Therapy Tidbits – May/June 2019

Therapy Tidbits – May/June 2019 is a new 1-hour online continuing education (CE) course comprised of select articles from the May/June 2019 issue of The National Psychologist, a private, independent bi-monthly newspaper intended to keep psychologists informed about practice issues.

Therapy Tidbits – May/June 2019 is a 1-hour online continuing education (CE) course comprised of select articles from the May/June 2019 issue of The National Psychologist, a private, independent bi-monthly newspaper intended to keep psychologists informed about practice issues.

The articles included in Therapy Tidbits – May/June 2019 are:

  • Psychologists Face Denials, Delays in Testing Payments – Discusses the difficulties of receiving reimbursement following the update of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for central nervous system assessments, and provides contact information for APA information and support.
  • Integrated Healthcare Requires Caution – Provides an overview of the modalities of integrated healthcare and discusses the importance of dilalogue between psychologists and other healthcare providers.
  • Using Testing Codes Requires Great Care – The author provides an explanation of the billing codes used in skilled nursing facilities.
  • Rescue Dogs Replace Lab Rats – Highlights the success of a program in which university students work with dogs from a local animal shelter.
  • ACA Less Friendly to Psychologists than Expected – Describes the ways in which the Affordable Care Act impacts upon the practice of Psychotherapy.
  • Former Opponent Now Favors RxP – The author explains why he feels it is beneficial for psychologists to have prescribing privileges.
  • Mass Shootings Unfairly Stigmatizing Mentally Ill – Highlights the issues surrounding media exposure and violent gun crimes and reminds psychologists of the ethical issues that should be considered regarding mental health and gun violence.
  • Roles Collide in Internship at Federal Prison – The author describes the many dual roll relationships she is experiencing as an intern for the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).
  • Exposure Therapy is Fast and Effective – The author describes her experiences when learning exposure therapy and the benefits it can have for both the client and clinician.
  • Pope Calls for Psychological Tests – Discusses whether psychological testing to determine if a person is suited for a celibate life is of use.
  • Court Ruling Could Affect Psychologists – The author reflects upon the course rulings in the case of Byrne v Avery Center to highlight the difference between privilege and confidentiality when patient records are under subpoena.

Course #11-28 | 2019 | 19 pages | 10 posttest questions

Click here to learn more about Therapy Tidbits – May/June 2019.

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.

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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!

Treatment for Anxiety Disorders in Children

Course excerpt from Anxiety in Children

Treatment for Anxiety in ChildrenAnxiety disorders in children are very common, usually chronic, and frequently disabling. Since everyone experiences anxiety at some point, the first step is to determine whether the disorder falls within the bounds of “normal” anxiety, or whether it is something that requires professional treatment.

Parents often need help making this determination. Mental health professionals can present the following checklist to parents so that they can determine if they need to access medical or psychological help for their child:

  • Are you spending enormous amounts of time reassuring your child about engaging in normal activities?
  • Is your child’s anxiety out of sync with what is expected developmentally?
  • Is your child having difficulty with or have you noticed a significant change with sleeping, eating, or intrusive physical symptoms?
  • Is your child crying a lot? Does your child seem inconsolable?
  • Is the anxiety occurring regularly? Are the symptoms increasing?
  • Is your child becoming socially isolated? Is your child avoiding social situations or school?
  • Are there sudden changes in your child’s academic achievement or behavior?
  • Is your child unusually irritable?
  • Have these symptoms persisted over a few months?
  • Is the anxiety interfering with social, emotional, or behavioral functioning?


The two most common forms of treatment for anxiety are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication, usually selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, sertraline and paroxetine. Research has consistently demonstrated that cognitive-behavioral therapy and pharmacological therapies are most effective when used in conjunction with each other. Chansky (2014) does not recommend medication without concurrent cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the idea that feelings can be affected by our thoughts and behaviors. Thoughts are internal ways in which we talk to ourselves, and behaviors are the actions we take in everyday life.

Unhelpful thoughts and unhelpful behaviors lead to negative feelings, whereas helpful thoughts and helpful behaviors are related to positive feelings. It is cyclical: feelings lead to thoughts, which then lead certain actions (that is, behavior). Behavior can lead to negative thoughts and negative feelings. Negative thoughts can lead to negative behaviors and then negative feelings.

“The take home message is that understanding our feelings and how they affect us can lead us to do something to prevent our feelings from getting the better of us. We cannot make our feelings just go away, we can manage them. This can be accomplished by expressing our feelings…or by changing our thinking and behaving.”

