Addressing Stigma in Psychotherapy

stigma in psychotherapy

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines mental illness stigma as “a range of negative attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors about mental and substance use disorders.”

Looking to assess how prevalent mental illness stigmas are, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) used a Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to survey 37 states about their beliefs and attitudes toward those with mental illness. They found that although 57% of all adults believed that people are caring and sympathetic toward those with mental illness, only 25% of adults with mental illness endorsed this belief (CDC, 2016). The takeaway, according to the CDC, is that there is a very real need to support people with mental illness and reduce the barriers that prevent them from seeking treatment. This, however, is only part of the story. Not only do our attitudes and fears about the implications of mental illness keep us from seeking support, they also foster a wide range of assumptions about what it means to be mentally ill, how this may affect our ability to function, seek employment, gain housing, and be received in society.

In the clinical setting, fears such as this can dramatically confound treatment. Clients can be hesitant to reveal distressing thoughts, beliefs, and feelings, as well as family history of mental illness – all of which creates a very blurry picture from which the clinician is to diagnose the client. Further, clients can fear the implications of a diagnosis itself on their employment, parental custody, and rights as a citizen. While all of this interrupts the client’s understanding of mental illness, their willingness to receive treatment, and the clinician’s ability to help them, stigmas about mental illness most dramatically affect the therapeutic alliance. Because the clinician is in a position of rendering a clinical diagnosis – that the client may fear – the client can often feel like an outsider in a process where he is judged, labeled, and ultimately treated differently. This can lead to feelings of mistrust, inaccurate assumptions about the therapist’s intentions and abilities, and the clinical setting as unsafe.

A clinical setting that is experienced as safe and a strong, trusting therapeutic alliance are the strongest predictors of client change, regardless of the client’s diagnosis, or the treatment methodology used. Through addressing this very real and prevalent barrier to the client’s feeling of safety, clinicians can help create a lasting therapeutic alliance that allows for exploration and remediation of fears, the building of trust and understanding, and the confidence to seek and receive therapeutic support – all while overcoming stigmas about mental illness.

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Course excerpt from:

stigma of mental illnessOvercoming the Stigma of Mental Illness is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that explores the stigmas around mental illness and provides effective strategies to overcome them.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines mental illness stigma as “a range of negative attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors about mental and substance use disorders.” Mental health and substance use disorders are prevalent and among the most highly stigmatized health conditions in the United States, and they remain barriers to full participation in society in areas as basic as education, housing, and employment.

This course will explore the stigmas surrounding mental illness and provide effective strategies clinicians can use to create a therapeutic environment where clients can evaluate their attitudes, beliefs, and fears about mental illness, and ultimately find ways to overcome them. We will explore the ways in which mental illness stigmas shape our beliefs, decisions, and lives. We will then look at specific stigmas about mental illness, from the fear of being seen as crazy to the fear of losing cognitive function and the ways in which we seek to avoid these fears. We will then look at targeted strategies that, you, the clinician, can use to create a therapeutic alliance where change and healing can overcome the client’s fears. Lastly, we will look at the specific exercises you can use in session with your clients to help them address and overcome their biases and stigmas about mental illness. Course #21-24 | 2018 | 35 pages | 15 posttest questions

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. 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 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 Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

6 Ways To End a Screen-Time Addiction

6 Innovative Ways To End A Screen-Time Addiction

In the age of iPads, tablets, smartphones, and Macbooks, keeping your kids away from screens seems to be an impossible feat. Professionals have recommended children under the age of 5 spend an hour a day devoted to a screen, but it sounds a lot better on paper than it does in action.

Can we end the epidemic of screen-time addiction and obsession with the internet and the instant gratification it provides? These 6 tricks can help you get your kids to cut back on screen-time and resume their lives as healthy, active children again.

Take One For The Team and Start Cutting Back

Honestly, it’s no surprise we’re seeing more and more kids become addicted to screens, and it’s spreading down into the toddler ages. The average adult spends over 10 hours on a screen in America, and kids are our biggest copycats. When they see us enjoying the easy access to screens and getting sucked into the vortex of virtual reality, it sets up an example for them to follow.

