Poise: The Psychology of Posture

Poise: The Psychology of Posture

Poise: The Psychology of Posture is a new 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that explores how body language can be used to better understand our clients and improve their lives.

It is said that non-verbal communication represents two-thirds of all communication. Whether it be through gestures, posture, facial expressions, personal space or eye contact, how we position and move our bodies sends a message to those we are speaking to. Our poise is often a very telling look into how we feel, and can be used as a tool to assess, and even change, psychological state.

This course will explore the body language of poise – how we hold ourselves, position our bodies, sit, stand, walk, and carry ourselves – to examine the link between posture and psychology, an exciting new field called psychobiomechanics. We will look at the research on psychobiomechanics and the science behind body/mind (also known as bottom-up) approaches. Then we will explore what poise can tell us about how to detect common psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety, fear, anger, and mistrust. Lastly, we will learn the powerful skills needed to utilize poise to overcome fear, build confidence, connect with others, and call upon our best selves. Course #21-27 | 2018 | 31 pages | 15 posttest questions

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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).

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Gender and Transgender Identity

Updated Online CE Course @pdresources.org

Gender and Transgender IdentityGender and Transgender Identity is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that reviews issues in the formation of gender and transgender identity. After viewing oneself as a human being, the most important aspect of our self-concept is that we are a male person or a female person. That is the very essence of our humanness and the most basic sense of who we are. To experience a conflict between our physical body and our concept of maleness or femaleness is the most fundamental existential distress imaginable.

This course will discuss the ongoing distinction between sex and gender, causes and prevalence of transgender identity, harassment of transgender children, DSM-5 diagnostic criteria, theories of gender development, conversion therapy, modern medical and socio-psychological treatment of transgender patients, passing, and postsurgical relationships and therapy. Certain prominent transgender people are discussed, and several autobiographies are referenced to further our understanding of the complex transgender life experiences. Finally, some examples of positive changes are presented, which increase the knowledge base for the professionals who see transgender patients in their practices, along with other nascent societal changes, which, in turn, can improve these patient’s lives.

NOTE: We are aware that terminology regarding transgender issues changes over time and varies from community to community. We recognize the need to be respectful of all individuals and sensitive to usage within particular communities. Both the National Center for Gender Equality and the American Psychological Association currently recommend using use the term “transgender” as an adjective, but not as a noun, which some consider offensive. Within this course, we use the term transgender, with the intention of being as broadly inclusive as possible, and recognizing that some transgender people do not ascribe to this term. Our purpose is to offer health professionals training in the provision of care that is respectful, aware, and supportive of the identities and life experiences of transgender people.

Course #31-15 | 2018 | 46 pages | 20 posttest questions

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Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials 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!

Cyberstalking vs. “Traditional” Stalking

Cyberstalking

Victims of cyberstalking take more self-protective measures, pay higher out of pocket costs to combat the problem and experience far greater fear over time than traditional stalking victims, says Matt Nobles of Sam Houston University (Nobles, 2013).

That fact, notes Nobles, is just one thing we need to know about stalking.

Working with Bradford Reyns of Weber State University, Kathleen Fox of Arizona State University, and Bonnie Fisher of the University of Cincinnati, Nobles explored the similarities and differences in the experiences reported by victims of stalking and cyberstalking.

Cyberstalking, for the purposes of the study, was defined as, “repeated harassment or threats facilitated by technology, including electronic communication using the internet, email and social media.”

What Nobles and his team found was that while victims of stalking and cyberstalking use many similar forms of self-protection, cyberstalking results in more time off work, increased risk of leaving a job or school, avoiding friends and relatives, and changing email and social media identities (Nobles et al., 2013).

Cyberstalking also results in higher costs – often felt in moving expenses, changing phone numbers – compared to traditional stalking victims (Nobles et al., 2013).

Moreover, cyberstalking caused victims to feel more prolonged hypervigilance than traditional stalking, suggesting that the experience of cyberstalking tends to build and compound over time (Nobles et al., 2013).

Lastly, while victims of traditional stalking are typically women, female victims represented only 58 percent of the case of cyberstalking (Nobles et al., 2013).

With increased access to social media, we can only imagine that cases of cyberstalking will become more prevalent. However, we can also hope that we better understand the effects of cyberstalking and are prepared to treat them.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Course:

Stalking: Recognizing and RespondingStalking: Recognizing and Responding is a 1-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the prevalence of stalking and provides therapists with the means to identify and assist victims/survivors.

