the community. Further if you are looking for a PTSD therapist and you are a veteran you should contact a VA Medical Center or a Vet Center (Vet Centers also provide free therapy for family members of veterans).