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.

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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!

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/.

Florida Mental Health License Renewal

Florida-licensed mental health professionals (counselors, social workers and MFTs) have an upcoming license renewal deadline of March 31, 2019.

Continuing Education (CE) Requirements:

CE Required: 30 hours every 2 years, of which: 
2 hours Preventing Medical Errors is required each renewal 
3 hours Ethics & Boundaries is required each renewal 
2 hours Domestic Violence is required every third renewal 
3 hours Florida Laws and Rules is required every third renewal 
Online CE Allowed: No limit @ PDR
License Renewal Deadline: March 31, 2019

If you have already met your CE requirements and are ready to renew, click here to renew your license with the Florida Board of CSW, MFT & MHC.

Still need CE? You can earn all 30 hours for renewal through online courses @ PDR. Order now and Save 20% on courses. We report to CE Broker for you!

Florida counselors, social workers, and MFTs save 20% on CE @pdresources.org
Enjoy 20% off ALL Online CE courses for your Florida MHC/SW/MT license renewal. Use coupon code PDR421 at checkout to redeem (prices shown above include 20% discount). Valid on all future orders thru 6/30/2019.

We report to CE Broker for you – so you don’t have to! 
All courses are reported the business day following completion.

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!

Boosting Weight Loss with Mental Imagery

Mental imagery has been found to boost weight loss proving that losing weight begins with what we imagine it will look and feel like.

Weight Loss Requires Change

When it comes to weight loss, it seems there is no shortage of programs. And while they may vary in what types, amounts, and frequency of foods they incorporate, there is one thing they can all agree on – losing weight requires changing behavior.

However, just how to change behavior has been a long and troubled problem – a problem that Dr. Linda Solbrig from the School of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh took a different approach to.

A Different Approach

Recruiting 141 participants, Solbrig allocated some of them to a Functional Imagery Training (FIT) group and some to a Motivational Interviewing (MI) group.

While MI is a technique that sees a counselor support someone to develop, highlight and verbalize their need or motivation for change, and their reasons for wanting to change, FIT goes one step further as it makes use of multisensory imagery to explore these changes by teaching clients how to elicit and practice motivational imagery themselves. Everyday behaviors are used to cue imagery practice until it becomes a cognitive habit.

In Solbrig’s study, the maximum contact time was four hours of individual consultation, and neither group received any additional dietary advice or information.

The Results?

After six months people who used the FIT intervention lost an average of 4.11kg, compared with an average of 0.74kg among the MI group, and after 12 months – six months after the intervention had finished – the FIT group continued to lose weight, with an average of 6.44kg lost compared with 0.67kg in the MI group (Solbrig et al., 2018)

“It’s fantastic that people lost significantly more weight on this intervention, as, unlike most studies, it provided no diet/physical activity advice or education. People were completely free in their choices and supported in what they wanted to do, not what a regimen prescribed” (Solbrig, 2018).

Dr Solbrig explained, “Most people agree that in order to lose weight, you need to eat less and exercise more, but in many cases, people simply aren’t motivated enough to heed this advice – however much they might agree with it. So FIT comes in with the key aim of encouraging someone to come up with their own imagery of what change might look and feel like to them, how it might be achieved and kept up, even when challenges arise” (Solbrig, 2018).

She continues, “We started with taking people through an exercise about a lemon. We asked them to imagine seeing it, touching it, juicing it, drinking the juice and juice accidently squirting in their eye, to emphasize how emotional and tight to our physical sensations imagery is. From there we are able to encourage them to fully imagine and embrace their own goals. Not just ‘imagine how good it would be to lose weight’ but, for example, ‘what would losing weight enable you to do that you can’t do now? What would that look / sound / smell like?’, and encourage them to use all of their senses” (Solbrig, 2018).

“FIT is based on two decades of research showing that mental imagery is more strongly emotionally charged than other types of thought. It uses imagery to strengthen people’s motivation and confidence to achieve their goals, and teaches people how to do this for themselves, so they can stay motivated even when faced with challenges. We were very excited to see that our intervention achieved exactly what we had hoped for and that it helped our participants achieve their goals and most importantly to maintain them” (Andrade, 2018).

