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Tips for Preventing Anxiety in Children

18 Aug

Course excerpt from Anxiety in Children –

Anxiety in ChildrenAccording to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (2017), it is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children. Research shows that untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk of performing poorly in school, missing out on important social experiences, and engaging in substance abuse. One in five children with an anxiety disorder is not diagnosed. Anxiety disorders untreated in childhood can continue well into adulthood.

Children with language and communication disorders are especially susceptible to anxiety because they are struggling academically and often compare themselves with their peers. They might feel stupid, lazy, and overlooked by their peers. They often don’t have the language skills they need to express their anxiety and often have issues with school as a result of it.

What Can Professionals and Parents Do to Prevent Childhood Anxiety?

Certainly, the best way to reduce the incidence and severity of anxiety disorders in children is to take steps to prevent its occurrence in the first place. As noted above, one of the causes of anxiety in children is anxiety in their parents. If the parents can learn to manage their own anxiety, they can help prevent – or at least manage – anxiety in their children.

Here are a few tips and strategies that can be incorporated into therapy sessions for the purpose of preventing and managing anxiety in children:

Remember that Positive Language is Important

Advise parents to check how often they are saying “be careful” to their children. Instead, they recommend saying, “Think a few steps ahead” or “Use your head and have fun!” As clinicians, we can do this as well. It is important for adults to let children know that they are valued and liked regardless of their behavior. Adults can discipline a child and work to improve the child’s behavior while still sending the message of unconditional positive regard.

Foster Resilience and Self-Efficacy

Helping professionals can find ways to foster resilience in children. A resilient child feels that he can positively influence the environment in which he lives. Known as self-efficacy, this can be nurtured by finding ways to foster a child’s independence and autonomy. Children need these life skills to develop into independent and productive members of society. But this generation’s youth are protected more than in previous eras, and rightly so, since many neighborhoods are not conducive to children playing outside or walking to the corner store alone. However, the result of this protective climate has deprived children of opportunities to learn basic life skills.

Adults need to find ways to foster a sense of true mastery in children. When we teach life skills, we are sending the message “you can do this,” “you are capable,” and “you will be an active and productive member of society one day.” According to Flasher and Fogle (2012), “The ability to be encouraging may be one of the most important qualities of clinicians.”

Give Choices

Giving children choices hands some control over to the child without compromising the adult’s authority—a win/win situation. Implicit in the choice is the fact that the child needs to fulfill the task but gets to choose how it will be accomplished. Giving choices diffuses conflict and lets children assert their independence in a healthy way. It exercises their brains by making them think and solve problems. It is an extremely effective technique to use with independent and defiant children and toddlers.

Click here to learn more.

Anxiety in Children is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that focuses on behavioral interventions for children with anxiety disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (2017), it is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children, but is often not diagnosed. Untreated anxiety can lead to substance abuse, difficulties in school, and depression. Professionals who work with children, including speech language pathologists, mental health professionals, and occupational therapists, frequently encounter anxiety disorders among their young clients. This course is intended to help clinicians recognize and understand the anxiety disorders that frequently occur in children and learn a wide variety of communication and behavioral strategies for helping their clients manage their anxiety. Included are sections on types and causes of anxiety disorders, strategies for prevention, evidence-based treatments, techniques for helping children manage worry, relaxation techniques for use with children, and detailed discussions on school anxiety and social anxiety. Course #40-43 | 2017 | 69 pages | 25 posttest questions


This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion.

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA Provider #AAUM); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501) and the Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

 

Ghosting May Create Ethics Issue

17 Aug

Course excerpt from Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips 8

In June, 2015, The New York Times published a story highlighting Charlize Theron’s decision to dump Sean Penn by suddenly refusing to respond to his texts. This widely shared article drew attention to the disappearing act known as “ghosting,” which also surfaces as a frequent topic in psychotherapy.

Rejection is painful, no matter how you slice it. The digital age has made it easy to reject someone without engaging in a direct conversation. This passive-aggressive strategy leaves jilted individuals longing for information and wondering what went wrong.

ghosting therapistIn addition to its role in terminating relationships, ghosting is also an unfortunate strategy for ending therapy. While not the norm, ghosting a therapist is an under-discussed phenomenon. Most, if not all, clinicians have experienced a client who calls to cancel a session, states intent to reschedule and then disappears. Equally unfortunate is the client who does not show up for a session, does not respond to attempts to follow up and is never heard from again.

It is much easier to ghost a therapist than it is to ghost a suitor.

