About Gina Gunderson

Gina Gunderson, MS, RD, LD/N, is a Registered Dietitian and the Director of Operations for Professional Development Resources, a Florida non-profit that provides online continuing education (CE) courses for healthcare professionals. She has been with the company since 2003 and enjoys the freedom, flexibility, and creativity that comes from working in the field of online education. Gina also loves painting, gardening, spending time with her husband, two dogs, and parrot, and the Oxford comma. :)

Three Inspiring Activities You Can Do With Your Kids

Being at home with our kids during a pandemic is new to us all. Just what do you do all day with them? How do you keep them engaged, entertained, and active? Well, here are three inspiring activities you can enjoy with your kids while they are at home:

1. Take A Nature Walk

Getting outside is one of the best ways to clear our heads, get some exercise, and, for a brief moment, take a mental break.

Getting outside is one of the best ways to clear our heads, get some exercise, and, for a brief moment, take a mental break from our situation. It also breaks up the drudgery of feeling locked inside. Even if you only go outside for a few minutes, taking the time to get outside every day with your kids will boost your mood, give you something to look forward to and give you opportunity to explore parts of your neighborhood that you otherwise would never have time to. And as a bonus, to make it an even more inspiring activity, schedule your walk around sunrise or sunset, take some beautiful pictures and share them with your friends as a way to lift their moods, too.

2. Write A Story

Story writing is one of the most therapeutic and inspiring activities available, and it can also be highly interactive and fun. And when you write a story with your kids, you also engage them in a way that is highly enlightening. So, to begin, ask your child(ren) to write a first chapter of the story. It does not matter how long or short, complex or simple it is. The point is just to get started.

Story writing is one of the most therapeutic and inspiring activities available, and it can also be highly interactive and fun. And when you write a story with your kids, you also engage them in a way that is highly enlightening.

Next, you write the following chapter. Then your kid writes the next one, and so on. The idea is that through sharing your imagination and creativity, you create something larger with your kids. In the process, you allow them to share their thoughts, feelings, and desire for expression with you in a way that is safe, creative, and engaging. Likely, what you will both find is that you won’t want the project to stop.

3. Start A Fundraiser

Social responsibility is an invaluable lesson. And, interestingly, it is also linked to mental health. When you give back, help others, and do something for the greater good, it makes you feel good too. As Adam Grant, the author of Give And Take: A Revolutionary Approach To Success notes, giving back to others is linked to a wide range of success measures. Yet, it is something that could probably be emphasized a whole lot more in today’s society. So, now that your kids are at home, you have the opportunity to teach them how they can help others and experience the benefits that come with it.

Social responsibility is an invaluable lesson. And, interestingly, it is also linked to mental health. When you give back, help others, and do something for the greater good, it makes you feel good too.

Start by choosing a person, or group of people that you would like to help. Next, work with your child to write a compelling description of the situation the person or group is in. Have your kids think about the most important reasons that this person, or group, needs help, and what specifically you are asking people to do.

Then, with your kids, find a platform to post your fundraiser. There are many available like GoFundMe and Indiegogo. Lastly, together with your kid, share your fundraiser on all your social media sites, with your friends and contacts. When your kids can see the effects of spending time and energy to help others, you teach them an important lesson about social responsibility, but you also help them find a very effective way to build success.

Being at home with your kids can be exhausting and overwhelming. But it can also be an opportunity to spend quality time with them with these inspiring activities.


Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678); and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Clinical Supervision for Mental Health Professionals


Clinical Supervision for Mental Health Professionals
 is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that will present evidence-based research and best practices in clinical supervision of mental health professionals.

Clinical Supervision for Mental Health Professionals is a 4-hour online CE course that will present evidence-based research and best practices in clinical supervision of mental health professionals. Topics include developmental models of supervision, ethics, risk management, the use of technology, diversity awareness, self-care, and burnout prevention.

As we discuss the various aspects of supervision, we will consider evidence-based research and guidelines as recommended by the American Psychological Association (APA), The Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES), and more.

Topics presented will include developmental models of supervision, ethics, risk management, the use of technology, and diversity awareness.

We will discuss the goals of the supervisory experience and highlight strategies for building an open and trusting relationship between the supervisor and the supervisee, considering how this may be different from a therapeutic relationship. Information on record keeping and accurate documentation is provided and performance evaluations will be included, along with information about disciplinary actions, disciplinary supervision, and termination.

