CE Ur Way To The Continuing Education You Want

Featuring conference sponsors, AllCEUS.com. 

I don’t know about you, but when I get my CEUs from something I actually enjoy? It feels like a major win.

We’ve all had to sit through those CE sessions that were just..sinfully dull. And it’s so frustrating. It feels like a waste of time.

We’re not trying to be demanding. It’s not like we want to be entertained every second. We know that this is part of our job, and no job is fun all the time.

But we do want to feel like we spent our time well.

I think that’s the key point. We want to feel like we took away something valuable from the time and money we spent earning our CEs.

So, how do you make sure your required CE hours are worth the energy you put into them? How do you make sure you get the continuing education you want?

I think it all comes down to coming up with a CE PLAN.

How many of us have ever PLANNED out our CE strategy? While I’m sure a few of you reading today that are far ahead of the curve (cause that’s just how you guys are…) I know I never thought ahead about this kind of thing.

And it made my CE experience rather…haphazard.rollercoaster-156027_1280

For every banner experience, there was an accompanying downer.

I attended Lori Vann’s excellent seminar Self-Injury With Kids, Teens And Adults: How Not To Make Things Worse, and in addition to picking up a lot there, I also discovered her book: A Caregiver’s Guide To Self-Injury, which has recently helped me with an unusual self-injury situation with a client. That was a major win.

But I’ve also attended seminars in which I almost fallen asleep, and trainings in which I didn’t understand the presenter’s basis for their statements, or their ultimate goals for those who were attending.

(For the sake of those involved, these I shall not name.)

If YOU could improve the chances of getting “wins” and avoiding losses, would you do it?

If your answer was yes, you should know, there’s one simple way to do that:

Planning.

Let me give you four plans that you can use to take your CE time from boring and useless to an experience that can actually enhance your practice and your professional identity.

All of these plans were created with actual lessons from AllCEUs.com that you can take by signing up for a year’s membership ($99 for unlimited CEUs) or purchasing a la carte. Considering individual CEUs can range from $5-$20 or more, it’s a pretty good way to save money and learn something you enjoy at the same time!

Plan #1: What Are You INTERESTED In?

I know, it seems like a “duh” moment. But how many of us actually sit down and think about what are interests are, and how to serve those interests in the CE hours we have to do ANYWAY? 

To create this plan, asked myself, what do I want to learn MORE about?

What I came up with was military counseling. I’ve been interested in serving our veterans since my brother joined a few years ago.

I want to know more. I want to know things like:

  • How long deployments affect military marriages and long-term relationships.
  • How to overcome the protective instinct that many military veterans display towards their therapists, feeling like they must not re-traumatize them by talking about their combat experience?
  • How do wartime injuries affect both the mood and behavior of the veteran?

So to create my CE Plan, I start looking at the Special Populations Track: Military Life & Culture at AllCEUs.com. I can order a la carte or potentially sample all of them by signing up for a yearly membership for $99.military-men-569899_1280

I see Cognitive Processing Therapy Introduction – Military Track. That sounds interesting. I’ll add that as number one.

I also notice Obesity, Food Issues and Co-Occuring Disorders – Military Track. While that seems useful, it doesn’t really apply to the interests I already noted for myself. So I make a mental note to view that later if I have time, but not make it part of my plan.

I add two more from the Special Population page: Introduction to Military Life & Culture and PTSD and Cognitive Processing Therapy – Military Track.

But three courses aren’t a whole plan to me. So I look around for something else that would apply.

Here’s what I come up with:

Assisting Families Through Transitions, a 5-Hour course that identifies among other things three areas to probe for resources and support, and tips to promote health in unexpected and expected life events. Deployments are expected, but rough, and some of these tips I expect to help me with military families.

Trauma-Informed Care: A Sociocultural Perspective, a 3-Hour course that I expect to shed some light on the nature of working with trauma survivors.

I also find additional resources I’m looking for on marriage and family dynamics in the military and traumatic brain injury on the free clinician resource page on military counseling.

My Plan:

  • Cognitive Processing Therapy Introduction – Military Track
  •  Intro To Military Life & Culture
  •  PTSD & Cognitive Processing Therapy – Military Track
  •  Assisting Families Through Transitions
  • Trauma-Informed Care: A Sociocultural Perspective
  • Extra Credit: Review resources on TBI and marriage on the resource page.

Now It’s Your Turn! Create Your Own CE Plan. Download Your Worksheet Here.

Plan #2: What Areas Do You Need To GROW In?

This is a separate plan because while most areas of interest are also potential areas of growth, the reverse is not true – you may not be interested in the topics that you need to improve upon!

