Anxiety in Children – New Online CE Course

Anxiety in Children is a new 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that focuses on behavioral interventions for children with anxiety disorders.

Anxiety in Children is a new 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that focuses on behavioral interventions for children with anxiety disorders.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, it is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children but are often not diagnosed. Untreated anxiety can lead to substance abuse, difficulties in school, and depression. Professionals who work with children, including speech-language pathologists, mental health professionals, and occupational therapists, frequently encounter anxiety disorders among their young clients.

This course is intended to help clinicians recognize and understand the anxiety disorders that frequently occur in children and learn a wide variety of communication and behavioral strategies for helping their clients manage their anxiety. Included are sections on types and causes of anxiety disorders, strategies for prevention, evidence-based treatments, techniques for helping children manage worry, relaxation techniques for use with children, and detailed discussions on school anxiety and social anxiety. Course #40-51 | 2020 | 73 pages | 25 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

Anxiety in Children 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 this course involves passing an online test (80% required, 3 chances to take) and we ask that you also complete a brief course evaluation.


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!

Why You Should Stop Putting on a Happy Face

At some point, we have probably all shoved down a negative feeling and put on a happy face, even when we didn’t feel like it. What we probably didn’t consider is the psychological cost of masking how we really feel.

At some point, we have probably all shoved down a negative feeling and put on a happy face, even when we didn’t feel like it. What we probably didn’t consider is the psychological cost of masking how we really feel.

Conducting two separate studies, and using parental negative emotion suppression and positive emotion amplification as a barometer, Dr. Bonnie Le and Dr. Emily Impett of the University of Toronto Mississauga and their colleagues looked to find out.

In the first experiment, 162 parents were asked to recall past caregiving experiences before answering a series of questions.

“By examining the regulation of positive and negative emotions in tandem, our results can shed light on the unique effects of using each strategy,” explains Le (Le, 2018).

According to Impett, when parents attempted to hide their negative emotion expression and overexpress their positive emotions (put on a happy face) with their children, it came at a cost: the parents felt worse themselves (Le et al., 2018).

Moreover, the parents reported experiencing lower authenticity, emotional well-being, relationship quality, and responsiveness to their children’s needs when they suppressed negative emotions and amplified positive emotions when providing care to their children.

In the second study, the researchers asked 118 parents to answer open-ended questions regarding their daily caregiving experiences over the course of ten days.

Again, the results were similar: more challenging caregiving led to more suppression of negative feelings and amplification of positive feelings (Le et al., 2018).

Le summarizes the results, “Parents experienced costs when regulating their emotions in these ways because they felt less authentic, or true to themselves. It is important to note that amplifying positive emotions was relatively more costly to engage in, indicating that controlling emotions in ways that may seem beneficial in the context of caring for children can come at a cost” (Le, 2018).

For Impett and her team, the findings offer one clear takeaway: when parents express more positive emotions than they genuinely feel and mask their negative emotions, they feel worse. We will all have negative feelings at some time or another and the point is not to deny them, but rather find ways to accept them as normal – or even better, use them to propel psychological growth.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

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.

Building Resilience in your Young Client is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that offers a wide variety of resilience interventions that can be used in therapy, school, and home settings.

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.


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!

Executive Functioning in Children CE Course

Executive Functioning: Teaching Children Organizational Skills is a new 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides strategies and tools for helping children succeed through overcoming executive functioning deficits.

Executive Functioning: Teaching Children Organizational Skills is a new 4-hour online CE course that provides strategies and tools for helping children succeed through overcoming executive functioning deficits.

Executive functioning skills represent a key set of mental assets that help connect past experience with present action. They are fundamental to performing activities such as planning, organizing, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details, and managing time and space.

Conversely, executive functioning deficits can significantly disrupt an individual’s ability to perform even simple tasks effectively. Although children with executive functioning difficulties may be at a disadvantage at home and at school, adults can employ many different strategies to help them succeed.

This course will enumerate and illustrate multiple strategies and tools for helping children overcome executive functioning deficits and improve their self-esteem and organizational abilities. Included are techniques for planning and prioritizing, managing emotions, improving communication, developing stress tolerance, building time management skills, increasing sustained attention, and boosting working memory. Course #40-50 | 2020 | 70 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 this course involves passing an online test (80% required, 3 chances to take) and we ask that you also complete a brief course evaluation.


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!

Mindfulness, Yoga, and Good Mental Health

It may be the last thing you want to do when you are having trouble focusing, are upset by negative news, or distracted by an inconsiderate co-worker, but a few minutes of mindfulness, yoga, or meditation may be just what you need to maintain good mental health.

