Making the Most of Your CE Requirements
If you currently work in mental health, you know the importance of continuing education. Learning about new research, therapy modalities, ethics, and many other topics can significantly contribute to your practice. Additionally, most professionals providing psychotherapy are required to maintain their licenses by meeting continuing education requirements. Many jurisdictions require that a certain number of CE credits be completed through live events.
What Is Continuing Education?
In the US, continuing education is usually required at the state level and differs from state to state. Each profession (psychology, counseling, social work, nursing, etc.) may have different requirements regarding the amount and types of educational courses its members need to complete in order to qualify for license renewal. Attention to what organizations have approved certain courses is important to ensure that your credits count toward fulfilling your requirements. Mental health CE courses keep professionals up to date on trends in the field, treatments, tools, modalities, research, and more. In a profession where change is happening all the time, continuing education is very valuable.
A Note on COVID-Related Changes to Requirements
Due to COVID-19, some states have made changes to their CE requirements, especially as regards deadlines. Most commonly, these changes have included an extension on the amount of time you have to complete CE courses. For example, the Virginia Department of Health Professions offered a one-year extension to eligible professionals for completing any required CE. Other changes may include eliminating or reducing the required credits for live CE courses. Check with your licensing board to learn what changes may affect you.
What Continuing Education Has to Offer
CE courses offer unique and engaging opportunities to further their professional development. Continuing education for mental health providers enables professionals to expand their knowledge and understanding of topics both old and new. Even individuals who have been practicing for years can learn from participating in these courses. If you hone in on areas of interest and start looking at your options, you can use your CE course selection to help you grow in the ways you want.
Behavioral health is a rapidly-changing field. We’re learning more about the inner workings of the mind, mental illness, and the therapist’s role all the time. Continuing education allows providers to stay up to date on new developments in the field. By keeping abreast of the latest psychological studies and exploring areas of the mental health field that are new to you, you can continue to provide excellent, research-based care to your clients.
Live CE events – even if they’re virtual – provide opportunities to network with other mental health professionals. Continuing education offers professionals an easy way to form connections. Networking can help you learn from other professionals, build a referral network, and grow your client base. Connecting to others in your field can also lead to different learning and growth opportunities in the future.
Expand Your Reach
By exposing yourself to new research, different therapy modalities, and other topics of interest, you can broaden or deepen your practice of psychotherapy. A great example here is growing in your ability to offer culturally competent therapy. You may specialize in trauma, or garden-variety anxiety and depression, or any number of other things. Intentionally becoming a safe resource for a variety of populations means that you can bring your expertise to many more people who need it. Use your CE requirements as an opportunity to explore new horizons and improve the quality of care you offer.
Adopt a Growth Mindset
The importance of continuing education depends a lot on you. CE requirements can be something to just tick off your list, or they can be harnessed to contribute value to your professional life. By choosing your courses with your own growth in mind, you can make the most of your CE requirements.
If you are a professional looking to complete your required continuing education or wanting to learn more about the CE options offered by GoodTherapy, including live and home-study events, click here.
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