Introduce Firm and Understandable Rules

The younger the child, the easier it is to create a habit, or end a bad one. Most preschoolers won’t know what they’re missing if you turn the screens off more, but when they reach 5 and up, they start to develop that dependence on screens that’s causing many problems we see in society today. No matter if you’re starting young or a little late, make sure your kids know the new rules and don’t let them bend or break them.

Allow Yourself To Look At The Clock

In most situations, watching the clock makes time go slower and creates more problems than it creates. Setting limits for your kids and establishing firm timeframes for them to use a screen is a great start, but to enforce these rules, you have to be on top of the tick-tock.

It’s Okay To Make It a Bribe

Since your kids are going to be using screens no matter one somehow or another, make it a motivational tactic to encourage activity in their other areas of life. Completing the chores for the day can be rewarded with their hour of screen time, whereas having a bad attitude or breaking a different rule could result in losing computer privileges.

Knock Out Two Birds With One Stone

Some families struggle to find time to all spend together, so make electronic games and movies part of your activities as a group! Not only are you making the time spent with a screen more productive by encouraging conversation and bonding, but you’re staying active and involved in your child’s time spent online. Doing so can help prevent bad situations from happening without your realization.

Create a Designated Space

There isn’t much reason for your kids to have screens in their rooms, so don’t even start introducing them in your kid’s private areas. Instead, keep your electronics located in accessible spaces, like a family room or a computer office. This will make monitoring their time and activity much easier and establish healthy habits.

The Bottom Line

By acting as soon as possible, you’ll have an easier time getting a handle on the screen dependency problem that countless families face. Screen addictions in kids lead to other problems down the line and can affect their cognitive skill development. Implementing these practices can bring the risk to your child down significantly without creating the next World War in your own home!

About The Author

This post was written by Jenny Silverstone, the chief editor and writer of Mom Loves Best, a research-driven parenting blog that aims to educate parents on essential topics such as children safety, health, and development.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Course:

Effects of Digital Media on Children’s Development and LearningEffects of Digital Media on Children’s Development and Learning is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that reviews the research on media use and offers guidance for educators and parents to regulate their children’s use of digital devices.

Today’s world is filled with smartphones used by people ignoring their surroundings and even texting while driving, which is criminally dangerous. Are there other dangers that may not be as apparent? Media technology (e.g., smart phones, tablets, or laptop computers) have changed the world. Babies and children are affected and research reveals that 46% of children under age one, and up to 59% of eight-year-old children are exposed to cell phones. In England, nearly 80% of senior primary-school staff reportedly are worried about poor social skills or speech problems of children entering school, which they attribute to the use of media devices.

Media technology affects family life, children’s readiness for entering school or preschool, and classroom learning. Recent research delineates a developmental progression of understanding information on devices for children between ages 2- 5 years. Younger children may believe false information if it is on a computer. This research is important for understanding technology uses in education. There are also known health risks and possible adverse effects to social-emotional development. Statistics describing the increase of media technology and developing trends in media use are presented along with guidelines and position statements developed to protect children from risks and adverse effects. Course #30-96 | 2017 | 50 pages | 20 posttest questions 

Click here to learn more.

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. 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 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 Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Psychological Effects of Media Exposure

New Online CE Course @pdresources.org

Psychological Effects of Media ExposurePsychological Effects of Media Exposure is a new 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that explores the psychological effects that media exposure has on both the witnesses and victims of traumatic events.

This course will explore why we are so drawn to traumatic events and how media portrayals of these events influence our thoughts, conclusions, and assumptions about them. It will then discuss how the intersection of trauma and media has evolved to provide a place for celebrity-like attention, political agendas, corporate positioning, and even the repackaging, marketing, and selling of grief.