Therapists are usually trained and ethically obligated to follow up once or twice, but anything more can constitute a violation of the client’s privacy. Most professions in the psychotherapy field have some ethical guideline stating the professional’s obligation to know who is currently in therapy and who has ended. Clinicians should consider difficult questions, such as whether a client is still in therapy if he or she does not show up for a session, does not return a clinician’s follow-up call and then weeks later causes life-threatening harm for himself or herself or another person.

To this end, it is ethically prudent for therapists to request that clients sign a “termination agreement” when the clinical relationship begins. Without such an agreement, therapists can unknowingly continue certain ethical responsibilities to clients long after the therapist has been ghosted. The agreement I use with clients explains: “Clients who have not had a session in over 30 days (or within a mutually agreed upon time) will be considered inactive…. It is always preferable to have a final session before ending therapy in order to review and evaluate the sessions and assess overall progress. Please be fully assured that anyone wishing to return to active therapy can do so by contacting me to make arrangements to resume the therapeutic relationship.”

In concert with this ethical principle, I emphasize the importance of goodbyes and let clients know that I will respect decisions to end therapy. I make a deliberate effort to understand the urge to end without saying goodbye, and I encourage clients to schedule a final session to evaluate our work before they terminate. It was not until I read about it in The New York Times that I learned the term ghosting – and I’m glad to discover that such a suitable term for this troubling phenomenon has entered the public lexicon.

Interestingly, when clients open up about how much it hurts to be ghosted, they can often recall several stories in which they have ghosted others. Many times, they don’t realize that they have ghosted others until I ask. Even more relevant, such experiences often relate to primary formative relationships. These earlier experiences are usually more meaningful and worthy of exploration than trying to over-analyze the motivations of a random “match” on Tinder who seemed great until he or she became a ghost.

Our society shies away from endings. They are awkward and uncomfortable and it is easier than ever to avoid them all together. The same client who speaks of how much it hurts to be ghosted will describe skipping a friend’s going-away party, or convincing an employer to not plan a departure celebration so that they can move to a new job without saying a proper goodbye to co-workers that have been a significant part of their lives for years.

Each ending is an excellent opportunity for emotional growth. The passive-aggressive act of ghosting represents a missed emotional opportunity. Concluding a relationship with the respect it deserves demonstrates the ability to own and articulate an independent decision. Therapists who are willing to emphasize endings with clients are using the clinical relationship to help clients practice more adaptive relational patterns while simultaneously attending to important ethical obligations.

Click here to learn more.

Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips 8 is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that addresses a wide variety of ethics and risk management topics, written by experts in the field. Course #30-99 | 2017 | 49 pages | 20 posttest questions

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

 

 

What is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA)?

15 Aug

Course excerpt from Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips 8

Emotional Support AnimalMost people enjoy dogs and find great pleasure in having them around. All of that is fine, but there is a growing trend among those who want to be with their dogs that should be of particular concern for therapists.

Therapists are frequently being asked by their patients to attest to their need for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) for mental health purposes, which allows that animal to be present in what previously would have been a restricted environment.

Theoretically, the presence of the ESA has positive psychological impact on the owner and reduces the impact of a diagnosed psychological disability from which the owner suffers. In order for an ESA to be classified as such, a mental health professional must write a letter stating that presence of the pet mitigates symptoms of that disability.

Most mental health professionals do not know the complexity of this area of regulation. Yet, many seem more than happy to certify their patients as being in need of an ESA. Under the law, ESAs are not the same as psychiatric service animals and they do not require the training that is necessary to certify an animal as an American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant service animal.

However, ESA status does allow the animals to be in otherwise restricted areas such as aircrafts and housing that otherwise prohibit pets. The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA, 14 CFR 382, 2003) specifically requires airlines to allow service animals and ESAs to accompany their handlers in the main cabin of an aircraft at no charge.

While appropriate documentation from a therapist does not allow the ESA access everywhere, it requires waiving a no-pet rule and also any related damage deposit in housing that does not otherwise allow pets. This is because, under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) (42 U.S.C. 3601), an emotional support animal is viewed as a “reasonable accommodation” in a housing unit that has a “no pets” rule for its residents and the imposition of a fee would be contrary to the purpose of the law (https://www.animallaw.info/article/faqs-emotional-support-animals).

