PODCAST (Shrink Rap Radio): In this interview, Dr. Robert Moss discusses a biopsychological model for use in psychotherapy. Biopsychology focuses on the biological and physiological aspects of psychology and how that applies in a therapy setting. This course will focus on how emotions are processed in each brain hemisphere as well as how cortical regions store and process information.
Mental Health & Psychology Courses
PODCAST (Brain Science): In this interview, Dr. Temple Grandin discusses the practical side of understanding autism spectrum disorders. She identifies how diagnostic categories have changed over time and how autism has come to be understood as a broad spectrum disorder. This course will provide an overview of how autism affects the daily lives of individuals and Dr.
PODCAST (Shrink Rap Radio): Dr. Sage Breslin discusses her work with patients suffering from trauma. Dr. Breslin infuses traditional training with contemporary innovative techniques for a powerful transformative approach.
Anxiety disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older in a given year. This course takes a look at anxiety disorders, their possible causes and treatments.
If polled, the average person would say they are able to recognize abnormal behavior when they see it. The behavior might be assessed quickly as odd, strange, or sick. Being able to assess whether a person's behavior is abnormal or not and whether their behavior presents a danger to the individual or to others is a goal of all practicing psychologists, regardless of their theoretical orientation.
The construct of stress has been both a source of psychological research and writing as well as popular in media. In fact, the discussion of stress in the media has been so popular that the meaning of stress is not always clear. Stress is used to refer to both a cause and an effect. How we understand stress has changed and evolved throughout history. This course will provide an overview of the concept of stress from the historical, biological, social, and psychological perspectives.
Until the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th Edition), or DSM-5, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder was classified as an anxiety disorder. While it now has its own category (Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders), these disorders still shared many of the same symptoms of intense anxiety.
Chemicals that alter moods or behavior have been used for thousands of years by people from just about every culture and society. This course will overview the reasons people use psychoactive substances, the problems such substances can cause, how to help people who want to stop using substances, and how to prevent people from taking them in the first place.
Sigmund Freud argued that everyday memory lapses and slips of the tongue obey the same psychological principles, and are explained by the same theories, as psychological disorders. While theorists have challenged Freud's views the idea that unconscious thoughts and emotions can produce psychological disorders prevails. This course will provide an overview of dissociative disorders and somatic symptom and related disorders, their symptoms, treatment, similarities, and differences.
Depression represents one pole of a person's mood while mania represents the other pole. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle of the mood spectrum, not too high or too low. Our mood lifts with good news or a kind gesture and may sadden if we suffer a disappointment such as a bad day at work or failure of a goal. As our mood lifts, we feel happy, energized, confident, and optimistic. As our mood saddens, we feel tired, sad, and pessimistic.
Sleeping and eating are critical aspects of our existence. We sleep close to 3,000 hours per year, which means we spend about one-third of our lives asleep. However, about 40% of us do not get enough sleep. A lack of proper sleep can lead to health and psychological illness. Eating disorders can also lead to illness. Eating disorders refer to extreme disturbances in eating behavior surrounding a person's weight.
Schizophrenia is the most catastrophic of all psychological disorders and affects about 2.5 million individuals in the United States alone. It typically begins in young adulthood and can impair social relationships, thinking, and health. Schizophrenia falls along the diagnostic spectrum in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual with other psychotic disorders. While all of these disorders share similar traits, such as hallucinations and delusions, there are clear differentiations between them.
When we describe people's actions as introverted, brave, gregarious, we are implying that their behaviors are caused by their personality traits. Trait based explanations of personality appeal to our beliefs about human nature. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (5th Edition) states that the sum of an individual's traits constitutes his or her personality.
Neurocognitive disorders such as dementia disconnect sufferers from their own lives and from the lives of their loved ones. Sufferers are caught in the present moment, unable to relate to the past or to plan for the future.
Having any family member with a psychological disorder is stressful, but children affected by psychological disorders are especially stressful. Childhood is full of changes, and disease, genetics, and traumatic experiences can all result in a childhood with a risk for psychological disorders. This course will address the concerns for at-risk children as well as their parents and/or caregivers.
This course will focus on how society constructs old age as a distinct period of life. How a person's social class, race and ethnicity, and gender define opportunities will be explored as well as the myths and false beliefs often held about the aging process. This course will also provide an overview of the field of social gerontology and careers commonly held within the field.
Do adults change their behavioral patterns and ways of thinking as they age, or are personalities and thinking patterns fixed from early childhood? This course will address psychosocial development and cognition in midlife and old age as well as the impact of common stereotypes about aging on empirical research in the field.
PODCAST (Brain Science): In this interview, Dr. Pamela Greenwood discusses the most recent research on our cognition as our brain ages. She argues that what is most important for cognitive aging is not the actual structural change of the brain but the ability of the aging brain to dynamically change with experience, both structurally and functionally.
PODCAST (Brain Science): In this interview, Dr. Michael Merzenich discusses the area of brain plasticity. As a pioneer in the field, Dr. Merzenich provides a clear overview of how researchers have developed a more complete understanding of brain plasticity over time and how to apply research findings to daily life.
