The Power of Skepticism – New CE Course

The Power of Skepticism and Critical ThinkingThe Power of Skepticism and Critical Thinking is a new 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that examines how positive skepticism and critical thinking are necessary in clinical practice.

The history of health care abounds with treatments that persisted (although they didn’t work) for many years without ever being seriously challenged. How did this happen? More to the point, how is it that this continues to happen today? At least a part of the answer can be found in a very long list of cognitive errors, fallacies, and biases that seem to be part of human nature. Human beings are endowed with the ability to reason and the need to find connections between things and events. The problem is that we have such a strong need to find connections that we sometimes see them even when they are not there. In health care, arriving at the wrong conclusion can be an error of life and death proportions.

This course defines and illustrates the many ways in which health professionals can fall prey to one or more thinking errors that can result in mistaken diagnoses, clinical errors, and reduced therapeutic success. Also reviewed are the powerful influences of propaganda, quackery, and pseudoscience. The antidote to thinking errors and pseudoscience is adherence to the sound principles of positive skepticism and critical thinking in clinical practice. This course offers the opportunity to uncover one’s own biases and learn new strategies and techniques for applying critical thinking skills. Included are how-to lists for evaluating new treatments, conference speakers, published studies, and internet content. Course #31-14 | 2019 | 56 pages | 20 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

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. 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 Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); 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).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Critical Thinking – New CE Course

Critical Thinking in Clinical Practice

Critical Thinking in Clinical Practice is a new 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that offers strategies and techniques for applying critical thinking skills in clinical practice.

The history of health care abounds with treatments that persisted (although they didn’t work) for many years without ever being seriously challenged. How did this happen? More to the point, how is it that this continues to happen today? At least a part of the answer can be found in a very long list of cognitive errors, fallacies, and biases that seem to be part of human nature. Human beings are endowed with the ability to reason and the need to find connections between things and events. The problem is that we have such a strong need to find connections that we sometimes see them even when they are not there. In health care, arriving at the wrong conclusion can be an error of life and death proportions.

This course defines and illustrates the many ways in which health professionals can fall prey to one or more of a very long list of thinking errors that can result in mistaken diagnoses, clinical errors, and reduced therapeutic success. Also reviewed are the powerful influences of propaganda, quackery, and pseudoscience. The antidote to thinking errors and pseudoscience is adherence to the sound principles of critical thinking in clinical practice. This course offers the opportunity to uncover one’s own biases and learn new strategies and techniques for applying critical thinking skills. Included are how-to lists for evaluating new treatments, conference speakers, published studies, and internet content. Course #31-14 | 2019 | 56 pages | 20 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

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. 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 Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); 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).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Can We Slow Aging?

Can We Slow Aging?

Aging, however undesirable, is a normal and expected part of the human condition. Yet, for those who study aging, there is a new take.

It starts with how the aging process works. As we age, our cells age – a process called cellular senescence – and the result is an accumulation of damaged cells. These cells then release inflammatory factors that act like signals to the immune system to clear the damaged cells – a process which works well when we are young. However, as we age, our cells aren’t cleared as effectively by our immune system, and as they begin to accumulate, they cause low level inflammation and release enzymes that can degrade tissue.

How to reduce the burden of damaged cells has been the question for University of Minnesota Medical School faculty Paul D. Robbins and Laura J. Niedernhofer and Mayo Clinic investigators James L. Kirkland and Tamara Tchkonia.

In a recent study it seems they may have found their answer. Using a natural product called Fisetin, which is found in many fruits and vegetables, on mice towards the end of life, the researchers saw improvements both in health and lifespan (Yousefzadeh et al., 2018).

Robbins and his team now dub Fisetin is a senotherapeutic that, they say, “extends health and lifespan” (Robbins 2018).

“These results suggest that we can extend the period of health, termed healthspan, even towards the end of life” (Robbins, 2018).

This study was also novel in that it used mass cytometry, or CyTOF, technology and applied it for the first time in aging research, which as Robbins notes, helped demonstrate not only that Fisetin works to counteract aging, but just how it works (Robbins, 2018).

What we can ascertain from work like this is something we might have already guessed – eating fruits and vegetables is good for us. What we now know, however, is that it might also help us live longer and healthier.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Spirituality & AgingSpirituality & Aging is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that offers an insight into how spirituality influences the lives of elders in our care.