Given this information, we make the following suggestions to therapists who may find themselves in the situation where a client is requesting an ESA support letter:

  • Such an activity is considered extra-therapeutic and is similar to providing disability statements for clients. Consequently, it is not without administrative risk and can significantly complicate therapy if not handled properly. This complication includes the development of role conflicts and related conflicts of interest that place the therapist’s job as a treating professional in conflict with the role as evaluator.
  • The APA’s Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists consider extra-office practices, like writing an ESA letter, to be forensic-like activities because they are providing administrative information to others to assist them in addressing the patient’s psychological condition for a non-clinical purpose. Therefore, this is arguably not a clinical activity and frequently has nothing to do with treatment.
  • Be mindful in writing ESA-support letters. It is a crime to fraudulently certify an animal as a service dog or an emotional service animal, putting the therapist who does so in potential legal trouble. Further, should the special accommodations recommended in the letter written by the therapist become a matter of legal dispute, they may be called upon to justify statements in a deposition or in open court.


The research evidence is limited. Very few controlled empirical studies support the conclusion that the presence of animals impacts loneliness and is actually longitudinally therapeutic. In fact, the empirical research on this topic is inconsistent and is clearly in the early stages of development (Ensminger and Thomas, 2013). While patients might want their animals to travel with them, and even feel that they need the animal to feel safe or better, there is questionable evidence that this does anything therapeutically.

Treating therapists have an important role in recommending that a patient has an ESA if that recommendation is part of a treatment plan. However, the therapist must remember that the recommendation for an ESA could result in a permanent state of affairs that could carry potential legal consequences if that certification becomes disputed and the animal is no longer clinically necessary.

The easiest way to avoid the dilemma of being asked to provide an ESA support letter is to clarify the limited evaluative activities the therapist is willing to perform as part of the initial informed consent. This type of clarification at the outset of treatment can go a long way in reducing problems that stem from patient requests for extra-therapeutic services.

Whether one agrees with the author’s conclusion that these types of evaluations are forensic, one must agree with the conclusion that separating the treatment issues from those that are administrative in nature avoids any potential role conflict and is in the best interests of the therapy. Remember, this is an official disability determination and not simply something designed to make the client happy.

Click here to learn more.

Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips 8 is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that addresses a wide variety of ethics and risk management topics, written by experts in the field. Course #30-99 | 2017 | 49 pages | 20 posttest questions

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

 

Autism: Clues to the Mystery Quiz

11 Aug

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Clues to the Mystery Quiz from Health IQ

Autism remains a mystery to doctors and parents. To learn more about the mysteries behind autism, test your knowledge with this interactive quiz…

Autism: Clues to the Mystery QuizAutism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been studied thoroughly and yet there are still numerous mysteries to these types of behavioral disorders. To make matters worse, there are several contradicting study results that only confuse the public more about ASD. For instance, a study released in 1997 claimed that the measles vaccine was linked to autism. This study has since been disproven across nine separate research reports. Thus, it’s easy to see why behavioral disorders like ASD are such a mystery to doctors and parents.

There is a lot more about ASD that we don’t know than we do, but it’s still important to understand as much as you can about ASD so that you can detect it early. We know that ASD can be diagnosed as early as age two and that screenings at a young age can help identify any behavioral disorders early on.

We have also learned a great deal about teaching parents to properly manage children that do have ASD. In fact, there are many training courses that parents can take to help better understand how to properly work with a child that has ASD. Even though there are no current cures for ASD, in many instances, proper management, behavioral therapy, and medication can all help mitigate the severity of the disorder.

Understanding ASD, its causes, and treatment are all important tools to help you work with a child who suffers from autism. If you’d like to learn more about the mysteries behind ASD, you can test your knowledge by taking the interactive quiz below.

About Health IQ

HealthIQ’s mission is to improve the health of the world. In pursuit of this mission, they’ve created over 2,000 quizzes and worked with innovative insurance companies to create financial rewards for health-conscious people. To date, Health IQ has helped thousand triathletes, vegans, runners, and other health conscious people secure billions in life insurance coverage, and they hope to expand to other financial rewards in the near future.

Health IQ’s Learn About Life Campaign:

Learn About Life is an educational campaign that aims to increase the world’s health & wealth literacy levels. To accomplish this task, Health IQ has partnered with a select group of nonprofits and bloggers to produce and promote thousands of health & wealth quizzes. If you’re a nonprofit or blogger and want to learn about how you can support this campaign, email teamiq@healthiq.com with subject line “Learn About Life…I’m In”

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Applied Behavior Analysis for Autism is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides evidence-based behavioral interventions for the minimally verbal child with autism. The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) currently seems to be holding steady at one in 68 children (or 1.46 percent). The communication challenges of these children are widely known and require specialized early interventions to overcome them. This course presents evidence-based strategies that can enable students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and others who are verbally limited, to become more effective communicators. The focus will be on the minimally verbal child, the child who has a very small repertoire of spoken words or fixed phrases that are used communicatively. Included are: an overview of autism spectrum disorder, an introduction to the science of applied behavior analysis, the use of manding in communication training, techniques for direct instruction programming, and inter-professional collaboration strategies. Major points are illustrated throughout by case studies from actual practice. Course #21-15 | 2017 | 43 pages | 15 posttest questions