Lastly, the course will look at the interventions and exercises clinicians can use to help their clients understand the effects of trauma becoming public, how to protect themselves, and most importantly, how to recover from traumatic experience – even when it becomes public. Course #21-23 | 2018 | 44 pages | 15 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. 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 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 Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

This is Your Brain on Depression

Depression

According to the National Institutes of Health, depression is one of the most important causes of disability worldwide, and yet the high rate of inadequate treatment of the disorder remains a serious concern (Kessler, 2013). There are several possible reasons for this, such as resistance to treatment, difficulty in adequate diagnosis, and compliance with medication. However, one very large prevailing factor is the way in which depression affects our brains.

To date, the most relevant theory of depression is what is known as the monoamine deficiency hypothesis. According to this theory, monoamine acts like a brain regulator, affecting several brain functions, including mood, attention, reward processing, sleep, appetite, and cognition. This theory has been supported by the fact that almost every compound that inhibits monoamine reuptake, leading to an increased concentration of monoamines in the synaptic cleft, has been proven to be a clinically effective antidepressant (Belmaker, 2008).

Further, when the enzyme monoamine oxidase, which increases the availability of monoamines in presynaptic neurons, is inhibited, antidepressant effects are observed.

From the monoamine-deficiency theory emerged the understanding of depression as a depletion of the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine or dopamine in the central nervous system.

Of the neurotransmitters involved in depression, serotonin is the most studied. Evidence for abnormally low functioning of the serotonin system in depressed patients comes from studies using tryptophan depletion, which reduces central serotonin synthesis.

When tryptophan was reduced in subjects at increased risk of depression (those with a family history, or with MDD -major depressive disorder- in full remission) depression symptoms increased (Neumeister, 2014).

Further, experimentally reduced central serotonin has been associated with mood congruent memory bias, altered reward-related behaviors, and disruption of inhibitory affective processing (Hasler, 2014). Serotonin receptors – which regulate serotonin function – also appear to work abnormally in depressed people, as decreased availability of receptors have been found in multiple brain areas of patients with MDD (Drevets, 2011).

A classic feature of depression is low energy; dysfunction of the central noradrenergic system has been hypothesized to play a role in the pathophysiology of depression. Several studies have found decreased norepinephrine metabolism, increased activity of tyrosine hydroxylase, and decreased density of norepinephrine transporter in the locus ceruleus in depressed patients (Charney, 2014). In addition, decreased density of adrenergic receptors have been found in the post-mortem brains of depressed suicide victims (Pandey, 2015).

Dopamine, which is typically associated with the reward system and evidenced in cases of addiction, also appears to play a significant role in the neurobiology of depression. When dopamine reuptake is suppressed (through reuptake inhibitors) anti-depressant effects are observed (Goldberg, 2014). In patients with MDD, dopamine transporter binding and uptake were both reduced, suggesting a depletion of the dopamine system as an important feature of depression (Meyer, 2011).

Click here to learn more.

Course excerpt from:

Nutrition and Depression: Advanced Clinical ConceptsNutrition and Depression: Advanced Clinical Concepts is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines how what we eat influences how we feel – and what we can do to improve both.

Depression is an increasingly common, complex, inflammatory condition that co-occurs with a host of other conditions. This course will examine how we can combat depression through nutrition, starting with an exploration of the etiology of depression – taking a look at the role of neurotransmitters, the HPA axis and cortisol, gene expression (epigenetics), upregulation and downregulation, and the connections between depression and immunity and depression and obesity. We will then turn our attention to macronutrients and investigate how factors such as regulating blood sugar, achieving amino acid balance, consuming the right fats, and eating fruits and vegetables can enhance mood, improve our decision-making, enhance cognitive processes, and reduce inflammation. From there, we will look at just how we go about the process of building a better brain – one neurotransmitter at a time. Exercises you can use with clients are included. Course #31-02 | 2018 | 42 pages | 20 posttest questions

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. 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 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 Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

What are Executive Functioning Skills?

Executive Functioning

Parents are often confused when they are told that their child has deficits in his “Executive Functions.” Those seem like big words to describe the frustrations of having a child who seems more disorganized than other children; the kid who often comes to school late and unprepared and always seems to be losing his homework, shoes, or games.

