In her article, “How Mental Health Professionals can be Competitive in the Industry” (which can be found on the Institute of Psychological Studies’ website) Marilyn G. Gerson, PhD, reminds us that learning must continue after mental health professionals have completed their academic training and complied with licensing requirements, and that such continuing education is crucial if clinicians are to remain abreast of advancements in knowledge, and changes in policies, procedures and best practices.  

Gerson adds that one should also remember that the specific requirements regarding continuing education for mental health professionals – the number of credit hours and topics required, and the formats allowed and licensure renewal schedules – vary by both state and license.

Requirements in California

Citing California as an example, she informs us that the state currently requires that licensed psychologists undergo 36 hours of approved continuing education (CE) every 2 years and that they keep up-to-date regarding the ethics and laws pertaining to the field. They can take the bulk of these hours online, which makes reasonably priced and convenient resources readily available. Those courses provided by institutions for mental health practitioners that have received approval from the American Psychological Association will be recognized by state licensing boards, agencies, professional associations, and private institutions, both in the U.S. and around the globe.

Gerson’s Takeaway

Gerson’s conclusion: the work of mental health professionals is demanding, and requires continuing education (mostly available online) to develop the skills needed for success in an evolving professional landscape.

What Else you Should Know

We at onlinecredits.com would like to add that similar guidelines apply across state licensing boards for masters-level counselors, therapists, and social workers.  In addition, some states have a single board charged with regulating both masters-level and doctoral-level providers employing the same sets of rules and guidelines, whereas other states have separate regulatory bodies that oversee masters-level and doctoral-level providers, respectively. Almost all state licensure boards recognize CE credits sponsored at the APA level, so a training company with APA sponsorship is ideal for all mental health professionals pursuing online CE credits, regardless of the state of practice.

A final thought:

Many licensing boards also require continuing education credits on certain topics, such as diagnosis and treatment and suicide prevention, and/or supervision. Onlinecredits.com helps clinicians satisfy these requirements, which is not always easy to do, as CE events on these topics can be hard to find. In addition, a common complaint lodged by clinicians regarding  CE courses is that they are tedious and/or not particularly helpful. We are committed to providing cutting-edge, practical, and inspiring courses that clinicians can really benefit from.