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-Based Screening and Assessment is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that summarizes proven approaches to screening, assessing and diagnosing ASD in children and young adults. Epidemiological studies indicate a progressively rising prevalence trend in the number of individuals identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) over the past decade. Yet, compared with general population estimates, children and youth with mild to moderate symptoms of ASD remain an underidentified and underserved population in our schools and communities. The DSM-5 conceptualizations of autism require professionals in clinical, school, and private practice settings to update their knowledge about the spectrum. In addition, professionals should be prepared to recognize the presence of risk factors and/or early warning signs of ASD and be familiar with screening and assessment tools in order to ensure that individuals with ASD are being identified and provided with the appropriate programs and services. The objectives of this course are to identify DSM-5 diagnostic changes in the ASD diagnostic criteria, summarize the empirically-based screening and assessment methodology in ASD, and describe a comprehensive developmental approach for assessing children, adolescents, and young adults with ASD. Course#30-94 | 2017 | 49 pages | 20 posttest questions

Autism: The New Spectrum of Diagnostics, Treatment & Nutrition is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that reviews diagnostic changes in autism as well as treatment options and nutrition interventions – both theoretical and applied. The first section traces the history of the diagnostic concept of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), culminating in the revised criteria of the 2013 version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5, with specific focus on the shift from five subtypes to a single spectrum diagnosis. It also aims to provide epidemiological prevalence estimates, identify factors that may play a role in causing ASD, and list the components of a core assessment battery. It also includes brief descriptions of some of the major intervention models that have some empirical support. Section two describes common GI problems and feeding difficulties in autism, exploring the empirical data and/or lack thereof regarding any links between GI disorders and autism. Sections on feeding difficulties offer interventions and behavior change techniques. A final section on nutritional considerations discusses evaluation of nutritional status, supplementation, and dietary modifications with an objective look at the science and theory behind a variety of nutrition interventions. Other theoretical interventions are also reviewed. Course #40-41 | 2017 | 62 pages | 25 posttest questions

Autism Movement Therapy is a 2-hour video-based online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that teaches professionals how to combine movement and music with positive behavior support strategies to assist individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism Movement Therapy® is an emerging therapy that combines movement and music with positive behavior support strategies to assist individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in meeting and achieving their speech and language, social and academic goals. Its purpose is to connect left and right hemisphere brain functioning by combining patterning, visual movement calculation, audile receptive processing, rhythm and sequencing into a “whole brain” cognitive thinking approach that can significantly improve behavioral, emotional, academic, social, and speech and language skills. This course is presented in two parts. Part 1 summarizes what is known about the brain functioning of individuals with ASD and illustrates how participation in dance, music and the arts can render the brain more amenable to learning social and language skills. Part 2 is a documentary created by Joanne Lara – Generation A: Portraits of Autism and the Arts, which spotlights – from a strikingly positive perspective – the challenges and accomplishments of eight individuals with ASD. Course #20-82 | 2014 | 106 minute video | 14 posttest questions

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

 

 

Enjoy 25% Off CE for our 25th Anniversary!

10 Aug

25th Anniversary CE Sale @pdresources.org

25th Anniversary CE Sale!After 25 years of providing CE, we are so excited to celebrate our Silver Anniversary with you!

We couldn’t have made it here without you, and so please enjoy 25% OFF ALL COURSES!

Like any big event, we’re celebrating for a whole week. :-) Celebration ends Wednesday, August 16, 2017.

Your 25% discount should automatically apply at checkout, but if for any reason it doesn’t – just enter promo code Silver and click “update” to add. Offer valid on future orders only.

Ethics   Risk
OCD
Suicide Prevention
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Anxiety in Children
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Gender Identity
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Effects of Digital Media
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Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Brokercompliant (all courses are reported within one week of completion).

 
 

New Ethics & Risk Management CE Course

09 Aug

New Online CE Course @pdresources.org

Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips 8Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips 8 is a new 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that addresses a wide variety of really interesting ethics and risk management topics, written by experts in the field. Topics include:

Can Confidentiality be Maintained in Group Therapy? – Discusses ethical issues involved in conducting group psychotherapy.

A Short Course on Encryption and Cloud Storage – Provides answers to common questions about encryption, cloud storage, confidentiality, and HIPAA.

Retiring Ethically – Reviews the professional aspects of preparing for retirement and the various tasks and challenges involved.

