Ethics & Social Media – New CE Course

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

Ethics & Social Media is a new 2-hour online CE course that examines how the use of social media effects both our personal and professional lives.

Is it useful or appropriate (or ethical or therapeutic) for a therapist and a client to share the kinds of information that are routinely posted on SNS like Facebook, Twitter, and others? How are therapists to handle “Friending” requests from clients? What are the threats to confidentiality and therapeutic boundaries that are posed by the use of social media sites, texts, or tweets in therapist-client communication?

The purpose of this course is to offer therapists the opportunity to examine their practices in regard to the use of social media services in their professional relationships and communications. Included are ethics topics such as privacy and confidentiality, boundaries and multiple relationships, competence, the phenomenon of friending, informed consent, and record keeping. A final section offers recommendations and resources for the ethical use of social media and the development of a practice social media policy. Course #21-34 | 2019 | 43 pages | 15 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

Course Directions

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. 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 American Psychological Association (APA); 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).

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!

Medical Marijuana CE Course Update

Medical Marijuana CE is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that reviews the current literature (updated 2019) on the medical, legal, educational, occupational, and ethical aspects of marijuana.

Medical Marijuana is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that reviews the current literature on medical, legal, educational, occupational, and ethical aspects of marijuana.

In spite of the fact that more than half of the states in this country have enacted legislation legalizing marijuana in some fashion, the reality is that neither the intended “medical” benefits of marijuana nor its known (and as yet unknown) adverse effects have been adequately examined using controlled studies. Conclusive literature remains sparse, and opinion remains divided and contentious.

This course is intended to present a summary of the current literature on the various medical, legal, educational, occupational, and ethical aspects of marijuana. It will address the major questions about marijuana that are as yet unanswered by scientific evidence. The course will conclude with a list of implications for healthcare and mental health practitioners. Course #31-20 | 2019 | 65 pages | 21 posttest questions

Click here to learn more about Medical Marijuana CE.

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); 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).

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!

Counseling the Criminal Mind – New CE Course

Counseling the Criminal Mind is a new 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the effects of mass incarceration and provides strategies for reducing criminal behavior.

Counseling the Criminal Mind is a new 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the effects of mass incarceration and provides strategies for reducing criminal behavior.

When events such as mass shootings, acts of terrorism, and familicide occur, one question we might ask ourselves is: What goes through the mind of the perpetrator? In attempting to answer this question, this course will explore the many factors that lead to criminal behavior, including traumatic brain injury, genetic predisposition, sibling behavior, exposure to violent video games, excessive television viewing, alcohol abuse, and social cohesion.

We will then explore the psychological effects of the incarceration experience itself, factors that contribute to criminal behavior, and brain-related and environmental approaches to turn around criminal behavior. Lastly, we will present strategies that you can use in session with your clients to help them make effective changes, find a vocation, decrease feelings of shame while increasing feelings of empathy, and practice mindfulness and self-regulation – all aimed at helping clients turn from a life of crime into one of fulfillment, meaning, and productivity. Course #21-33 | 2019 | 35 pages | 15 posttest questions

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 American Psychological Association (APA); 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).

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 Best Advice for Parents with a Child Starting Speech Therapy

The Best Advice for Parents with a Child Starting Speech Therapy

As parents, any time we perceive our child is struggling, it’s natural to struggle along with them.  If you and your child are new to speech therapy, it’s no different, and the prospect of beginning a program can be daunting.  Here is information to help guide your decisions and help you and your child feel comfortable.

Finding the Right Fit

One of the best ways to ensure your confidence is selecting a speech therapist who puts you and your child at ease.  Start by examining candidates’ credentials, and don’t be shy about asking for information.  Explore backgrounds and licensing information.  Note there are numerous online programs which are worthwhile, but do your homework to verify whomever you’re considering has a degree through an accredited program

Teach2Talk points out it’s generally in your child’s best interests to choose a speech pathologist with experience as well, rather than someone who has recently graduated.  Also, when talking with candidates, think about not only whether you feel comfortable with how each one communicates with you, but also consider how your child communicates.  You want your youngster to feel relaxed about therapy, not nervous or misunderstood.

