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$39

The Power of Skepticism and Critical Thinking

Leo Christie, PhD

Course Abstract

The Power of Skepticism and Critical Thinking is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) 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

Learning Objectives

1. Identify the core elements of critical thinking
2. List reasons skepticism and critical thinking are essential in health and mental health care
3. Identify heuristics, fallacies, and biases that can reduce the effectiveness of health care treatment
4. List ways health care professionals can learn to be better critical thinkers
5. Name assessment instruments that are used to measure critical thinking skills
6. Identify strategies that can be used to cultivate a critical thinking mindset
CE INFORMATION

NBCC-Approved Provider Logo

Professional Development Resources (PDR) has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5590. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. PDR is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. Professional Development Resources is also approved as a provider of online (home study) continuing education by the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling (#50-1635); 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 and Marriage & Family Therapist Board (#RCST100501); and the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage & Family Therapists (#193).

COURSE DIRECTIONS

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. The course is text-based (reading) and the CE test is open-book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of this course involves passing an online test (80% required, 3 chances to take) and we ask that you also complete a brief course evaluation. Click here to learn more.

Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

About the Author(s)

Leo Christie, PhD, LMFT, is a Florida-licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Florida State University. Past President of the Florida Council on Family Relations, Dr. Christie is a past CEO of Professional Development Resources, a nonprofit corporation whose mission is to deliver continuing education credit courses to healthcare professionals throughout the United States. He has more than 20 years' experience in private practice with a specialty in child behavior disorders and as an instructor for over 500 live continuing education seminars for healthcare professionals.

Disclosure:
Financial
: Receives a salary from Professional Development Resources, Inc.

Nonfinancial
: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist. 


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