What we can learn from studies like this is that losing weight begins with what we imagine it will look and feel like.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Behavioral Strategies for Weight Loss is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that exposes the many thought errors that confound the problem of weight loss and demonstrates how when we use behavioral strategies – known as commitment devices – we change the game of weight loss.

While obesity is arguably the largest health problem our nation faces today, it is not a problem that is exclusive to those who suffer weight gain. For therapists and counselors who work with those who wish to lose weight, there is ample information about diet and exercise; however, one very large problem remains. How do therapists get their clients to use this information? Packed with exercises therapists can use with their clients to increase self-control, resist impulses, improve decision making and harness accountability, this course will not just provide therapists with the tools they need to help their clients change the way they think about weight loss, but ultimately, the outcome they arrive at. Course #21-13 | 2016 | 31 pages | 15 posttest questions

Beyond Calories & Exercise: Eliminating Self-Defeating Behaviors is a 5-hour online continuing education (CE) course that “walks” readers through the process of replacing their self-defeating weight issues with healthy, positive, and productive life-style behaviors. It moves beyond the “burn more calories than you consume” concept to encompass the emotional aspects of eating and of gaining and losing weight. Through 16 included exercises, you will learn how to identify your self-defeating behaviors (SDBs), analyze and understand them, and then replace them with life-giving actions that lead to permanent behavioral change. Course #50-10 | 2013 | 49 pages | 35 posttest questions

Why Diets Fail: The Myth of Willpower is a 1-hour audio continuing education (CE) course that explains why diets fail and provides strategies for what does work. Clinicians continue to recommend diets to their patients, even though diets don’t lead to long-term weight loss. In this course, Dr. Mann will describe the evidence on why diets don’t work in the long term, give the biological reasons why diets fail, explain why willpower is not the problem, and then give strategies for healthy eating that do not require dieting or willpower.

Dr. Mann is uniquely qualified to provide the real truth about dieting, eating, obesity, and self-control. She is a widely cited expert whose research has been funded by the NIH, USDA, and NASA, and is published in dozens of scholarly journals. She does not run a diet clinic or test diets and she has never taken a penny from commercial diet companies, or sat on their boards of directors, or endorsed one of their products. Because of this, her livelihood, research funding, and reputation are not dependent on her reporting that diets work or that obesity is unhealthy. This sets her apart from nearly all diet and obesity researchers and allows her to speak the truth about these topics, which she does with abandon. Course #11-07 | 2017 | 10 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!

To Be Happier, Stop Pursuing Happiness

Happiness

Pursuing happiness seems like a worthwhile goal, that is, until you consider the way it affects our perceptions of time.

Achieving a state of happiness takes time and effort that we may not have, and the pursuit may also make us feel even more pressured, and paradoxically, less happy.

Conducting four studies, Aekyoung Kim of Rutgers University in the US and Sam Maglio of the University of Toronto Scarborough in Canada investigated how the pursuit of happiness as well as the state of being happy influenced people’s perception of time.

In the studies, some participants were either instructed to list things that would make them happier or asked to try to make themselves feel happy while watching a dull movie about building bridges. Other participants were instructed to think of happiness as a goal that they had already accomplished and list things that made them happy. Afterwards, all participants reported how much free time they felt they had.

When happiness was viewed not as a goal to be pursued, but as a state to be appreciated and savored – as having been already achieved – the feeling that time is scarce was lessened (Kim & Maglio, 2018).

As Kim explains, “Time seems to vanish amid the pursuit of happiness, but only when seen as a goal requiring continued pursuit” (Kim, 2018).

“This finding adds depth to the growing body of work suggesting that the pursuit of happiness can ironically undermine well-being” (Kim, 2018).

When we believe we have achieved happiness, notes Kim, we are left with the time to appreciate it, by doings things like keeping a gratitude journal, savoring experiences, helping others and volunteering.

On the other hand, when we don’t feel like we have enough time, we may choose purchasing material items over engaging in and appreciating experiences, as this requires less time. The irony is that material items do not lead to lasting increasing in happiness.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Course:

Finding Happiness: Positive Interventions in TherapyFinding 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.

