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July 30, 2014

HealthForumOnline Adds New Online Continuing Education (CE) Course on PTSD Screening and Assessment

HealthForumOnline (HFO) adds a new online continuing education (CE) course, Screening and Assessment of Psychological Trauma and PTSD, to their extensive library of over 95 online CE courses in behavioral health. This online CE course defines trauma and examines its impact on the individual, presenting guidelines for the screening and assessment of psychological trauma and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) July 30, 2014  –HealthForumOnline (HFO), a nationally-approved (APA, ASWB, NBCC, CA-BBS)provider of online continuing education (CE) for mental health professionals is pleased to announce a new CE course entitled, Screening and Assessment of Psychological Trauma and PTSD, to its extensive library of online CE courses for psychologists, social workers, counselors, marital and family therapists, and other allied healthcare professionals.

The complexity of responses to trauma, not to mention the ever-changing nature of the traumas themselves (e.g., school shootings, terrorism, combat service), can pose clinical and diagnostic challenges for those in mental health, as they assist trauma survivors in the recovery process. In an effort to facilitate this important clinical work, this online continuing education (CE) course from HFO explores trauma from a diagnostic perspective and presents a brief review of the most common types of traumatic events. The major psychological and physical reactions to trauma, as well as risk factors for and buffers against the development of trauma-related conditions are provided. Lastly, screening and assessment strategies for the diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are discussed along with relevant issues unique to this clinical work.

This is an important CE course for mental health providers because psychological trauma is recognized as a major public health concern and research consistently demonstrates its association with an array of negative mental and physical health outcomes. According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; 1), an event is considered traumatic if it resulted in death or threatened death, actual or threatened physical injury, or actual or threatened sexual violation. A person may directly experience, witness, or learn of a traumatic event happening to a close friend or relative. Repeated or extreme indirect exposure to aversive details of the traumatic event (e.g., first responders dealing with human remains) also qualifies as traumatic. Epidemiological studies estimate that approximately 30-90% of individuals living in the United States have been exposed to one or more traumatic event in their lifetime (2, 3).

Post-trauma reactions are complex and follow different trajectories depending on the individual (4). Some people display significant protective factors that promote resilience in the face of trauma exposure. Others experience immediate distress after the trauma but recover without intervention. Some individuals have a delayed reaction with few symptoms initially but, over time, develop significant distress. And some experience significant distress immediately post-trauma and have difficulty with recovery, resulting in chronic functional impairment.

By the end of this HFO online CE course participants will knowledgeable about the major types of traumas, prevalence rates of trauma exposure and trauma-related psychopathology, including the recent diagnostic changes to the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) criteria in the DSM-5. Participants will also be able to identify common mental-health and medical problems associated with PTSD, as well as risk and protective factors for its development. Participants will be aware of commonly used screening and assessment measures for trauma and PTSD and be able to understand the clinical implications and diagnostic challenges related to PTSD assessment (e.g., managing client’s sx’s/reactions, issues within a forensic setting, clinician self-care).

Mental health professionals can chose from HFO’s 20 categories of continuing education (CE) topics related to health psychology and behavioral medicine containing over 95 online CE courses that are fast, convenient and cost-effective. Visit our Trauma/PTSD category to see information on other online CE courses on this topic. For a complete listing of titles in our online CE resource library, visit HealthForumOnline.com.

American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Breslau, N. (2009). The epidemiology of trauma, PTSD, and other posttrauma disorders. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 10(3), 198-210.

Kessler, R.C., Berglund, P., Demler, O., Jin, R., Merikangas, K.R., & Walters, E.E. (2005). Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 593-602.

Bonanno, G. A., & Diminich, E. D. (2013). Annual Research Review: Positive adjustment to adversity–trajectories of minimal–impact resilience and emergent resilience. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54(4), 378-401.