What to Expect

Once you find the right fit, there is a fairly standard procedure you can expect a speech therapist to follow.  The first thing will be an assessment of your child, examining where delays might be.  Some of the details a speech pathologist might screen include the ability to make certain sounds, the ability to comprehend and use language, and the ability to use language socially.  From there, your therapist will develop goals and a program to help meet those goals.  Oftentimes there are things parents can do at home to enhance the child’s therapy program as well. 

At-Home Exercises

Parents often feel helpless when their children are struggling with a communication issue, but thankfully, there are many ways you can help your child.  On top of that, several at-home exercises are fun for you and your youngster, so you can both look forward to the time together.  You can play games like hopscotch, with your child repeating a word every time she hops on a number.  Practicing lip, tongue, cheek, and mouth movements is also helpful, so you can turn blowing on dandelions, playing a harmonica, or sipping drinks through a straw into subtle and fun therapy exercises.  And don’t forget classic tongue twisters!  When you serve up some ice cream, don’t hesitate to turn it into speech therapy-fun with, “I scream you scream, let’s all scream for ice cream!”

Rethinking Routine Activities

There are probably some things you and your child already do together which, with a bit of tweaking, could be considered part of your supportive activities.  For example, when your child is painting or coloring, talk about the colors and ask your child to repeat them back to you.  Have your kiddo ask you for the colors she wants, and build on the conversation as skills improve.  Similarly, putting together puzzles and playing games can be part of therapy.  Ask your child to identify objects, and coach her with prompts.  Keep things light, fun, and encouraging, rather than turning it into work.  Think of it as a time for making memories for you both, not just building skills.

Easing your Child’s Anxiety

Kids are often self-conscious about anything that makes them “different,” and Speech Buddies points out it can help build your child’s confidence to meet other children with similar speech challenges.  Being with other kids who have common concerns can provide a sense of belonging.  Also, be conscious of how you communicate with your child.  Avoid finishing sentences for her, maintain eye contact when you’re talking together, and be patient with your child’s side of the conversation. 

Starting anything new feels challenging, especially when it comes to your child’s well-being.  Research therapists to find the right fit, learn what to expect, augment your child’s program, and help your child feel at ease.  Facing the process together and making preparations will make you both feel better and will help ensure success. 

By Jenny Wise, mom to a child on the autism spectrum

Cyberbullying – New Online CE Course

Cyberbullying is a new 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that reviews evidenced-based research for identification, management and prevention of cyberbullying in children, adolescents, and adults.

Cyberbullying is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that reviews evidenced-based research for the identification, management, and prevention of cyberbullying.

Bullies have moved from the playground and workplace to the online world, where anonymity can facilitate bullying behavior. Cyberbullying is intentional, repeated harm to another person using communication technology. It is not accidental or random. It is targeted to a person with less perceived power. This may be someone younger, weaker, or less knowledgeable about technology. Any communication device may be used to harass or intimidate a victim, such as a cell phone, tablet, or computer. Any communication platform may host cyberbullying: social media sites (Facebook, Twitter), applications (Snapchat, AIM), websites (forums or blogs), and any place where one person can communicate with – or at – another person electronically. The short and long-term effects of bullying are considered as significant as neglect or maltreatment as a type of child abuse. 

This course will describe specific cyberbullying behaviors, review theories that attempt to explain why bullying happens, list the damaging effects that befall its victims, and discuss strategies professionals can use to prevent or manage identified cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is a fast-growing area of concern and all healthcare professionals should be equipped to spot the signs and provide support for our patients and clients, as well as keep up with the technology that drives cyberbullying. Course #21-32 | 2019 | 40 pages | 20 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

COURSE DIRECTIONS


Cyberbullying is on online course and provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (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!

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Laura More, MSW, LCSW, is a healthcare author and licensed clinical social worker. Laura was one of the founding partners of Care2Learn, a provider of online continuing education courses for the post-acute healthcare industry. She now provides healthcare authoring services. She has authored over 120 online continuing education titles, co-authored evidence-based care assessment area resources and a book, The Licensed Practical Nurse in Long-term Care Field Guide. She is the recipient of the 2010 Education Award from the American College of Health Care Administrators.