Case management has become standard practice and an essential component in providing support to clients throughout health and human services. The case manager is tasked with helping clients minimize their stay in hospitals and to locate services in their communities in order to receive treatment as well as support. Case managers are a support to clinical staff and a advocate for clients.
PODCAST (Shrink Rap Radio): Studies indicate that the brains of highly creative individuals activate differently than others when engaged in creative work. Harvard psychologist Shelley Carson explains how learning to mimic the brain activation patterns of highly creative individuals can help to enhance creativity.
PODCAST (Brain Science): In this interview, Dr. Allen Frances, author of Saving Normal, shares his insider's view of how the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has come to be what it is in its current edition, the DSM-5. This course will not only cover how the DSM has been developed over time and the changes that have been made and why, but it will also address the role of pharmaceutical companies in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.
Depression is a common but serious illness which interferes with daily life and causes pain for the person with depression as well as for those who care about them. This course examines depression’s symptoms, causes, and treatments.
When a woman has a depressive disorder, it interferes with daily life and normal functioning. The vast majority of women who seek treatment can get better. This course examines depression and its effects on women.
PODCAST (Shrink Rap Radio): Psychologist, professor, and author Dr. Pieter Russouw discusses his work in the emerging field of neuropsychotherapy. Neuropsychotherapy focuses on building neural pathways as a method of intervention in psychological distress and illness. It is the underpinning of the utilization of the principles of neuroscience on a day-to-day basis and has the potential to help the field of psychology move towards new treatment outcomes.
An eating disorder is an illness that causes serious disturbances in your everyday diet. Severe distress or concern about body weight or shape may also characterize an eating disorder. This course will examine eating disorders and how to treat them.
PODCAST (Shrink Rap Radio): One distinguishing feature of psychodynamic treatment is the focus on affect and on emotion. Psychodynamic therapists help patients to attend to and focus on and put into words their emotional life. In this course, Dr. Jonathan Shedler discusses his article on The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy.
PODCAST (Shrink Rap Radio): In this course, Dr. Darold Treffert discusses his work with autistic, acquired, and sudden savants.
PODCAST (Shrink Rap Radio): Forensic psychologist Dr. Stanton Samenow is co-author of The Criminal Personality and participated in the longest in-depth clinical research treatment study of offenders that has been conducted in North America. In this podcast, he speaks about the criminal personality.
PODCAST (Brain Science): The notion of embodied cognition is to try out the hypothesis that higher order cognition arises from bodily and neural processes and is not a separate sort of ability.
PODCAST (Shrink Rap Radio): Karen Sherman discusses how Western cultural ideals have stunted the grief process, and how the soul needs community to feel whole.
Seeking out social interactions with other human beings is a natural part of being human. Social psychology, as a field, studies how our thoughts, feelings, and behavior are related to and influenced by others. While there are many disciplines interested in individual thoughts and behaviors, social psychology looks beyond the individual to the group or social system.
The question of who we are has been explored by psychologists for hundreds of years. Our self-concept is the collection of what we know about ourselves and provides the information we share with others when asked "Who are you?". This course will discuss the concept of the self: how we think about the self and how we manage our self privately and publicly.
Attributions are important in every aspect of life. We use attributions to understand our coworkers and boss as well as in our social relationships. They explain behaviors in social interactions, and psychologists regularly study attributes with interest. This course will discuss the nature of attributions, fundamental attribution errors, and different explanatory styles.
Attitudes have always been an important topic of research in the field of psychology. An attitude is an evaluation based on reactions, both in terms of how we feel and what we think. An evaluation of attitudes involves both their strength and valence. This course will explore the research on attitudes. Not only will course discussions include implicit and explicit attitudes but also cognitive dissonance and more.
When making decisions, our cognitive processes operate at both a conscious and unconscious, or automatic, level. When we operate out of a conscious level, we make decisions by carefully considering our choices. In contrast, decisions made on an unconscious level are done without our awareness. This course will explore how we judge processes and behaviors that lead to conscious decisions, the concept of heuristics, and how fallacies in our thinking impact our judgment.
Prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination have touched everyone's life on some level. Each of these areas focus on how the other is viewed through feelings, thoughts, or behaviors. While categorization is a normal cognitive function, it can also lead us to jump to conclusions about people and things resulting in prejudice and stereotypes.
All of us spend at least some of our day attempting to persuade someone or responding to someone attempting to persuade us to make a purchase, change our views, or do something differently. Persuasion is a regular part of all of our lives. Social psychology helps to answer the question of why some of us are more easily persuaded and what makes an argument persuasive.
Social psychology has long studied persuasive techniques with an interest in why people are able to influenced by others to change their thoughts or behaviors. Persuasion techniques can be based on small or large initial requests followed by the request. Foot-in-the-door and reciprocity are commonly used in sales and fundraising, persuasion techniques are an important part of our everyday lives. This course will discuss the most common persuasion techniques and how each of them works.
Research in social psychology has found evidence that most of us will conform to the social norms even when we know that others are wrong in their judgment. We all can see this in our everyday experiences; we are regularly faced with deciding whether we will conform to a social norm (like getting a Facebook account) or not. This course will explore the idea of conformity and types of social influence.
