Release Date: May 4, 2018
Expiration Date: May 4, 2021
Despite advancements in understanding addictions, substance abuse remains a significant problem for individuals, families, and communities in the United States.
This intermediate-level course aims to bring clinicians in varied settings up to date with current trends in use and abuse, and current treatment recommendations. The course provides information on the scope of substance-related problems; categories of commonly abused substances and their neurochemical effects on the brain and an individual’s biopsychosocial functioning; and the major theories of addictions.
This course is an extract of, and should not be taken in conjunction with, C6530, Substance Use Disorders.
1 NBCC hour will be awarded upon completion of this course.
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Release Date: May 1, 2018
Expiration Date: May 1, 2021
While most individuals who experience traumatic stressors do not develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the high incidence of trauma exposure in the United States requires routine assessment of exposure to a single traumatic event, ongoing traumatic experiences, and symptoms of PTSD.
This intermediate-level course presents an interesting history of the diagnosis, provides current information on assessment approaches, and details effective treatment methods. The role of risk and resiliency factors, as well trauma-informed care are discussed. The course includes a discussion on special considerations for different populations, case examples, and an extensive resource list.
Counselors receive 2 NBCC contact hours.
Alcohol and drug abuse is a major public health concern, affecting every segment of society. It needs to be considered within the context of problematic use of a variety of chemical substances. This intermediate-level course discusses the scope of substance-related problems in the US and the unique needs of various populations affected by substance use disorders including the effects of gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, age, co-occurring disorders, disabilities, and chronic pain conditions. The course also discusses substance use among military veterans, and incarcerated and homeless populations.
Counselors receive 3 NBCC contact hours.
Release Date: April 30, 2018
Expiration Date: April 30, 2021
Disaster mental health (DMH) interventions in the United States have become recognized as a crucial aspect of disaster response. This course provides social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists—who are at the forefront of providing assistance to survivors and the communities in which they live--with information about challenges in DMH and tools needed to respond. Risk and protective factors for a number of populations, as well as the wide array of disaster mental health services are described.
2 NBCC hours will be awarded upon completion of this course.
Release Date: April 26, 2018
Expiration Date: April 26, 2021
Going through trauma is not rare; about 60% of men and 50% of women experience trauma in their lives (National Center for PTSD, 2016). Trauma is complex and insidious; it can alter developmental trajectories and result in immense physical and psychological suffering. This intermediate-level course summarizes the theories on understanding trauma from psychological, developmental, and neurobiological perspectives; discusses various forms of trauma treatment; introduces the reader to integrative approaches to healing that reflect a holistic perspective; and explains practitioner self-care and the prevention of secondary or vicarious traumatization. Case vignettes throughout highlight key learning concepts.
8 NBCC hours will be awarded upon completion of this course.
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Written for mental health professionals, including social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists, this basic-level course presents essential information about bipolar and related disorders, including diagnostic information from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th Edition (DSM-5). Because of its health-related consequences, bipolar disorder is among the top 10 causes of disability worldwide. Using a holistic, multimodal approach, clinicians can help the client stabilize his or her mood and return to a normal level of functioning.
This course describes the symptoms and the biological, psychological, and social factors that must be considered when working with individuals who have bipolar disorder. The course portrays two different fictional clients to highlight the various aspects of bipolar and related disorders, including their social and occupational impact, and describes elements of treatment that are particularly useful. This course discusses psychopharmacology, and participants will learn about indications for and side effects of typical medications used in the treatment of bipolar disorders, such as mood stabilizers, atypical antipsychotics, and antidepressants. The course describes how single-system design methodology is used for outcome evaluation, an important consideration in today’s environment of managed care and third-party payers. Relapse prevention is discussed, including medication adherence and individual therapy
This course is designed to help professionals recognize and work with the symptoms of Asperger's syndrome. The DSM-5 subsumed Asperger’s syndrome into the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder; however, there are special qualities to Asperger’s syndrome that helping professionals may be called upon to identify when assisting in the acquistion of social and other skills sets. This course is packed with information that professionals will find extremely important in the identification, assessment, and treatment of Asperger’s syndrome; many of the intervention techniques described are also useful in work with children and adults who have autism spectrum disorder.