Children who suffer from anxiety need to learn to think helpful and positive thoughts. The basis of treatment for children who suffer from anxiety is helping them understand that they can change their thinking patterns.

Medication

When is medication necessary? A pediatrician or psychiatrist needs to make that assessment and discuss the pros and cons of medication.

Medication is generally used when the level of anxiety is so high that the child is unable to use the skills that the therapist is attempting to teach the child. If medication is prescribed, parents need to know that it is not a “life sentence” and that their child might not always need to be on medication.

As noted earlier, the most common and demonstrably effective medications for childhood anxiety are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, sertraline and paroxetine. Also – again as noted earlier – they are most effective when used in combination with cognitive-behavioral therapy.

While the primary focus of this course is on behavioral interventions for children with anxiety disorders, some readers may be interested in more information on pharmacological treatment. For those interested, a NIMH article on multimodal treatment of child/adolescent anxiety can be found at the following website: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4695375/

Click here to learn more.

Anxiety in ChildrenAnxiety in Children is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that focuses on behavioral interventions for children with anxiety disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (2017), it is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children, but is often not diagnosed. Untreated anxiety can lead to substance abuse, difficulties in school, and depression. Professionals who work with children, including speech language pathologists, mental health professionals, and occupational therapists, frequently encounter anxiety disorders among their young clients. This course is intended to help clinicians recognize and understand the anxiety disorders that frequently occur in children and learn a wide variety of communication and behavioral strategies for helping their clients manage their anxiety. Included are sections on types and causes of anxiety disorders, strategies for prevention, evidence-based treatments, techniques for helping children manage worry, relaxation techniques for use with children, and detailed discussions on school anxiety and social anxiety. Course #40-43 | 2017 | 69 pages | 25 posttest questions


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.
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 (ASHA Provider #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 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); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

Promoting Self-Efficacy in Children

Course excerpt from Building Resilience in your Young Client

Promoting Self-Efficacy in ChildrenSelf-efficacy is a belief about what a person can do and how well he or she can do it. Self-efficacy is a multidimensional construct and is possibly the most central mechanism of human agency—the ability to influence intentionally one’s functioning and life circumstances. It determines how environmental opportunities and impediments are perceived and therefore influences peoples’ goals, values, and behavior.

A resilient child is able to influence the environment in which he lives. This is part of self-efficacy, and it can be accomplished by seeking ways in which to foster a child’s independence and encourage his autonomy.

Here are 10 ways to promote self-efficacy in children:

1. Promoting Self-Efficacy by Giving Choices

Giving children choices hands some control over to the child without compromising the adult’s authority – a win/win situation. Implicit in the choice is the fact that the child needs to fulfill the task, but gets to choose how it will be accomplished. Giving choices can diffuse conflict and allow children to assert their independence in a healthy way. It exercises their brains by making them think and solve problems. It is an extremely effective technique to use with independent, defiant children and toddlers.

2. Promoting Self-Efficacy by Grading the Experience

Parents and clinicians want to challenge their children within their abilities.

3. Promoting Self-Efficacy by Identifying and Reinforcing Competence

We can point out to children their accomplishments.

4. Promoting Self-Efficacy by Valuing Play

Play is an integral part of building resilience in children. It could be argued that active play is so central to child development that it should be included in the very definition of childhood. Play offers more than cherished memories of growing up; it allows children to develop creativity and imagination while developing physical, cognitive, and emotional strengths. …..Play is a natural tool that children can and should use to build their resilience. At its core, the development of resilience is about learning to overcome challenges and adversity…. children learn to deal with social challenges and navigate peer relationships on the playground. In addition, even small children use imaginative play and fantasy to take on their fears and create or explore a world they can master. Play allows them to create fantasy heroes that conquer their deepest fears. It allows them to practice adult roles, sometimes while playing with other children and sometimes while play-acting with adults. Sensitive adults can observe this play and recognize the fears and fantasies that need to be addressed; however, in many cases, play itself helps children meet their own needs. As they experience mastery of the world they create, children develop new competencies that lead to enhanced confidence and the resilience they need to address future challenges.

5. Promoting Self-Efficacy by Showing Respect for a Child’s Struggle

Telling a child that something is easy often leads to a double-edged discouragement. If he completes the tasks, then he merely did something “easy” and it is not much of an accomplishment. If he can’t succeed, then he has failed at something that should have been easy. If we show respect for a child’s struggle and say “this can be hard,” or “it is not so simple,” then we send him the message that if he does succeed it is a meaningful accomplishment. If he fails, at least he knows he made the effort on a difficult task.

