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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Upcoming CE Courses

 

DIAGNOSTIC CONSIDERATIONS 

 

Current Topics in Bipolar and Related Disorders: A DSM-5 Update This online CE course will inform mental health practitioners of changes in the diagnosis of Bipolar and Related Disorders as presented in the DSM-5 compared to the DSM-IV-TR, with a focus on shifts in diagnostic criteria, overlapping disorders and emerging developmental perspectives. Specifically, each of the 7 Bipolar and Related Disorders as outlined in the DSM-5, namely Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, Cyclothymic Disorder, Substance/Medication-Induced Bipolar and Related Disorder, Bipolar and Related Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition, Other Specified Bipolar and Related Disorder and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorder, will be described and extant research literature will be used to further explain and clarify patterns of behavior and changes in the DSM-5. Theory- and evidence-based implications for treatment will be addressed, including the importance for mental health practitioners to understand the adjunct role of psychopharmacology in caring for these patients.

 

CLINICAL INTERVENTIONS

 

Estranged and Alienated Adult Children: Psychological Theory and Appropriate Interventions The number of adult children that are alienated and/or estranged from their parents has been increasing, perhaps commensurate with the growing divorce rate in the US. As such, mental health professionals, even those working outside the child custody context, will likely encounter individuals suffering from Parent Alienation Syndrome (PAS)/Parent Alienation Disorder (PAD), as well as their families, in their clinical practice more and more. Yet, most clinicians are unfamiliar with PAS/PAD prevalence, assessment strategies, how PAS/PAD differs from other types of estrangement, the parent/child characteristics and associated psychosocial outcomes, and how to tailor treatment plans for these clients. Further, in the forensic context, experts may need to better understand the legal parameters and controversial issues associated with alienation cases. Like the diagnosis itself, current trends in psychological theory and treatment interventions for working with adults that are alienated and estranged from their parents (PAS/PAD) have been somewhat controversial. This online CE course will review the theory of the “alienated child” and the evidence-based research on PAS and its offshoot PAD which focus on multiple determinants of the behavior, its association to violence and/or abuse, the professional issues that can confound the problem, the validity of the assessment tools used to measure the problem, as well as on the efficacy of interventions to prevent and/or reverse the adverse effects of the broken bond between a child and the parent.

 

Mindfulness-based Therapies: A Theory- and Evidence-Based Look at Its Origins and Current Clinical Applications Mindfulness-based interventions, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) which incorporate Eastern principles and traditional Western approaches, have been shown to influence brain function, immunity, mood, and health-related behavior, and thus have potential to greatly impact emotional as well as physical health. This course will provide an overview of mindfulness-based interventions from a historical and empirical perspective -- from its foundations in Eastern traditional meditation through its progression into Western medicine treatment protocols. The basic tenets and techniques of Mindfulness-based treatments will be presented, including the underlying mechanisms of action and its use alone or in conjunction with other empirically-based treatments. In addition, its current clinical applications such as in the reduction of stress/anxiety, management of chronic pain, adjustment to medical illness, and the treatment of psychological conditions – among them mood disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse -- will be discussed, along with directives for future research and patient care.

 
NEUROPSYCHOLOGY

 

Neuropsychological Assessment of Adult Language Functioning Language functioning in normal adulthood has a variety of component features that can be identified and assessed. These features can become impaired as a result of a variety of neurological diseases. What is impaired by brain damage and the severity of that impairment will have implications for both basic language functioning and the broader ability to communicate with others in the social environment. A variety of psychometrically standardized instruments for use in clinical practice and in clinical research for neuropsychology have been created beginning in the later years of the 19th century and continuing through today. In this online course, selected instruments will be introduced and discussed, to give participants a sense as to how they are used and how results might be integrated into clinical practice. Specifically, information about the assessment of aphasia and of the roles for testing language functioning in suspected mild cognitive impairment, in suspected neurodegenerative diseases, and after known traumatic brain injury will be presented. Measuring treatment success, working with speech pathologists and rehabilitation teams, rating functional communication in everyday life, and interventions with both patients and their caregivers to maximize communication efficacy will be discussed.

 

PEDIATRIC BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE

 

Educator Sexual Perpetrators: Understanding the Incidence of Abuse in Children Grades K-12 Federal law [18 U.S.C. § 2242] defined sexual abuse as an act where one knowingly “causes another person to engage in a sexual act by threatening or placing that other person in fear. . .” or “engages in a sexual act with another person if that other person is (A) incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct; or (B) physically incapable of declining participation in, or communicating unwillingness to engage in, that sexual act.”  While this statute is directed toward persons in the care and custody of any “prison, institution or facility,” it has been generalized to other arenas including sexual abuse of students by other students and/or school staff. Of students who experience any kind of sexual misconduct in schools, an estimated 21% are targets of adult educators. Between kindergarten and 12th grade, an estimated 4.5 million students are subjected to sexual misconduct by school personnel. These data are disturbing and especially alarming considering that they are likely under-estimates of educator sexual misconduct as the data are based on reports of “unwanted” incidents, despite the fact that all sexual activity between students under 18 and teachers is verboten. This online CE course will examine the incidence of sexual abuse by school staff of students in grades K-12 with a focus on perpetrator characteristics, the perpetration process, and characteristics of and outcomes for the sexual abuse victims. The historic systemic denial of said sexual abuse, and more recent systemic efforts to protect our children from educator sexual abuse will be explored in an effort to assist mental health professionals working within this academic setting or with this population.

 

Helping Students with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Navigate the Transition to Post-secondary Education As a result of tighter federal and state budgets, institutions of higher education find themselves competing for students. This competition, now at its fiercest in all but the ivy-leagues and their brethren, has resulted in changes to admission standards whereby young men and women who once would have been excluded are being encouraged to apply and are being accepted. Consequently, students, who experienced ABIs earlier in life, are now entering the halls of academia. Irrespective of their prior academic success, this transition is particularly challenging for a host of reasons, some residing in the student and some in the very nature of modern post-secondary education. This online CE course will provide clinicians with a detailed understanding of the unique challenges that face a student with an ABI who is college or university bound. Developmental and academic challenges will be addressed, as well as possible solutions and potential resources. This course will also touch on some of the challenges facing a student who is already in a post-secondary environment when the injury occurs.

 

Working with the Intellectually Disabled: Assessment and Intervention Strategies An intellectual disability (ID) impacts a person’s ability to learn and function independently. It is characterized by subaverage general intellectual abilities and concurrent significant limitations in adaptive functioning. Research indicates that persons with ID are two to four times more likely to have a mental disorder than the general population. Mental health providers need to be aware of the unique aspects of working with individuals with ID. This course reviews the essential features of an intellectual disability, including the prevalence of a dual diagnosis of mental illness. Strategies for effective assessment of mental health issues and effective interventions will be addressed.