Stalking is a crime that is far more prevalent and more dangerous than most people realize. It is a crime that is not well understood and that often goes unrecognized. Findings from various studies examining the prevalence of stalking suggest that community-based interventions are critical to raising awareness about this crime and promoting prevention efforts. Mental health professionals have an important role in identifying and treating victims/survivors of stalking through educating themselves about this crime.

Researchers have found that stalking victims have a higher incidence of mental disorders and comorbid illnesses compared with the general population, with the most robust associations identified between stalking victimization, major depressive disorder, and panic disorder. Additionally, intimate partner stalking has been identified as a common form of IPV experienced by women veterans that strongly contributes to their risk for probable PTSD. These findings indicate that it is important to assess for these symptoms and diagnoses when working with victims/survivors of stalking.

This course is designed to enhance your understanding of stalking by reviewing key findings from research on stalking, identifying common tactics used by stalkers, and exploring the intersections between stalking, intimate partner violence, and sexual violence. This course will also examine common reactions experienced by victims/survivors of stalking and discuss ways to assist victims/survivors in clinical practice. Course #11-17 | 2018 | 18 pages | 10 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials 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!

 

Do Mass Shooters Share Characteristics?

Do Mass Shooters Share Characteristics?

In the aftermath of a mass shooting, we all wonder what went wrong and what can be done to prevent more violence in the future. Are there signs we are missing? Are there specific characteristics that predict aggressive behavior?

According to Kathryn Farr of Portland State University, the answer is yes.

Investigating the characteristics shared by 31 school boys involved in 29 mass shootings at American schools between 1995 and 2015, Kathryn Farr of Portland State University found that boys’ social status in middle and high school is determined in great part by peers’ acceptance of them as “appropriately masculine.” When this social status is in question, they become increasingly angry, depressed, more violent in their gendered practice, and develop deep-set grudges against their classmates. A shooting rampage then becomes their ultimate performance (Farr, 2017).

So what are these guidelines for gender appropriateness? Farr describes them as a set of “Adolescent Insider Masculinity” norms that depict masculinity as the ideal that men are cool, heterosexual and tough, shy away from “sissy stuff” and embrace activities, behavior and mannerisms that are typical of “guys” (Farr, 2017).

Of the shooters Farr investigated, ten had a history of serious psychiatric problems, while another ten grew up in extremely abusive households. The remaining eleven boys tended to react explosively and inappropriately to incidents that they perceived as unjustly discrediting them (Farr, 2017).

Farr explains, “Many of the adolescent shooters had personal troubles that affected their ability to manage their social performances at school. Moreover, the potential rampage of a boy with severe mental illness and rampage-related risk factors could be especially injurious” (Farr, 2017).

While all 31 shooters were made aware of their failings through their classmates’ emasculating bullying, rejection by girlfriends, and marginalization in general, most were repeatedly and publicly tagged with homosexual and feminized names such as “homo,” a “cry baby” or “fag” and some even reported being physically and sexually victimized by their male peers (Farr, 2017).

According to Farr, the shooters’ were often perceived as off, either not meeting or exaggerating the Adolescent Insider Masculinity imperatives. However, the shooters themselves typically perceived the responses they received as undeserved injustices that denied them their masculine entitlements. Their actions were often an attempt to reclaim their masculinity. For instance, they often brought guns to school, or emphasized violent themes in their writings, drawings, and class presentations. Almost all had bragged about their rampage plans. Unfortunately, such behavior typically further damaged the boys’ already low social status (Farr, 2017).

What we can do, Farr notes, is become aware of the warning signs, and when we see them, make every effort to reach out to them, and talk about issues such as masculinity, gender norms, and emasculating bullying. And, at the very least, avoid stigmatizing them.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Course:

Counseling Victims of Mass ShootingsCounseling Victims of Mass Shootings is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that gives clinicians the tools they need to help their clients process, heal, and grow following the trauma of a mass shooting.

Sadly, mass shootings are becoming more widespread and occurring with ever greater frequency, often leaving in their wake thousands of lives forever changed. As victims struggle to make sense of the horror they have witnessed, mental health providers struggle to know how best to help them. The question we all seem to ask is, “Why did this happen?”

This course will begin with a discussion about why clinicians need to know about mass shootings and how this information can help them in their work with clients. We will then look at the etiology of mass shootings, exploring topics such as effects of media exposure, our attitudes and biases regarding mass shooters, and recognizing the signs that we often fail to see.