Coping with Disruptions in Practice Due to Death or Disability – Shares two stories of a practice lost to sudden death, and the steps you can take to prepare for unexpected disruptions.

Informed Consent: Ethical Challenges and Opportunities – Provides an overview of the ethical obligations related to informed consent and outlines three ethical challenges.

Ethical Practice and the Challenge of Vicarious Trauma – Examines how vicarious exposure to traumatic material can dramatically impact clinicians both personally and professionally.

Competence for Execution: the Ethical Binds – Summarizes the complex issues involved in determining if a person is competent for execution.

Sorting through Professional Liability Insurance for Needed Coverage – Offers guidance and considerations for choosing between Occurrence Form Coverage and Claims Made Coverage.
Closing a Practice: Practical, Ethical and Clinical Dimensions – Reviews the tasks and challenges involved in terminating a psychotherapy practice.

Is it Ethics or Law? – Discusses the similarities and differences between ethics and law, and what to do when they conflict.

21st Century Changes Ethics for Private Practice – Shares personal experiences dealing with security breaches and offers guidelines for using technology in your own practice.

Ethical Considerations for Clinical Supervisors – Examines the impact of supervision on supervisees and their clients, including competence, clinical oversight, and informed consent.

Correcting vs. Altering Records – Discusses the importance of keeping good treatment records and offers guidance for what to do (and not to do) when needing to make a correction to your records.

Ethical Considerations for Media Presentations – Offers considerations to keep in mind when using the media for professional purposes (the article focuses on radio and television, but can also be applied to the internet).

‘Ghosting’ May Create Ethics Issue – Discusses the passive-aggressive strategy of “ghosting” and offers guidance for what to do when it happens to you, the therapist.

Reducing Risk in Treating Divorcing Families – Provides an overview of several risk management practices for therapists who work with divorced or divorcing families, particularly the children of divorcing families.

Who Let that Doggie on the Airplane? – Examines the growing trend of Emotional Support Animals (ESA) and what to do when you are asked to provide an ESA support letter.

Informed Consent: Records and Fees – Highlights areas of the treatment relationship and issues related to informed consent in the areas of providing records when requested and in establishing fees.

Cloud-Based File-Sharing Can be HIPAA Secure – Shares several options for storing and sharing information securely through the cloud, so therapists no longer have to rely on the burdensome methods of faxing or sending patient documents via proprietary networks.

Social Media and Ethics – Offers guidance to help clinicians engage in meaningful self-reflection prior to engaging in social media for the purpose of preventing ethical breaches.

Therapists Must Keep Pace as Technology Changes Practice – Discusses the change in the method of creating and maintaining patient files, evidenced by the increased use of electronic records, and the areas of concern involved.

Ethical Ways to Counteract Negative Reviews Online – Explains how to manage your online reputation, including what you can ethically do if you receive a negative review – real or not.

The Wounded Psychologist: Adverse Effects from a Licensing Complaint – Explains why licensing boards were created, how licensing board complaints are dealt with, and the negative effects of complaints on clinicians.

Disclosures for Forensic Evaluations – Discusses the requirements for disclosure in forensic evaluations.

Reimbursement Diagnoses may be Co-Morbid 
– Reviews the ethical, legal and professional challenges of balancing concern for diagnostic work with insurance reimbursement issues.

Giving Professional Commentary on Public Figures – Offers advice on what you can or shouldn’t say when asked to comment on public figures.

Managing Risk with Alcohol-Abusing Clients – Provides guidance on developing a dual-purposed informed consent agreement with working with special populations such as alcoholics or those characterized by high risk (e.g., suicidal or borderline personality disorder) behaviors.

Direct Secure Messaging is Best Electronic Option for Mental Health Records – Discusses use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs), concerns about the potential unrestricted flow of Protected Health Information (PHI), and how Direct Secure Messaging (DSM) can help.

Course #30-99 | 2017 | 49 pages | 20 posttest questions


Click here to learn more.

Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips 8 is an online course that provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

 

Employ Gratitude to Find Flow

08 Aug

Course excerpt from In the Zone: Finding Flow Through Positive Psychology

Flow is the term first used by Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi – now a recognized expert on the topic – to describe “highly-focused mental states” that are characterized by almost complete absorption in an activity that is inherently rewarding.

Flow happens when what we are doing so captivates us, almost enthralls us, that for a moment (and sometimes hours), our awareness and actions merge, and movements flow effortlessly without conscious thought, direction, or intervention. Our skills almost perfectly match the demands of the task, and we experience the challenge in front of us with the delighted exaltation that perfecting our strengths provides. As we do, self-consciousness quiets and we feel what can only be described as a “passive mind, and active body.” In this self-transcendent state, many describe feelings of euphoria, ecstasy, and elation. And while flow is often attributed to extreme athletes, the most creative minds, and exceptional performances, the experience is universal to us all – we are all wired toward self-actualization.