Executive functions are the self-regulating skills that we use every day in order to get any task done, from getting dressed and eating breakfast to getting a backpack packed and choosing which friend to play with. They help us plan, organize, make decisions, shift between situations or thoughts, control our emotions and impulsivity, and learn from past mistakes.

Dawson and Guare (2010) describe executive functioning skills as follows:

“Human beings have a built-in capacity to meet challenges and accomplish goals through the use of high-level cognitive functions called executive skills. These are the skills that help us to decide what activities or tasks we will pay attention to and which ones we will choose to do. Executive skills allow us to organize our behavior over time and override immediate demands in favor of longer-term goals. Through the use of these skills we can plan and organize activities, sustain attention, and persist to complete a task. Executive skills enable us to manage our emotions and our thoughts in order to work more efficiently and effectively. Simply stated, these skills help us to regulate our behavior” (p.1).

Executive functioning difficulties cause children and teens to struggle with many academic learning tasks. According to Howland (2010), executive functioning skills predict academic success more effectively than tests of academic achievement or cognitive ability. Children with poor executive functioning skills are at high risk for dropping out of school, as well as for social and behavioral problems (Lindsay & Dockrell, 2012). They often have compromised listening skills and difficulties following directions, which can compromise familial relationships and academic and social functioning.

Executive functioning difficulty is not necessarily considered a disability, yet it is a weakness in a key set of mental skills that helps connect past experience with present action. People use them to perform activities such as planning, organizing, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details, and managing time and space.

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Course excerpt from:

Executive Functioning: Teaching Children Organizational SkillsExecutive Functioning: Teaching Children Organizational Skills is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that will enumerate and illustrate multiple strategies and tools for helping children overcome executive functioning deficits and improve their self-esteem and organizational abilities.

Executive functioning skills represent a key set of mental assets that help connect past experience with present action. They are fundamental to performing activities such as planning, organizing, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details, and managing time and space. Conversely, executive functioning deficits can significantly disrupt an individual’s ability to perform even simple tasks effectively. Although children with executive functioning difficulties may be at a disadvantage at home and at school, adults can employ many different strategies to help them succeed. Included are techniques for planning and prioritizing, managing emotions, improving communication, developing stress tolerance, building time management skills, increasing sustained attention, and boosting working memory. Course #40-42 | 2017 | 76 pages | 25 posttest questions

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. 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 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 Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Learned Helplessness in Children

Learned Helplessness

A number of circumstances and conditions can predispose children to the damaging effects of repeated failure experiences and learned helplessness.

Possibly the most unfortunate consequence of the cumulative effects of these conditions on children is the eventual development of the belief that they are simply not able to perform up to the standards of their parents and teachers. Children who have never experienced success in school are afraid to challenge themselves academically. They do not put in the required effort, and give up before even making an attempt to succeed. These students develop self-defeating strategies that eventually lead to the very failures that they are attempting to avoid. After striving for unattainable goals and procrastinating, they become depressed and angry. Worse still, this sense of helplessness is sometimes influenced in a number of subtle ways by the behavior of parents and teachers, who unwittingly participate in the expectation that the child is not going to do well.

According to Eklund et al. (2015), learned helplessness creates three basic shortfalls in the child: cognitive, emotional, and motivational, thus destroying the child’s aspiration to learn. Once a child ceases to have the motivation to learn, it becomes even harder to engage him/her to attempt to understand something new, as they fall into becoming a helpless learner. To be clear, the child does not intentionally try to behave this way, but feels as though there is no other option, and that failure is inevitable. Once these practices are repeated and reinforced, the child builds an inappropriate response to learning, which becomes a habit. The child will continue in this way throughout his/her educational career, until something changes.