We will answer the question of whether mental illness drives mass shootings. We will examine common first responses to mass shootings, including shock, disbelief, and moral injury, while also taking a look at the effects of media exposure of the victims of mass shootings.

Then, we will turn our attention to the more prolonged psychological effects of mass shootings, such as a critical questioning and reconsideration of lives, values, beliefs, and priorities, and the search for meaning in the upheaval left in the wake of horrific events. This course will introduce a topic called posttraumatic growth, and explore the ways in which events such as mass shootings, while causing tremendous amounts of psychological distress, can also lead to psychological growth. This discussion will include topics such a dialectical thinking, the shifting of fundamental life perspectives, the opening of new possibilities, and the importance of community. Lastly, we will look at the exercises that you, the clinician, can use in the field or office with clients to promote coping skills in dealing with such horrific events, and to inspire psychological growth, adaptation, and resilience in the wake of trauma. Course #31-09 | 2018 | 47 pages | 20 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials 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!

Dissociate Identity Disorder Trauma Model

Trauma Model of Dissociate Identity Disorder

Trauma, we know, can do many things. It can interrupt sleep. It can cause us to be hypervigilant. It can disrupt our moods and ability to handle the tasks placed upon us. Yet trauma also places us at risk of something most of us know little about – multiple personality disorder, more recently known as dissociate identity disorder (DID).

Thought to affect approximately one percent of the general population – similar to levels reported for schizophrenia – DID often presents only after having had several earlier misdiagnoses, including schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Unlike schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, DID is characterized by the presence of two or more distinct ‘identities’ or ‘personality states’ – each with their own perception of the environment and themselves.

And while some experts argue that DID is linked to trauma, such as chronic emotional neglect and/or emotional, physical, or sexual abuse from early childhood, and others contend that it is related to fantasy proneness, suggestibility, simulation or enactment, a study done by researchers at King’s College in London provides support for the trauma model of DID and challenges the core hypothesis of the fantasy model.

Comparing a sample comprised of a total of 65 women, some with a genuine diagnosis of DID, some female actors who were asked to simulate DID, some with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and some healthy controls, on a variety of questionnaires which measured traumatic experiences, suggestibility, fantasy proneness and malingering of psychiatric symptoms, the researchers found that patients with DID were not more fantasy prone or suggestible and did not generate more false memories compared to patients with PTSD, DID simulating controls (Vissia et al., 2016).

Moreover, the researchers found a continuum of trauma-related symptom severity across the groups, with highest scores in patients with DID, followed by patients with PTSD, and the lowest scores for healthy controls (Vissia et al., 2016).

These results support the theory that there is an association between severity of trauma-related psychopathology and the age at onset, severity and intensity of traumatization.

Dr. Simone Reinders from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London, explained, “Our findings correspond with research in other areas of psychology and psychiatry, which increasingly implicate trauma with mental health disorders such as psychosis, depression, and now, dissociative identity disorder” (Reinders, 2016).

The hope of Reinders and her team is that insight into the causes and nature of DID will inform, among others, clinicians and forensic experts regarding differences between simulated and genuine DID – which will ultimately lead to faster diagnosis and treatment for patients and greater recognition of DID as a mental health disorder.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Course:

A Dissociative Identity Disorder CasebookA Dissociative Identity Disorder Casebook is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that details the diagnosis, treatment, and case management of Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), more recently known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

These clients are severely under-diagnosed, misdiagnosed, ignored, and even ridiculed by their own family and many in the mental health profession. Therapists who deal with these clients may be ridiculed and attacked by other mental health professionals and the MPD/DID clients. The prognosis for treatment of MPD/DID is still tragically poor.

This course will include in-depth discussions of the confusion and controversies surrounding this relatively rare disorder, rule-outs and co-morbid conditions to be considered, and the numerous clinical challenges encountered in treating individuals with multiple personalities. All sections are richly illustrated with case examples from the professional and popular literature, as well as the extensive clinical experiences of the author. Course #40-14 | 2018 (updated) | 58 pages | 30 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials 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!

Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness

Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness

According to a report published in the Psychological Science in the Public Interest, despite the availability of effective evidence-based treatment, about 40 percent of individuals with serious mental illness do not receive care, and many who begin an intervention do not complete it (Corrigan et al., 2015).

“The prejudice and discrimination of mental illness is as disabling as the illness itself. It undermines people attaining their personal goals and dissuades them from pursuing effective treatments,” explains Patrick W. Corrigan of the Illinois Institute of Technology (Corrigan, 2015).