Edie Deane, MS-CCC, is a creative leader who infuses all her work with an entrepreneurial spirit. Edie’s career spans healthcare areas from hands-on service to e-business. Her portfolio of experience includes:  leadership, strategic and business development as online education company Care2Learn’s founder/owner; operations, administration, and education/training in national rehabilitation companies; and development of an e-learning department in a prominent healthcare software company. Edie currently owns ED Consulting & Coaching, focused on services for the LTPAC ecosystem. 

CE INFORMATION

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); 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 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHAProvider #AAUM); 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), Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, 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) and the Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); the TexasBoard 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).

Emotional Regulation: Teaching Children Calm

Emotional Regulation: Teaching Children Calm is a new 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides strategies and techniques for helping children to navigate their emotions.

Emotional Regulation: Teaching Children Calm is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides strategies and techniques for helping children navigate their emotions.

Emotional regulation is the ability to manage one’s emotions in order to respond appropriately to life’s inevitable ups and downs. It assists with competent decision-making, augments memory for critical events, and enables productive interpersonal relations. Inappropriate emotional responses are implicated in academic struggles, social difficulties, and many forms of psychopathology. Although children with emotional regulation issues may be at a disadvantage, adults can employ a variety of strategies to help them succeed.

This course provides techniques clinicians can use to model effective communication in therapy sessions and strategies to assist children with navigating the often confusing world of emotions, giving them the skills they need to manage their own feelings. Course #31-17 | 2019 | 68 pages | 20 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

COURSE DIRECTIONS

Emotional Regulation: Teaching Children Calm is on online course and provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (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!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adina Soclof, MS, CCC-SLP, is a Parent Educator, Professional Development Instructor and Speech-Language Pathologist working with children in a school setting. She received her B.A. in history from Queens College and her M.S. in communication sciences from Hunter College. Adina is the founder of ParentingSimply.com. She delivers parenting classes as well as professional development workshops for Speech-Language Pathologists, teachers and other health professionals. Adina is available for speaking engagements. You can reach her at asoclof@parentingsimply.com or check out her website at www.parentingsimply.com.

CE INFORMATION

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); 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).

PDR offers over 150 accredited online CE courses for healthcare professionals. Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Effects of Digital Media on Adolescents

Effects of Digital Media on Adolescents is a new 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that explores how the digital world is affecting teens of successive generations.

Effects of Digital Media on Adolescents is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that explores how digital media is affecting teens of successive generations.

It is becoming clear that the effects of digital media are affecting each successive generation of teenagers in ways that are only now beginning to come into view. iGen’ers’ communication and behaviors differ from those that characterized the Baby Boomers, Millennials, and the XGen’ers. We now know that the adolescent brain is still developing, and some digital behaviors do affect ongoing brain growth. Neuroplasticity can be affected by repetitive or obsessive behaviors, and the digital world offers risks for those adolescents who may engage in excessive video gaming. This course is for professionals, teachers, and parents who are seeking any available information that will help them to monitor their adolescents’ online behavior, teach teens how to remain safe while online, and model appropriate digital behaviors. Included are strategies that can help contribute to a balance between the digital world and the real-time, face-to-face lives of older children and adolescents. Course # 31-18 | 2019 | 52 pages | 20 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

COURSE DIRECTIONS

Effects of Digital Media on Adolescents is online course and provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (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!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Janet Harrison, PhD, CCC-SLP, has been an Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Education in Speech-Language Pathology at Purdue University, an Associate Professor at Marshall University and an Assistant Professor at Valdosta State University. Prior to her university positions she was Administrative Director of Clinical Services, Devereux Hospital & Neurobehavioral Institute of Texas, and developed a clinical program as the director of the Department of Speech-Language Pathology, Devereux Hospital & Children’s Center of Florida. Dr. Harrison has worked extensively in both medical and educational settings for intervention with children and adolescents who have language disorders as well as emotional/behavioral disorders.

