CEU for Psychology Professionals: 13 Tips to Take Online Continuing Education Courses

CEU for Psychology Professionals: 13 Tips to Take Online Continuing Education Courses

So you, a psychologist, counselor, or other clinical mental health provider, have enrolled in an online continuing education course. Below are some suggestions as to what you should do next.  

Be sure you understand that online continuing education credits require as much attention as one taken in a brick-and-mortar setting.

True, you are not sitting in a classroom, complete with other students, an instructor and a blackboard, but your online course will be no less demanding. 

Be sure to ask your school or CE credit provider about the technologies required for the course.

You will probably need: a fairly new computer (not more than 2-3 years old, the right operating system (at least XP), suitable software (minimally a good office suite, maybe Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, Java – these last two, updated versions), updated anti-virus software, a secure browser, Internet access (high-speed is a must, preferably with secure WI-FI and a VPN if working in a public space), accessories (e.g., earbuds, flash drive, or web cam), a video card and monitor with good resolution, a sound card with speakers, a printer and a personal email account. Be sure to back up your materials to reliable storage (e.g. a memory stick, an external disk, or a second computer), and print out a hard copy of your work so that if you lose your electronic version, you can create another copy – a good online CE provider will digitally host your certificates and learning materials for your 24/7 access. Having a laptop is a good idea if you wish to be mobile. If you feel that you are going to require technical support, find out where to get it (usually via the contact us page); if you’re worried about what to do if your computer freezes or locks up, IT assistance should only be a message away. Your CE provider should also have IT assistance available for technical issues with course functionality.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the tools and websites involved in the CEU courses.

In order to avoid any potential problems navigating your course, be certain your instructions are clear for setting up the online account, downloading or accessing materials, and installing the software and/or apps required for taking the course. A good online CE provider’s learning platform should be intuitive and user-friendly for a seamless learning experience.

Create a study space.

Set aside a room, or segment of a room (e.g., at home, in an office, library or a coffee shop) that will provide the peace and quiet required for studying and taking exams.

Eliminate distractions.

Limit TV viewing and web surfing, temporarily deactivate Facebook and Twitter, turn off your cell phone.

Think ahead.

Be sure to read the syllabus or course description and decide on timelines for completing assignments and preparing for quizzes/post-tests. Allocate consistent segments of time per week to coursework and stick to it. Use a study calendar and save it online or on a mobile device, and create weekly to-do lists.

Start early.

The sooner you begin working on an assignment or preparing for a quiz/post-test, the greater the likelihood that you will do well.

Take notes.  

Just as with a brick-and-mortar class, taking notes can help you to remember the information required for preparing for quizzes/post-tests, so preserve them all in one place via a regular Word document and click on the “Ctrl” & “F” key to find them.

Don’t multi-task.

Attend to one matter at a time, be it the course material or a quiz/post-test. Focus on the most important and demanding tasks.

Login to your CEU courses daily.

Although CE’s for your licensure renewal may not be due for a bit, it’s a good idea to check your student dashboard (a good online CE provider will have one for you) regularly to remind yourself of any impending work to be done or simply to see if anything new has been added to your course materials.

Join a CE credits study group.

This is an excellent way to prepare for a quiz or to simply make sense of confusing material. 

Periodically quiz yourself.

Use flashcards, or formulate possible test questions as a study aid. If your CE provider gives you access to digital materials, you might even use the quiz/post-test itself as a study guide if you’re allowed to take your quiz/post-test more than once.

Remember why you are taking the CEU course.

Always bear in mind why doing well in the course is important – it can help you enhance your skills, get a better job, get credentialed, learn evidence-based techniques for practice, or simply teach you more about something you’re interested in.

 Good luck with your course!

What Are Continuing Education Units (CEU)?

What Are Continuing Education Units (CEU)?

Taking online continuing education courses in psychology or counseling is advantageous for a multitude of reasons. These online courses will often help you meet licensure deadlines, and most licensing boards will accept several of your required CE credits from online/home study courses. For individuals looking to earn CE credits, these online courses can help you stay current on the latest findings in mental health practice while efficiently earning credit to fulfill licensure renewal duties. Additionally, the course certificates are digitally signed and provided immediately upon course completion with no waiting required. This means you can present this to your board for approval as soon as your coursework is completed.

What are CEUs (Continuing Education Units)?

Continuing Education Units are awarded by many education and training programs to signify successful completion of non-credit programs and courses intended to improve the knowledge and skills of working adults. Among the most common uses of CEU’s revolve around professional workers undergoing what is called continuing professional education (CPE).

Professional Requirements for CEU Credits

Certain professions require practitioners to earn a specific number of continuing education credits per year to ensure that they are up-to-date with the most current practices in their field. Obtaining proof of credits from an accredited program or provider is necessary in order to renew a license to practice, although the number of credits required varies by industry and state.