Still, sometimes you need to learn it anyway! In order to help a client, to fulfill ethical obligations, and so forth.drug-621844_1280

For me, I immediately went to the need for better competency in addiction. It’s a problem that’s so huge and prevalent. Even if we don’t consider ourselves drug and alcohol counselors, we need to be able to capably treat our clients in conjunction with addiction professionals and alongside the other mental health disorders that affect our clients.

Fortunately, AllCEUs founder Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes is an expert in addiction. I recently was able to get a copy of her book Journey To Recovery and I’m reading it now. There’s so much in there that I know I will use it as a point of reference for many future clients.

But her book also inspires me to go further into the topic, which brings into play my NEXT plan.

Core Competencies For People Working With Co-Occurring Disorders (2 Hours). Now that sounds like something I need to know. I primarily come into contact with addiction in my work with the military, with survivors of sexual trauma trying to forget, and anxiety sufferers self-medicating. Since my main work with addiction is in Co-Occurring Disorders, this is the place to start.

I am also thinking that it will be helpful to have the ability to give clients resources when family and friends don’t understand, so I add, Why Is It Hard For The Addict’s Brain To Just Say No?

I want to understand the problem of addiction better, so I put on the list Risk and Protective Factors (4 Hours) and Patterns Of Addiction and Sociological Impact.

My theoretical orientation is CBT with a little bit of family systems thrown in, so I add Effects of Addiction on Families (2 Hours) and strongly consider the Family Therapy & Substance Abuse series which is 30 hours….well worth it but I may need to give myself extra time for that one!

My Plan:

  • Core Competencies For People Working With Co-Occurring Disorders (2 Hours)
  • Why Is It Hards For The Addict’s Brain To Just Say No?  (3 Hours)
  • Risk and Protective Factors (4 Hours)
  • Patterns Of Addiction and Sociological Impact (4 Hours)
  • Effects of Addiction On Families (2 Hours)
  • Family Therapy & Substance Abuse (30 Hours)
  • Extra Credit: Journey To Recovery Book

Total: 45 Hours

Now It’s Your Turn! Create Your Own CE Plan. Download Your Worksheet Here.

 

Plan #3: Checkin’ Off The Requirements

What are you required to have on your CE to-do list? checklist-41335_1280

Florida

  • Preventing Medical Errors
  • Ethics & Boundaries In Psychotherapy
  • Domestic Violence
  • Laws & Rules

Check out required courses for Florida at AllCEUs.com

Kentucky

  • HIV/AIDS for Social Workers

Check out the 50+ hours of training available in HIV/AIDS at AllCEUs.com.

Almost everywhere: Ethics!

Now It’s Your Turn! Create Your Own CE Plan. Download Your Worksheet Here.

Plan #4: Looking Out For A Specific Client.

When you are able to find a CEU credit that helps you with a particular client need, it’s kind of like getting a snow day – you didn’t expect it, and you feel like you almost got away with something you weren’t supposed to!

Let’s think of a particular client case that might come up.

It could be Treatment of Adolescents with Substance Abuse Issues

Or a special certification in E-Therapy (not part of the $99/year unlimited CEUs) for $89. (This I am personally considering – I actually took a live streaming class from Dr. Snipes many years ago in this topic – it’s how I first found out about what she does. Since I know this is an area she knows a great deal about, it’s the natural next step when I’m looking to increase my core competencies.)

What if I happen to deal with my first case of elder abuse? (Child and Elder Abuse and Neglect)

argument-238529_1280

Anger management?

Or I have a client with a borderline parent?

A client with who wants to quit smoking or chewing?

<– Or even dealing with anger?

That’s the advantage to having a library of courses to rely on. For almost every topic, I have a resource. And, if there’s something on my list that doesn’t exist in the AllCEUs catalog, they will probably be happy to create it for me. That’s something they do regularly and usually can do within a month for many requests.

Now It’s Your Turn! Create Your Own CE Plan. Download Your Worksheet Here.

If you want to WIN at the CE game – learning what you really want to know, helping your clients, growing your abilities, and even checking off those lists, all you have to do is make a plan, and you can make it happen!

One of the easiest places to start and get these results is AllCEUs.com. The best deal, of course, is the unlimited CEs for $99 a year. But if you just need one or two hours, just to finish up you can get them for $3 or less each. They also have more live support resources and more video courses than other comparable providers. (See the chart.)