Spirituality and religious beliefs provide coping mechanisms for issues related to aging and have been proven to have a protective factor. Elders with higher levels of spirituality have better mental and physical health, and are less anxious about aging.

This course provides an accessible tool kit for healthcare professionals to use in attending to the spiritual well-being – as well as the physical, social, and emotional needs – of elders in their care. Included are ready-to-use exercises and techniques for promoting spiritual self-awareness in elders, as well as vignettes from the author’s own years of experience. The author makes a clear distinction between spirituality and religion, emphasizing the importance of helping elders come to terms with the numerous losses they experience in later life. Among the tools described are the spiritual inventory, an assessment of spiritual needs, the value of forgiveness and legacy, a discussion of spiritual deterrents, the importance of cultural sensitivity, how to promote spiritual growth in a group setting, and compassion fatigue among healthcare professionals. Course #21-28 | 2019 | 34 pages | 15 posttest questions

Aging: Challenges for CliniciansAging: Challenges for Clinicians is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that provides a review of the aging process, illustrating potential challenges and effective solutions.

Americans are living longer and there are proportionately more older adults than in previous generations due to the post-World War II baby boom. Many Americans are now living into their eighties and beyond. In healthcare, the volume of older people may soon outnumber the supply of healthcare professionals trained in geriatrics.

Aging presents many challenges for people as they encounter new physical and psychosocial issues. It is vital for healthcare professionals to be familiar with the challenges of aging in order to effectively treat the aging population. This course will provide information on the normal process of aging, and point out problems commonly thought to be normal that require medical or psychological evaluation and treatment. Case examples will illustrate scenarios of aging persons who may be at risk but are not aware there is a problem. Use this information for referral as appropriate to ensure the highest level of functioning for your patients. Course #31-01 | 2017 | 54 pages | 20 posttest questions

Nutrition and Mental HealthNutrition and Mental Health: Advanced Clinical Concepts is a 1-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that examines how what we eat influences how we feel, both physically and mentally. While the role of adequate nutrition in maintaining mental health has been established for some time, just how clinicians go about providing the right nutritional information to the patient at the right time – to not just ensure good mental health, but actually optimize mood – has not been so clear. With myriad diets, weight loss supplements and programs, clients often find themselves reaching for the next best nutritional solution, all the while, unsure how they will feel, or even what to eat to feel better. On the other side of the equation, clinicians so often face not just a client’s emotional, situational, and relational concerns, but concerns that are clearly mired in how the client feels physically, and what impact his/her nutritional health may have on these concerns. For example, research into the role of blood sugar levels has demonstrated a clear crossover with client impulse control. Additionally, the gut microbiome, and its role in serotonin production and regulation has consistently made clear that without good gut health, mitigating anxiety and depression becomes close to impossible.

So if good mental health begins with good nutritional health, where should clinicians start? What advice should they give to a depressed client? An anxious client? A client with impulse control problems? This course will answer these questions and more. Comprised of three sections, the course will begin with an overview of macronutrient intake and mental health, examining recent popular movements such as intermittent fasting, carb cycling and ketogenic diets, and their impact on mental health. In section two, we will look specifically at the role of blood sugar on mental health, and research that implicates blood sugar as both an emotional and behavioral regulator. Gut health, and specifically the gut microbiome, and its influence on mood and behavior will then be explored. Lastly, specific diagnoses and the way they are impacted by specific vitamins and minerals will be considered. Section three will deliver specific tools, you, the clinician, can use with your clients to assess, improve and maximize nutrition to optimize mental health. Course #11-06 | 2017 | 21 pages | 10 posttest questions

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 Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); 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).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Anger vs. Aggression

Anger vs. Aggression

Aggression is not the same as anger, though people readily confuse the two. A person can be very aggressive and mug someone in the street, but they needn’t be angry with the victim to perform this callous act. It is far more likely the motivation behind this behavior is the desire to steal valuables from the victim. Conversely, one can be angry with someone and not behave aggressively towards them.

