COVID-19: Picking Up the Pieces

COVID-19: Picking Up the Pieces is a new 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the effects of the pandemic and the challenges we face moving forward.

COVID-19: Picking Up the Pieces is a new 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the effects of the pandemic and the challenges we face moving forward.

This course will discuss the many aspects of COVID-19 that have affected us all, physically, psychologically, and economically. It will begin with a discussion of what pandemics are, and what differentiates COVID-19 from previous pandemics. We will then turn our attention to the psychological effects of a pandemic – from anxiety, fear, and uncertainty, economic and vocational challenges, to social isolation and the physical challenges that further compromise psychological adjustment. We will then look at the effects of starting over – from re-entry and reorganization to chronic anxiety, triggering, and even the stigma of being infected by or exposed to the virus.

Next, we will explore the ways in which the clinician can help the client. We will learn how shifting the client’s attitude toward adversity, introducing them to post-traumatic growth, and encouraging insight and reflection can promote psychological growth, even in times of psychological distress. The last section of this course consists of specific exercises the clinician can use with the client coping with COVID-19. Course #21-42 | 2020 | 39 pages | 15 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.


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

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

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Posture Over Power for Success

So often we rely on title or rank to determine eligibility. Those who have the right credentials can proceed, while the rest of us must stand aside, bemoaning that we may never have what it takes to succeed.

Posture doesn’t just convey confidence, it has a strong effect on making us think and act in more powerful ways. How is your posture right now?

But is that entirely true? Are title and rank sole determinants of success?

Asking that question, researchers conducted three experiments to explore the effects of body posture versus role on power-related behaviors.

The first two experiments placed participants in expansive (i.e. open) or constricted (i.e. closed) body postures, while also placing them in a high or low power role. For example, in the expansive posture condition, participants were asked to place one arm on the armrest of a chair and the other arm on the back of a nearby chair; they were also told to cross their legs so the ankle of one leg rested on the thigh of the other leg and stretched beyond the leg of the chair. Conversely, in the constricted posture condition, participants were asked to place their hands under their thighs, drop their shoulders and place their legs together.

What Galinsky and his team found should have us all sitting a little straighter. During various tasks such as a word completion exercise and a blackjack game, participants with open body postures were thinking about more power-related words and generally took more action than those with closed body postures. While people in a high-power role reported feeling more powerful than did those in a low-power role, this had little effect on the action they took (Galinsky et al., 2017).

The takeaway, notes Galinsky, is that role and posture independently affect our sense of power, but posture is more responsible for activating power-related behaviors (Galinsky et al., 2017).

In a third experiment, the researchers asked participants to verbally record a time when they were in a high or low-powered position while adopting either expansive or constricted body postures. Next, they asked them whether or not they would take action in three different scenarios.

Here again, posture won out. Participants in the expansive body posture condition took action more often than those with constricted postures, regardless of whether they recalled a time of being in a high or low-powered role (Galinsky et al., 2017).

“Going into the research we figured role would make a big difference, but shockingly the effect of posture dominated the effect of role in each and every study” (Galinsky et al., 2017).

We cannot control rank, and we cannot immediately change title. What we can do, and what Galinsky says may be our best choice, is adopt a posture that conveys confidence.

Posture, according to Galinsky, doesn’t just convey confidence, it has a strong effect on making us think and act in a more powerful way. And it may just be the difference between getting the job, and getting passed over.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Course:

Poise: The Psychology of Posture is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that explores how body language can be used to better understand our clients and improve their lives.

It is said that non-verbal communication represents two-thirds of all communication. Whether it be through gestures, posture, facial expressions, personal space or eye contact, how we position and move our bodies sends a message to those we are speaking to. Our poise is often a very telling look into how we feel, and can be used as a tool to assess, and even change, psychological state.

This course will explore the body language of poise – how we hold ourselves, position our bodies, sit, stand, walk, and carry ourselves – to examine the link between posture and psychology, an exciting new field called psychobiomechanics. We will look at the research on psychobiomechanics and the science behind body/mind (also known as bottom-up) approaches. Then we will explore what poise can tell us about how to detect common psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety, fear, anger, and mistrust. Lastly, we will learn the powerful skills needed to utilize poise to overcome fear, build confidence, connect with others, and call upon our best selves. Course #21-27 | 2018 | 31 pages | 15 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.


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

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

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Bullying: Why Kids Need to Learn Resilience

Bullying, for most kids, is a fact of life. It will happen in some form, at some point in their lives. For parents, the question is: How can we better protect our children from bullying?

Bullying, for most kids, is a fact of life. It can happen on the playground, and it can happen online. This is why we need to teach kids resilience.

Asking this question, researchers used a validated biopsychosocial 10-item resilience scale to explore the relationship between resilience and experience with bullying and cyberbullying. The scale included statements like “I can deal with whatever comes my way,” “I am not easily discouraged by failure,” and “Having to cope with stress makes me stronger.” Also included were items assessing both the protective capacity of resilience as well as its reparative ability to restore equilibrium in the lives of youth when they face adversity.

Drawing from a nationally-representative sample of 1,204 American youth ages 12 to 17, what the researchers found should have us all rethinking resilience: uniformly, students with higher levels of resilience were bullied at school or online less often, and among those who were bullied, resilience served as a buffer, insulating them from being affected in a negative manner at school (Hinduja & Patchin, 2018).

In Hinduja’s words, “Resilience is a potent protective factor, both in preventing experience with bullying and mitigating its effect. Resilient kids are those, who for a variety of reasons, are better able to withstand external pressures and setbacks and are less negatively impacted in their attitudes and actions than their less-equipped peers when facing this type of victimization” (Hunduja, 2018).

As Hinduja and Patchin note, there has been much attention to bullying, and various anti-bullying campaigns exist, however, what is often forgotten is the role and responsibility of the child who is bullied.

“We want children to learn and develop the skills they need to deal with problems, and yet we rarely help them engage with those problems so that they can grow in their ability to solve them. Instead, we seek to constantly protect and insulate them – instead of bolstering their self-confidence, problem-solving ability, autonomy, and sense of purpose – which are all innate strengths,” says Hinduja (Hinduja, 2018).

The takeaway, according to Hinduja, is that kids do have the ability to become resilient, and develop agency to allow or disallow much of the harm that others try to inflict – and youth-serving adults have a responsibility to teach and model for them the proper strategies to deflect, dismiss, or otherwise rise above the insults and hate.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

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

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


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

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

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!



Consuming Media: How Much is Too Much?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Course:


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

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

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

Click here to learn more.


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

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

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Clinical Supervision for Mental Health Professionals


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to learn more.

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

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


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

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

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!


Clinical Supervision for SLPs – Online CEUs

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to learn more.

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

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

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

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

Target AudienceSpeech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) & Audiologists

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

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

7 Simple Ways to Deal with Stressful Situations

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

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

Here are seven simple ways to deal with stressful situations:

1. Progressive Relaxation

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

2. Creative Visualization

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

3. Exercise

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

4. Joy and Optimism

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

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

5. Journal Writing

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

6. Meditation

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

7. Mini-Meditation

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

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

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

By Dodie Ulery

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Avoidant Grief: Is it Useful?

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

Avoidant Grief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

The Psychological Effects of Social Isolation

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

Social Isolation

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

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

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

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

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

Social Isolation is a “Silent Killer”

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

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

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

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

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Three Things You Can Teach Your Kids At Home

3 Things You Can Teach Your Kids At Home

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

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

Time Management

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

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

How to Teach Your Kid Time Management

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

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

How To Cope With Failure

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

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

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

Self-Control

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!