We will start with a discussion on why you, the clinician, need to know about happiness and how this information can help in your work with clients. We will then uncover mistakes we make when trying to attain happiness and look carefully at the actions we take and the beliefs that do not just obfuscate our happiness efforts, but often leave us less happy. Next, we will explore the ways in which our mindset influences our feelings of happiness and the many ways we can fundamentally change our levels of well-being, not just immediately, but for many years to come. The final section of this course contains exercises you can use with clients to cultivate and sustain a lifelong habit of happiness. Course #40-45 | 2018 | 57 pages | 25 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!

Facebook: A Threat to Relationships?

Facebook may be a threat to new relationships

While there are many things we might desire in a relationship – such as healthy communication, empathy, mutual respect and understanding, encouragement and support – excessive Facebook use is probably not one of them.

And in fact, for new couples, it can be predictive of conflict.

Surveying Facebook users ages 18 to 82 years old, researchers asked them to describe how often they used Facebook and how much, if any, conflict arose between their current or former partners as a result of Facebook use.

The results were convincing. Facebook use among couples significantly predicted Facebook-related conflict, and significantly predicted negative relationship outcomes such as cheating, breakup, and divorce (Clayton et al., 2016).

Clayton explains, “Previous research has shown that the more a person in a romantic relationship uses Facebook, the more likely they are to monitor their partner’s Facebook activity more stringently, which can lead to feelings of jealousy. Facebook-induced jealousy may lead to arguments concerning past partners. Also, our study found that excessive Facebook users are more likely to connect or reconnect with other Facebook users, including previous partners, which may lead to emotional and physical cheating” (Clayton, 2016, paragraph 4).

And this trend was particularly apparent in newer relationships. “These findings held only for couples who had been in relationships of three years or less,” notes Clayton (Clayton, 2016, paragraph 5). On the other hand, for participants who have been in relationships for longer than three years Facebook use did not appear to be related to conflict or predictive or breakups or divorce (Clayton et al., 2016).

“Facebook may be a threat to relationships that are not fully matured” (Clayton, 2016, paragraph 6).

While Facebook is a wonderful way to connect, it might not be the best thing for our new relationships. A better option, notes Clayton, is that we learn about our partners by spending time engaged with one other, communicating, and enjoying activities together – all while curtailing our Facebook use.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Finding Happiness: Positive Interventions in TherapyFinding 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.

We will start with a discussion on why you, the clinician, need to know about happiness and how this information can help in your work with clients. We will then uncover mistakes we make when trying to attain happiness and look carefully at the actions we take and the beliefs that do not just obfuscate our happiness efforts, but often leave us less happy. Next, we will explore the ways in which our mindset influences our feelings of happiness and the many ways we can fundamentally change our levels of well-being, not just immediately, but for many years to come. The final section of this course contains exercises you can use with clients to cultivate and sustain a lifelong habit of happiness. Course #40-45 | 2018 | 57 pages | 25 posttest questions

Ethics and Social MediaEthics and Social Media is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the use of Social Networking Services (SNS) on both our personal and professional lives. 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 psychotherapists 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 psychotherapists the opportunity to examine their practices in regard to the use of social networking 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 networking and the development of a practice social media policy. Course #20-75 | 2016 | 32 pages | 15 posttest questions

Codependency: Causes, Consequences and CuresCodependency: Causes, Consequences and Cures is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that offers strategies for therapists to use in working with codependent clients. The author offers in-depth and in-person strategies for therapists to use in working with clients who present with the characteristic behavior patterns of codependency. Clients are usually unaware of the underlying codependency that is often responsible for the symptoms they’re suffering. Starting with emphasis on the delicate process of building a caring therapeutic relationship with these clients, the author guides readers through the early shame-inducing parenting styles that inhibit the development of healthy self-esteem. Through personal stories and case studies, the author goes on to describe healing interventions that can help clients identify dysfunctional patterns in relationships, start leading balanced lives and connecting with others on a new and meaningful level. Evaluative questionnaires, journaling assignments and other exercises are included to help you help your clients to overcome codependency. The rewards of successfully treating codependency are great for client and clinician alike. Even though the propensity for relapse always exists, it’s unlikely that a person who has made significant progress towards overcoming this disease will lose the gains they’ve made. Course #30-83 | 2015 | 40 pages | 21 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!