6. Promoting Self-Efficacy by Showing Respect for a Child’s Eventual Readiness

Instead of disregarding children’s fears and hesitancy, acknowledge the child’s timetable.

7. Promoting Self-Efficacy by Encouraging Children to Think of Their Own Answers

Instead of rushing to answer questions, encourage the child to think of her own answers. Children often use questions to initiate verbal interactions. They may have already thought about the answers, and get bored when we answer their questions too soon.

8. Promoting Self-Efficacy by Letting Children Dream

Children love to dream. It is one of the greatest pleasures of childhood. They need adults with a listening ear. This helps gain our client’s trust and helps create and maintain strong client relationships. Hopes and dreams are a great topic for a language lesson.

9. Promoting Self-Efficacy by Celebrating Mistakes

Adults need to let children make mistakes and learn from them. We need to watch them struggle with and settle their own problems. We also need to let them do as much as they can for themselves. Treat children responsibly so they can function on their own.

It is hard to let children make their own mistakes. We feel, “If they would just listen to us then they would not have to suffer from their mistakes.” Allowing them to do for themselves sometimes makes more work for us. “If I let them pour the juice, it can spill. If I do it, it won’t.”

One important life skill is learning to recognize our mistakes, repair them and grow from them. Parents often fear allowing their children to move forward in life and make mistakes. We want to protect them. However, children who are not allowed to make mistakes can become fearful of making the smallest decisions, may be hesitant to solve problems and afraid to try new experiences. We want to promote resilience in our children. Resilient children make mistakes, get up, brush themselves off, and move on.

10. Promoting Self-Efficacy by Teaching Children Perseverance

Teaching kids to persevere and keep trying when the going gets tough is an important factor in promoting resilience. The ability to keep trying when we don’t succeed aids us in developing solution-oriented thinking patterns.

We all know stories of successful people who failed many times before reaching their goals. Making mistakes and using them as opportunities is an essential part of learning how to cope, grow and finally succeed. It is important to teach children that to achieve expertise in any area it takes many little steps and a lot of practice.

When children are having trouble with any given task it is crucial that we encourage them to keep on trying. When a baby is learning to walk we clap and smile for each step that they take, no matter if they fall. We need to have the same attitude when our children learn to pour milk and spill, do a puzzle and get frustrated, start a homework task and find themselves overwhelmed.

Click here to learn more.

Building Resilience in your Young ClientBuilding Resilience in your Young Client is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that offers a wide variety of resilience interventions that can be used in therapy, school, and home settings. It has long been observed that there are certain children who experience better outcomes than others who are subjected to similar adversities, and a significant amount of literature has been devoted to the question of why this disparity exists. Research has largely focused on what has been termed “resilience.” Health professionals are treating an increasing number of children who have difficulty coping with 21st century everyday life. Issues that are hard to deal with include excessive pressure to succeed in school, bullying, divorce, or even abuse at home. This course provides a working definition of resilience and descriptions of the characteristics that may be associated with better outcomes for children who confront adversity in their lives. It also identifies particular groups of children – most notably those with developmental challenges and learning disabilities – who are most likely to benefit from resilience training. Course #30-98 | 2017 | 53 pages | 20 posttest questions

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 (ASHA Provider #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 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); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

 

Building Resilience in your Young Client

Updated CE Course @pdresources.org

Professional Development Resources has a newly revised online continuing education (CE/CEU) course available that offers a wide variety of resilience interventions for children. SLPs: This course has been renewed with ASHA and will now count as a new course on your transcript:

Building Resilience in your Young ClientBuilding Resilience in your Young Client is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that offers a wide variety of resilience interventions that can be used in therapy, school, and home settings. It has long been observed that there are certain children who experience better outcomes than others who are subjected to similar adversities, and a significant amount of literature has been devoted to the question of why this disparity exists. Research has largely focused on what has been termed “resilience.” Health professionals are treating an increasing number of children who have difficulty coping with 21st century everyday life. Issues that are hard to deal with include excessive pressure to succeed in school, bullying, divorce, or even abuse at home. This course provides a working definition of resilience and descriptions of the characteristics that may be associated with better outcomes for children who confront adversity in their lives. It also identifies particular groups of children – most notably those with developmental challenges and learning disabilities – who are most likely to benefit from resilience training. Course #30-98 | 2017 | 53 pages | 20 posttest questions


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.