The course describes the unique history of the Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis and various theories about causality. Using case scenarios, the course offers various symptom presentations across the lifespan, which highlight the importance of thorough assessment and individualized treatment interventions. Screening tools and assessment tools are described. The course details numerous treatment interventions for varying areas of difficulty that individuals experience, such as executive function, social interaction, intense and narrow interests, sensory processing, communication (nonverbal skills and pragmatic skills), mental health, theory of mind, and learning style. Interventions that are discussed include cognitive approaches, peer-mediated intervention programs, group interventions, family therapy, and sibling groups. The course describes in detail how such interventions are used to help individuals develop adaptive skills, including life skills such as personal hygiene and time management. The development of relationship and social skills is also discussed, such as social perception and social problem solving, emotional reciprocity, and knowledge of social norms. The course describes family systems issues related to the diagnosis, such as grief and emotional difficulties. Special considerations for females with Asperger’s syndrome are provided.
This basic-level course is intended for marriage and family therapists, and counselors. However, the course will benefit other professionals who may have a client with Asperger’s syndrome, including physical and occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians or other medical doctors, paraprofessionals, administrators, and teachers. An extensive resources section is provided at the end of the course to further participants' work with clients who have Asperger's syndrome.
Release Date: January 17, 2018
Alcohol and drug abuse is a major public health concern, affecting every segment of society. Despite recent advancements in understanding addictions, substance abuse remains a significant problem for individuals, families, and communities in the United States and worldwide.
This intermediate-level course is intended for marriage and family therapists and mental health counselors and aims to bring clinicians in varied settings up to date with current trends in use and abuse, and current treatment recommendations. The course provides information on the scope of substance-related problems in the United States; the different categories of substances that are commonly abused and their neurochemical effects on the human brain and an individual’s biopsychosocial functioning; and, the major theories of addictions. Clinical vignettes throughout the course illuminate key concepts and treatment strategies. Considerable attention is paid to different screening, assessment, and diagnostic instruments, including the DSM-5. Frameworks for assessing an individual’s motivation and the benefits and limitations of different intervention and evidence-based treatment approaches, including detoxification, residential and outpatient treatments, and treatment for comorbidities, and family therapy are all described. Gender, sexual identity, and gender expression; youth and older adults; co-occurring disorders and chronic pain conditions; intellectual and physical disability; and, military veterans, incarcerated populations, and homelessness are separately discussed as having distinct substance abuse treatment considerations.
Release Date: January 31, 2018
Marriage and family therapists, and counselors need to be aware of ethical issues and dilemmas in their practice and follow a well-reasoned process that results in informed and insightful ethical resolutions to contemporary dilemmas. Practitioners must grapple with issues related to client autonomy, confidentiality, informed consent, and scarce resources. Careful ethical deliberation and professional competence in initiating discussions with clients about these issues are essential and required skills of helping professionals. This basic-level course is designed to address the ethical challenges encountered by the beginning practitioner as well as by professionals with advanced skills. The overarching theme of this course is that good professional practice requires an awareness of ethical issues that may arise in practice, and demands a reasoned approach toward ethical analysis, decision making, and action.
This course focuses on professional values and identity and the responsibilities of marriage and family therapists, and counselors in providing ethically sound care to clients. The course provides information about a practitioner’s identification and resolutions of ethical dilemmas, including ethical decision making models, the influence of competing professional values on the decision making process, and required professional competencies. The course also pays great attention to topics relevant to all human services and helping professionals such as boundaries, multiple relationships, informed consent, record keeping, uses of technology, unethical behavior of colleagues, and risk management strategies.
This brief intermediate-level course focuses on the HIV/AIDS illness from a medical perspective. It describes current trends in HIV/AIDS in the United States and the medical treatment of HIV/AIDS. The course describes how HIV is transmitted from one person to another including: through sexual contact, the sharing of drug use equipment, from mother to child, and occupational exposure. Risk considerations and ways to prevent or reduce the likelihood of transmission via these routes are also presented so that readers are better able to provide psychoeducation on this topic. Technical terms are used throughout the text and a glossary is provided. Brief attention is paid to psychosocial, legal, and ethical issues related to working with people who have HIV or AIDS by providing basic information on recognizing psychosocial responses, promoting coping, and understanding ethical obligations; however, this course is not intended to provide advanced information on the mental health counseling of people with HIV or AIDS. This course is useful for behavioral health professionals in medical and other settings who seek to increase their medical knowledge about the HIV/AIDS illness, who work with individuals who have HIV or AIDS, or who are in positions to educate others about HIV/AIDS illness, transmission, and prevention.