CE INFORMATION

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); 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).

PDR offers over 150 accredited online CE courses for healthcare professionals. Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!


Dietary Supplements & Mental Health

Research into the link between dietary supplements and the treatment of mental health shows promising results. Here's a quick intro.

Mental illness has become a widespread epidemic across not only the United States, but around the world. Depression, in particular, is increasingly common—shown to affect up to 20 percent of the general population during some point in their lives. The current treatments available for mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, including medication and therapy, do not always provide relief for patients. In fact, as many as half of all patients who are prescribed an SSRI for depression will find the first medication they try insufficient.

People are turning more to alternatives in the hopes of better treating their mental health conditions. This has led to a sizable market of people seeking relief not found in conventional medications and treatments. Certain forms of dietary supplements, especially those that contain probiotics and enzymes, have shown promising results in clinical trials and hold the hope of a new way to treat these serious and often life-threatening illnesses.  

Dietary Supplement Use

About half of all Americans take a dietary supplement, and many of these are people looking to find a natural treatment for their mental or mood conditions. This can be due to side effects experienced on psychotropic medications or a lack of sufficient relief of their symptoms. Chronic mental health issues, such as a major depressive disorder or generalized anxiety, are a predictor of dietary supplement use. Medical practitioners as well are searching for innovative alternatives to standard mental health interventions that provide better results.

Dietary supplements can present an affordable alternative when the cost of medication and ongoing therapy is prohibitive, which is the reality for many patients. In a 2002 study, it was found that 35 percent of internet users searched for information on alternative and complementary treatments for their medical conditions, and this number has skyrocketed in the years since.

Much research has shown that a person’s diet can significantly affect their mental health, both directly and indirectly, by influencing the production and use of key neurotransmitters in the brain. However, many people following a standard American diet struggle to get adequate intake of essential nutrients.

For many years, treatments were centered on influencing the brain’s chemistry directly via medications that increased neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. Now the focus has turned to exploring the impact of digestive health on the brain.

The Brain-Gut Axis

Increasingly, researchers are learning more about what is termed the “brain-gut axis.” This connection between the central nervous system and the digestive tract was discovered in the last few decades and has been investigated for antidepressant and anti-anxiety efforts. It’s theorized that the brain and digestive system communicate continuously with one another. Psychiatric disorders have been linked to changes in the bacteria that live inside the gut.

Only recently did researchers find there is a separate nervous system located inside the intestine, which produces the same neurotransmitters as the brain. An imbalance of these neurotransmitters in the gut can create problems, just like it can with the brain. These problems present in the form of gastrointestinal symptoms.

The Birth of Nutritional Psychiatry

Nutritional psychiatry is a term that encompasses this new frontier of psychiatry which explores this brain-gut axis further, focusing on how diet affects each individual’s mental health. Dietary supplements can be an important factor, filling any nutritional gaps as well as providing additional support for the body.

A type of dietary supplementation of particular usefulness is probiotics. Probiotics (often called “good bacteria”) are microorganisms that live naturally in the digestive system. Forty types of probiotics have been identified as naturally occurring in a healthy human gut. Supplementation can be effective when an imbalance of gut bacteria is suspected. Probiotics have been shown to provide a therapeutic effect for many patients, not only in regard to their digestive problems but also with their mental health.

Another useful dietary supplement is digestive enzymes. Digestive enzymes are crucial to the natural breakdown of foods in the body. Studies have shown that many people with depression and anxiety lack sufficient enzymes, making proper absorption of vitamins, minerals and medications a challenge. The introduction of digestive enzymes as a dietary supplement allows the body to properly absorb these elements, potentially improving depression and anxiety symptoms.

Probiotics and prebiotics have gained massive popularity in recent years and are now the third most sought-after natural product in the United States. Therefore, the addition of probiotics and prebiotics to a product can significantly enhance its profitability. With the possibility of not only supporting digestive health but improving mental health, this number can only grow. Enzymes, too, have shown a significant benefit to patients suffering both digestive woes and mild to moderate mental disorders.

