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

Response to Medical Illness: A Clinical Perspective on Trauma and Posttraumatic Growth

by Ronit Levy, PsyD 5 CE Credits

Receiving a diagnosis of a chronic and/or acute disease can be a life-altering moment. The stress of the diagnosis, treatments, and accompanying physical and functional changes can be traumatic for the patient and, by extension, their families. This course provides a comprehensive overview of trauma, resilience, and posttraumatic growth in response to medical illness. Major models of trauma, factors contributing to resilience (e.g., what distinguishes those who cope well from those who do not), and ways in which individuals work toward effective coping and gaining mastery are discussed. Theory- and evidence-based techniques to assist patients and their families along the posttraumatic growth continuum are presented.


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
  • Brief History of Trauma Research
  • Prevalence of Trauma in the Medical Context
  • Theoretical Models of Trauma
  • Trauma in Response to Medical Illness
  • Posttraumatic Growth: Acceptance, Making Meaning, and Moving On
  • Factors that Influence Coping in Response to Illness
  • The Role of Healthcare Providers in Promoting and Supporting Resilience and PTG
  • Conclusion
  • Resources
  • References


Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Describe the diagnostic etiology and occurrence of health-related trauma.
  • Discuss the process of posttraumatic growth (PTG) in response to illness from an evidence-based perspective, drawing on 3 major underlying theories.
  • Indicate 8 key sociodemographic, psychological, and medical factors that impact emotional adjustment to disease.
  • Identify and clinically apply 7 theory- and evidence-based approaches to assist patients, and their families, to effectively cope with health-related trauma and promote psychological resilience to acute and/or chronic medical conditions.