Stigma, notes Corrigan, is seen not just in the attitudes we hold toward those with mental illness, but also in the policies that affect them – from poor funding for research and services compared to other illnesses to “widespread, inaccurate, and sensational media depictions that link mental illness with violence” (Corrigan, 2015).

Public stigma, as witnessed in the pervasive stereotypes we hold toward those with mental illness, causes them to drop out of treatment early or avoid it entirely for fear of being categorized as violent, unpredictable, or dangerous.

Stigma also influences the structures designed to offer care to the mentally ill. The fact that mental health is not covered by insurance to the same extent as medical care, and the fact that mental illness research is not funded at the same levels as medial research are just two examples, notes Corrigan (Corrigan, 2015).

What Corrigan’s report advocates for is that we approach mental illness differently. By addressing stigma through showing another face of mental illness – the personal stories of recovery, hope, and humanity of those with mental illness – we take a step toward overcoming the most insidious – and often overlooked – barrier to care.

In time, Corrigan hopes, stigma will also be addressed on a larger level – through enhanced support systems, public policy, and actual systems of care – and will no longer be a reason that those who need mental health care will avoid it.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Course:

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 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!

Healthy Living Improves Executive Function

Healthy Living Improves Executive Function

Living a healthy lifestyle will likely help you live longer. But new research suggests living a healthier lifestyle could also increase executive function, which is the ability to exert self-control, set and meet goals, resist temptation, and solve problems.

If you stop and think about it, it makes sense. Resisting donuts and opting for kale, after all, takes a fair amount of self-control – as does getting up early to exercise.

Over time, suggests researchers, these behaviors reinforce one another in a sort of positive feedback loop.

Using data collected from 4,555 adults through the English Longitudinal Study of Aging, researchers analyzed the relationship between physical activity and executive function, adjusting for other variables such as age, gender, education, wealth and illness, and found evidence that the relationship between the two is bidirectional (Allan et al., 2016).

Specifically, individuals with poor executive function showed subsequent decreases in their rates of participation in physical activity and older adults who engaged in sports and other physical activities tended to retain high levels of executive function over time (Allen et al., 2016).

While this study focused on physical activity and its relationship to executive function, the researchers noted that a positive feedback loop between executive function and eating nutritious foods is quite plausible. Similarly, it is likely that negative feedback loops also exist, where unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking or drinking too much alcohol will be both a result of and a predictor of declining executive function (Allan et al., 2016).

This might help explain why executive function typically declines with age, as older people may become more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors like remaining sedentary and less likely to maintain healthy but effortful behaviors like taking prescribed medication regularly.

The up side, however, is that the longer one can maintain high executive function, the longer and more easily that person can stave off behavior that will be detrimental to their health. Dr. Julia Allan explains, “People who make a change to their health behavior, like participating in physical activity, eating less processed food, or consuming more fruits and vegetables, can see an improvement in their brain function over time and increase their chances of remaining healthy as they age” (Allan, 2016).

With the world’s population of elderly folks to hit 1.5 billion by 2050, the connection between executive function – and specifically how it is mediated by and helps to mediate our health – could have major implications.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Executive Functioning in AdultsExecutive Functioning in Adults is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides strategies to help adults overcome executive functioning deficits.

As human beings, we have a built-in capacity to accomplish goals and meet challenges through the use of high-level cognitive functions called “executive functioning” skills. These are the skills that help us to decide which activities and tasks we will pay attention to and which ones we will choose to ignore or postpone.

Executive skills allow us to organize our thinking and behavior over extended periods of time and override immediate demands in favor of longer-term goals. These skills are critical in planning and organizing activities, sustaining attention, and persisting until a task is completed. Individuals who do not have well developed executive functioning skills tend to have difficulty starting and attending to tasks, redirecting themselves when a plan is not working, and exercising emotional control and flexibility. This course offers a wide variety of strategies to help adults overcome such difficulties and function more effectively. Course #31-08 | 2018 | 61 pages | 20 posttest questions

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

Alzheimer’s Disease: A Practical GuideAlzheimer’s Disease: A Practical Guide is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that offers healthcare professionals a basic foundation in Alzheimer’s disease prevention, diagnosis, and risk management.

This course will present practical information to aid healthcare professionals as they interact with clients who are diagnosed with any of the many types of dementia. We will review what is normal in the aging process, and what is not; diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer’s disease; testing cognition and gene testing; risk factors; and clinical research. We will then discuss the struggle caregivers face and provide strategies for how best to support them.

