Stalking: Recognizing and Responding

New Online CE Course

Stalking: Recognizing and RespondingStalking: Recognizing and Responding is a new 1-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the prevalence of stalking and provides therapists with the means to identify and assist victims/survivors.

Stalking is a crime that is far more prevalent and more dangerous than most people realize. It is a crime that is not well understood and that often goes unrecognized. Findings from various studies examining the prevalence of stalking suggest that community-based interventions are critical to raising awareness about this crime and promoting prevention efforts. Mental health professionals have an important role in identifying and treating victims/survivors of stalking through educating themselves about this crime.

Researchers have found that stalking victims have a higher incidence of mental disorders and comorbid illnesses compared with the general population, with the most robust associations identified between stalking victimization, major depressive disorder, and panic disorder. Additionally, intimate partner stalking has been identified as a common form of IPV experienced by women veterans that strongly contributes to their risk for probable PTSD. These findings indicate that it is important to assess for these symptoms and diagnoses when working with victims/survivors of stalking.

This course is designed to enhance your understanding of stalking by reviewing key findings from research on stalking, identifying common tactics used by stalkers, and exploring the intersections between stalking, intimate partner violence, and sexual violence. This course will also examine common reactions experienced by victims/survivors of stalking and discuss ways to assist victims/survivors in clinical practice. Course #11-17 | 2018 | 18 pages | 10 posttest questions

Click here to learn more.

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more. Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the 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).

Target Audience: PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapist (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)School Psychologists, and Teachers

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Invisible Victims: Children and Domestic Violence

By Adam Cook @

Invisible Victims: Children and Domestic ViolenceDomestic violence is more prevalent than you may realize. 95% of the cases involve female victims of male partners, but the female often isn’t the only victim. An estimated 3.2 million children living in America witness incidents of domestic violence annually. Witnessing has an array of meanings. It includes seeing the actual event of physical or sexual abuse occur, hearing threats or other violent noises from another room, observing the aftermath from the abuse like blood, bruises, tears, or broken items, and being aware of the tension in the household like the fear when the abuser is present. The child is like an extension of their abused parent− when the mother gets abused, it’s like the child gets abused. Here are some of the long-term effects of domestic violence on children.

Physical Health Problems

Unfortunately, children aren’t always just witnessing these attacks− sometimes they are on the receiving end of it as well. Other physical symptoms of growing up in a violent home include stomachaches, headaches, bedwetting, and inability to concentrate. Experts believe that children who grow up in abusive homes think that violence is an effectual way to resolve conflicts and solve problems. This may result in the child replicating the violence and intimidation that they witnessed when they were younger in their teen and adult relationships, and can lead to the cycle of violence with their children.


Exposure to domestic violence as a child can lead to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Children’s interpersonal violence exposure wasn’t always recognized as a potential antecedent to PTSD, but now it is acknowledged that extraordinarily stressful events can occur as part of children’s habitual experiences. Recent definitions of trauma stressors now include moments within ordinary circumstances that are capable of causing death, injury, or threaten the well-being of a loved one or the child itself. Signs of PTSD include:

  • Reliving the event: Memories of the event can resurface at any given moment, evoking the same feelings of fear and horror that occurred during the actual event. Nightmares, flashbacks, and triggers like seeing, hearing, or smelling something that causes the child to relive the traumatic event are forms of these re-experiencing symptoms.
  • Avoiding situations that remind the child of the event: The child may try to avoid situations or people that trigger those memories of a past event of domestic violence. They may keep busy or avoid seeking help because it keeps them from having to think or talk about the event.
  • Negative changes in beliefs and feelings: The self-image the child possessed may change, as well as the way they view others. There are many aspects to this symptom, including a belief that the world is completely dangerous and no one can be trusted, or a lack of loving or positive feelings in relationships.
  • Hyperarousal: The child may be jittery, irritable, angry, or always alert and on the lookout for danger. Trouble sleeping and concentrating may occur, or they may be startled by loud noises or surprises.

If you relocate as a result of a domestic violence situation, be aware that even moving to a new place can have emotional effects on children. If they’re removed from a familiar school or friends, they may face depression and other challenges. This should be addressed in any kind of therapy.

Substance Abuse

Often a matter of coping with the domestic violence and the consequences it brings, children who experience violent and traumatic events use drugs and alcohol to numb the pain and block out the memories. Substance abuse is most likely a learned behavior. Regular alcohol abuse is one of the leading risk factors for partner violence, and the risk of violence increases when both partners abuse drugs or alcohol.