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA Provider #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 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); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

Strengthening Self-Control for Weight-Loss

Course excerpt from Behavioral Strategies for Weight Loss

Strengthening self-control for weight lossNow recognized as the most pressing health concern, weight gain in the United States impacts every part of our health – from increased rates of disease to greater incidence of mental health problems such as depression and addiction. In accordance, the weight loss industry has grown monumentally, branching into all areas of our lives. We now have weight pills, diets, low calorie foods, small quantity packaging, stimulant drinks and metabolic diet programs – just to name a few.

Yet the problem of not getting ourselves to do things, as behavioral economists know, is what underlies how we make decisions. Not just about weight loss, but about many things we should be doing – from saving money, to spending more time with our family, to contributing to charity. And understanding how we think about weight loss is at the core of how we actually go about making the daily decision to leave the donuts in the box.

When we want to change a behavior, what matters is not our intention to change, but the amount of self-control we have to actually execute the change. Our self-control – like any other muscle – can be strengthened. Let’s look at some ways we can do this:

  1. Use strategies that increase attention to the benefit of an activity throughout the duration of the activity. Running always looks better to us before we do it than when we are actually doing it. In order to be successful then, we are going to need to find ways to remind ourselves of the benefit of running while we are running. For example, we can use text reminders about the specific health benefits designed to be delivered during our run. We can also do this with statistics, reminding ourselves of other desirable outcomes – such as increased intelligence, emotional regulation, creativity, or optimism – linked to running. Or we can use in-run reminders delivered to us by our supporters. Like being cheered for along the course of a marathon, having a close friend or family member send us some virtual cheering might just make us want to run a few more miles.
  2. Reduce exposure to tempting options. It’s in our very nature to exaggerate the temptation costs of avoiding alluring options. If for no other reason than this, we should make every effort to avoid exposure to them. Having someone else order off the menu for us while we avoid looking at it, avoiding the grocery store and instead using a preset online shopping order can go a long way toward making sure the tasty muffins don’t end up in our shopping cart, or on our plate.
  3. Ensure that the long term goals are as certain as possible. As we know, the more uncertain our long term goals are, the more likely we will be to discount the risk in giving in to our impulses. And this effect is exaggerated when we depend highly on that long term goal. For this reason, whatever long term goals we choose, we should be certain we can get there.
  4. Incorporate mastery. We know that in order to continue doing something, we have to have an interest in it. And interest is highly linked to mastery. To incorporate mastery then, we should focus on learning goals, such as being able to shoot a free throw shot in proper form, learning the correct biomechanics of running, or learning how to ride a horse.
  5. Avoid performance goals. Performance goals, as we know, are linked to higher performance, but not continued involvement. If we want to change behavior, and cultivate continued involvement, we should make every effort to avoid performance goals.
  6. Minimize hot states. We know that when in hot states we are prone to errors in judgement and impulsive decisions. Minimizing hot states, and, at the very least, separating them from the self-control decisions we need to make, might not just help us steer clear of some nasty fights with our spouse, but also ensure that our waistlines don’t pay the price for them.
  7. Develop strategies to combat procrastination. Because chronic procrastination weakens executive function and lowers mood, we should make every effort to minimize it. We can do this through preset commitments. Giving $1000 to our neighbor to keep unless we follow through on our required tasks (thereby avoiding procrastination), quite likely will spur our motivation – and keep that $1000 in our pocket. On the other hand, we can also limit our exposure to more pleasurable (and deceptively distracting) options. Disconnecting, moving, or giving away the television, not surprisingly, might just help us get our work done – instead of watching the latest sitcoms.
  8. Find ways to replenish self-control. Self-control is a limited resource, and the more we use it without replenishing it, the less of it we have. In order to replenish self-control we have to allow ourselves areas of our lives we can have free choice. For example, if we have spent all day restricting our impulse to go on Facebook, yet we’d like to be able to convince ourselves to go to the gym after work, by first giving ourselves one half hour to do whatever – such as calling a friend, going on a walk, or taking a nap – we’d like, we are much more likely to make it to the gym.
  9. Minimize contact with self-control drains. Self-control is influenced by several factors, but one of the most insidious ways self-control can be derailed is through hanging out with the wrong people. When we see those around us giving in to impulses, suddenly we find a host of reasons why we should also. Not only do we not want to miss out on what we see someone else getting (it’s never fun to watch someone enjoy a delicious brownie right in front of us), but those justifications become that much easier (it’s always much easier to find reasons to do something someone else is already doing). So one of the best things we can do for our self-control is to protect it from the things (and people) that drain it. When we notice who around us doesn’t exhibit the level of self-control we desire and minimize our contact with them, suddenly the power to control impulses becomes that much easier.