Gastrointestinal Disorders and Mental Health

Mental health and gastrointestinal disturbances are often linked, as with the case of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In one study of 44 adults who were suffering from both IBS and depression, over half of the patients in the non-placebo group had a significant reduction in their depression scores after six weeks. One theory is that for some patients, by clearing up worrisome physical symptoms, mental health improves.

However, direct activity on neurotransmitters has also been demonstrated. In the study, changes were seen in the limbic system, which is responsible for processing emotions. This suggests the use of probiotics in some patients could play an essential part in improving their mental health. The addition of probiotics was also shown to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which plays a major role in neuroplasticity and memory and is usually reduced in patients diagnosed with depression.

Research Findings for Probiotics

While studies are still limited, findings have been extremely promising. Numerous studies have suggested that using a dietary supplement featuring probiotics and enzymes can improve the symptoms of certain mental health conditions, especially major depressive disorder. Probiotics, in particular, have been demonstrated to positively affect neurotransmitter activity, thereby improving depression and anxiety in some patients.

This is mainly due to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is also a target of most antidepressants. While antidepressants prevent the reuptake of serotonin into the synapses, probiotics may regulate the amount of serotonin produced and improve the body’s ability to use this crucial neurotransmitter. 

Precautions

As certain dietary supplements have the potential to have adverse interactions with prescription drugs or other supplements, the patient must always consult with their doctor and inform them fully of all dietary supplements they’re taking. Side effects should be reported promptly.

In Conclusion

A review of the current literature shows a promising link between dietary supplements, enzymes and probiotics, and the relief of mental health symptoms, and probiotics manufacturers are taking note. Sufficient evidence suggests that adding specialized dietary supplements with enzymes and probiotics to the diet of someone suffering from depression or anxiety may be beneficial, whether or not they’re currently taking a prescription for the condition. With these findings, more manufacturers are opting to further explore the link between dietary supplementation and mental health treatment.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Nutrition and Mental Health: Advanced Clinical Concepts is a 1-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that examines how what we eat influences how we feel, both physically and mentally. While the role of adequate nutrition in maintaining mental health has been established for some time, just how clinicians go about providing the right nutritional information to the patient at the right time – to not just ensure good mental health, but actually optimize mood – has not been so clear. With myriad diets, weight loss supplements and programs, clients often find themselves reaching for the next best nutritional solution, all the while, unsure how they will feel, or even what to eat to feel better. On the other side of the equation, clinicians so often face not just a client’s emotional, situational, and relational concerns, but concerns that are clearly mired in how the client feels physically, and what impact his/her nutritional health may have on these concerns. For example, research into the role of blood sugar levels has demonstrated a clear crossover with client impulse control. Additionally, the gut microbiome, and its role in serotonin production and regulation has consistently made clear that without good gut health, mitigating anxiety and depression becomes close to impossible.

So if good mental health begins with good nutritional health, where should clinicians start? What advice should they give to a depressed client? An anxious client? A client with impulse control problems? This course will answer these questions and more. Comprised of three sections, the course will begin with an overview of macronutrient intake and mental health, examining recent popular movements such as intermittent fasting, carb cycling and ketogenic diets, and their impact on mental health. In section two, we will look specifically at the role of blood sugar on mental health, and research that implicates blood sugar as both an emotional and behavioral regulator. Gut health, and specifically the gut microbiome, and its influence on mood and behavior will then be explored. Lastly, specific diagnoses and the way they are impacted by specific vitamins and minerals will be considered. Section three will deliver specific tools, you, the clinician, can use with your clients to assess, improve and maximize nutrition to optimize mental health. ourse #11-06 | 2017 | 21 pages | 10 posttest questions

Nutrition and Depression: Advanced Clinical Concepts is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines how what we eat influences how we feel – and what we can do to improve both.