Red Flags of Learned Helplessness

  • Laying blame on the teacher:
    • “The teacher is unfair and picks on me, so I’m not going to do any of her assignments”
    • “It’s the teacher’s fault that I didn’t do well on the test because she didn’t remind me it was today, and I guessed at most of the items”
  • Making excuses for bad behavior to hide insecurities about struggling to learn:
    • “The hallway was too crowded, and when I got to the cafeteria there was no dessert left, so I trashed my tray and got sent to the office instead of going to my next class which, by the way, is the one where I don’t learn anything anyway.”
  • Exhibiting an “I give up” attitude:
    • “School is just boring, the work is dumb, the assignments are too hard (or too easy), and the teacher never checks homework anyway, except when she knows I don’t have it done.”
  • Pulling away or refusing to communicate to avoid confrontation:
    • “What happened in school today?” “I don’t want to talk about it.”
  • Children who feel judged instead of supported:
    • “My parents worry so much about my homework and school work. Why bother worrying about it myself?”
    • “I often feel like my parents won’t value me if I’m not as successful as they would like.”
    • “My parents say I can be anything I like, but deep down I feel they won’t approve of me unless I pursue a profession they admire.”

The progression from learning challenges to school failure looks like this: (note that school failure can initiate a spiral of further discouragement and reinforcement of self-defeating beliefs).

Learning Challenges  >  Lack of Success  >  Discouragement  >  Fixed Mindset  >  Learned Helplessness  >  School Failure

School failure is not, of course, the end of the story. Rather, it can be the beginning of a cascade of negative life outcomes such as problem drinking, mental health problems, criminal activity, and employment problems. While such outcomes are beyond the scope of this course, they do highlight the importance of intervening early with children who are at risk for school failure.

The “Cycle of Success,” by contrast, would proceed as follows:

Learning Abilities  >  Success  >  Encouragement  >  Growth Mindset  >  Self Confidence  >  School Success

Click here to learn more.

Course excerpt from:

Motivating Children to LearnMotivating Children to Learn is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides strategies and activities to help children overcome their academic and social challenges.

This course describes the various challenges that can sidetrack children in their developmental and educational processes, leaving them with a sense of discouragement and helplessness. Such challenges include learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, behavior disorders, and executive functioning deficits. Left unchecked, these difficulties can cause children to develop the idea that they are not capable of success in school, precipitating a downward spiral of poor self-esteem and – eventually – school failure.

The good news is that much better outcomes can result when parents, teachers, and therapists engage children in strategies and activities that help them overcome their discouragement and develop their innate intelligence and strengths, resulting in a growth mindset and a love of learning. Detailed in this course are multiple strategies and techniques that can lead to these positive outcomes. Course #40-44 | 2018 | 77 pages | 25 posttest questions

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. 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 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 Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Cultural Humility: A Mindset

Cultural Humility

Healthcare professionals have, over the years, wrestled with determining the best way to become culturally competent. Knowledge is important, but Tervalon and Murray-Garcia (1998) suggest that achieving cultural humility is equally important.

The authors note that the standard of competence in clinical training as detached mastery of a finite body of knowledge may not be the best concept in the area of culture. Cultural humility is proposed as the best stance for learning about other cultures. Cultural humility includes lifelong learning, including evaluating and critiquing your own behavior. Power imbalances in the therapeutic relationship must be assessed and addressed to develop a non-paternalistic, mutually beneficial relationship that includes advocacy for both individuals and groups.

The National Association of Social Workers (2015) includes humility in its cultural standards. Social workers are expected to “demonstrate cultural humility and sensitivity to the dynamics of power and privilege in all areas of social work” (pg 4).

Cultural humility is defined as learning about a person’s culture and then communicating, offering help and sharing decision making, when working with people at the micro, mezzo and macro level. It is an “other-oriented” mindset that focuses on how the person’s social experiences affect their behavior.

The healthcare professional listens and learns, rather than taking an authoritarian stance. The person being served is, after all, the expert in the way their culture affects their lives. Empowerment flows from the validation of the person in their culture.

This is a lifelong process. Researchers have described the process as a constant state of “being-in-becoming.” A lifelong commitment to learning and becoming more and more competent in multicultural and social justice is required, as well as the willingness to apply cultural humility to your practice.