Lastly, we will discuss self-care and burnout prevention. The information presented here is an overview and it is recommended that professionals use this course as a guide for further study and to develop their own competency as clinical supervisors.

*Note: This course meets the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, MFT & Mental Health Counseling’s requirement of 4 hours qualified supervision training in every third renewal cycle and information specific to Florida is included after the ‘Resources’ section at the end of the course.

Course #40-49 | 2020 | 78 pages | 25 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. The course is text-based (reading) and the CE test is open-book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. You’ll have 3 years from purchase date to complete for credit.


Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678); and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!


Clinical Supervision for SLPs – Online CEUs

Clinical Supervision for SLPs and Audiologists is a new 2-hour online continuing education (CEU) course that presents research on best practices in supervision as required by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in 2020.

Clinical Supervision for SLPs & Audiologists is a new 2-hour online CEU course that presents research on best practices in supervision as required by ASHA in 2020.

We will take a brief look at different models of supervision including the Supervision, Questioning and Feedback (SQF) Model of Clinical Teaching, the Cognitive Apprenticeship Instructional ModelGeller’s Integrative Model, and Anderson’s Continuum of Supervision as we discuss the clinical educator’s / instructor’s role in the supervisory process and the skills required to supervise effectively.

Topics presented include the mandatory content required by ASHA Certification and will address deliberate practice, giving feedback, self-assessment, ethics, social media, the use of technology in supervision and telepractice, diversity awareness, and the accommodation of persons with disabilities.

The ASHA supervisory topic list is much too extensive to cover every aspect in detail. Clinical Supervision for SLPs and Audiologists is an overview, which can lead the audiologist or speech-language pathologist to identify areas for deeper study. Course #21-37 | 2020 | 42 pages | 15 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

Clinical Supervision for SLPs is an online course that provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. The course is text-based (reading) and the CE test is open-book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more.

Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved
by the Continuing Education Board of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA Provider #AAUM) to provide continuing education activities in speech-language pathology and audiology. See course page for number of ASHA CEUs, instructional level and content area. ASHA CE provider approval does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products or clinical procedures. CEUs are awarded by the ASHA CE Registry upon receipt of the CEU Participant Form from the ASHA Approved CE Provider (we report to ASHA monthly). Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Florida Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (Provider #50-1635) and the Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and is CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Target AudienceSpeech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) & Audiologists

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Therapy Tidbits – Spring 2020 Online CE for Psychologists


Therapy Tidbits – Spring 2020
 is a new 1-hour online continuing education (CE) course comprised of select articles from the Spring 2020 issue of The National Psychologist, a private, independent, quarterly newspaper intended to keep psychologists informed about practice issues.

Therapy Tidbits - Spring 2020

The articles included in this course are:

  • Psychologists Adjust to World with Coronavirus – Discusses the reasons why offering telemental health services will be beneficial for psychologists and their patients.
  • July 1 is Target Date for First PSYPACT Applications – Provides an overview of PSYPACT and the steps to take if you are interested in applying to practice telepsychology or temporarily work face-to-face across state lines (in states that have approved the PSYPACT legislation).
  • Psychologists Consider Return on Investment – Discusses the Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and some of the upcoming changes in 2020.
  • Mitchell Testifies in Preliminary Hearing – An update of the court case in which James Mitchell, PhD, and John Jessen, PhD, were accused of designing torturous interrogation methods for CIA prisoners during interrogations following the 9/11 attacks.
  • Touching Not Always a Violation – Highlights the need for discrepancy and compassion when supporting clients and lists the Zur Institute’s Risk Management guidelines.
  • Child Porn Poses Ethical Dilemma – Clarifies the conflict that a therapist faces when a patient reveals he is watching pornography online.
  • Associations Offer ECPs Many Advantages – Enumerates some of the benefits of joining your local, state, and/or national chapter of the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • The Insurance War on Psychodiagnostic Testing – Explains how insurance company protocols make testing of patients more and more difficult.
  • When to Update to the Newest Revision of a Test – Reviews guidance provided by professional associations on when to transition to the most current version of a psychological test.
  • Nation’s Largest Children’s Behavioral Health Center Opens – Describes the Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavillion’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Course #11-36 | 2020 | 17 pages | 10 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

Therapy Tidbits – Spring 2020 is an online course that provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. The course is text-based (reading) and the CE test is open-book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more.

Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

“Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content.”

PDR offers over 150 accredited online CE courses for healthcare professionals. 

Target AudiencePsychologistsSchool PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapists (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), and Teachers

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

7 Simple Ways to Deal with Stressful Situations

Sometimes we find ourselves in stressful situations in which we have no control. Our only recourse is to move straight ahead, take responsibility for our actions, and take the necessary steps to make a difference. But, we do have a choice on how we react to stressful situations.

Sometimes we find ourselves in stressful situations in which we have no control...except over our response. Here are seven simple ways to handle it better.

Here are seven simple ways to deal with stressful situations:

1. Progressive Relaxation

Relax the mind and body by following the instructions of a guided relaxation. These are multitudes of guided relation videos on YouTube, as well as apps you can download for your phone or tablet. Just 10 minutes a day will make an enormous difference in your energy and stress levels, as well as boosting your immune system.

2. Creative Visualization

Learn to focus on images which reinforce your calm and create a healing response in your body. Instead of daydreaming about what may go wrong, daydream about how well the entire affair will turn out. Learn to immediately replace the negative images with positive images. Create one scenario in your imagination to which you may return in moments of stress. Imagine yourself in this scenario being relaxed and acting in a calm, centered manner. See yourself handling every situation with a smile, confidently and joyfully.

3. Exercise

A thirty-minute brisk walk will fight anxiety and depression, as well as increase your energy levels. You’ll get more done in less time.

4. Joy and Optimism

Focus on what’s right in your life and avoid negative thoughts. Smell the roses, see the beauty around you and make an effort to see the good in everything and everyone.

Focus on what’s right in your life and avoid negative thoughts. Smell the roses, see the beauty around you and make an effort to see the good in everything and everyone.

5. Journal Writing

Helps fight anxiety when you use it to get painful topics off your mind. Say
what you need to say with no uncomfortable consequences.

6. Meditation

This is the key to the mind-body connection. When meditation is used properly, it aligns the mind and relaxes the body simultaneously. It’s easy to learn and can make an enormous difference in your life.

7. Mini-Meditation

For just 2 minutes every hour, close your eyes and focus on one sound from
your surroundings. It could be the water cooler hum, traffic noise, footsteps, etc. Just close your eyes and listen – focus on the chosen sound.

These techniques require no special costly equipment or large blocks of time, only your attention. They will lower your blood pressure and reinforce your immune system.

We must learn to take care of ourselves and successfully handle stressful situations. These simple suggestions can be the beginning of a lifetime of confidence, self-esteem, and improved health.

By Dodie Ulery

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

In the Zone: Finding Flow Through Positive Psychology is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that offers a how-to guide on incorporating flow into everyday life. Click here to learn more.

Anxiety: Practical Management Techniques is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that offers a collection of ready-to-use anxiety management tools. Click here to learn more.

Writing it Out: Journaling as an Adjunct to Therapy is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that discusses why and how to use journal writing as a therapeutic tool. Click here to learn more.

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

PDR offers over 150 accredited online CE courses for healthcare professionals. 

Target AudiencePsychologistsSchool PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapists (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), and Teachers

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Feeling Blue? Three Quick, Easy Ways to Boost Your Mood

Stay home. Don’t go out. Don’t travel. Do only the essentials. Keep six feet of distance between yourself and others. If you didn’t understand the context of these orders, they would seem incredibly odd. They would also seem like a perfect recipe for confusion, stress, loneliness, and generally feeling blue.

Do you ever find yourself feeling blue these days? Here are 3 quick and easy tips to boost your mood - it all starts with a smile!

But these are the days of a pandemic. We are in the midst of something most of us have likely never experienced before – and hopefully won’t ever again.

This is the new reality, and social distancing is what we must do to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. However, we don’t have to succumb to feeling blue. Here are three quick and easy ways to boost your mood:

1. Offer A Little Kindness

“Walking around and offering kindness to others in the world reduces anxiety and increases happiness and feelings of social connection,” says Douglas Gentile, professor of psychology at Iowa State University.