The next section will provide practical guidance for caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease, including daily care activities, keeping the person safe, and unwanted behaviors. Next we will review prevention and compensation strategies to help people protect their cognitive health as they age, including modifiable risk factors that have the potential to reduce the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease. A final section on protecting our elders from scams and how to find reputable resources for information is included. Course #31-12 | 2018 | 56 pages | 20 posttest questions

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials 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 to Get Kids Talking

How to Get Kids TalkingThe competent use of language can increase young clients’ self-esteem, motivate them to learn, engage their willing cooperation, defuse power struggles, and teach conflict resolution skills, but the question is: How do we get kids talking?

One suggestion is to use their own language.

Conducting experiments to explore the language gap between rich and poor children that emerges during infancy, Anne Fernald, a psychology professor at Stanford University, identified one likely cause: infants who heard more child-directed speech developed greater efficiency in language processing and learned new words more quickly (Fernald et al., 2015).

Using special technology to make all-day recordings of low-SES Spanish-learning children in their home environments, Fernald and her colleagues found that exposure to child-directed speech – as opposed to overheard speech – sharpened infants’ language processing skills, with cascading benefits for vocabulary learning (Fernald et al., 2015).

Fernald’s work has led to the creation of a parent-education intervention study with low-income Spanish-speaking mothers in East San Jose, California, funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. This new program, called ¡Habla conmigo! (Talk with Me!), teaches Latina mothers how they can support their infants’ early brain development and helps them learn new strategies for engaging verbally with their children. Although they only have data from 32 families so far, the preliminary results are promising. Mothers in the ¡Habla conmigo! program are communicating more and using higher quality language with their 18-month-olds compared to mothers in a control group (Fernald et al., 2015).

“What’s most exciting,” said Fernald, “is that by 24 months the children of more engaged moms are developing bigger vocabularies and processing spoken language more efficiently. Our goal is to help parents understand that by starting in infancy, they can play a role in changing their children’s life trajectories” (Fernald, 2015).

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Improving Communication with Your Young ClientsImproving Communication with Your Young Clients is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that teaches communication skills for use with young clients and their families.

Healthy professional and personal relationships rely heavily on effective and respectful communication skills. Professionals can benefit from enhancing their repertoire of communication techniques to improve the quality of relationships with families and children who have communication skills deficits. The competent use of language can increase young clients’ self-esteem, motivate them to learn, engage their willing cooperation, defuse power struggles, and teach conflict resolution skills.

The purpose of this course is to teach clinicians effective and practical communication and conversational skills to use in the classroom and in one-on-one situations with young clients and their families. Using these strategies, participants will be better prepared to manage difficult situations and conversations. Course #31-06 | 2018 | 59 pages | 20 posttest questions

Improving Social Skills in Children & AdolescentsImproving Social Skills in Children & Adolescents is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that discusses the social skills children and adolescents will need to develop to be successful in school and beyond. It will demonstrate the challenges and difficulties that arise from a deficit of these crucial skills, as well as the benefits and advantages that can come about with well-developed social skills.

This course will also provide practical tools that teachers and therapists can employ to guide children to overcome their difficulties in the social realm and gain social competence. While there are hundreds of important social skills for students to learn, we can organize them into skill areas to make it easier to identify and determine appropriate interventions. This course is divided into 10 chapters, each detailing various aspects of social skills that children, teens, and adults must master to have normative, healthy relationships with the people they encounter every day. This course provides tools and suggestions that, with practice and support, can assist them in managing their social skills deficits to function in society and nurture relationships with the peers and adults in their lives. Course #40-40 | 2016 | 62 pages | 35 posttest questions

Supportive Communication for the Child with Special NeedsSupportive Communication for the Child with Special Needs is a 1-hour audio continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides practical tips for helping parents to communicate with their child who has special needs.

Parenting a child with special needs comes with many challenges. Parents are often under pressure, not knowing what to expect or how to react and manage the behaviors their child may present. Children who have supportive and caring parents who understand their needs generally experience better outcomes, both in school and in general. In their desire to help, parents frequently look to their child’s school-based professionals for ideas on how to communicate and connect with their child. It is imperative that speech-language pathologists and other helping professionals like counselors and occupational therapists have practical ideas and skills in order to help parents do this. This course will discuss multiple practical ways to help parents communicate and connect with their child who has special needs, thereby gaining the competence they need to improve their child’s chances for success. A course handout with slides that flow with the audio file is included. Course #11-15 | 2018 | 58 minute audio | 10 posttest questions

Course Directions

Our online courses provide instant access to the course materials 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!