Course excerpt from:

Cultural Awareness in Clinical PracticeCultural Awareness in Clinical Practice is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides the foundation for achieving cultural competence and diversity in healthcare settings.

Cultural competence, responding to diversity and inclusion, are important practices for healthcare professionals. This course will help you to gain an awareness of bias and provide strategies to adjust your clinical mindset and therapeutic approach to adapt to “the other” – people who differ in color, creed, sexual identification, socio-economic status, or other differences that make inclusion difficult.

Inclusion is defined as “the state of being included” or “the act of including,” which is something all clinicians should strive for. This course is designed to provoke thought about culture, diversity, and inclusion. Even though research for evidence-based practice is somewhat limited in this area, the concept of cultural competency (however it is defined and measured) is a key skill for healthcare professionals to create an inclusive therapeutic environment. Course #31-07 | 2018 | 57 pages | 20 posttest questions

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. 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 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 Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Take a Mental Detour

Take a Mental Detour

Self-help gurus, sports coaches, and the media tell us that we should minimize our setbacks, overcome adversity, and quickly bounce back from failure. That should we miss our mark, make a mistake, say the wrong thing, wear the wrong clothes, or show up to the wrong meeting – all things quite possible – we should not waste any time getting right back on track. These mishaps should be reframed, filed away, overcome, or – whatever self-help lingo we may want to insert here – moved past. Even catastrophic events – the kind that shatter our very fundamental beliefs and assumptions about ourselves, the world, and everything we know – should be quickly overcome. Our resilience depends on it, or so we are told.

However, even when we do recognize a setback for what it is, trying something new is often not our first response. Rather, many of us simply do more of the same. We redouble our efforts, put in more time, and invest more energy. The tendency to avoid changing strategy can be partly accounted for by what behavioral economists call “sunk costs.” Sunk costs account for all of the time, energy, and money we have already devoted to the task.

Perhaps we have spent several years trying to start a business. Maybe we have invested several years of schooling and have considerable student loan debt only to be faced with the harsh reality that we cannot secure a job in our field. Situations like this play to the natural tendency to “get out what we have put in.” Which means staying the course. We may also exhibit “loss aversion,” which is the desire to avoid any further losses. Once we know we have already suffered a significant loss, we hesitate to try anything new—for fear of losing more than we already have. Yet adapting, as we know, depends on being willing to alter the strategy without any guarantee of success. In short, we are going to have to be willing to take a measured risk, or several, until we find what works.

We are also going to have to be open to new experiences, because they offer the chance to discover something that we didn’t realize we enjoyed. To help your client do this, you are going to have your client do what I call “taking a mental detour.”

Take a Mental Detour

To begin, you will instruct your client to recall five happy memories from his/her childhood. These can be anything from family vacations, summer pastimes, hobbies, playing sports, or time with friends. Next, you will ask your client to elaborate the memories with as much detail as he/she can remember. Your client should write who was there, what he/she was doing, and where he/she was, describing each component of the memory as completely as possible.

When your client is finished, he/she should have five experiences that include some sort of activity, in a specific place, with or without others. For most people, these memories will usually involve some sort of shared experience that revolved around a mutually held goal. Common themes are things like organizing a party with friends, playing on sports teams, building something with others, or taking a class. However, there are no right or wrong answers. The goal is simply for your client to recall five activities that he/she used to enjoy and found himself/herself immersed in.

Next, you will instruct your client to try each of these activities again. For example, if one of your client’s memories is playing on a softball team as a kid, you will instruct your client to find an adult softball league and give it a try. Or if your client recalls enjoying building forts in the living room with a sibling or friend, you will instruct him/her to build something again with somebody he/she enjoys spending time with. The experience may not match exactly what your client described in his/her recollection; however, the general theme should be the same. Similarly, you should remind your client not to worry if he/she feels that his/her skills are not what they used to be. The point is not for your client to measure his/her success at remembering how to do things from the past; the goal is to become comfortable with trying new things, and perhaps to find something he/she enjoys doing again.