In a study comparing three strategies to lift mood, Gentile and his colleagues found those who practiced loving-kindness or wished others well felt happier, more connected, caring and empathetic, as well as less anxious (Gentile et al., 2019).

Kindness is a simple strategy that is equally available to us all. We are all capable of offering a kind word, a smile, or our time to help another. And when we do, we are helping ourselves feel better too.

2. Laugh

Laughter, especially social laughter, increases endorphins in the brain, which, according to researchers may be an important pathway that supports formation, reinforcement, and maintenance of social bonds between humans (Manninen et al., 2017).

“The pleasurable and calming effects of the endorphin release might signal safety and promote feelings of togetherness,” explains Professor Lauri Nummenmaa from Turku PET Centre, the University of Turku.

And even more compelling, laughter seems to work in a sort of virtuous cycle, where the more we laugh, the more opioid receptors we develop, which then increases our ability to find more joy and more laughter.

If you are feeling blue, simply hold a smile for seven seconds (even a completely forced smile) and you will feel better. You may even find yourself laughing (at yourself!). It's a quick and easy way to "trick" your brain into releasing endorphins and finding happiness. :)

If you are feeling blue, simply hold a smile for seven seconds (even a completely forced smile) and you will feel better. You may even find yourself laughing (at yourself!). It’s a quick and easy way to “trick” your brain into releasing endorphins and finding happiness. 🙂

3. Revisit A Resolution

Completing things that you set out for yourself comes with feelings of satisfaction, increased serotonin levels, and for some people, increased endorphin levels. And we all have things that we want to do, or wanted to do in the past, and have not been able to accomplish. So why not take the time now to revisit them?

Think about what you’d like to accomplish, make a plan, incorporate commitment strategies to keep yourself on track, enlist the help of some family or friends if needed and reach those long-lost goals. Instead of New Years resolutions, just call them “Quarantine resolutions.”

With a little kindness, laughter, and some commitment to reach our goals, the effects of social distancing can be mitigated. And who knows, we might even reach some goals we have always wanted to. No more feeling blue.

With a little kindness, laughter, and some commitment to reach our goals, the effects of social distancing can be mitigated. And who knows, we might even reach some goals we have always wanted to. No more feeling blue.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Finding Happiness: Positive Interventions in Therapy is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that explores the concept of happiness, from common myths to the overriding factors that directly increase our feelings of contentment. Click here to learn more.

Leveraging Adversity: Turning Setbacks into Springboards is a 6-hour online continuing education (CE) course that gives clinicians the tools they need to help their clients face adversity from a growth perspective and learn how to use setbacks to spring forward, and ignite growth. Click here to learn more.

Psychological Effects of Media Exposure is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that explores the psychological effects that media exposure has on both the witnesses and victims of traumatic events. Click here to learn more.

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

PDR offers over 150 accredited online CE courses for healthcare professionals. 

Target AudiencePsychologistsSchool PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapists (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), and Teachers

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!




Three Ways to Make Teletherapy Even More Effective

If you are a counselor, therapist, or psychologist used to seeing clients in the office, the coronavirus has certainly changed the way you work. No more office visits. Everything is now remote. As many mental health professionals struggle to make the transition to teletherapy, become familiar with the platform they are choosing to use, and help their clients adjust, here are three ways to make your teletherapy even more effective.

Teletherapy

1. Invite Your Client To Discuss Their Thoughts About Teletherapy

When clients first come to the office for therapy, it is always helpful to look for ways to make things more comfortable for them. One way to do this is to ask them what it is like for them to come to therapy. From the minute they make the appointment, to the time they step into the office and meet you, often you will find a wealth of information, and in the process, help them feel more comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings, however uncomfortable, with you.

As teletherapy is likely new for many clients, the transition can be a wonderful time to again lay the foundation for your client to express her thoughts to you. One great way to do this is simply to ask your client what teletherapy is like for them. Ask how they feel about not coming to the office, about doing therapy at home, about the process of getting online, or using the telephone, and about not seeing you in person. These questions can serve to make the transition more comfortable for your client, and also help you both navigate any uncomfortable components of teletherapy together.