Note: This course should not be taken in conjunction with HIV/AIDS: Medical Treatment, Transmission, & Prevention.
Release Date: January 24, 2017
Expiration Date: January 31, 2020
Life transitions such as adolescence are key risk periods for substance abuse. Therefore, substance use assessment and intervention are particularly critical for adolescents. Substance abuse counseling of adolescents is different from that of adults given adolescents’ distinctively different developmental stages and environments. In addition, the trends of adolescent substance abuse change according to the geographic region, cultural influences, and availability of substances. Participants will learn about evidence-based screening tools that are recommended for use with adolescents who may be using substances.
The course presents a treatment plan development process that is commonly used in outpatient clinics. Counseling approaches must consider the physical, mental, emotional, social, cultural, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of the adolescent. Group work is particularly effective with adolescents because of peer group influences; the inclusion of 12-step models and groups modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is useful. The course describes other treatment approaches including abstinence versus harm reduction, motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and family therapy. The course explains the continuum of care for substance-abusing youth, including prevention, outreach, therapeutic communities, and halfway houses. The course briefly discusses coexisting disorders in an adolescent client with a substance use disorder: These can include conduct disorder, anxiety disorders, trauma and stressor related disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. This basic-level course is intended for social workers, mental health counselors, substance abuse counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, and advanced practice and psychiatric nurses who work with youth populations
Abuse that occurs between two individuals in a current or former dating, romantic and/or sexual relationship has been termed “intimate partner violence.” There are other terms also commonly used to describe this type of violence, including: domestic violence, spouse abuse, marital violence, dating violence, couple violence, and courtship violence. Intimate partner violence includes physical violence, rape and sexual assaults, as well as economic, emotional, and psychological abuse including coercion, intimidation, stalking, and use of technology to perpetrate abuse. Intimate partner violence occurs all over the world and is present in all social, economic, ethnic, racial, religious, and age groups. Intimate partner violence has serious consequences for the victims including death and injury, commitment of violent acts of self-defense, legal problems, and compromised mental health, economic status, and social isolation. The high prevalence rates of intimate partner violence in the US have led to various policies and expert recommendations designed to better detect and intervene with intimate partner violence. Human service, mental health, and healthcare professionals will likely, knowingly or unknowingly, work with victims and perpetrators of intimate partner violence and are in unique positions to offer assistance.
This basic-level course presents clear descriptions of this multi-faceted problem and sensitizes the learner to the impact of intimate partner violence on the individual and community. The course describes in detail the different forms of intimate partner violence. Risk factors for perpetration and victimization and consequences are presented. The course discusses clinical considerations, assessment protocols, intervention strategies, and prevention techniques that human service, mental health, and health care professionals can apply in their daily work routines. The course also discusses confidentiality, reporting requirements, and documentation.
Release Date: April 13, 2017
Child abuse and neglect continue to be significant problems in the United States. This basic-level course details how clinicians can identify and intervene in cases of suspected pediatric abusive head trauma (PAHT), commonly referred to as shaken baby syndrome. The course discusses the common reasons for PAHT, including community and societal factors, and describes triggers that can prompt caregivers to abuse children. Participants will learn about the evaluation of a child suspected of having PAHT, which entails obtaining a history, looking for common identifying injuries, conducting a physical assessment, and ordering diagnostic testing. Management of the victim is discussed, including treatment and interventions. The course describes ways to reduce PAHT, which include identifying child maltreatment and increasing awareness of PAHT. The discussion of child abuse prevention includes parental and caregiver education and community outreach. Mandatory reporting and documentation are discussed, and examples of evidence-based programs, such as nurse-family partnerships, are presented. This course is for social workers, psychologists, and other professionals who work with children and families
Release Date: November 25, 2016
The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has finally provided much needed clarity on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is more important than ever that social workers and mental health professionals be prepared to treat ADHD throughout the lifespan. This intermediate-level course has been developed to educate social workers, counselors, psychologists, and marriage and family therapists, and to bring a deeper understanding to the research, diagnosis, and treatment of ADHD in individuals of all ages.