Setbacks, in many ways, are like roadblocks. And adapting depends on the ability to try something new, to be willing to take a detour—even through unfamiliar territory. Yet detours also offer the chance for your client to see things differently, remember a road he/she might’ve traveled before, and perhaps rediscover something he/she loves. Taking a mental detour, just like a physical one, encourages your client to be open to changing course—to navigate around the roadblock (in whatever form it takes)—for the chance of finding something better.

Course excerpt from:

Leveraging AdversityLeveraging Adversity: Turning Setbacks into Springboards is a 6-hour online continuing education (CE) course that gives clinicians the tools they need to help their clients face adversity from a growth perspective and learn how to use setbacks to spring forward, and ignite growth.

While clients can seek the help of a psychotherapist for numerous reasons, one thing that all clients face is adversity. Whether in their own lives, or within the training program itself, adversity and setbacks are inevitable. And how clients handle adversity often colors not just their ability to move past it, but also their success in therapy. Packed with the most recent data on post-traumatic growth, behavioral economics, and evolutionary psychology, this course begins with a look at just what setbacks are and how they affect us. Clinicians are then introduced to the concept of “leveraging adversity,” that is, using it to make critical reconsiderations, align values with behavior, and face challenges with a growth mindset. The course then addresses the five core strengths of leveraging adversity – gratitude, openness, personal strength (growth mindset), connection, and belief – and provides numerous exercises and skills for clinicians to use with clients. Included are 25 separate handouts clinicians can give to clients to cement core concepts from the course. Course #61-03 | 2018 | 92 pages | 35 posttest questions

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. 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 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 Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Maintaining Boundaries in an Online World

Maintaining Boundaries in an Online World

One of the mainstays of ethical practice and effective therapeutic practice is the maintenance of clinical boundaries. Clear boundaries are necessary in order for both therapist and client to understand the nature and purpose of their relationship with each other. Boundaries in therapy distinguish psychotherapy from other types of relationships. Confusion about the therapist-client relationship can only interfere with the goals and process of psychotherapy. A client who comes to view the therapist as a friend, lover, or business associate – anything other than his or her source of professional help – is likely to have difficulty making use of the therapeutic alliance. In consideration of the implicit power imbalance that exists between therapist and client, the burden of responsibility for maintaining boundaries always falls upon the therapist.

Blurring of Roles

One of the many challenges to professional boundaries posed by participation in social networking is the fuzziness surrounding online relationships. There are actually at least two dynamics that need to be discussed here. The first is the blurring of the lines between personal and professional relationships, and the second is a phenomenon that seems to influence some individuals to self-disclose or act out more intensely online than they would in person.

The Online Disinhibition Effect

Complicating the picture further is a phenomenon that has been termed by Suler (2004) as the “online disinhibition effect.” This is essentially the observation that while online, some people self-disclose or act out more frequently or intensely than they would in person. People online tend to have a loosening of both behavioral inhibitions and boundaries. Self-disclosure in itself can be therapeutic, of course, but too much disclosure with loose boundaries can lead to toxic disinhibition and embarrassing content online. Researchers have found that three factors facilitate online disinhibition: anonymity, invisibility, and lack of eye contact (Lapidot-Lefler, 2015).

Social Hyperreality

Introducing further complexity into the equation is Borgmann’s (1984, 1992, 1999) early conceptualization of social hyperreality. He called it the device paradigm, described as “a technologically-driven tendency to conform our interactions with the world to a model of easy consumption… the way in which online social networks may subvert or displace organic social realities by allowing people to offer one another stylized versions of themselves for amorous or convivial entertainment.” I.e., the online version of a person may be very different than the person in real life.

In this light, not only do therapists and their clients have to assimilate new and startling data about each other found in online media, they also have to discern whether it represents the real person or his/her digital avatar.