Better Prediction of Suicide Risk

Better Prediction of Suicide Risk

In the aftermath of a horrific event like a suicide, we all ask the same question: What could we have done to prevent it?

Yet for some, that is the wrong question. For researchers at Kaiser Permanente, what we should be asking is how we can better predict suicide risk.

In one of the largest studies to date – involving seven large health systems serving a combined population of 8 million people in nine states, and examining almost 20 million visits by nearly 3 million people age 13 or older, including about 10.3 million mental health specialty visits and about 9.7 million primary care visits with mental health diagnoses – the researchers combined a variety of information from the past five years of people’s electronic health records and answers to questionnaires, taken from five Kaiser Permanente regions.

Not only were they able to more accurately predict suicide risk than before, they found that in the 90 days following an office visit, suicide attempts and deaths among patients whose visits were in the highest 1 percent of predicted risk were 200 times more common than among those in the bottom half of predicted risk; patients with mental health specialty visits who had risk scores in the top 5 percent accounted for 43 percent of suicide attempts and 48 percent of suicide deaths; patients with primary care visits who had scores in the top 5 percent accounted for 48 percent of suicide attempts and 43 percent of suicide deaths (Simon et al., 2018).

The researchers also found that the strongest predictors of future suicide attempts included prior suicide attempts, mental health and substance use diagnoses, medical diagnoses, psychiatric medications dispensed, inpatient or emergency room care, and scores on a standardized depression questionnaire (Simon et al., 2018).

“We demonstrated that we can use electronic health record data in combination with other tools to accurately identify people at high risk for suicide attempt or suicide death,” explained Gregory E. Simon, MD, MPH, a Kaiser Permanente psychiatrist in Washington and a senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (Simon, 2018).

Better prediction of suicide risk, says Simon, is the foundation of suicide prevention. When better informed, health care providers and health systems can make better decisions, such as how often to follow up with patients, refer them for intensive treatment, reach out to them after missed or canceled appointments – and whether to help them create a personal safety plan and counsel them about reducing access to means of self-harm.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Suicide PreventionSuicide Prevention: Evidence-Based Strategies is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that reviews evidence-based research and offers strategies for screening, assessment, treatment, and prevention of suicide in both adolescents and adults.

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. In 2015, 44,193 people killed themselves. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes, “Suicide is a serious but preventable public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities.” People who attempt suicide but do not die face potentially serious injury or disability, depending on the method used in the attempt. Depression and other mental health issues follow the suicide attempt.

Family, friends, and coworkers are negatively affected by suicide. Shock, anger, guilt, and depression arise in the wake of this violent event. Even the community as a whole is affected by the loss of a productive member of society, lost wages not spent at local businesses, and medical costs. The CDC estimates that suicides result in over 44 billion dollars in work loss and medical costs.

Prevention is key: reducing risk factors and promoting resilience. This course will provide a review of evidence-based studies so that healthcare professionals are informed on this complex subject. Information from the suicide prevention technical package from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be provided. Included also are strategies for screening and assessment, prevention considerations, methods of treatment, and resources for choosing evidence-based suicide prevention programs. Course #30-97 | 2018 | 61 pages | 20 posttest questions

The Suicide SurvivorThe Suicide Survivor is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that provides an understanding and means of helping the people who have lost loved ones to suicide.

One of the most difficult and complex emotional adjustments many individuals will ever face is the challenging and often lengthy process of dealing with the suicide of a family member or other loved one. These people are called suicide survivors; the family members and close friends who have experienced the death of a family member or loved one by suicide.

Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence because nearly 45,000 people die by suicide each year in the United States alone. Estimates are that an average of six individuals experience major life disruption as a consequence of every suicide. The cascade of emotions that follow can be both unexpected and overwhelming, and many of the survivors who most need assistance in the form of supportive counseling do not receive it.

This course will provide information and helping strategies for health professionals who work with individuals who are struggling with both “normal” grief and complicated grief, sometimes described as “persistent complex bereavement disorder.” Also discussed are myths about coping with grief, the progression through the grief of suicide, stigmas associated with suicide, assessing for religious help, theories of grief, role of the therapist, needs of suicide survivors, and, finally, moving on. Course #21-26 | 2018 | 40 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!