Behavioral Strategies for Weight LossBehavioral 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 arguable 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

CE Credit: 2 Hours

Target Audience: Psychologists | Counselors | Social Workers | Occupational Therapists | Marriage & Family Therapists | Nutritionists & Dietitians

Learning Level: Intermediate

Course Type: Online
Professional Development ResourcesProfessional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. Our purpose is to provide high quality online continuing education (CE) courses on topics relevant to members of the healthcare professions we serve. We strive to keep our carbon footprint small by being completely paperless, allowing telecommuting, recycling, using energy-efficient lights and powering off electronics when not in use. We provide online CE courses to allow our colleagues to earn credits from the comfort of their own home or office so we can all be as green as possible (no paper, no shipping or handling, no travel expenses, etc.). Sustainability isn’t part of our work – it’s a guiding influence for all of our work.
We are approved to offer 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 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 one week of completion).

 

9 DIY Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor

9 DIY Ways to Improve Your Mental HealthLet’s be upfront: Sometimes, achieving better mental health requires professional help. People may need a therapist, or even medication, to deal with disorders like depression or anxiety.

But those serious diagnoses aside, we could all do with a little brain tune-up. Fortunately, science has some suggestions for how to overcome personality quirks or unhealthy patterns of thinking that leave people functioning less than optimally.

Here are some things that studies have found may improve people’s mental health:

1. Set goals, but don’t take failure personally

Most people are at least a little bit of a perfectionist in some area of life. Aiming high can be the first step to success, but studies have found that high levels of perfectionism are linked to poor health and increase the risk of death. Perfectionism is also linked to postpartum depression.

The problem is that perfectionism has two facets: Perfectionists tend to set high goals for themselves, but they also tend to worry about it if they fail to reach extreme levels of performance. The high goals are not the problem as much as the so-called “perfectionist concerns,” or feelings of failure and worthlessness that come with falling short of reaching them, which can wreak havoc on mental health.

The trick to getting around this perfectionism trap might be to set goals without taking failure personally, said Andrew Hill, a sports psychologist at York St. John University in England.

One strategy, Hill told Live Science in August 2015, is for perfectionists to set small, manageable goals for themselves rather than one big goal. That way, failure is less likely, and so is the self-recrimination that can keep a perfectionist down. In other words, perfectionists should force themselves to think about achieving success in degrees, rather than in all-or-nothing terms.

2. Go outside

The indoor environment protects us from heat, cold and all manner of inclement weather. But if you don’t get outside frequently, you might be doing a number on your mental health.

A June 2015 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science found that spending 90 minutes walking in nature can decrease brain activity in a region called the subgenual prefrontal cortex. This area is active when we’re ruminating over negative thoughts. Walking alongside a busy road didn’t quiet this area, the researchers found.

This latest study is only one of many that suggest that spending time outdoors is good for the mind. A 2010 study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology found that 5 minutes in a green space can boost self-esteem. In a 2001 study published in the journal Environment and Behavior, time in green space even improved ADHD symptoms in kids compared with time spent relaxing indoors — for example, watching TV.

3. Meditate

Meditation may look like the person is sitting around, doing nothing. In fact, it’s great for the brain.

A slew of studies have found that meditation benefits a person’s mental health. For example, a 2012 study in the journal PLOS ONE found that people who trained to meditate for six weeks became less rigid in their thinking than people with no meditation training. This suggests that meditation might help people with depression or anxiety shift their thoughts away from harmful patterns, the researchers suggested.

Other studies on meditation suggests that it literally alters the brain, slowing the thinning of the frontal cortex that typically occurs with age and decreasing activity in brain regions that convey information about pain. People trained in Zen meditation also became more adept at clearing their minds after a distraction, a 2008 study found. As distracting and irrelevant thoughts are common in people with depression and anxiety , meditation might improve those conditions, the researchers said.

4. Exercise

Next we’ll tell you to eat your vegetables, right? (You should, by the way.) It’s not fancy advice, but moving your body can benefit your brain. In fact, a 2012 study in the journal Neurology found that doing physical exercise was more beneficial than doing mental exercises in staving off the signs of aging in the brain.

That study used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan the brains of Scottish participants in their early 70s. Among the 638 participants, those who reported walking or doing other exercises a few times a week showed less brain shrinkage and stronger brain connections than those who didn’t move. People who did mentally stimulating activities such as chess or social activities didn’t show those kinds of effects.

Exercise can even be part of the treatment for people with serious mental disorders. A 2014 review in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that physical activity reduces the symptoms of depression in people with mental illness, and even reduced symptoms of schizophrenia. A 2014 study in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica found that adding an exercise program to the treatment plan for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) reduced patients’ symptoms and improved their sleep.