Aggression is often defined as any behavior directed toward another individual that is carried out with the intent to cause harm (e.g., Rohlf, Holl, Kirsch, Krahé & Elsner, 2018). Perhaps someone is doing or saying something you don’t like, so you retaliate (e.g., threatening them with violence) in a bid to stop them from doing or saying it. That is aggression. Anger, on the other hand, is the state of emotional and physiological arousal. It has been described as a feeling that involves a strong, uncomfortable, and emotional response to a perceived provocation.

Anger may have physical effects. It may increase our heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline. Anger is thought to trigger part of the fight or flight brain response. The external expression of anger can be found in facial expressions, body language, physiological responses, and at times in acts of aggression. Psychologists view anger as a primary emotion experienced by humans, and as something that is necessary for survival. Anger can mobilize psychological resources to enable us to take action to help ourselves, but on the less positive side, uncontrolled anger and acts of aggression can negatively affect personal or social well-being.

Course excerpt from:

Managing Anger & Aggressive BehaviorManaging Anger & Aggressive Behavior is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that provides strategies for dealing with anger and aggression in clinical practice.

Healthcare professionals in every specialty have had experiences with anger and aggression, sometimes finding themselves the target of their clients’ anger. We are human, and all of us are subject to the full range of human emotions, even as therapists within the context of professional encounters with our clients. While anger is perfectly normal and almost universally experienced and expressed by individuals, it can become highly problematic when it is excessive in frequency and duration and is disproportionate to the event or person who triggered it.

The intent of this course is to address four interrelated topics: (1) understanding anger, (2) managing one’s own anger, (3) managing aggressive behavior from others, and (4) teaching clients to manage problematic anger. We will explore the different ways in which people can express outrage, including the commonly encountered forms of aggression (passive aggression, covert aggression, overt aggression, and outright hostility), and provide strategies for dealing with aggressors. As a foundation, we will also discuss coping strategies for managing our own anger and frustration as we go about our daily lives. Course #31-16 | 2019 | 53 pages | 20 posttest questions

Click here to learn more and enroll.

Course Directions

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).

Click here to learn more and enroll.

CE Information

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 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), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34);  the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678); and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

When Your Young Client is Defiant

New Online CE/CEU Course @pdresources.org

When Your Young Client is DefiantWhen Your Young Client is Defiant is a new 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides practical strategies for managing challenging and defiant behavior in young clients.

Adults are often at a loss when it comes to handling defiance and power struggles. Some lecture the child on disrespectful behavior. Others ignore it, hoping it will go away. All parents find it a frustrating and annoying part of the parenting experience (the same may be said for many clinicians). For clinicians, we have only limited time with our young clients and we need to manage challenging and defiant behavior effectively.

This course will demonstrate specific techniques that clinicians can use to manage their clients’ challenging and defiant behavior. The skills needed will be discussed and illustrated in detail so that clinicians can work with caregivers to develop the necessary tools and have them available when misbehavior occurs.

The techniques that will be discussed are appropriate for all learning environments – home, classroom, playground, gym, and the therapy room. They can be used in group or individual therapy sessions, in private practice, and/or school-based settings. The techniques can be modified for each child’s developmental level, from toddler to teen.

Author’s note: It should be noted at the outset that the dynamics and techniques described in this course may not be adequate or even appropriate for children with more serious behavior conditions such as oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorders. They will require more intense and specialized mental health interventions.

Course #31-13 | 2019 | 55 pages | 20 posttest questions

Click here to learn more and enroll.

Course Directions

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).

Click here to learn more and enroll.

CE Information

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 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), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34);  the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678); and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Managing Anger & Aggressive Behavior

Managing Anger & Aggressive Behavior

Managing Anger & Aggressive Behavior is a new 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that provides strategies for dealing with anger and aggression in clinical practice.

Healthcare professionals in every specialty have had experiences with anger and aggression, sometimes finding themselves the target of their clients’ anger. We are human, and all of us are subject to the full range of human emotions, even as therapists within the context of professional encounters with our clients. While anger is perfectly normal and almost universally experienced and expressed by individuals, it can become highly problematic when it is excessive in frequency and duration and is disproportionate to the event or person who triggered it.

Click here to learn more and enroll.