There are many reasons that flow has been called the most desirable state we can be in. While you already know that dopamine has a profound effect on our mood, immunity, ability to focus, impulse control, and motivation levels, and that the endorphins released during flow have a pain reducing effect, it shouldn’t be surprising that flow would also make us feel more grateful. But perhaps not for the reasons you might think.

GratitudeTo understand just how flow affects our feelings of gratitude, let’s first take a look at what gratitude is. In its most literal definition, gratitude is about the feeling of having enough. When we feel grateful, we feel not just as if we are enough, but also that we have something to give to others. Self-consciousness, on the other hand, makes us feel as though we are not enough. When we feel self-conscious we doubt our abilities and even more importantly, our worth to others. For that reason, self-consciousness dampens gratitude. But remember that one of the characteristics of flow is the absence of self-consciousness. When immersed in the state of flow, our critical inner voice is decidedly quiet, and as our awareness and actions merge (another characteristic of flow), self-doubt, fear, and worry ceases, and what we have left is a feeling of profound enjoyment, and profound gratitude. Not only do we realize new strengths, skills, and capacities, but what emerges is the best version of ourselves – all things to be grateful for.

But flow also seems to affect gratitude levels in another very profound way – it seems to counteract greed. Greed is the feeling of not having enough – in many ways the opposite of gratitude – and when we try to quench greed through material gains, we set ourselves up for more greed for a host of reasons. For one thing, we measure our material worth against that of others, and when we do this, we can always find someone who has more than us. Further, what we can gain materially is limited by our financial means, which, for most of us, is somewhat out of our control, leaving us with the dismaying feeling of wanting and not having. And material gains, while we often think will make us feel better, simply don’t. While we may get a temporary boost in happiness levels (and perhaps feelings of gratitude), it is short lived. As Gregg Easterbrook (2004) explains in, The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse, living beyond a comfortable level – which Easterbrook explains is just enough to survive comfortably – increased material worth doesn’t affect happiness levels at all.

On the other hand, when we try to counteract greed and cultivate gratitude through flow, we get the opposite outcome. The boost in happiness levels that comes with flow, unlike with material gains, endures indefinitely. And the rewards we receive in flow come in the internal form – we get to see a new, better version of ourselves unveiled before us – unlike material rewards which are external and therefore can be lost. Yet perhaps the most important difference between material wealth and flow is this: with material wealth we are limited by financial means, in flow we are only limited by the effort we put in. And effort, unlike financial means, is within our control. Therefore, if we want more flow (and more of the mood boost that it brings) we can simply choose to enact its three requirements: clear goals, immediate feedback, and a challenge that is just slightly higher than our skill level.

So how can you use flow to help your client employ gratitude? The answer is simple. The next time your client feels greed, suggest that she turn to flow. Instead of purchasing a new pair of shoes, appliance, toy, car, or anything, have her choose an activity that she enjoys and then set flow’s three conditions: clear goals, immediate feedback, and a challenge just slightly beyond her skill level. And because the benefits of flow increase as skills improve, the experience tends to be very compelling – meaning that the more time your client spends in flow, the more she will be drawn to it – realizing that its benefits endure over time. Most importantly, when you teach your client how to use flow to cultivate gratitude, you teach her a powerful way to cope with setbacks.

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In the Zone: Finding Flow Through Positive PsychologyIn the Zone: Finding Flow Through Positive Psychology is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that offers a how-to guide on incorporating flow into everyday life. According to the CDC, four out of ten people have not discovered a satisfying life purpose. Further, the APA reports that most people suffer from moderate to high levels of stress, and according to SAMSHA, adult prescription medication abuse (primarily to counteract attention deficit disorders) is one of the most concerning health problems today. And while clinicians now have a host of resources to mitigate distress and reduce symptomatology, the question remains: how do clinicians move clients beyond baseline levels of functioning to a state of fulfillment imbued with a satisfying life purpose? The answer may lie in a universal condition with unexpected benefits. This course will explore the concept of flow, also known as optimal performance, which is a condition we are all capable of, yet seldom cultivate. When in flow we experience a profound and dramatic shift in the way we experience ourselves, our capabilities, and the world around us. Our focus sharpens, our strengths are heightened, we feel an intense sense of euphoria and connection to the world around us, and we often realize capabilities we didn’t know were possible. For clients, flow doesn’t just help them become more capable, it dramatically improves their lives – teaching them not just to expect more from themselves, but how to cultivate the very conditions that make expecting more possible. This course, packed with exercises, tips, and tools, will demonstrate just how flow can be incorporated into your everyday life, and used to help your clients move from simply surviving to a life that harnesses and builds upon their own unique potential to thrive. Course 21-11 | 2016 | 30 pages | 15 posttest questions

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This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion.
Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education (CE) by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB #1046, ACE Program); the Florida Boards of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling (#BAP346) and Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).
 