5. Be generous in your relationships

A giving relationship is a happy relationship, according to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family. In the study, couples with children who reported high levels of generosity with one another were more satisfied in their marriages and more likely to report high levels of sexual satisfaction.

Moreover, studies show that keeping a committed relationship strong can be a big boon for your mental health. People in the early stages of a marriage or a cohabitating relationship experience a short-term boost in happiness and a drop in depression, according to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family. And among same-sex couples, the official designation of marriage appears to boost psychological functioning over domestic partnerships (though domestic partnerships provided a boost, too).

Being generous in nonromantic relationships can provide a direct mental health boost, too. A 2013 study in the American Review of Public Administration found that people who prioritized helping others at work reported being happier with life 30 years later.

6. Use social media wisely

In general, having social connections is linked to better mental health. However, maintaining friendships over Facebook and other social media sites can be fraught with problems. Some research suggests that reading other people’s chipper status updates makes people feel worse about themselves — particularly if those other people have a large friend list, which may lead to a lot of showing off. Those findings suggest that limiting your friend list to people who you feel particularly close to might help you avoid seeing a parade of peacocking status updates from people who seem to have perfect lives.

Time on social networking sites has been linked to depressive symptoms, though it’s not clear whether the mental health problems or the social media usage comes first. A study presented in April 2015 at the annual conference of the British Sociological Association found that social media is a double-edged sword: People with mental health conditions reported that social media sites offered them feelings of belonging to a community, but also said that Facebook and other sites could exacerbate their anxiety and paranoia.

The best bet, researchers say, is to take advantage of the connectivity conferred by social media, but to avoid making Facebook or Twitter your entire social life.

“You have to be careful,” University of Houston psychologist Linda Acitelli told Live Science in 2012.

7. Look for meaning, not pleasure

Imagine a life of lounging by a pool, cocktail in hand. When you aren’t sunning yourself, you’re shopping for cute clothes or planning your next party.

Paradise? Not so much. A 2007 study found that people are actually happier in life when they take part in meaningful activities than when they focus on hedonism. University of Louisville researchers asked undergrads to complete surveys each day for three weeks about their daily activities. They also answered questions about their happiness levels and general life satisfaction.

The study, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, found that the more people participated in personally meaningful activities such as helping other people or pursuing big life goals, the happier and more satisfied they felt. Seeking pleasure didn’t boost happiness.

8. Worry (some), but don’t vent

Everyone’s had the experience of worrying about something they can’t change. If constant worrying becomes a pervasive problem, though, science suggests you should just put it on the calendar.

Scheduling your “worry time” to a single, 30-minute block each day can reduce worries over time, according to a study published in July 2011 in the Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. Patients in the study were taught to catch themselves worrying throughout the day and then postpone the worries to a prearranged block of time. Even just realizing that they were worrying helped patients calm down, the researchers found, but stopping the worrying and saving it for later was the most effective technique of all.

Venting about stresses, however, appears to make people feel worse about life, not better. So set aside that worry time — but do it silently.

9. Learn not to sweat the small stuff

Daily irritations are part of life, but they can also wear us down. In a 2013 study in the journal Psychological Science, researchers used two national surveys to look at the influence of minor annoyances on people’s mental health. They found surprisingly strong links.

The more negatively people responded to small things like having to wait in traffic or having arguments with a spouse, the more anxious and distressed they were likely to be when surveyed again 10 years later, the researchers reported.

“It’s important not to let everyday problems ruin your moments,” study researcher Susan Charles, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine, said in a statement when the research was released. “After all, moments add up to days, and days add up to years.”

Follow Stephanie Pappas on Twitter and Google+. Follow us@livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

Related Online CEU Courses:

Anxiety: Practical Management Techniques is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that offers a collection of ready-to-use anxiety management tools that can be used in nearly all clinical settings and client diagnoses.

Depression is a 1-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides an overview to the various forms of depression, including signs and symptoms, co-existing conditions, causes, gender and age differences, and diagnosis and treatment options.

Eliminating Self-Defeating Behaviors is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that teaches you how to identify, analyze and replace self-defeating behaviors with positive behaviors.

Nutrition in Mental Health & Substance Abuse is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that discusses how good nutrition impacts a person’s mental health and well being.

Professional Development Resources is approved to offer 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 California Board of Behavioral Sciences; 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 Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by theTexas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

New HIV CEU Course for SLPs

By Laura More, MSW, LCSW and Edie Deane-Watson, MS, CCC-A, CCM

HIV/AIDS: Adherence Issues

1-Hour Online CE Course

HIV/AIDS: Adherence Issues is a new 1-hour online continuing education course approved for 0.1 ASHA CEUs.

