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

Factitious Disorders: Fantasies and Facts (Munchausen Syndrome and Munchausen by Proxy)

by Fred Nolen, PhD 5 CE Credits

This online course reviews Baron Von Munchhausen, the man and the myth, along with the psychological phenomenon of the "Munchausen" disorders. Specifically, the range and severity of the physical and psychological injuries people intentionally do to themselves and their children to get attention is explored. In addition, relevant therapeutic strategies, along with clinical, ethical, and forensic issues that may arise when working with this population is discussed. Albeit rare, understanding these disorders, known in the DSM-5 as Factitious Disorder Imposed on Self (formerly Munchausen Syndrome) and Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another (formerly Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy), is important as they have significant negative effects on the lives of the individual sufferers, their families and the community at large considering that an estimated $40 million per year is spent in unnecessary tests and other medical resources.


Continuing education for this online course is offered through the following approvals:


  • HealthForum is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. HealthForum maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • HealthForum (ACE Provider #1156) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. HealthForum maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: (6/20/2017 to 6/20/2020). Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 5 Clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • HealthForumOnline, LLC, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0355
  • HealthForum has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6216.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. HealthForum is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Introduction
  • Hieronymus Carl Friedrich Baron von Munchhausen: The Man & The Myth
  • Factitious Disorder Imposed on Self (Munchausen Syndrome)
  • Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another (Munchausen by Proxy)
  • Prognosis
  • Therapeutic Intervention
  • Case Management Issues
  • Forensic Issues
  • References

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Describe the origins of “Munchausen” syndromes.
  • Identify the current DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for Factitious Disorders and distinguish between Factitious Disorder Imposed on Self vs. Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another, formerly Munchausen and Munchausen by Proxy.
  • Recognize the range and severity of symptoms that patients with these disorders present with (e.g., bodily organs and systems involved) and utilize 2 case studies and supporting test data to guide in psychological assessment.
  • Discuss 4 relevant therapeutic strategies, along with the clinical, ethical, and forensic issues that may arise when working with this population.