This course provides clinicians with a rich description of the disorder’s historical roots and evolution. In addition to a comprehensive history, the course describes contemporary perspectives of ADHD along with the latest available research. From there, the etiology of ADHD and its genetic, biological, and environmental factors are explored and discussed. Multimodal treatment programs are crucial to addressing the symptoms of ADHD including the use of psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, and complementary and alternative treatments. These multimodal treatments are described in the course with attention paid to stimulant and non-stimulant medications, and cognitive-behavioral therapies. Case scenarios throughout the course illuminate the presentations of ADHD and various treatments options
Release Date: May 22, 2017
This course offers an overview of the historically evolving role of mandated reporters and a description of child welfare services in Pennsylvania. It provides provides social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists with details of the legal requirements imposed on mandated reporters of child abuse. The course defines the statutory (legal) components of child abuse, including what does and does not constitute child abuse. The course outlines the provisions and responsibilities for reporting such abuse by distinguishing between individuals designated as “mandatory reporters” and those deemed to be “permissive reporters.” Clear instructions are provided for navigating the reporting process, and the ways in which reporters are protected under the law are outlined. Lastly, the course details the indicators essential to recognizing abuse. Human trafficking is also addressed, including child labor trafficking and sex trafficking, and the risk factors and warning signs for both. The course provides social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with the knowledge and tools they need to fulfill their legal responsibility to report suspected child abuse.
This course fulfills the requirement that all Pennsylvania social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists complete 2 hours of Board-approved continuing education in child abuse recognition and reporting requirements as a condition of their license renewal.
Pennsylvania - Pre-approved by the PA Dept. of Public Welfare and the PA Dept. of Professional & Occupational Affairs to fulfill the 2 hour child abuse recognition and reporting CE requirement.Accreditations
Release Date: November 23, 2016
Depressive disorders affect many people across a wide range of age, cultural, ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic groups, and clinicians need to be aware of the prevalence, different manifestations, symptoms, and effect on functioning among various populations. The purpose of this basic-level course is to educate social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists about major depressive disorder and its distinctions so that the treatment team can provide the client with relief from symptoms and an improved sense of well-being. Participants will learn about the epidemiology of major depressive disorder and how to differentiate types of depression as described by the DSM-5, such as persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and substance- or medication-induced depressive disorder. Causal and influential factors are discussed, such as biological factors, psychological factors, social factors, and cultural considerations.
The course describes signs and symptoms of depression in adults (with a very brief overview of children and adolescents) and discusses clinical assessment, suicide assessment, and clinical diagnosis. Assessment tools are described. Participants will learn about treatment planning and the implementation of evidence-based practices. Current treatments are described, including biological treatments, such as psychopharmacology and electroconvulsive therapy; psychological treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy; and social interventions. Relapse prevention and the monitoring of client progress are discussed. A case scenario illuminates treatment and measuring outcomes through goal attainment scales and other forms of single-subject designs.
Release Date: August 4, 2016
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States across all ages and is disproportionately higher in some populations. The purpose of this course is to assist clinicians to understand factors that contribute to suicidal behavior, conduct comprehensive suicide risk assessments, and engage patients in brief, empirically supported interventions to reduce risk for death. This intermediate-level course is designed for mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists. This course meets an increasing demand of many mental health professionals seeking information about working with suicidal clients and conducting empirically supported suicide risk assessments.
