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Schizophrenia: Understanding & Treating

Hayden Finch, PhD

CE Credit: 3 Hours

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

Learning Level: Intermediate

Course Type: Online

Course Abstract

Schizophrenia: Understanding & Treating is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that provides clinicians with practical guidance in understanding and treating schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a complex condition that is poorly understood by the general public and by many mental health clinicians, who receive little training on the condition. It’s important to understand because it’s the most debilitating and costly of all adult psychiatric illnesses.

To start, we’ll review the definition of schizophrenia, provide examples of the most common symptoms, detail its relationship to other psychotic disorders, and discuss the most common co-occurring conditions. Then we’ll examine historical and current understandings of what causes schizophrenia, review the risk factors for schizophrenia, and discuss how schizophrenia impacts the brain and the person more globally -- this is where we’ll talk about genetics, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurodevelopment, and substance use.

Lastly, we’ll talk about evidence-based treatment approaches to schizophrenia, beginning with a discussion of different treatment models and then reviewing how treatment plans are developed before finally discussing a host of interventions, including medication, skills training, psychotherapy, and family interventions.

Course #31-21 | 2019 | 51 pages | 20 posttest questions

Learning Objectives

1. Differentiate between positive and negative psychotic symptoms
2. Identify the major mental health conditions that co-occur with schizophrenia
3. Name at least two factors that increase risk for schizophrenia
4. Distinguish between the different models of schizophrenia
5. List the major classes of medication effective in treating schizophrenia
6. Identify the functions of family support in treating a person with schizophrenia

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by 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 Arizona Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners; 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), licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0100, and licensed social workers #SW-0664 (Note: New York counselors, marriage & family therapists, and social workers will receive 3 continuing education credits for completing this self-study course); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501 - Note: Ohio MFTs completing this course will receive 3 clinical continuing education credits); 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 (#50-1635) (all courses are reported within two business days of completion).


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)

Hayden Finch, PhD, who earned a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, is an accomplished clinician and writer. In addition to developing outpatient and residential treatment programs for severe and persistent mental illnesses, she has been involved in mental health policy and legislation advocacy. She trained at the VA, where she was involved in developing an inpatient severe mental illness treatment program and working in the PTSD, substance use, and chronic pain treatment programs. Dr. Finch now develops continuing education programs aimed at reducing stigma about severe mental illness.

Financial: Hayden Finch receives author compensation from Professional Development Resources.
Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.

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