HIV affects people of all ages, from children born to mothers with HIV, to adolescents, to adults, and elders. Unlike other viruses, the body cannot remove HIV completely. Once a person has HIV, it is there for life. The quality – and quantity – of that life will depend on adherence with treatment. People who live with HIV can live almost normal lifespans and have little risk of transmitting the disease if they use antiretroviral therapy appropriately under medical care. However, only 30% of HIV-infected people follow their antiretroviral regimen well enough to achieve viral suppression. HIV/AIDS: Adherence Issues will discuss adherence issues in populations at high risk for HIV infection, as well as strategies for healthcare professionals to encourage patients to seek and maintain medical treatment. Course #10-88 | 2015 | 17 pages | 10 posttest questions

CE INFORMATION:

ASHA-Approved Provider

This course is offered for .1 ASHA CEUs (Introductory level, Professional area).

ASHA credit expires 5/25/2018. ASHA CEUs are awarded by the ASHA CE Registry upon receipt of the quarterly completion report from the ASHA Approved CE Provider. Please note that the date that appears on ASHA transcripts is the last day of the quarter in which the course was completed. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Florida Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and is CE Broker compliant (courses are reported within one week of completion).

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.

* This course is required for initial licensure of Florida Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.

 

 

Growing your Practice with Technology

By Marlene M. Maheu, PhD, from Ethics & Risk Management: Expert Tips VII

Vague Standards, Guidelines, Laws Create Telepsychology Risks

As a psychologist who’s been researching/writing/practicing/consulting/training online for years, I’m often asked, “Where can psychologists get guidance and training for practicing online?”

Vague Standards, Guidelines, Laws Create Telepsychology RisksJust as frequently, I encounter well-intentioned, ethical colleagues who blithely undertake an online practice without considering their legal and ethical obligations or competencies. In hopes of helping readers avoid many potential landmines, I’ll outline how current guidelines, ethical standards and state regulations can be used to help you avoid trouble and reap long-term benefits of growing your practice with technology.

Professional Guidelines

A joint task force of representatives of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Association Insurance Trust and the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards has developed telepsychology guidelines.

Guidelines developed by other professional associations can be of benefit to psychologists, but state regulations and guidelines of licensure also must be taken into consideration.

Despite the proliferation of health care technology in the last two decades, including the Internet, many professional associations have struggled to allocate the needed resources to develop clear and timely practice standards or guidelines. Even when they have been clear, many fail to address the current range of technology used in behavioral practice.

Vague Standards, Guidelines, Laws Create Telepsychology RisksFor instance, they might refer to telecommunication technologies for direct care, but neglect the rapid expansion of services delivered as psycho-educational products online, text messaging, virtual reality, robotics, mobile health (mhealth) such as “apps” used with smart devices and other areas.

Some associations are making significant progress; others have barely begun. A number of psychologists are attempting to form a new APA division to address the growing areas that need to be expanded in the definition of psychology and grow the association with vibrant new ideas and enthusiasm.

See the many areas of focus addressed by the proposed Society for Technology and Psychology (http://stp-apa.net) and consider how they are changing traditional in-person care. (Support this movement by signing the petition for inclusion in the APA.)

Even though technology may be outstripping the abilities of professional associations to “keep up,” associations have a responsibility to “catch up.” While many countries are far ahead of the U.S.-based professional associations in both the timeliness and scope of their standards, guidelines or statements of best practice, the following are available online for the psychologist looking for immediate guidance:


For a regularly updated list of currently published standards, guidelines and best practices in behavioral telehealth and telemental health, see Telemental Health Standards, Guidelines and Statements: http://telehealth.org/ethical-statements.

Keep Up On State Laws, Regulations

Despite the best research on recommended standards for the use of technology in psychology, practitioners must also carefully consider the strictures of state licensing regulations.

Licenses are awarded by states and therefore their scopes of practice are defined by the specific states(s) of licensure. Federal laws exempt military and federal government practitioners but otherwise state licensing laws define professional work. From one state to another, laws and regulations can differ substantially, be contradictory or outdated in terms of application to online practice. A number of states are working on updating regulations but they are moving forward in a hodgepodge and piecemeal manner rather than a unified plan. Potential penalties for violating licensing laws include fines, community service, public humiliation or suspension of licensure. In some states, certain laws can be considered “criminal offenses” and lead to the forfeiture of malpractice benefits. Examples include insurance fraud or treating a client in a state where the psychologist is not licensed.

