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Psychological Effects of Ostracism

Claire Dorotik-Nana, LMFT

CE Credit: 2 Hours

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

Learning Level: Introductory

Course Type: Online

Course Abstract

Psychological Effects of Ostracism is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that explores the effects of ostracism and social exclusion in both children and adults - in the real world, and online.

This course will explore the reasons why ostracism occurs – from feelings of moral superiority to differences in physical appearance, and even the idea that ostracism is necessary to insure social cooperation. We will then examine the ways in which ostracism leads to feelings of aggression, hostility, the tendency to endorse extreme beliefs, physical effects such as increased stress hormones, decreased immunity and decreased pain tolerance, and disrupts cognitive function often impairing our ability to work.

We will then explore the ways in which ostracism exists online – often known as “cybermobbing” – and the related psychological effects. From there, we will turn our attention to the compensatory behaviors that often result from being ostracized – from decreased self-control and potentially delinquent behavior, to victimization of weaker others, and exaggerated attention seeking behaviors.

Lastly, we will look at the steps clinicians can take to help clients overcome the effects of ostracism – from broadening the social network, restoring values, getting creative, and even some alternative forms of treatment. This section also includes exercises that you can use with clients in session to help restore their sense of belonging, identify unknown strengths and quite possibly, even find psychological growth in the challenging experience of ostracism.

Course #21-36 | 2019 | 40 pages | 15 posttest questions

Learning Objectives

1. Describe what ostracism is and how it relates to ethical superiority
2. Discuss how appearance affects our judgements about ostracism
3. List three psychological, physical, and cognitive effects of ostracism
4. Explain the link between ostracism, social injury, and extreme groups
5. List and describe the behavioral responses that are common with ostracism
6. Identify three techniques/exercises clinicians can use to help clients who have experienced ostracism

AOTA Approved Provider

Professional Development Resources
is an AOTA Approved Provider of continuing education (#3159). OT Content Focus - Domain of OT: Context and Environment; OT Process: Outcomes. This program is offered for 0.2 CEUs. The assignment of AOTA CEU's does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Arizona Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners; the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; and is CE Broker compliant (#50-1635) (all courses are reported within two business days of completion). Participant successfully completed the required assessment component for this activity.

As part of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) Approved Provider renewal process, AOTA is requesting that participants of this course complete a short online survey about your continuing education experience with our organization. Completing this survey will enter you into a quarterly drawing for a $100 voucher for AOTA publications or CE. To access the survey go to http://www.aota.org/appsurvey.

Thank you for your participation.


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)

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: Claire Nana receives author compensation from Professional Development Resources.
: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

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