Anxiety in Children – New ASHA CEU Course

03 Aug

New Online ASHA CEU Course @pdresources.org

Anxiety in ChildrenAnxiety in Children is a brand new 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that focuses on behavioral interventions for children with anxiety disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (2017), it is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children, but is often not diagnosed. Untreated anxiety can lead to substance abuse, difficulties in school, and depression. Professionals who work with children, including speech language pathologists, mental health professionals, and occupational therapists, frequently encounter anxiety disorders among their young clients.

This course is intended to help clinicians recognize and understand the anxiety disorders that frequently occur in children and learn a wide variety of communication and behavioral strategies for helping their clients manage their anxiety. Included are sections on types and causes of anxiety disorders, strategies for prevention, evidence-based treatments, techniques for helping children manage worry, relaxation techniques for use with children, and detailed discussions on school anxiety and social anxiety. Course #40-43 | 2017 | 69 pages | 25 posttest questions

Anxiety in Children is offered for .4 ASHA CEUs (Introductory level, Professional area).

ASHA credit expires 7/11/2020. ASHA CEUs are awarded by the ASHA CE Registry upon receipt of the quarterly completion report from the ASHA Approved CE Provider. Please note that the completion date that appears on ASHA transcripts is the last day of the quarter regardless of when the course was completed. AAUM #5130

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion.

Professional Development Resources is approved by the Continuing Education Board of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA Provider #AAUM) to provide continuing education activities in speech-language pathology and audiology. See course page for number of ASHA CEUs, instructional level and content area. ASHA CE provider approval does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products or clinical procedures. CEUs are awarded by the ASHA CE Registry upon receipt of the CEU Participant Form from the ASHA Approved CE Provider. Please note that the completion date that appears on ASHA transcripts is the last day of the quarter, regardless of when the course was completed. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Florida Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (Provider #50-1635) and the Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within 1 week of completion)

 

 

Suicide Prevention Continuing Education (CE)

02 Aug

Suicide Prevention Online CE Available @pdresources.org

Suicide PreventionMore and more states are beginning to mandate that mental health professionals complete required training (continuing education) in suicide prevention.

One such state is Pennsylvania. On July 8, 2016, the governor of Pennsylvania signed into law the Matt Adler Suicide Prevention Continuing Education Act. This legislation requires that licensed psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors seeking to have their licenses renewed complete at least one hour of continuing education in the assessment, treatment, and management of suicide risk.

Another state now requiring continuing education (CE) in suicide prevention is Kentucky. Effective January 1, 2015, all Kentucky-licensed social workers, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, pastoral counselors, alcohol and drug abuse counselors, psychologists and occupational therapists are required to complete 6 hours of suicide prevention training every six years.

To fulfill the growing requirement for suicide prevention training, Professional Development Resources created a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that reviews evidence-based research and offers strategies for screening, assessment, treatment, and prevention of suicide in both adolescents and adults:

Suicide Prevention: Evidence-Based StrategiesSuicide Prevention: Evidence-Based Strategies is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that reviews evidence-based research and offers strategies for screening, assessment, treatment, and prevention of suicide in both adolescents and adults. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. In 2015, 44,193 people killed themselves. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes, “Suicide is a serious but preventable public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities.” People who attempt suicide but do not die face potentially serious injury or disability, depending on the method used in the attempt. Depression and other mental health issues follow the suicide attempt. Family, friends, and coworkers are negatively affected by suicide. Shock, anger, guilt, and depression arise in the wake of this violent event. Even the community as a whole is affected by the loss of a productive member of society, lost wages not spent at local businesses, and medical costs. The CDC estimates that suicides result in over 44 billion dollars in work loss and medical costs. Prevention is key: reducing risk factors and promoting resilience. This course will provide a review of evidence-based studies so that healthcare professionals are informed on this complex subject. Information from the suicide prevention technical package from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be provided. Included also are strategies for screening and assessment, prevention considerations, methods of treatment, and resources for choosing evidence-based suicide prevention programs. Course #30-97 | 2017 | 60 pages | 20 posttest questions

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion.

Click here to learn more.