A few minutes of mindfulness, yoga, or meditation may be just what you need to maintain good mental health amid stressful times.

“Hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation both focus the brain’s conscious processing power on a limited number of targets like breathing and posing, and also reduce processing of nonessential information,” explains Peter Hall, associate professor in the School of Public Health & Health Systems. “These two functions might have some positive carryover effect in the near- term following the session, such that people are able to focus more easily on what they choose to attend to in everyday life.”

After following thirty-one study participants who completed 25 minutes of Hatha yoga, 25 minutes of mindfulness meditation, and 25 minutes of quiet reading (a control task) in randomized order, Hall found that after both the yoga and meditation activities, participants performed significantly better on executive function tasks compared to the reading task. Specifically, goal-directed behavior, and the ability to control knee-jerk emotional responses, habitual thinking patterns and actions improved.

Moreover, Hall and his team also found that mindfulness meditation and Hatha yoga were both effective for improving energy levels, with Hatha yoga having significantly more powerful effects than meditation alone.

“There are a number of theories about why physical exercises like yoga improve energy levels and cognitive test performance. These include the release of endorphins, increased blood flow to the brain, and reduced focus on ruminative thoughts,” notes said Kimberley Luu, lead author on the paper.

There may be something particularly powerful about combining physical postures and breathing exercises with mindfulness meditation. The ability to observe thoughts, emotions and body sensations with openness and acceptance, seems to be a key component of improved executive functioning, while improvements in flexibility and strength come with a host of overall health benefits. Whether in helping us focus, appreciate what we have, or simply feel better physically, yoga, meditation, and the ability to shift our energy are fundamental to good mental health.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Mindfulness: The Healing Power of Compassionate Presence is a 6-hour online continuing education (CE) course that will give you the mindfulness skills necessary to work directly, effectively and courageously, with your own and your client’s life struggles. Course #60-75 | 2008 | 73 pages | 27 posttest questions


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!

The Importance of Returning to School

There is much debate and concern over how to start the 2020-2021 school year and every Board of Education across the country have the unenviable task of deciding how to proceed – bricks and mortar, online, or a hybrid of the two.

With all the debate about how to get our children back to school, it's important that we put politics aside and focus on what is best for the kids.

I thought our county and school system did a tremendous job educating our children last term. They went above and beyond the call of duty in learning how to use online teaching platforms and adjusting their objectives and lesson plans to work while teaching their students in a distance learning capacity. The reality is, however, online school or a hybrid of online and physical attendance will never, in my opinion, equal the education children receive by attending school five days a week and interacting with the class teacher, their peers, and other faculty or volunteers.

The first few weeks of a new school year are important. This is the time children and teachers learn about each other. But what does this look like if children are working from home in a variety of environments? As teachers, we will not know the routines and expectations of every household. We cannot accommodate for every circumstance. If parents are able to go to their place of business, where are the children? Do we then expect babysitters, day cares, or family members to support the child’s learning? How do we as classroom teachers, meet the needs of all students trying to learn in such a wide range of environments and with differing schedules?

As class teachers we establish routines so that children know what to expect every day. In establishing boundaries, classroom rules, and expectations, we ensure the children feel a sense of security. Students know and rely on our set timetable, anticipate what will happen as they progress through the school day, and feel safe in the knowledge that these expectations apply to everyone in the classroom, which allows them to focus on their school work.

Classroom teachers spend a great deal of time and money creating enabling environments for their students. We stock our classrooms so that children have all the resources they will need to complete assignments and have fun! From the playdough, paint, and building materials in the early years to the science experiments and games in middle and high school. Teachers not only offer the use of technology in the classroom, we are required to use technology in lessons. Thus, we have computers, iPads and internet availability. We constantly look for ways to engage the students with their learning and pique their interest so that they will want to become life-long learners.

Teachers carefully consider the layout of the classroom and the accessibility of materials. We model methods of organizing and caring for resources and teach students how to establish good practices when carrying out and turning in assignments. Children learn executive functioning skills that will help them throughout their school career and into adulthood.

One of the joys of the first term is getting to know our students. Finding out about their personalities, interests, and goals, and making a connection. We build a mutually trusting and respectful relationship with our students through shared experiences in the classroom. Furthermore, school is as much about social and emotional education as it is about academics. For how can children succeed if they do not know how to actively listen, concentrate, confidently and respectfully share their ideas and value the ideas of others, cooperate with peers, persevere when learning is difficult, or organize their space and work.