Therapy and Treatment Options

There are numerous organizations that offer several avenues for child victims of domestic violence to address their issues and attempt to heal. Group and individual therapy, as well as dyadic treatments with their non-offending parent are essential components of intervention. The National Domestic Violence Hotline for victims is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Their website,, provides information about local programs or resources available.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Courses:

Domestic Violence: Child Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course intended to help healthcare professionals maintain a high state of vigilance and to be well prepared with immediate and appropriate responses when abuse is disclosed.

How Children Become Violent is a 6-hour online continuing education (CE) course that was written for professionals working in the mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice/criminal justice, and research fields, as well as students studying these fields. The authors’ goal is to make a case for the fact that juvenile and adult violence begins very early in life, and it is both preventable and treatable.

Improving Cultural Competence in Substance Abuse Treatment is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE) course that proposes strategies to engage clients of diverse racial and ethnic groups in treatment.

PTSD Vicarious Traumatization: Towards Recognition & Resilience-Building is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that outlines some of the basic differences between primary traumatization, secondary traumatization, VT, and compassion fatigue; discusses many of the signs and symptoms of VT; provides questions for self-assessment of VT; and provides coping suggestions for providers who are involved in trauma work or those who may have VT reactions.

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.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

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).

Veteran’s Day Sale at PDResources – Save 25% on Select Courses

PDResources Veteran's Day Sale Veterans Day is intended to honor and thank the living military personnel who have served the US. With increasing numbers of returning service personnel and their families presenting in acute distress, it is extremely likely that you will encounter veterans in your practice. Our goal is to offer you the specialized information you need in order to deliver effective treatment to our veterans.

We are featuring 20 of our continuing education courses that train professionals to treat mental health problems that are seen in many members of the military and their families.

The following courses are 25% off through Tuesday, November 11, 2014.


4 Hours Only $42!


2 Hours Only $21!


3 Hours Only $29.25!


3 Hours Only $15.75!


1 Hour (Video) $10.50!


1 Hour Only $5.25!


5 Hours Only $51.75!


1 Hour FREE!!!


2 Hours (Video) $21!


3 Hours Only $29.25!


4 Hours Only $21!


1 Hour Only $5.25!


2 Hours Only $10.50!


2 Hours Only $10.50!


2 Hours Only $10.50!


3 Hours Only $15.75!


6 Hours (Test) $15!


1 Hour (Test) $7.50!


6 Hours (Test) $15!


3 Hours (Test) $18.75!

Prices effective Wednesday, Nov 6 through Tuesday, Nov 11, 2014.
Offers valid on future orders only.


Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCCACEP #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); theCalifornia Board of Behavioral Sciences (#PCE1625); 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 Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); 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).

Spiritual Care Handbook on PTSD/TBI

Spiritual Care Handbook on PTSD/TBI is a new 3-hour online CEU course that provides best practices for the provision of spiritual care to persons with post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

Spiritual Care Handbook on PTSD/TBIWith the wars in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq, a new generation of military veterans has arrived home, requiring appropriate and sensitive pastoral care. This course is based on a handbook written for the Department of the Navy by The Rev. Brian Hughes and The Rev. George Handzo, entitled Spiritual Care Handbook on PTSD/TBI: The Handbook on Best Practices for the Provision of Spiritual Care to Persons with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. This manual begins by describing the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. The handbook goes on to outline a theory of recovery, to describe the general stance of the pastoral counselor, and to provide guidelines for sensitivity to differences in religion, culture, and gender.

Referring to the empirical literature, specific pastoral interventions are described, including group work, meaning-making, spiritual care interventions, clinical use of prayer and healing rituals, confession work, percentage of guilt discussion, life review, scripture paralleling, reframing God assumptions, examining harmful spiritual attributions, encouraging connection with a spiritual community, mantra repetition, creative writing, sweat lodges, psychic judo, interpersonal therapy, and trauma incident reduction. Several other beneficial features include a description of seven stages of faith development and tips for self-care for the pastoral counselor. Course #30-66 | 2009 | 112 pages | 18 posttest questions

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) to offer home study continuing education for NCCs (Provider #5590); by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); by the National Association of Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC Provider #000279); by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (#PCE1625); by the Florida Boards of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling (#BAP346) and Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635); by the Illinois DPR for Social Work (#159-00531); by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); by the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and by the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

What Customers Are Saying:

“I work with trauma survivors, who include returning veterans, their families, as well as non-military trauma survivors. I work from a Rogerian/mindfulness perspective,and having this background regarding pastoral counseling and working with PTSD/TBI will be very helpful in my practice.” – K.S. (Counselor)

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New Name and Focus Concerning Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

By Kim Smith

New name and focus concerning post-traumatic stress disorderIt has gone by many names: battle fatigue, shell shock, soldier’s heart. Most recently it has been called post-traumatic stress disorder.