2. Use Your Client’s Environment

When a client comes to the office, we have already taken steps to set it up in a way that we hope will make clients more comfortable. We may have placed our diplomas on the wall. We may have hung inspirational pictures or quotes. We have probably placed the furniture in a way that will help clients feel relaxed and comfortable.

However, when we use teletherapy, the environment our client is in is set up by our client. They may choose to attend their sessions with you from their office, their living room, or their bedroom. And, like you, they have also placed their furniture in a way that makes them feel comfortable and hung their pictures or paintings in a way that feels right to them.

Their room may be neat and tidy, or messy and disorganized. Whatever the case, you can ask your client to share their environment through video with you. And then, you can ask your client to describe why they have chosen to set up their environment as they have.

Much like your office is a reflection of you, your tastes and preferences, and, to some extent, your beliefs and values, so is your client’s environment. You may even find that there are components of your client’s environment that could be changed to help her feel even better.

3. Send Follow Up Messages

When we see a client in the office, we may have a practice of recapping what we worked on, revisiting the gains and progress they have made, reviewing any homework we assign and preparing for the work ahead. This is a wonderful way to keep the therapy sessions effective, organized, and helpful for the client.

With teletherapy, we have the opportunity to send our client follow-up messages with all of this information, which will make it easier for them to retain. According to HIPPA, “Non-public facing remote communication products would include, for example, platforms such as Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts video, Whatsapp video chat, Zoom, or Skype. Such products also would include commonly used texting applications such as Signal, Jabber, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Whatsapp, or iMessage.

Typically, these platforms employ end-to-end encryption, which allows only an individual and the person with whom the individual is communicating to see what is transmitted.” Once you choose the platform that works for you and your client, sending messages can be easy, helpful, and effective.

Teletherapy, while it is a big transition for many mental health professionals and clients alike, can be tremendously effective, and you may even find, with a few small steps, even preferable for you and your clients.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

E-Therapy: Ethics & Best Practices is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the advantages, risks, technical issues, legalities, and ethics of providing therapy online. Click here to learn more.

Ethics and Social Media is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the use of Social Networking Services (SNS) on both our personal and professional lives. Click here to learn more.

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

PDR offers over 150 accredited online CE courses for healthcare professionals. 

Target AudiencePsychologistsSchool PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapists (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), and Teachers

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!



Avoidant Grief: Is it Useful?

Grieving the loss of a loved one can be one of the most difficult experiences of our lives. We may struggle with intrusive memories, difficulty concentrating, and prolonged feelings of emptiness. We may also desperately try to block out any memories of our loved one to spare ourselves the painful feelings, also known as avoidant grief.

Avoidant Grief

However, blocking out feelings, according to a new collaborative study between Columbia Engineering and Columbia University Irving Medical Center, may ultimately exhaust our ability to cope effectively.

Using a machine-learning approach to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) called “neural decoding,” which establishes a neural pattern or fingerprint that can be used to determine when a given mental process is happening, researchers tracked the ongoing processes of mental control as loss-related thoughts came in and out of conscious awareness during a 10-minute period of mind-wandering in 29 subjects.

“The major challenge of our study was to be able ‘look under the hood’ of a person’s natural mind-wandering state to see what underlying processes were actually controlling their experience,” explains Noam Schneck, lead author of the study (Schneck, 2018).

All of the subjects in the study had lost a first-degree relative (a spouse or partner) within the last 14 months. While spontaneous fluctuations in their mental processes were monitored using fMRI, subjects performed a modified Stroop task, a test widely used in psychology to measure a person’s ability to control the contents of attention, and a separate task presenting pictures and stories of the deceased.

Schneck and his team discovered that those with more avoidant grief engaged their attentional control process to block representations of the deceased from conscious awareness (Schneck et al., 2018). Schneck explains, “Our findings show that avoidant grief involves attentional control to reduce the likelihood that deceased-related representations reach full conscious awareness. Even though they are not aware of it, avoidant grievers actively control their mental state so that spontaneous thoughts of loss do not enter their consciousness. This kind of tailoring of mind-wandering likely exhausts mental energy and leads to time periods when the thoughts actually do break through” (Schneck, 2018).

Schneck likens the process to an “ineffective pop-up blocker” that runs in the background of your computer. He says, “You might not be aware that it’s there but it slows down the overall operating speed and eventually breaks down and the pop ups get through” (Schneck, 2018).

