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Counseling the Criminal Mind

Claire Dorotik-Nana, LMFT

CE Credit: 2 Hours

Target Audience: Psychology CE | Counseling CE | Social Work CE | Marriage & Family Therapy CE | School Psychology CE | Teaching CE

Learning Level: Intermediate

Course Type: Online

Course Abstract

Counseling the Criminal Mind is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the effects of mass incarceration and provides strategies for reducing criminal behavior.

When events such as mass shootings, acts of terrorism, and familicide occur, one question we might ask ourselves is: What goes through the mind of the perpetrator? In attempting to answer this question, this course will explore the many factors that lead to criminal behavior, including traumatic brain injury, genetic predisposition, sibling behavior, exposure to violent video games, excessive television viewing, alcohol abuse, and social cohesion.

We will then explore the psychological effects of the incarceration experience itself, factors that contribute to criminal behavior, and brain-related and environmental approaches to turn around criminal behavior. Lastly, we will present strategies that you can use in session with your clients to help them make effective changes, find a vocation, decrease feelings of shame while increasing feelings of empathy, and practice mindfulness and self-regulation – all aimed at helping clients turn from a life of crime into one of fulfillment, meaning, and productivity.

Course #21-33 | 2019 | 35 pages | 15 posttest questions

Learning Objectives

1. Describe how mass incarceration leads to a cycle of crime and what clinicians can do to break the cycle
2. Identify five factors that may lead to criminal behavior
3. List three biases that exist in the criminal justice system and two priorities for effective rehabilitation
4. Explain the psychological, cognitive, and behavioral effects of incarceration
5. Describe two interventions that help reduce the risk of criminal behavior
6. List three strategies that clinicians can use in session with clients to help reduce criminal behavior

NBCC-Approved Provider Logo

NBCC Clock Hours: 2 | 

NBCC ACEP Number: 5590 | 

Professional Development Resources
 is also approved as a provider of online continuing education by the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling and is CE Broker compliant (#50-1635); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage & Family Therapists (#193); and the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage & Family Therapist Board (#RCST100501).


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.

About the Author(s)

Claire Dorotik-Nana, LMFT, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in post-traumatic growth, optimal performance, and wellness. She is licensed to practice in California and Colorado. Claire earned her BS in Kinesiology and worked as a personal trainer for years before becoming a course developer for International Sports Science Association. Claire is always thinking about ways to improve physical fitness and nutrition as a modality for improving mental health. She also writes in her popular blog, Leveraging Adversity on Psychcentral.

Financial: No relevant financial relationships exist.
: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

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