The intent of this course is to address four interrelated topics: (1) understanding anger, (2) managing one’s own anger, (3) managing aggressive behavior from others, and (4) teaching clients to manage problematic anger. We will explore the different ways in which people can express outrage, including the commonly encountered forms of aggression (passive aggression, covert aggression, overt aggression, and outright hostility), and provide strategies for dealing with aggressors. As a foundation, we will also discuss coping strategies for managing our own anger and frustration as we go about our daily lives. Course #31-16 | 53 pages | 20 posttest questions

Course Directions

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).

Click here to learn more and enroll.

CE Information

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 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), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34);  the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678); and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Building Resilience in your Young Client

  Building Resilience in your Young Client

Modern childhood is full of challenges. Health professionals are treating an increasing number of children who have difficulty coping with 21st century everyday life. Issues that are hard to deal with include excessive pressure in school to succeed, bullying, divorce, or even abuse at home. Children face additional stressors when adapting to new schools or classrooms, navigating sibling and peer relationships, and schoolwork. While many children thrive in the face of adversity and meet their challenges with resilience, others experience setbacks and disappointment when confronting difficulties.

Regarding the latter, it has long been observed that there are certain children who experience better outcomes than others who are subjected to similar adversities. A significant amount of literature has been devoted to the question of why this disparity exists. Research has largely focused on what has been termed “resilience.”

The concept of resilience has as its starting point the recognition that there is huge heterogeneity in people’s responses to all manner of personal and environmental adversities. “Resilience is an inference based on evidence that some individuals have a better outcome than others who have experienced a comparable level of adversity. A very important distinction is that it requires NOT superior functioning, but rather relatively better functioning compared with that shown by others experiencing the same level of stress or adversity” (Rutter, 2012).

The root word for resilience is resilire, which means to bounce back or rebound after being stressed. Although many definitions of resilience have been proposed, all contain two common elements: 1) an exposure to great risk; and 2) corresponding factors that help promote positive outcomes or reduce negative outcomes. Resilience is described as a dynamic development process of responding more positively than expected after facing risk. It is measured by how well someone reacts to a threat using his or her own abilities and available support systems (NCHE [National Center for Homeless Education], 2013). It is usually taken to involve not only the individual’s personal attributes and vulnerabilities, but also those of his or her family, school, and social environment.

In summary, resilience can be defined as “reduced vulnerability to environmental risk experiences, the overcoming of a stress or adversity, or a relatively good outcome despite risk experiences” (Rutter, 2012).

It must be noted that even the resilient child will experience sadness, or distress. Being able to work through those feelings and bounce back time and again is what makes a child into a resilient adult.

What Can Clinicians Do?

While the time that clinicians spend with children is short – usually a half hour to one hour of therapy – we can use that time to promote resilience and help our young clients develop the characteristics noted above.

It is an easy matter to incorporate the concept of resilience into our existing therapy activities and goals. As clinicians we already do many of the things that help children become resilient. One of the main goals of the speech-language pathologist (SLP), for example, is to teach language skills to help children communicate their needs more effectively, thus enabling them to create social connections and networks. Occupational therapists (OTs) and physical therapists (PTs) help with self-care, mobility and essential life skills. Mental health professionals help children develop behavioral control and positive attitudes.

Click here to learn more.

Building Resilience in your Young ClientBuilding Resilience in your Young Client is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that offers a wide variety of resilience interventions that can be used in therapy, school, and home settings.

It has long been observed that there are certain children who experience better outcomes than others who are subjected to similar adversities, and a significant amount of literature has been devoted to the question of why this disparity exists. Research has largely focused on what has been termed “resilience.” Health professionals are treating an increasing number of children who have difficulty coping with 21st century everyday life. Issues that are hard to deal with include excessive pressure to succeed in school, bullying, divorce, or even abuse at home.

This course provides a working definition of resilience and descriptions of the characteristics that may be associated with better outcomes for children who confront adversity in their lives. It also identifies particular groups of children – most notably those with developmental challenges and learning disabilities – who are most likely to benefit from resilience training. Course #30-98 | 2017 | 53 pages | 20 posttest questions

Course Directions

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).

CE Information

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 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), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678); and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

OCD: Not Just About Handwashing

OCD - Not Just About Handwashing

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has been portrayed in the popular media as primarily a problem of checking or washing.

The lay public has accepted OCD as one many people claim, in an ad hoc way, to have given the virtuous qualities associated with it, such as fastidiousness, cleanliness or being well organized. Unfortunately, when individuals actually suffer from this condition, these qualities could not be further from the truth. No one would want to claim they have OCD if they were cognizant of the full range of symptoms.