“What we’ve shown is that outside of our conscious awareness, we are constantly editing our own mental experiences to control what does and does not get in. And this process of editing is not always helpful” (Schneck, 2018).

It is understandable that we may seek to avoid painful feelings, however, the point Schneck and his team make is that, ultimately, we cannot avoid painful feelings. As they say, “they do break through.” A better goal is perhaps to relax our conscious and unconscious mental controls of painful feelings and learn to accept them into our awareness.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Grief: The Reaction to Loss is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that teaches healthcare professionals how to recognize and respond to grief. Click here to learn more.

Caregiver Help: Depression and Grief is a 2-hour online video-based continuing education (CE/CEU) course that addresses caregiver depression and grief and provides strategies to help the caregiver cope. Click here to learn more.

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

PDR offers over 150 accredited online CE courses for healthcare professionals. 

Target AudiencePsychologistsSchool PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapists (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), and Teachers

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

The Psychological Effects of Social Isolation

Increased aggressiveness towards unfamiliar others, persistent fear, and hypersensitivity to threatening stimuli. These are some of the effects of social isolation described in a study done by Moriel Zelikowsky and colleagues at the California Institute of Technology (Zelikowsky et al., 2018).

Social Isolation

In another meta-analysis done at University of Surrey and Brunel University London, researchers found that social isolation could be linked to increased inflammation in the body (Smith et al., 2020).

As Kimberley Smith, a lecturer in Health Psychology at the University of Surrey, explains, “Loneliness and social isolation have been shown to increase our risk of poorer health. Many researchers propose that part of the reason for this is because they influence the body’s inflammatory response.”

Another study found that social isolation is linked to increased risk of mortality (Alcaraz et al., 2018).

Social isolation, while it might have been something we spoke about rather infrequently in the past, now seems like it is a new normal. It is necessary. We need to do everything we can to stop the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19.

But just how this affects us mentally and physically is another matter altogether. While it is important to stop the spread of the coronavirus, social isolation is not good for our health – mentally or physically. And even before quarantine orders were put in place, social isolation was a growing problem. In the United States, for example, about half of people older than 85 live alone, and decreased mobility or ability to drive may cut opportunities for other socialization (Brown et al., 2017).

Social Isolation is a “Silent Killer”

Moreover, during a U.S. Senate hearing on aging issues in the spring of 2018, a representative for the Gerontological Society of America urged lawmakers to support programs that help older adults stay connected to their communities, stating that social isolation is a “silent killer that places people at higher risk for a variety of poor health outcomes.”

Now, more than ever, the effects of social isolation will be felt, and more so by those already at risk, as the coronavirus is much more deadly to the elderly population.

There is hope, however. In a study that appeared in the American Journal of Epidemiology, in 2018, the authors concluded that most detrimental were “the lack of interpersonal connections.” When people were able to develop and maintain more interpersonal connections – remotely or otherwise – the effects of social isolation were not nearly as powerful (Alcaraz et al., 2018).

So where does this leave us? Now, more than ever, is the time to pick up the phone, send an email, text, or message, reach out, and stay connected. Your brain and body will thank you.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Managing Anger & Aggressive Behavior is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that provides strategies for dealing with anger and aggression in clinical practice. Click here to learn more.

Psychological Effects of Media Exposure is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that explores the psychological effects that media exposure has on both the witnesses and victims of traumatic events. Click here to learn more.

Psychological Effects of Ostracism is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that explores the effects of ostracism and social exclusion in both children and adults – in the real world, and online. Click here to learn more.

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

PDR offers over 150 accredited online CE courses for healthcare professionals. 

Target AudiencePsychologistsSchool PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapists (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), and Teachers

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Three Things You Can Teach Your Kids At Home

3 Things You Can Teach Your Kids At Home

There are a lot of things kids learn at school. How to do math, science, spell correctly, write legibly, and if you are lucky, play sports. But once they leave school, many life lessons await them. As Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff, the authors of The Coddling Of The American Mind: How Good Intentions And Bad Ideas Are Setting Up A Generation For Failure remind us, kids are arriving at college less and less prepared.