But as the number of identified cases of post-traumatic stress has skyrocketed among soldiers, returned veterans and first-responders — police officers, firefighters, paramedics, etc. — it may soon undergo another name change.

In its revised handbook, “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” the American Psychiatric Association may reclassify post-traumatic stress as an “injury,” rather than a “disorder.”

The hope is that the name change will remove a perceived stigma that may be keeping PTS suffers away from the help they need.

Post-traumatic stress refers to the intense and potentially crippling symptoms that some people experience after a traumatic event, such as combat or horrific crimes. The symptoms can include flashbacks, isolation, hyperarousal and rage.

The idea of a name change was initially promoted by the Army, particularly Gen. Peter Chiarelli, who until his retirement in February led the military’s effort to reduce a record-high suicide rate among the troops.

“No 19-year-old kid wants to be told he’s got a disorder,” Chiarelli told APA members and news reporters. An “injury” may be perceived as more treatable and combat-related. The hope is that active-duty soldiers experiencing PTS will reach out for help and their superiors will be more supportive.

The military has good reason for concern about what PTS is called and efforts to provide help to sufferers. According to recent reports, 1 in 6 soldiers is reporting anxiety, depression or symptoms of PTS. With the total number of soldiers having served in Iraq or Afghanistan now numbering about 1 million, an estimated 100,000 soldiers are expected to require long-term mental health care.

And as these numbers continue to grow, concern is being expressed not just about what to call PTS, but how to treat it.

This spring, the Army surgeon general’s office issued a warning to regional medical commanders about the long-standing use of prescription psychotropic drugs to treat PTS. An April policy memo warned that some of the drugs — or “cocktails” of drugs — could intensify, rather than reduce combat stress symptoms and lead to addiction.

A July 2010 Army report noted that one-third of all active-duty military suicides involved prescription drugs. Combined with alcohol abuse, the long-standing protocol for treating PTS could be lethal.

This is not to say that commonly used psychotropic drugs, in conjunction with counseling and therapy, should be abandoned.

But what is needed — and what is now being recognized by military officials — is the combination of a variety of treatments. Some of treatments that were once dismissed as “unproven alternatives” are now being embraced.

For example, I use neurofeedback to treat veterans at Neurofeedback Train Your Brain in Bakersfield. Neurofeedback is training in brain function based on information derived from an electroencephalogram (EEG). The process can bring fairly rapid improvements in sleep problems, pain, anger management and substance dependency. The Veterans Administration is spending about $5 million on a dozen clinical trials and demonstration studies of three meditation techniques to help veterans manage stress and depression. Other “alternative” treatments include acupuncture, yoga and therapy dogs.

A unique, local pilot project that is being conducted under the auspices of Kern County Rotary is an example of what can be accomplished when a need is recognized and addressed.

The Rotary Clubs’ Kern Post Traumatic Stress Assistance project ( provides education, resources, treatment options, community outreach, fundraising and support to veterans and first responders and their families in Kern County. The project is the first step in a global movement of Rotary International to provide resources and support to individuals and families suffering from PTS. On the project’s website are listings for support groups, government agencies and treatment providers, such as Neurofeedback Train Your Brain.

The good news is that PTS finally is receiving the level of attention that the disorder (or injury) and its sufferers deserve. It is bringing together government agencies, community groups and mental health care providers in a campaign to honor soldiers, veterans and first responders by giving them the help they deserve.

Kimberly Smith of Bakersfield is the neurofeedback clinician at Neurofeedback Train Your Brain (


Heart Attacks Can Trigger PTSD

By Angela Haupt

PTSD a Risk Among Heart Attack Patients

Heart Attacks Can Trigger Post-Traumatic StressHeart attacks can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder, new research suggests. As many as 1 in 8 people who survive a heart attack develop symptoms of PTSD, such as frequent nightmares or flashbacks; intrusive thoughts; and elevated blood pressure or heart rate. These symptoms also appear to increase the risk of having a second heart attack, according to findings published in the journal PLoS One. PTSD, an anxiety disorder that develops after a traumatic event involving the threat of injury or death, often affects soldiers returning home from war. A heart attack is a terrifying experience in its own right, the study authors say. “About 1.4 million people [in the United States] have heart attacks every year; that’s as many people as are in our entire active military,” study author Donald Edmondson, an assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, told Time. “That feeling that your life is in danger — the loss of control when your body turns on you — is something that these people have a hard time forgetting.”