Most people with OCD suffer greatly and experience incredible emotional pain. Their families struggle with how to best help them. OCD is a severe and debilitating psychological condition affecting 1 percent to 3 percent of the population. The World Health Organization ranks it among the top 10 disabling conditions.

Research suggests it is comprised of subtypes that generally fall in the following categories: symmetry obsessions with symmetry compulsions; obsessions (such as aggressive, sexual, religious or somatic concerns), checking compulsions and contamination obsessions and cleaning compulsions.

Epidemiology research suggests that approximately half of all OCD sufferers report contamination fears associated with washing rituals. Therefore, if you treat individuals with OCD, there is a very high likelihood that the sufferer will have this variant of the disorder.

Many practitioners are aware that the treatment with the greatest level of scientific support for OCD is exposure with response prevention (ERP), which is a component of a broader program of cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT). ERP is said to work through a process of teaching clients that experiencing situations that are avoided do not result in the consequences that they are expecting.

In the case of treating individuals with contamination fears and washing rituals, here are a few helpful tips:

Exposure is Not Harmful

Many therapists are reluctant to practice exposure therapy. The concerns typically involve fears (by the therapist) that the client will drop out, get worse or that the practice will increase the risk of litigation.

Research has shown that dropout among individuals with OCD is comparably high regardless of intervention employed but that ERP is of the highest likelihood in producing good outcome and that clients rarely worsen with its application.

There are no documented cases of litigation to therapists that came about solely due to the application of exposure therapy. This is particularly true in contamination fear with washing rituals, which is one of the most readily treated of the subtypes of OCD.

Emotional Reaction to Exposure is Not Always Fear

The stereotype of OCD sufferers with washing rituals is that they are fearful of contracting an illness. Research over the past 15 years suggests that at least as much of the avoidance in contamination fear is due to much higher disgust reactivity. Many therapists are less familiar with disgust, so here are a few important points to know about this understudied emotion. Disgust is a transmittable emotion

Certain substances and objects lead to disgust reactions. Among the most disgusting things we can encounter are certain body products (i.e., feces, urine, mucus), rotting food and certain types of insects (i.e., spiders) or animals (i.e., rodents). However, experimental findings have shown that disgust operates based on two principles. The first is called the Law of Contagion.

This principle operates when an otherwise neutral object comes in contact with a disgusting object, transferring disgust onto that neutral object. For example, if a clean pen came in contact with mucus, the pen would acquire the disgusting properties. In the case of OCD with washing rituals, the problem is compounded. If that pen were to come in contact with another object such as a cell phone, now the cell phone is also contaminated. This contagion problem can persist across objects multiple times over.

The second principle is a bit less relevant in OCD, called the Law of Similarity. This is when an object that is neutral, but is shaped like a disgusting object leads to a disgust reaction. For example, if one were to serve soup in a bowl shaped like a miniature toilet, this would be evocative of disgust.

Disgust Can Be Treated with Exposure

It may require a bit more intestinal fortitude for the therapist, but ERP for washing rituals where disgust is evoked can still be effective. Be aware that it may take a bit longer than exposure in other circumstances.

When conducting ERP and the primary emotion is fear, there is a consequence that the client is concerned about, but which will not come to pass with the exposure exercise. So the learning is that there is nothing to fear. With disgust, there is typically no consequence except the client offering statements such as “it feels yucky” or “this looks gross.”

These are reactions that are slower to respond to treatment, since it is more a matter of simply getting accustomed to the emotional experience and not recognition of reduced risk. It may be necessary to schedule more frequent sessions in order to ensure a good outcome, such as two or three sessions a week, or longer duration sessions (i.e., up to 90 minutes).

Exposure with response prevention is widely sought out among OCD sufferers. Online forums and professional organizations that have consumer-oriented materials (such as the International Obsessive Compulsive Foundation or the Anxiety and Depression Association of America) have promoted ERP as an empirically supported approach.

As a result providers are often asked to deliver this treatment. In doing so, awareness of the full range of typical emotional reactions that might be provoked is essential for producing better outcomes for clients.