Depression and anxiety rates have risen sharply among college students, more kids are on some sort of mood enhancer, and student counseling centers are seeing more visits than they ever have. While there are numerous reasons for this effect, the point is that kids need more than simply school preparation to not be overwhelmed by college (and life). So, with that in mind, here are three useful things you can teach your kids while they are at home during the pandemic:

Time Management

So much of school is scheduled for kids. This class starts at this time, practice starts after school, parents pick you up at a given time, teachers prepare the lesson for you. But what do you do when you want to accomplish something on your own? How exactly do you manage your time to reach your own goals?

For example, let’s say your kid wants to run a 5K race. How does he design his schedule to allow time to train? How does he make sure that he also accomplishes everything else he has to do like chores, homework, sleeping, etc.?

How to Teach Your Kid Time Management

Having your kid at home is the perfect opportunity to help him learn how to set a goal, then manage his time to reach it. Start by having your kid choose a goal. It could be anything from finding a recipe and making dinner for the family to selling 400 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, or, of course, a 5K race.

Then put your kid in the driver’s seat and have him create his own schedule to reach his goal. Your job is not to help him. Sure, you can let him know that you are there to answer questions, but you are not there to tell him what to do or when to do it. That, in fact, is the lesson for him to learn. But there is an even more important lesson here – that you believe he can accomplish his goals on his own. 

How To Cope With Failure

Failure is a part of life. Try anything, from getting a job to learning to skateboard, and you will face failure. But what is more important than if we fail, is how we fail. Do we quit? Do we blame others? Do we make excuses? Or do we pick ourselves up and try harder?

Now that you are at home with your child, you have the perfect opportunity to teach him how to cope with failure, and even have fun in the process. Start by choosing an activity or skill to learn with your child. You could learn how to sing, play the guitar, dance, knit a blanket, ride a skateboard, or do gymnastics. Really anything is fine as long as it is a reasonable challenge and something that you and your child can enjoy.

Then learn alongside them and when you fail (which you will) use the opportunity to model self-control, personal responsibility, and the link between effort and outcome. In short, just shake it off and try harder. When you do this, you teach your kid an invaluable lesson: it is okay to fail; it is what you do about it that matters.

Self-Control

Drug addiction, smoking, procrastinating, interrupting, arguing, overeating, and over-consuming media, at the core, are all problems of self-control.

Essentially, we would like to be doing one thing (or envision ourselves doing this) yet we are actually doing something else. We would like to exercise every day, but we can’t seem to find the motivation. We would like to stop at one piece of pie, but that second one seems to call our name. And we know we should’ve gotten that last piece of work done but we were just so tired. You get the point.

The problem with poor self-control is that it keeps us from getting what we really want. Moreover, it keeps us stuck in a cycle of conflict with ourselves. The energy we spend justifying our actions could be spent working toward our goals. It all starts with better self-control.

So, take the opportunity now that your child is home with you to teach self-control – and maybe even give yourself a refresher. Start by sitting down with your child and telling him you are both going to choose a goal and help each other stay motivated to reach it. He can choose something like building a model airplane, brushing his teeth every day, walking the dog every morning, or eating only one bag of candy every day. You can also choose any goal you like so long as it is something that you would like to accomplish and is within your reach.

Then choose a strategy with your child to help you and he reach your goals. You can choose a motivational mantra, a commitment strategy that utilizes a penalty for not reaching your goal, or anything else that you want. The point is to learn how to work with yourself to change your behavior, and essentially overcome the impulses that keep you from reaching your goals. I can think of no better life lesson.   

Having your kid at home for an indefinite amount of time is something that no parent could’ve anticipated. Yet, if we are creative, and a little open-minded, we can use the time as an opportunity to teach our kids all the things they might not otherwise learn in school.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Motivating Children to Learn is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides strategies and activities to help children overcome their academic and social challenges. Click here to learn more.

Executive Functioning: Teaching Children Organizational Skills is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that will enumerate and illustrate multiple strategies and tools for helping children overcome executive functioning deficits and improve their self-esteem and organizational abilities. Click here to learn more.

Supportive Communication for the Child with Special Needs is a 1-hour audio continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides practical tips for helping parents to communicate with their child who has special needs. Click here to learn more.

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

PDR offers over 150 accredited online CE courses for healthcare professionals. 

Target AudiencePsychologistsSchool PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapists (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), and Teachers

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!