Depression is an increasingly common, complex, inflammatory condition that co-occurs with a host of other conditions. This course will examine how we can combat depression through nutrition, starting with an exploration of the etiology of depression – taking a look at the role of neurotransmitters, the HPA axis and cortisol, gene expression (epigenetics), upregulation and downregulation, and the connections between depression and immunity and depression and obesity. We will then turn our attention to macronutrients and investigate how factors such as regulating blood sugar, achieving amino acid balance, consuming the right fats, and eating fruits and vegetables can enhance mood, improve our decision-making, enhance cognitive processes, and reduce inflammation. From there, we will look at just how we go about the process of building a better brain – one neurotransmitter at a time. Exercises you can use with clients are included. Course #31-02 | 2018 | 42 pages | 20 posttest questions    

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); 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).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Renewal Information for Maryland Psychologists

Maryland psychologists have an upcoming license renewal deadline of March 31, 2019 (for odd-numbered licenses).

Maryland Psychologists Renewal Requirements:

CE Required: 40 hours every 2 years 
Online CE Allowed: 20 hours (independent study – must have posttest and certificate)
License Expiration: 3/31, every 2 years (even/odd license numbers due even/odd years) 
National Accreditation Accepted: APA 
Notes: 3 hours in ethics, laws, or risk management & 3 hours in cultural diversity due each renewal. If licensee holds a supervisory position – 3 hours in clinical supervision also required.

Maryland psychologists can earn up to 20 hours required for renewal through online courses offered @pdresources.org. Over 100 courses are available to choose from.

Order now and save 20% on CE:

Maryland psychologists enjoy 20% off online CE courses @pdresources.org

Click here to view online courses available.

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); 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).

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

The Power of Journaling as a Therapeutic Tool

The Power of Journaling as a Therapeutic Tool - Quick Tips for Therapists

Even the well-seasoned therapist can feel “stuck” with a client who’s overwhelmed, blocked, or shut down. Suggesting expressive writing or drawing (“journaling”), either during or between sessions, can help get the process back on track. Both freewriting (writing whatever comes to mind) and guided journaling (starting with a specific prompt) are beneficial.

Journaling can help to:

  • Engage a therapy-shy or reticent client (especially teen-effective!).
  • Reduce overwhelm by changing abstract thoughts and feelings into concrete words on paper.
  • Bypass defenses and uncover new information.
  • Organize thoughts and feelings to facilitate clear thinking and better decision-making.
  • Increase self-awareness.
  • Release affect in a safe manner.
  • Teach, strengthen, or practice a coping skill.

A supply of paper, pens, and crayons can be kept at hand.  At appropriate times, the clinician might patiently suggest:

  • “Instead of talking more, want to try something a little different?”
  • “There’s so much inside you – how about letting it out on paper?” (Let them write whatever they need until they feel relief.)
  •  “Maybe there’s too much to manage at once. Try listing the 5 main things you’re thinking (or feeling) right now.”
  • “That feeling seems overwhelming. How about showing what it might look like in physical form? Use colors, lines, or whatever you need.”
  •  “I wonder why this comes up so often. How about drawing a pie chart showing what makes up your self-esteem?”
  •  “Between sessions, try writing in your journal just as if you’re talking to me.”
  • “Try practicing your positive thinking by writing a gratitude list each night before bed.”
  • “Instead of self-harm, try putting your pain into words or pictures.”

When reviewing clients’ expressions, instead of interpreting, ask:

  • What was it like for you to do this?
  • What’s the most important part of this for you?
  • What do you notice when you look this over?

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

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.

Journaling II: Directed Exercises in Journaling is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that provides the foundation for journal-writing techniques, including exercises you can use with clients.

Lisa M. Schab, L.C.S.W. is a psychotherapist with a private counseling practice in the Great Chicago, IL area. She has authored seventeen books, including The Anxiety Workbook for Teens and Put Your Worries Here:  A Creative Journal for Teens with Anxiety – the first in a new series of creative, engaging guided journals addressing specific teen issues. She teaches self-help workshops and professional training courses on both anxiety and journaling and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). To learn more about the use of journaling and guided journals as an adjunct to therapy, visit www.lisamschabooks.com. To earn continuing education credits on these topics, find Lisa’s professional training courses at https://www.pdresources.org/.