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

Memory in Everyday Life: Healthy or Defective?

by Anthony H. Risser, PhD 4 CE Credits

Concerns about forgetfulness are among the most common cognitive complaints observed in outpatient care.  Understanding what constitutes “normal” memory and how to assess and respond to it when it goes awry is essential. This online CE course for mental health professionals will look at what can be expected from normal, healthy memory functioning in adulthood and as a person ages. For over a hundred years we have known the basic features of memory function. The past fifty years have seen an explosion of knowledge about the brain structures (e.g., hippocampus) and networks engaged in memory and learning.  Building on a brief foundational overview of this evidence, this course will help guide mental health providers in determining when a memory problem is part of normal aging, when it is a feature of brain disease, and---perhaps most importantly---when it is in the uncertain zone between the two? Common clinical syndromes of memory loss are discussed along with well-known, important case histories. How these syndromes compare to the clinical features of dementia, as well as strategies and common test instruments used to assess memory functioning are reviewed. Finally, the course explores how we can improve or enhance our memory functioning and/or hold off the weaknesses that result from normal aging through the use of aids in our everyday lives.


This online course is approved for APA CE credit, NBCC CE clock hours, ASWB Clinical CE clock hours, and NYSED CE credit.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Memory: The Ordinary is Extraordinary
  • Remembering: Define Normal
  • Memory Typology
  • What is Forgetfulness?
  • The Neuroanatomy of Memory
  • Memory in Aging
  • Assessing Memory:  Basic Testing
  • Types of Clinical Syndromes Related to Memory
  • Interventions to Improve Healthy Memory
  • References

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Articulate the fundamentals of memory as a cognitive function along with its basic underlying neuroanatomy.
  • Define healthy memory functioning, including the influence of 3 biopsychosocial factors on occasional forgetfulness.
  • Recognize at least 3 common clinical disorders of memory, including important neurological case histories of amnesia and the memory defects present in dementia.
  • List 6 evidence-based measures of memory to clinically distinguish and differentiate between “normal memory” or the possible presence of an acquired deficit.
  • Integrate 4 proven strategies to combat occasional forgetfulness into their clinical work.