I got audited for my CEUs the first time this year – and let me tell you, it is not my favorite. I forgot to retake my Texas Jurisprudence Exam, so it triggered a review of all my hours. I was so glad to be able to present the evidence of all my hours so that I didn’t risk license suspension, but it got me to thinking. If I hadn’t had all those hours, I would have had a hard time getting them – that’s when an unlimited CEU supply comes in REALLY handy. 🙂

If you’re looking for reliable information, great customer support, and on-demand learning, look no further than AllCEUs.com.

Visit their sponsor page on our website!

Inspired by the CE Plans shared today? Post a comment with YOUR CE Plan(s) below! 

Conference sponsors have donated to the conference to help make it possible to have the resources to put this event on. No sponsors have paid me to write anything specific about their company, all opinions are my own.

 

Comments on CE Ur Way To The Continuing Education You Want

  1. Jenn says:

    Thank you for the information on this resource! What are the trainings like on their site? I’ve done a lot with Relias Learning and they are pretty good, but sometimes a little dry (www.academy.reliaslearning.com). They are NBCC approved, so they apply to most if not all state licensing boards. They are still offering free CEU courses on military cultural competence if you want to check it out. (http://aos.academy.reliaslearning.com/Army_One_Source_Free_Online_Training.aspx) I think they’re only available until September 30th, so get them quick. Relias also offers a lot of great specials, and sometimes some great freebies too.

    Another great resource for NCCs is the NBCC Foundation. They do monthly webinars that are usually really good. They’re one hour and you get the CE credit if you fill out the survey at the end. The topics vary, so you have to wait to see if it’s something that interests you. They’ve been doing a couple of tracks that I really like, one on Mindfulness and one on Positive Psychology.

    Also, if you’re an ACA member, check out the free CE of the month. They pick an article from the Journal of Counseling and Development, and you just have to read it and take a test at the end. The cool thing about them, is as long as you claim the credit every month, you don’t have to take the test until you need the credit, so if you’re good for the current period, you can wait until the next one before you take the test and apply the CE credit.

    1. Stephanie Adams, MA, LPC, MYOB Site Creator says:

      Hi Jenn! Thanks for sharing all of these! I think the best answer I can give you about the nature of their training is to share a link to some of their free videos on their youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/allceuseducation. While they’re certainly dense, I personally enjoy that and feel like I’m smarter after I watch them. I’ll be sending you guys a link to some of these videos in email down the line, but you can get a free preview now!

      I’m reading a book now about Mindfulness Through Depression which I’m really enjoying – are you finding the topic interesting as well?

      1. Jenn says:

        Cool. I’ll check that out. I LOVE the mindfulness stuff. I have ADHD, so for me personally it is so very helpful as a healthy way to compensate for my sluggish and chaotic executive functions. Lol. I’ve had success using mindfulness and meditation with clients with high levels of anxiety and stress and with adolescents who were out of touch with their own thoughts and feelings. I also did a couple of sessions with substance abuse groups, who expressed that they really enjoyed it and found it helpful. It’s really great stuff.

        I have really gotten a lot from the stuff Rick Hanson puts out there. He comes from a Buddhist Psychology and positive neuroplasticity perspective, so there are a lot of elements of positive psychology and mindfulness in what he teaches. He has a weekly newsletter and for the past nine months or so, has put out a program called the Foundations of Well-Being. (http://fwb.rickhanson.net/) The way he operates really enforces that “give, give, get” that Jennifer Sneeden mentioned in her presentation. His newsletters are free and loaded with great content, and then he has several books and this FWB program out there that you pay for.

        I’ll add Mindfulness Through Depression to my ever expanding book list. I really want to read some of Dan Siegel’s books, but I’m not allowing myself to buy any new books until I finish more of the ones I already have. Haha. One book that I have that I’ll probably tackle next is The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD: An 8-Step Program for Strengthening Attention, Managing Emotions, and Achieving Your Goals by Lidia Zylowska.

  2. Amber Madden says:

    This website seems like a really great idea. I’m hoping they’ll add more subject in the future. I was looking for CEU’s related to treating Eating Disorders and Binge Eating, but I did not see anything relevant on the site other than the military course you mentioned. Great article, though!

    1. Stephanie Adams, MA, LPC, MYOB Site Creator says:

      Amber, thanks for your feedback, I know they like hearing what people are looking for so they can create it themselves. I did a quick search myself and I found one eating disorders course that might be of interest to you: https://www.allceus.com/member/cart/index/product/id/56/c/ and I’ll check in with them to see if they have anything in the works, just in case.
      Do you specialize in eating disorder cases, or are you looking to increase your knowledge for your primary specialty? It’s interesting once you’ve been in practice for a while to see how cases overlap – we really have to have expertise in a little bit of everything!
      Thanks for your comment!

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