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

 

Hoarding Disorder & OCD

01 Aug

Course excerpt from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Hoarding DisorderHoarding is the saving, keeping, and accumulation of items that are considered to have some kind of value, even though they might be considered useless, unimportant, and trash to others. Strong emotional attachment, sentimental value, potential usefulness, and fear of running out of supplies (e.g. buying multiples of toilet paper because it’s on sale) are some of the rationalizations for the behavior.

The DSM-5 has classified hoarding as its own diagnosis and is no longer considered an OCD subtype. It is categorized in the Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders category of the DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

Hoarding has received much recent media attention, as evidenced by the TV series Hoarders on the A&E cable channel, PBS documentaries, and memes found on the internet. Parents who have problems with hoarding have been implicated in child neglect and abuse cases, as well as public health task forces being organized due to the impact of hoarding on the home environment. Children on hoarders are usually unable to have play dates at their houses due to the shame and embarrassment of the chaotic household environment.

Hoarding appears to be “hard wired” and ego-syntonic, which makes it a very difficult problem to treat. It typically involves the acquisition of excessive amounts of material goods that may appear valueless or useless. As a result of the hoarding and associated challenges with making decisions about what to keep and what to throw away, the individual often has difficulty with organization. Hoarders have been considered creative due to their ability to think of clever or creative ways of using discarded or useless items, even though they hardly ever do.

Some people have hoarding behaviors not because they want to save items, but because they have problems with disorganization and making decisions about what is important to save or throw away. Junk mail, magazines, and newspaper are common items that pile up and are neglected.

Common dysfunctional thoughts of hoarders are that items with sentimental value should be saved, fear of getting rid of something that he or she might “need” later, belief that almost everything has purpose or value, making decisions about what to save so difficult, that even common items are irreplaceable, not having important or useful information for “later,” and mistakenly discarding important things along with unimportant items.

Commonly hoarded items are newspapers, articles, magazines, books, CDs, clothes, pictures, receipts, mail, emails, post-it notes and slips of paper to read “later,” and collections or sets of favorite things.

Behaviors may include sorting through garbage, saving items to recycle or reuse, taking multiples of freebies (e.g., brochures, samples), and “churning” (moving items around from one pile to the next when trying to organize or sort through items). Extreme distress and a sense of loss of control are experienced if family members attempt to throw things away, and sometimes even when others touch the items.

Some serious negative effects of hoarding can be:

  • Mold/squalor leading to health problems
  • Fires caused by piles of papers kept near the stove
  • Lack of functional living space
  • Injuries sustained when piles of items topple on to someone
  • Public health concerns requiring community intervention
  • Involvement of child services


Current environmental concerns can cause “green guilt” that reinforce hoarding. Reusing and recycling make it difficult for hoarders to throw things away. They may even pick up trash they see while out in public and take it home. Hoarders also do not like to waste and keep things until its last shred of utility.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is considered the most effective psychotherapy for treating the dysfunctional beliefs and patterns of functioning that contribute to hoarding. Motivational interviewing strategies are also effective in helping to improve insight, which is typically limited in this disorder. Competence, informed consent to treatment, and risk of harm must be considered within the context of any observed neurocognitive deficits.

The prevalence rate of hoarding is between 1.5 and 5% of the general population. The prevalence of co-occurring OCD was 2.9% in a study by Ivanov and colleagues. Another study reported that 96 of 396 hoarders met criteria for OCD.

Click here to learn more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that reviews the diagnosis, assessment and treatment strategies for OCD. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by intrusive, unwanted, and anxiety-provoking thoughts, images, impulses and rituals that are performed to alleviate the accompanying distress. Because OCD is a heterogeneous disorder with several subtypes, assessing, diagnosing, and treating it can be challenging. Further, the presentation of varying symptoms may be considered to be OC Related Disorders. Being able to make differential diagnoses and treatment recommendations are essential in clinical work with the many patients that present with the spectrum of OC problems. Specific behavioral strategies have been developed and validated in the literature that target the various manifestations of OCD and related disorders. The first part of the course offers information on the neurobiology, diagnosis and assessment tools, including the various subtypes, and highlights important topics to be taken into consideration during the process. Emotional and cognitive factors are outlined that seem to play important roles in the diagnosis and the course of episodes. The next section is dedicated to describing the clinical factors of and differential aspects of the OC Related Disorders and their prevalence. A case study follows that outlines the precipitating events, assessment, and behavioral treatment of a college student who is struggling to maintain and overcome her OCD. The final section describes effective treatment and coping strategies and augmentations that help to maintain treatment gains. Course #30-95 | 2017 | 60 pages | 20 posttest questions

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion.


Professional Development Resources
 is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).