New Hope for Chronic Pain?

New Hope for Chronic Pain?

The National Institutes of Health estimate that 25.3 million adults are in chronic pain, which they define as pain nearly every day for at least three months. Moreover, the National Health Interview Survey, conducted in 2015, found that 1 in 10 Americans suffer from some form of pain every day, but even more concerning, 17.6 percent of Americans suffer from “severe levels” of chronic pain.

However, according to research presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2018 annual meeting, there is new hope for those who suffer from chronic pain.

Using dorsal root ganglion stimulation (DRG) – an innovative treatment that short circuits pain – Robert J. McCarthy, a professor of anesthesiology at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago and his team implanted devices in 67 people with chronic back pain. Patients were then followed for 3 to 18 months. Among their results:

  • Before implantation of the DRG device, most participants described their pain as 8 on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the worst pain imaginable). After follow-up, the median (most common) pain score fell to 5, a decrease of 33 percent, which the authors note is a clinically significant improvement.
  • Patients reported a 27 percent decrease (median) in disability, or patient-reported limitations to daily living, due to pain.
  • 94 percent of patients reported the treatment was beneficial (McCarthy et al., 2018).

“People in our study who had DRG stimulation reported significant improvement in pain even after a year, which is notable. They had tried numerous therapies, from drugs to spinal cord stimulation to surgery, but got little to no lasting pain relief. For most, DRG stimulation really improved their quality of life” (McCarthy, 2018).

Why DRG works, notes McCarthy, is due to the way chronic pain affects pain signals. In cases of chronic pain, nerves continue to send signals to the brain after the original source of the pain is gone. DRG stimulation disrupts these pain signals by specifically targeting the nerves responsible for the pain.

Essentially, DRG serves as the pain and sensation gateway between nerves in different parts of the body and the spinal cord and brain, and in doing so, interrupts the pain signal between the painful area and the brain.

Not just does DRG target the specific pain source, unlike spinal cord stimulation, another treatment for chronic pain, lower levels of current are required to achieve benefits.

As the rising rate of opioid use can perhaps be explained in part by the enormous amount of people who suffer with chronic pain, McCarthy notes, “There is a real need for non-drug therapy relief for people with chronic pain” (McCarthy, 2018).

Let’s hope that DRG is that relief.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Course:

Living a Better Life with Chronic Pain: Eliminating Self-Defeating BehaviorsLiving a Better Life with Chronic Pain is a 5-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that “walks” readers through the process of replacing their self-defeating chronic pain issues with healthy, positive, and productive life-style behaviors.

Certainly no one would choose a pain-filled body over a healthy, pain-free body. Yet every day, people unwittingly choose actions and attitudes that contribute to pain or lead to other less-than-desirable consequences on their health, relationships or ability to function. These actions and attitudes are what are called self-defeating behaviors (SDBs) and they keep us from living life to the fullest—if we let them. This course progresses from an analysis of the emotional aspects of living with chronic pain to specific strategies for dealing more productively with it. Through 16 guided exercises, readers will learn how to identify their self-defeating behaviors (SDBs), analyze and understand them, and then replace them with life-giving actions that lead to permanent behavioral change. Course #50-12 | 2014 | 49 pages | 35 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!

 

Social Media Use & Body Image Concerns

Social Media Use Increasing Body Image Concerns

You might be checking on what your friends are up to. You might be looking for a way to connect and communicate. Or you might just be looking for some entertainment.

Despite the reasons we engage in social media, researchers at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine say our social media use is predisposing us to body image concerns and the risk of developing an eating disorder (Sidani et al., 2016).

“We’ve long known that exposure to traditional forms of media, such as fashion magazines and television, is associated with the development of disordered eating and body image concerns, likely due to the positive portrayal of ‘thin’ models and celebrities,“ explains Jaime E. Sidani, PhD, MPH, assistant director of Pitt’s Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health. “Social media combines many of the visual aspects of traditional media with the opportunity for social media users to interact and propagate stereotypes that can lead to eating and body image concerns” (Sidani, 2016).