Benefits of Online CEU Psychology Courses

 

1.) Advance your Mental Health Career 

Online CE Credits provides APA-approved online continuing education for clinical psychologists, counselors, therapists, social workers, and anyone who performs mental health services. Whether you’re just starting your career in counseling or psychotherapy or you’re a senior professional in your field, pursuing CE credits is both a requirement to maintain your professional license and an excellent opportunity to further your career in whichever area of mental health you practice..

2.) Learn From Dedicated Mental Health Specialists

You’ll find many benefits when looking into online courses, one of which is access to a large pool of well known trainers in your area of practice. Oftentimes, you’ll learn from some of the top scholars, psychologists, and practicing clinicians in the industry, which may not be the case with live CE events offered in your geographic area of practice. Similarly, traveling to attend live events hosted by premiere trainers may come with a much higher price tag and the opportunity cost of missed billable hours for clinicians in private practice. With online courses, you’ll be treated to fast and personal customer service with most inquiries answered same-day. You also have access to a wider breadth of material at your fingertips with new courses added frequently.

3.) Go to School Without Re-Organizing Your Schedule

One of the most practical advantages of taking online continuing education courses around counseling, psychotherapy, and psychology is that you don’t have to sacrifice billable hours  or reorganize your work day to attend training. You can take the online course anywhere and at your own pace. In the majority of these courses, you’ll be assigned a particular reading or need to watch a video of a lecture which can be done whenever your schedule allows. Many courses also come with downloadable handouts, worksheets, and slides included within the price of enrollment. With online CE courses, the only course due date you have is your state licensing board’s due date for licensure renewal, typically every year or every two years. The risk you run with attending in-person CE courses is that you must attend the event at a certain time and place, which introduces the possibility of having to cancel without a refund for sickness or an unpredictable life emergency. 

4.) Learn More Within Your Industry 

Another benefit of taking online courses in clinical mental health is that you’ll end up with a wealth of knowledge about your field which will aid you in better serving your clients and the community. Learning from the industry’s leading experts will keep you up to date on the best evidence-based approaches to mental health treatment. Earning continuing education credits from a well known and respected university or accredited CE provider will ensure your completed course certificates are accepted by your state board for credit. Be sure that you do all the necessary research on the institution or provider from which you’d like to take online courses before making your choice. 

5.) Cheaper and More Convenient

Most live CE seminars run in the upper hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars, just for registration. Oftentimes, they also require time away from clients, missed billable hours, and travel to the workshop location. With online CE courses, you can access a multitude of courses on different topics from your laptop, at your own pace. Most respectable online CE courses run about $10-$12 per CE for basic written courses and $15-$20 per CE credit for premium courses with a video lecture with included handouts or worksheets. Some of these video courses may also be offered in webinar format with the chance to ask questions of the instructor.

Would you prefer to smooth out the cost of your continuing education courses over the course of the year? Some online CE providers also offer monthly flat-fee membership programs for unlimited access to their CE course library – a slam dunk choice for clinicians who prefer the online format for the bulk of their credits required over the licensure period. The key is to find an online CE provider that publishes fresh course content on a continual basis that is relevant to your area of practice.

Important and Relevant Course Topics

For mental health workers seeking continuing education courses that will aid them in performing therapy in a clinical setting, it’s important to keep on top of the latest evidence-based therapy techniques in your area of practice. Whether you’re treating depression, performing suicide assessments for your clients, or assisting clients with healing from trauma or grief, many courses available from online mental health CE platforms bring you tools to provide your clients lasting relief from symptoms as well as strategies to address future mental health challenges. State licensing boards may also require a certain number of credits be earned within a certain category or topic. Some topics may include:

  • Diagnosis and Treatment: Courses relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.
  • Supervision: Courses dedicated to teaching clinicians how to be ethical, effective, and reliable supervisors to provisionally licensed clinicians or those simply seeking supervision around complicated cases.
  • Ethics: Courses to help mental health clinicians maintain an ethical approach to practice, especially when handling complicated scenarios related to client confidentiality and boundaries around the client-therapist relationship.
  • Suicide Prevention: Courses designed to educate mental health professionals around client suicidality and the importance of accurately assessing for it as part of an effective treatment plan.

So Is Online CE Credits Right For You? 

The number one reason most people choose to work toward furthering their careers online is because they know it’s absolutely critical to adequately invest the necessary time and effort into continuing education in order to fully progress and successfully compete in a given career field. Even if you’re working a full time job, being a parent, or just trying to juggle what unexpected situations life throws at you each week, working on maintaining and furthering your license and practice can all be done on your schedule. If you’ve been thinking about expanding on what you’ve started or starting fresh with a new set of skills, online continuing education in psychology and counseling is great pavement to help you exercise the important value of continuous learning. Get started by browsing our CE offerings today!