Related Online Continuing Education Courses:

More courses on PTSD:

What’s the Link Between PTSD, TBI and Violence?

By Dr. Charles Raison

Editor’s note: Dr. Charles Raison, CNNhealth’s mental health expert, is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He has not personally examined the suspect in the Afghanistan mass shootings, Robert Bales, but has used news accounts as the basis for his views.

(CNN)Q: Sgt. Robert Bales has been accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians. He served three tours in Iraq before this and his lawyer says he may have been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or a traumatic brain injury. What’s the link between violence and those disorders?

A: Psychiatrists understand some types of aberrant behavior pretty well and can do things to help resolve it. But, unfortunately, in other instances — and often the most interesting ones — we can only mumble generalities that require no special expertise and that offer no hope for a diagnosis or treatment.

What's the link between PTSD, TBI and violence?

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales has been identified as the soldier accused of killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan.

Take the case of U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Bales, accused of massacring 16 Afghan men, women and children while they slept unprotected in their village.

The first thing a psychiatrist would want to know is whether the person who committed such a heinous act was psychotic at that time, meaning out of touch with agreed-upon human reality. Did he perform the killings as a result of deeply held false beliefs or in response to hearing voices commanding him to act? If yes, then although the tragedy remains, the psychiatric mystery is solved.

But at this point, although Bales has reportedly told his lawyer he remembers nothing about the night of the massacre, there is no evidence he was psychotic immediately before the killing spree. Nor do we have any evidence at this point that the killings were motivated by some larger political purpose, which might also explain, but certainly not justify, them.

So why would someone who had appeared normal to everyone around him suddenly commit such a hideous act?

Army reviewing PTSD evaluation program

Much has been made in the media about the fact that Bales was on his fourth deployment. Moreover, he had suffered mild traumatic brain injury in Iraq. Traumatic brain injury can cause a wide range of mental difficulties, from poor decision making and memory to increases in impulsive behavior, irritability, depression and personality change.

So how likely is it that Bales’ traumatic brain injury explains the accusation that he massacred 16 Afghan villagers? The answer is: not very likely.

Why? Consider, as alternative possible explanation, mania. Mania is often characterized by the sudden onset of bizarre, agitated behavior in public and it is not necessarily related to traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic brain injury almost never causes otherwise solid citizens to ruthlessly massacre men, women and children.

Thousands upon thousands of people develop severe manic episodes every year. Thousands upon thousands of service men and women have been multiply deployed and have suffered various levels of traumatic brain injury, and yet there is only one Bales. That is why it doesn’t fit very well. Mass murder is just about as rare in people with brain damage as in people without brain damage.

Note that I said “just about.” In fact, organic brain damage can be a cause of mass violence. Probably the most classic example of this in American history was the case of Charles Whitman, who went on a shooting spree from atop the University of Texas tower that resulted in the death of 16 people. Although he was under multiple stressors at the time of the incident, he was found to have a brain tumor in the “rage area” of his brain (i.e. the amygdala) upon autopsy.

In the case of Bales, if he is guilty of the massacre, his actions may eventually be found to be related to a clearly causative organic factor. But my clinical experience tells me not to bet on this. It happens, but pretty rarely.

When people behave in unexpected ways for no good reason, it often turns out that when the full story of their lives is understood, the behavior no longer appears as unexpected. That which is neither clearly linked to either a medical or psychiatric illness is very likely intertwined in a person’s longstanding personality.

So, I suspect that if 100 psychiatrists were told that a previously normal service person massacred 16 civilians and was neither medically impaired nor psychotic, the majority of them would immediately suspect that the person in question might not have been as normal across his life as initial reports suggested.

In fact, as more comes out about Bales this appears to be the case. It now appears that he was involved in fraudulent business dealings. What makes the case so strange, however, are the multiple contrasting reports of his remarkably caring and selfless behavior on numerous occasions and his status as something of a small town hero.

I seem to end many of my CNNhealth pieces with some type of comment about how unsatisfying our current level of psychiatric understanding is. This pieces, alas, is no different in this regard. Frankly, at this point nothing in Bales’ actions makes psychiatric sense. On the other hand, how many highly admired, hard-working, patriotic, caring small-town heroes are embroiled in financial fraud or may have other dark behaviors in their backgrounds?

Maybe the fact that Bales himself may not make sense is the best place for us to start in our understanding of the horrible events in Afghanistan.


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Assessment-Based Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorders

New 1-Hour Test Only Course!