Sampling 1,765 U.S. adults age 19 through 32 in 2014, Dr. Sidani and her colleagues used questionnaires to determine use of 11 of the most popular social media platforms: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine and LinkedIn.

Then they cross-referenced those results with the results of another questionnaire that used established screening tools to assess eating disorder risk, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and other clinical and mental health issues where people have a distorted body image and disordered eating.

Their findings should have us all putting our phones down. The participants who spent the most time on social media throughout the day had 2.2 times the risk of reporting eating and body image concerns, compared to their peers who spent less time on social media. And participants who reported most frequently checking social media throughout the week had 2.6 times the risk, compared with those who checked least frequently (Sidani et al., 2016).

While previous research has shown that people tend to post images online that present themselves in a more positive – rather than realistic – light, thereby exposing others to unrealistic expectations for their appearance, it is also possible, notes Brian A. Primack, MD, PhD, assistant vice chancellor for health and society in Pitt’s Schools of the Health Sciences, that people who have eating and body image concerns might then be turning to social media to connect with groups of people who also have these concerns” (Primack, 2016).

The concern, however, is that despite Instagram banning the hashtags ‘thinspiration’ and ‘thinspo,’ YouTube videos about anorexia nervosa that could be classified as “pro-anorexia” received higher viewer ratings than informative videos highlighting the health consequences of the eating disorder.

For Sidani, the answer is more research. Not just do we need to develop effective interventions to counter social media content that either intentionally or unintentionally increases the risk of eating disorders in users, she notes, we need to follow users over time to answer the cause-and-effect questions surrounding social media use and risk for eating and body image concerns.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Ethics and Social MediaEthics and Social Media is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the use of Social Networking Services (SNS) on both our personal and professional lives. 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 psychotherapists 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 psychotherapists the opportunity to examine their practices in regard to the use of social networking 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 networking and the development of a practice social media policy. Course #20-75 | 2016 | 32 pages | 15 posttest questions

Nutrition and Mental HealthNutrition 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. Course #11-06 | 2017 | 21 pages | 10 posttest questions

Emotional Overeating: Practical Management TechniquesEmotional Overeating: Practical Management Techniques is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that discusses the causes of emotional eating and provides cognitive and behavioral exercises that can help to eliminate the addictive pattern.

Statistics report that Americans are an increasingly overweight population. Among the factors contributing to our struggle to stop tipping the scales is the component of “emotional eating” – or the use of food to attempt to fill emotional needs. Professionals in both the physical and emotional health fields encounter patients with emotional eating problems on a regular basis. Even clients who do not bring this as their presenting problem often have it on their list of unhealthy behaviors that contribute to or are intertwined with their priority concerns. While not an easy task, it is possible to learn methods for dismantling emotional eating habits. The goals of this course are to present information about the causes of emotional eating, and provide a body of cognitive and behavioral exercises that can help to eliminate the addictive pattern. Course #40-26 | 2011 | 44 pages | 30 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!

 

Introduction to Energy Psychology

Introduction to Energy Psychology

Introduction to Energy Psychology is a new 1-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that describes the history, uses, and benefits of energy psychology treatment models.

This course will focus on the use of energy psychology and how it can help health professionals who are seeking a holistic approach to work with patients. Energy psychology has its origins from acupuncture and can be used to address many emotional and behavioral problems. While it has many modalities, the most well-known is the use of acupressure (tapping) to stimulate meridian points on the face, hands, and upper body.

The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is now the most popular model and has become an integral part of energy research studies. EFT was approved for continuing education credits by the American Psychological Association in 2012 and over 80 research studies have demonstrated its success. It has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of trauma, depression, stress, anxiety, fears, addictions, weight loss, and with the side effects of hormonal therapies. While more research is needed to validate the many aspects of energy work, new research indicates EFT can also help address food cravings and increase self-compassion.

This course will also demonstrate how to conduct a general energy psychology treatment along with a chart indicating the locations of meridian points used in these treatments. Course #11-14 | 2019 | 21 pages | 10 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

This online course 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!

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!