Teachers want their classroom to be a safe place in which children can work hard, try new things, and know it is ok to fail occasionally. By supporting students to bounce back from failure and try again, teachers help them to build resilience and persevere. We look for those “extra few minutes” to provide extra practice and reassurance. We reflect on the days’ lessons so that we can determine when and how best to support a struggling student. We also consider how to extend learning and challenge those students who need stretching, who mastered a skill or concept easily.

As teachers, we value our colleagues and the time spent sharing ideas and reflecting on our practice. We need our meetings with other professionals, such as speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, counselors, and social workers, so that we are providing the best opportunities for children to succeed, especially those children who have individual learning needs. Often, it is not enough to follow a strategy one or two times. As classroom teachers following the advice of other supporting professionals, we plan activities specifically to meet learning goals several times a week. The parents are also given strategies to do at home. This layering and repetition is what enables the child to master a concept and succeed. How do we ensure this all happens when children are not in the classroom, colleagues are unable to confer and support families, and parents, who already overwhelmed with work, are taking on a teacher’s responsibilities?

Teachers also support families. That “quick chat” at the beginning or end of the day can reassure and support parents and carers as they work with their children. The scheduled meeting with a teacher so that a parent or carer can share difficulties a child may be experiencing at home (such as a divorce, death of a loved one, or illness). The note sent in letting school know of a child’s accomplishment outside of school so that it can be recognized and celebrated by their peers. These open lines of communication allow teachers to foster positive relationships with students as well as their families, so that we can all support students to achieve.

So much goes into a child’s learning, much of it taking place behind the scenes. With the best will in the world, we cannot expect the same rigour or comprehensive education from a part time, online schedule as we provide to children attending school full time.

For more information, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website’s article “The Importance of Reopening America’s Schools this Fall” (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/reopening-schools.html) or the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) website’s article “ Pediatricians, educators, and Superintendents Urge a Safe Return to School This Fall” (https://services.aap.org/en/news-room/news-releases/aap/2020/pediatricians-educators-and-superintendents-urge-a-safe-return-to-school-this-fall/)

Consuming Media: How Much is Too Much?

We are now spending as much as 15.5 hours per day consuming media in some form. We want to know what’s happening in the world in relation to COVID-19. We want to know what’s happening with the FBI/Flynn case. We want to know what our favorite celebrities are doing during quarantine. We want to know a lot of things…

We are all consuming media at alarming rates, but how much is too much?

Yet our total consumption of media isn’t the only thing that continues to trend sharply upward. Violence in the media has also been increasing year after year, especially the amount of gun violence in top-grossing PG-13 movies – which can be seen by children of all ages. And violence is not exclusive to movies. Media reports of school crime were found to over-represent the potential for danger. To be clear, data shows that less than 1 percent of murders of children occur on school grounds.

And all this exaggeration of violence in the media causes us to come to some pretty inaccurate conclusions about the likelihood of violence and perpetuates the very stereotypes that likely contribute to ongoing violence.

But what about during a national crisis? What is the effect of saturating your brain with information that points to a danger like that of the coronavirus?

As it turns out, it is not much different from exposing your brain to overexaggerated accounts of violence.

The end result is well, acute and chronic stress. In short, this type of exposure makes the danger live on – inside your head. But that’s not all. Numerous studies have shown that viewing violent or fear invoking media causes changes in our brains and behavior, such as increased risk of aggression, increased anxiety, disrupted sleep, increased impulsivity, and risk of addiction, and increased rates of depression.

And yet, we have the choice, every day, to click on the media reports, to scroll through our friends’ Facebook posts, to search for more information about COVID-19. I’m not saying we shouldn’t do that. What I am saying is that we shouldn’t do only that. Or better yet, we should adopt a 3 to 1 ration of positive to negative information. This, after all, is the ratio put forth by Author Barbara Frederickson in her book, Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveal How To Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity and Thrive to boost happiness.

So maybe next time you want to check the media for the latest news on the coronavirus, think twice. It may likely be better to find something uplifting and positive to view (or do) instead.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Course:


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.

This course will explore why we are so drawn to traumatic events and how media portrayals of these events influence our thoughts, conclusions, and assumptions about them. It will then discuss how the intersection of trauma and media has evolved to provide a place for celebrity-like attention, political agendas, corporate positioning, and even the repackaging, marketing, and selling of grief.

Lastly, the course will look at the interventions and exercises clinicians can use to help their clients understand the effects of trauma becoming public, how to protect themselves, and most importantly, how to recover from traumatic experience – even when it becomes public. Course #21-23 | 2018 | 44 pages | 15 posttest questions 

Click here to learn more.


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!

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!




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!