Target Audience: Psychology Counseling Social-Work Marriage-and-Family
Learning Level: Introductory

Course Abstract:

Assessment-Based Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorders

Click on image to view course details!

This is a test only course (book not included). The book (or e-book) can be purchased from Amazon.

This CE test is based on the book “Assessment-Based Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorders” (2011, 70 pages), which fills a unique need for clinicians. In less than 55 pages, unburdened by excessive verbiage or examples, it provides assessment measures and clear decision trees for empirically-based practice. It includes the thoughts and emotional experiences commonly caught up in processing the memories of traumatic events, and provides approaches for initial assessment, establishing supportive frameworks, exploring meanings, and improving coping skills. Course #10-44 | 10 posttest questions

Learning Objectives:

  1. Compare and contrast PTSD to complex reactions to stress
  2. Identify five phases of a possibly normal passage to recovery from a traumatic period of disturbance
  3. Identify strategies for assessment and treatment planning
  4. Describe the processes of treatment negotiation, setting a contract, and initial support in therapy
  5. Identify therapeutic techniques for exploration of meanings, improving coping skills, and working through
  6. Describe how techniques differ depending on patient characteristics
  7. Identify measures that can be used to assess progress during and after treatment

About the Author(s):

Mardi John Horowitz, MD, is a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco, President of the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis and Past President of the Society for Psychotherapy Research. He has written several books on the topics of psychotherapy stress reactions, as well as recent popular books on happiness and grief.

Accreditation Statement:

Professional Development Resources is recognized as a provider of continuing education by the following:
AOTA: American Occupational Therapy Association (#3159)
APA: American Psychological Association
ASWB: Association of Social Work Boards (#1046)
CDR: Commission on Dietetic Registration (#PR001)
NBCC: National Board for Certified Counselors (#5590)
NAADAC: National Association of Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselors (#00279)
California: Board of Behavioral Sciences (#PCE1625)
Florida: Boards of SW, MFT & MHC (#BAP346); Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635); Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635); Occupational Therapy Practice (#34). PDResources is CE Broker compliant.
Illinois: DPR for Social Work (#159-00531)
Ohio: Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501)
South Carolina: Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193)
Texas: Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) & State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678)
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Counseling Military Families

New Continuing Education Course Teaches Skills for Counseling Military Families

Professional Development Resources – [PDResources] – a nationally accredited provider of continuing education in psychology, social work, counseling, marriage and family therapy, and occupational therapy – has announced the release of a new continuing education course addressing the specialized skills needed in counseling military families.

Jacksonville, Florida – December 1, 2009 — Professional Development Resources, has released a new home study continuing education (CE) course intended to give the psychologist, social worker, counselor, and family therapist the tools they need to offer counseling services to military families. Military families face many challenges and trials because of the unpredictable and often difficult lives they lead. Many civilians – including mental health professionals – are not familiar with the unique lifestyle and stressors faced by these families.

Consider that – even in peacetime – military families have to cope with the pressures of a very demanding way of life: an authoritarian system with its lack of autonomy and limited privacy, financial stresses, tours of duty that separate parents and children for extended periods of time, frequent uprooting and moves, and the ever-present possibility of injury or death. Wartime is a thousand times more difficult. The list of perils such as injury, brain trauma, loss of limbs, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is nearly endless. And, of course, death is an ongoing nightmare for service personnel and their families. In addition, many military families are comprised of people who are very young, and therefore inexperienced in dealing successfully with such challenging problems.

This CE course, Counseling Military Families, is unique in two regards. First, the author sets out the major mental health challenges faced by military families, drawing from 20 years of clinical experience and research. Second, she gives readers a clear understanding of the concept of ‘military as a culture,’ meaning the shared experiences, attitudes and perspectives that are endowed by years of military existence. To therapists who have not lived in that culture, this knowledge is a prerequisite to doing effective therapy with military families.

Early chapters are devoted to the unique circumstances of career service personnel and their spouses and children, delving into topics like the male psyche that dominates military history and culture, the constant relocations and deployment of the service member, complications for spouses, and situations faced by children who grow up in a military family. The final section presents treatment models and targeted interventions tailored for dealing with issues of change, grief, and loss.

Needs assessments performed by Professional Development Resources have emphasized the need for training in this area. A psychologist wrote, “I have been waiting a long time for a course like this. I live in an area that has a large number of military families, and they probably make up almost 50% of my practice. The knowledge I gained in this course has enabled me to provide far more effective treatment than I was able to offer before.”

The company also offers a series of new courses on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – all of which are available instantly online and can be completed any time and anywhere.