Many psychologists fail to understand that being licensed in one state does not grant them the right to practice in another state or the repercussions of making such uninformed decisions. For example, Vermont and Utah carry $5,000 fines for practicing in their states without a license. Disengaging from treatment with remote clients after learning of such regulatory laws can also create thorny clinical dilemmas.

Role of Professional Associations

In addition to other benefits, professional associations can try to intervene to influence state law. They also typically develop and publish ethical standards and guidelines that not only require that a practitioner adhere to state and federal law but the association’s own rules. Ethical standards are the most stringent and are mandatory. They outline appropriate behavior and set the bar for membership.

For professional associations and practitioners alike, keeping abreast of technological demands is important because an existing set of standards, whether outdated or current, creates a standard of due care.

This Standard in Turn Helps Define Malpractice

Similarly, if professionals do not adhere to standards accepted by their national association, they may be responsible for malpractice in tort. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the elected and staff leaders of professional associations to allocate the needed resources to develop adequate standards and guidelines to protect practitioners in a timely manner. The penalty for failing to adhere to a set of standards is most often censorship or removal from the association.

Guidelines, on the other hand, are aspirational and therefore not required. They usually involve a distillation of the relevant literature and provide guidance in the form of suggestions. But, in many states aspirational guidelines by psychological association are incorporated by reference into licensing regulations and have a long history of being used by prosecutors to establish negligence on the part of practitioners.

Professionals, then, may want to be mindful of and carefully document any departure from both standards and guidelines issued by professional associations. If they don’t agree with standards or guidelines as promulgated by any professional association, they can work within the association to change them or leave the association.

The Challenge

Practitioners attempting to operate innovative technology-based programs within the bounds of vague or outdated ethical standards and guidelines are at risk of being at a distinct disadvantage before an equally vague or outdated licensing board or jury. Unclear standards, guidelines and regulatory law leave the innovative practitioner with many opportunities but not enough direction. Formal professional training is warranted to help forward-thinking psychologists access the strong evidence base that reflects reliable approaches to risk management.

Ethics and Risk Management: Expert Tips VII is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that addresses a variety of ethics and risk management topics in psychotherapy practice in the form of 22 archived articles from The National Psychologist and is intended for psychotherapists of all specialties.

Professional Development Resources is approved to offer 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 California Board of Behavioral Sciences; 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 Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

Institute of Medicine Releases Report on Cognitive Aging

From the National Institute on Aging

Institute of Medicine releases report on cognitive agingA new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) calls for increased research on assessing and maintaining cognitive health in older adults. The report, Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action, released April 14, 2015, also suggests that some interventions for healthy aging—exercise, reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, and regular discussions with health professionals about medications and chronic conditions—be promoted to help maintain cognitive health. A third area of focus among the report’s 10 recommendations is aimed at the conduct and dissemination of independent reviews and guidelines for products claiming to affect cognitive health. The IOM report and its recommendations follow deliberations of a panel convened by the IOM with support from the McKnight Brain Research Foundation, AARP, the Retirement Research Foundation, the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the NIH, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal was to examine the public health dimensions and state of knowledge of cognitive aging.

NIA maintains an active research portfolio in cognitive aging and provides a number of resources for the public and health care professionals in this area. Among these are:

  • Understanding Memory Loss: This easy-to-read booklet explains the difference between mild forgetfulness and more serious memory problems; describes the causes of memory problems and how they can be treated; and discusses how to cope with serious memory problems
  • List of Current NIA-Funded Age-Related Cognitive Decline Clinical Trials: This list of ongoing clinical trials contains links to information about trials, the trial location, and who to contact for additional information.
  • Brain Health Resource: This presentation toolkit offers current, evidence-based information and resources to facilitate conversations with older people about brain health. Designed for use at senior centers and in other community settings, it contains a PowerPoint presentation, an educator guide, handouts, and a resource list. Materials are written in plain language and explain what people can do to help keep their brains functioning best as they age.

 

Source: http://www.nia.nih.gov/research/announcements/2015/04/institute-medicine-releases-report-cognitive-aging

Related Online Continuing Education (CE/CEU) Courses for Healthcare Professionals:

Biology of Aging: Research Today for a Healthier Tomorrow is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that introduces some key areas of research and looks ahead to the future, as today’s research provides the strongest hints of things to come.

Aging: The Unraveling Self is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that examines the biological, social, and psychological aspects of aging.

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Professional Development Resources maintains responsibility for all programs and content. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; 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 Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by theTexas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.