This course examines methods of assessing suicidal danger in adult clients who are seeking mental health care. The course describes assessment methods including Jacob’s recommended protocol for suicide assessment, the Joiner Assessment Model, and Shea’s CASE Assessment Model. Each model is explained in detail and case scenarios help illuminate appropriate assessment protocols and techniques. Clinical decision making considerations and examples of documentation are presented. Tables outlining important assessment procedures and a decision making tree are included to assist clinicians in conducting thorough, evidence based risk assessments and in determining necessary levels of intervention. Varied approaches to intervention are discussed in detail, including safety planning and the use of crisis cards. The course provides practical examples of intervention implementation through the use of sample interviews, case scenarios, and outlines of the different brief, empirically supported interventions. References and resources for those interested in pursuing further education on this topic are provided at the end of the course
Release Date: February 26, 2016
Mental health and mental illness are difficult concepts to define. Both health and illness have a basis in society’s cultural, moral, ethical, and spiritual beliefs, providing a wide framework for understanding. As difficult as it may be to arrive at a universal definition of mental illness, certain elements are associated with how mental illness is perceived regardless of one’s psychosocial heritage. Individuals in society evaluate another person’s health within a specific cultural context and by the comprehensibility of that person’s actions. Perhaps no other mental illness is as devastating and difficult to understand as schizophrenia. Affecting almost 1% of the population worldwide, the disorder knows no gender, ethnic, or cultural boundaries. For various reasons, mental illness has become increasingly visible. As society has advanced in medicine and technology, industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and globalization, the demand for healthcare services, and mental health services in particular, has greatly increased. It is estimated that 1 in 5 Americans has a diagnosable mental disorder. As a result, clinicians in a variety of practice settings are caring for clients with mental health issues and illnesses such as schizophrenia.
The purpose of this course is to provide the reader with an overview of schizophrenia, including its etiology, signs and symptoms, and treatment. Designed for social workers, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists, this intermediate-level course will provide clinicians with current information under DSM-5 about schizophrenia and will suggest therapeutic interventions to assist them when working with clients who have schizophrenia.
Release Date: October 26, 2017
The American population is extremely diverse and in the upcoming years diversity in the US will continue to increase. Professionals engaged in counseling must become increasingly self-aware and must understand both how their own unique individual experiences influence their worldviews and values and how the unique individual experiences of their clients influence each client’s worldviews and values. This course discusses intersectionality and the ways that various ethnic and racial groups may have a diversity of beliefs, social structures, interactional patterns, and expectations, and how each individual client has various intersecting dimensions of diversity that include socioeconomic class, sexuality, gender identification, and dis/ability. Because of the significance of these factors, the course presents counselors with information about cultivating the skills of practicing with cultural humility. Cultural humility in counseling goes beyond counselors having knowledge of specific cultural and minority groups with whom they work as described in traditional cultural competency frameworks. The course emphasizes culturally humble counselors acting as allies with clients working toward positive personal change. This highlights the ethical responsibility of counselors to develop multicultural and social justice counseling competencies to effectively work and ally with diverse clientele.
Moreover, the course provides information necessary for the counselor to recognize the roles that power, privilege, and oppression play in both the counseling relationship and the experiences of clients. Although the perspective of this course is influenced by the author’s own unique facets of diversity, it is likely that clinicians of various backgrounds will benefit and find applicability to their practices. This intermediate-level course presents an introduction to cultural humility and offers tools for social workers, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists to use in working with diverse clients in a culturally humble manner.
Release Date: April 4, 2016
Chronic illness is a condition that lasts over a long time and typically cannot be completely cured, although it can be managed through medication and lifestyle. Diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis are all examples of chronic conditions. Depression is also a chronic medical illness. Depression affects how a person feels, thinks, and behaves and frequently co-occurs with other chronic conditions. Depression in chronic illness decreases a person’s quality of life and leads to a greater utilization of healthcare resources. Nearly half of all adults in the United States experience a chronic illness, making depression in this population an issue with the potential to affect a large portion of adults. The depression experienced by this population comes in the form of both formally diagnosed depressive disorders and sub-threshold depressive symptoms. Often the depressive symptoms are somatic and overlap with those of the chronic disorder, making the depression difficult to assess and treat.
This intermediate-level course provides healthcare professionals with an overview of the co-occurrence of depression and chronic conditions and identifies challenges in assessing and treating adults with chronic conditions and depression. It provides explanations for potential causes of and contributing factors to depression unique to individuals with chronic medical conditions. Although individuals with chronic conditions are at increased risk for depression, this course also explores factors that may enhance such individuals’ well-being and diminish the likelihood of depression.
This course presents clinicians with an integrated view of the biological and psychological contributors to and consequences of chronic illness using a biopsychosocial model. Designed for social workers, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists, the course examines the prevalence and symptoms of depression as well as selected chronic medical conditions with which depression is often associated. Structured means of assessing depression are also presented. Contributing risk and protective factors to depression and potential treatments are also explored. Research on depression in chronic illness and applications to practice are relatively new and constantly evolving. A review of this new information can help clinicians evaluate, develop, and implement interventions.