Course excerpt from:

Therapy Tidbits – September/October 2017 is a 1-hour online continuing education (CE) course comprised of select articles from the September/October 2017 issue of The National Psychologist, a private, independent bi-monthly newspaper intended to keep mental health professionals informed about practice issues. Course #11-12 | 2017 | 17 pages | 10 posttest questions

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Course:

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

Course Directions

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).

CE Information

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 New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678); and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Counseling Victims of Natural Disasters

Counseling Victims of Natural Disasters

Hurricanes. Floods. Fires. Tsunamis. We see them in the media every day. But how do we help those affected? This new course explains…

Counseling Victims of Natural Disasters is a new 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that helps clinicians gain a better understanding of the psychological impact natural disasters can have on their clients.

We may ask ourselves: What can be done for the victims of natural disasters? Beyond the physical needs, such as safety, food, and water, there remains the emotional residue of living through an experience that threatens one’s life. This course will address these emotional needs.

This course offers healthcare professionals an opportunity to consider the psychological impact of living through a natural disaster. The practical information presented here will aid healthcare professionals in taking clients through the first steps of recovery: disclosing, normalizing, and grounding. Clinicians will consider the ways in which natural disasters can lay the foundation for profound psychological growth. In searching for meaning in the aftermath of a traumatic experience, people can develop new perspectives on life, which leads to an adjustment in values, beliefs, and priorities. The experience becomes incorporated into their sense of self, helping them to see themselves as stronger, more capable, and more appreciative of what they have.  The clinician will then examine specific skills to use with clients as they learn to cope in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Course #31-04 | 2019 | 41 pages | 20 posttest questions

Course Directions

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).

CE Information

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 New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678); and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Impact of Media Exposure to Violence

Impact of Media Exposure to Violence

When we talk about trauma and the media, there are three trends that emerge:

  • First, the frequency and severity of mass shootings have been increasing.
  • Second, the reporting on these forms of violence has become more widespread and more sensationalized.
  • Third, we are now spending as much as 15.5 hours per day consuming media in some form (Short, 2016).

Now, more than ever, we are surrounded by a frightening array of violent stimuli.

From the smartphone videos that went viral after the Parkland school shooting to the ongoing media images of 911, media portrayals of traumatic events are fast becoming a guaranteed part of any traumatic experience in this country.

Yet as much as we are exposed to the often horrific images, videos, and, in the case of victims, interviews of themselves, do we really know the psychological effect that media exposure has on both the witnesses and victims of such events?

Research has indicated that:

  • Reporting on violence appears to have long-lasting effects on psychological health, including increased risk of PTSD – even as much as seven years later.
  • Exposure to graphic media images spread the impact of collective trauma widely – increasing the risk of both acute and chronic stress, and making traumatic experience live on. Yet, despite the negative consequences, we are often drawn to violent media – in movies and news – as a way to better understand ourselves, and perhaps avenge those who have done harm.
  • While viewing violent media causes changes in our brains and behavior, such as increased risk of aggression and reduced behavioral inhibition, for victims of crime the effects are especially pronounced. These include feelings of violation, loss of control, humiliation and shame.

There are, however, several ways that informed clinicians can not only help victims make sense of what happened to them, but also put the pieces of lives back together in ways that help them find meaning, purpose, and strength through their experiences:

  • Media exposure after mass trauma only leads to less clarity and more confusion about the event. Therefore, one of the best ways clinicians can help victims after a mass trauma is to encourage them to reduce or eliminate exposure to media coverage of the event.
  • Sleep plays an important role in recovering from mass trauma by reducing the intensity and frequency of recurring emotional memories, and should be encouraged by clinicians when working with victims of mass trauma, especially when it becomes public.
  • Having their clients write about their experiences is a powerful tool clinicians can use when working with victims. Research has shown that when victims write about a mass trauma – as opposed to viewing media coverage – especially using introspective and positive emotional words, not just do they feel better, but have better long-term outcomes physically and psychologically.
  • Community engagement after a mass trauma plays a critical role in restoring a sense of connection, support, and aids in the crucial cognitive processing of the event and is something that should be encouraged by clinicians when working with victims of trauma.

Click here to learn more.

Course excerpt from:

Psychological Effects of Media ExposurePsychological Effects of Media Exposure is a 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

Course Directions

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).

CE Information

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 New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678); and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!