The upthrust of all of this is that therapists must go to extraordinary lengths to assure that their therapeutic relationships do not devolve into something less than what is required for single-minded attention to the best interests of their clients. Even an established and carefully constructed therapy relationship can be unwittingly unraveled by a chance encounter on Facebook. Even when the therapist is mindful of professional boundaries and judicious in the use of self-disclosure, an indiscreet posting or picture on his or her social network page – when viewed by a client – can largely undo prior efforts.

Course excerpt from:

Ethics and Social MediaEthics and Social Media is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the use of Social Networking Services (SNS) on both our personal and professional lives. Is it useful or appropriate (or ethical or therapeutic) for a therapist and a client to share the kinds of information that are routinely posted on SNS like Facebook, Twitter, and others? How are psychotherapists to handle “Friending” requests from clients? What are the threats to confidentiality and therapeutic boundaries that are posed by the use of social media sites, texts, or tweets in therapist-client communication?

The purpose of this course is to offer psychotherapists the opportunity to examine their practices in regard to the use of social networking services in their professional relationships and communications. Included are ethics topics such as privacy and confidentiality, boundaries and multiple relationships, competence, the phenomenon of friending, informed consent, and record keeping. A final section offers recommendations and resources for the ethical use of social networking and the development of a practice social media policy. Course #20-75 | 2016 | 32 pages | 15 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. 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 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 Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

How Stigmas Define Our Decisions

Stigmas

There can be a number of reasons that a person who suffers from mental illness might want to avoid seeking treatment, and for many disorders such as psychosis, bipolar disorder, major depression and anxiety disorders, delaying or avoiding care is associated with negative outcomes.

Looking to understand what keeps the purported 75 percent of people with a mental illness (in Europe and the US) from receiving treatment, Professor Graham Thornicroft of King’s College London and his research team gathered data from 144 studies, including over 90,000 participants worldwide and examined the effect of stigma on how individuals with mental health problems accessed and engaged with formal services, including GPs, specialist mental health services,mocke and talking therapies.

Out of ten barriers to treatment, stigma was ranked as the fourth highest. Respondents endorsed two main types of stigma: ‘treatment stigma’ (the stigma associated with using mental health services or receiving mental health treatment) and ‘internalized stigma’ (shame, embarrassment). Other important barriers preventing people from seeking help were fear of disclosing a mental health condition; concerns about confidentiality; wanting to handle the problem on one’s own; and not believing they needed help (Clement et al., 2016).

Further, the study identified certain groups for whom stigma had an even stronger effect on preventing people from seeking help. These included young people, men, people from minority ethnic groups, those in the military, and health professionals.

“We now have clear evidence that stigma has a toxic effect by preventing people from seeking help for mental health problems. The profound reluctance to be “a mental health patient” means people will put off seeing a doctor for months, years, or even at all, which in turn delays their recovery” (Thornicroft, 2016).

Course excerpt from:

Overcoming the Stigma of Mental IllnessOvercoming the Stigma of Mental Illness is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that explores the stigmas around mental illness and provides effective strategies to overcome them.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines mental illness stigma as “a range of negative attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors about mental and substance use disorders.” Mental health and substance use disorders are prevalent and among the most highly stigmatized health conditions in the United States, and they remain barriers to full participation in society in areas as basic as education, housing, and employment.

This course will explore the stigmas surrounding mental illness and provide effective strategies clinicians can use to create a therapeutic environment where clients can evaluate their attitudes, beliefs, and fears about mental illness, and ultimately find ways to overcome them. We will explore the ways in which mental illness stigmas shape our beliefs, decisions, and lives. We will then look at specific stigmas about mental illness, from the fear of being seen as crazy to the fear of losing cognitive function and the ways in which we seek to avoid these fears. We will then look at targeted strategies that, you, the clinician, can use to create a therapeutic alliance where change and healing can overcome the client’s fears. Lastly, we will look at the specific exercises you can use in session with your clients to help them address and overcome their biases and stigmas about mental illness. Course #21-24 | 2018 | 35 pages | 15 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. 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 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 Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!