Milgram's famous study on obedience was an attempt, in part, to better understand what happened to people in Nazi Germany. Milgram hypothesized that obedience was at the root of the behaviors, and his study on obedience certainly supported his theory that obedience could result in people displaying behaviors well outside their personal morality and ethics. Obediency is deeply ingrained and taught early in our childhood.
Aggressive behaviors all have the intention to harm someone regardless of the end result, and there must be someone who is also intent on avoiding the intended harm. Without intent, the behavior may be careless or accidental but not be labeled as aggressive. This course will discuss aggression: its origins, demographic differences, and influences of aggressive behaviors.
When helping others, do you do it because you care for the welfare of the other person or are there more selfish reasons just below the surface? Whether we can ever commit a completely selfless act is at the heart of the debate about altruism. This course will discuss altruistic and egoistic motives, the debate about altruism, and the bystander effect.
Most of us will cross paths with a variety of people each day. What is it that results in more communication, friendships, and romantic relationships? There are many factors that impact whether we become attracted to someone else. In addition to factors in attraction, we are all also driven by a need to belong. This course will explore attraction: what causes us to be attracted to one person and not to someone else.
Love is something that researchers have long tried to define and measure. In order to understand love better, it helps to view love as being split into different categories. We love friends and family differently than romantic love. This course will discuss love and relationships: what are the categories and theories of love, how do we maintain our relationships, and what happens when our relationships end.
Groups are a part of our lives in a variety of settings. From early childhood experiences in sports or on the playground to group settings at work or in social settings as adults, we all experience the positives and negatives of group behaviors. This course will discuss the psychological underpinnings of groups and group dynamics.
PODCAST (Brain Science): This course examines the relationship between the mind and the brain. Dr. Chris Frith, a neuroscientist, discusses how the brain affects the mind.
PODCAST (Shrink Rap Radio): In this interview, Dr. Dennis Charney discusses human resilience. Resilience is a person's ability to face a challenge or obstacle in his or her life, face it, and move forward with life. Resilience can take many forms, but it remains an important trait for overall mental and physical health.
Racial and ethnic minorities bear a greater burden for unmet mental health needs and suffer a greater loss to their overall health and productivity. This course will provide an overview of the components of cultural competence in providing mental health services as well as general information for working with specific racial and ethnic groups and a vision for improving access and removing barriers to mental health care.
PODCAST (Brain Science): Dr. Bill Uttal addresses whether brain imaging can tell us how the brain creates the mind and addresses flaws in current research and analysis.
PODCAST (Shrink Rap Radio): By being mindful of how you are feeling you can begin to make changes. Karen Sherman speaks about her book, Mindfulness and The Art of Choice.
PODCAST (Brain Science): In this course, Dr. Scott Lilienfeld discusses how scientific research and critical thinking are paramount in disproving myths of popular psychology.
PODCAST (Brain Science): In this interview, Drs. Lende and Downey discuss the study of Neuroanthropology. Neuroanthropology is the study of the interaction between the brain and culture. A relatively new field of study, neuroanthropology is an interdisciplinary exploration of how culture and biology interact to impact our development and behavior.
PODCAST (Brain Science): In this course, Dr. Michael Merzenich discusses neuroplasticity and how most changes that occur in brains when they are losing functionality are reversible.
Drug therapy is necessary for the treatment of many forms of mental illness and chronic pain. However, some medications can create serious health and social issues when they are overprescribed. Overprescribing or mis-prescribing medications is a particular concern in vulnerable populations such as older Americans and those with current or previous substance related disorders. This course will discuss the current overprescribing crisis in healthcare and potential solutions.
PODCAST (Brain Science): In this interview, Dr. Fernando Cervero discusses how to understand pain. Pain has changed from being regarded as something that you have to put up with to a position in which society demands that pain is treated. This course provides an in-depth discussion on the types of pain that are currently understood as well as how pain is experienced and treated effectively. As part of the discussion, we will focus on the understanding and treatment of chronic pain.
PODCAST (Brain Science): According to the research of Dr. Fabrizio Benedetti, there is not just one “placebo effect,” there are, in fact, many “placebo effects.” This course examines placebo and research into “placebo effects.”
PODCAST (Shrink Rap Radio): Dr. John Schinnerer, PhD, uses positive psychology in his private practice to help individuals learn happiness by mitigating destructive emotions and fostering constructive emotions. This course examines how Dr. Schinnerer uses positive psychology to help clients achieve happy, thriving, and meaningful lives.
PODCAST (Shrink Rap Radio): In this course, Dr. Lisa Aspinwall discusses the relationship between positive psychology and health outcomes. She addresses current research findings and analyzes the ways in which positive psychology is often misconstrued.
PODCAST (Shrink Rap Radio): In this course, Dr. Barry Krakow, a board certified internist and sleep disorders specialist, discusses the problem of insomnia and the keys to sleeping through the night
Worldwide, more people die by suicide than from all homicides and wars combined. In the US, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death. This course addresses issues that therapists need to now about suicide.
Clinical supervision is a hallmark of quality improvement and assurance, helping clinicians improve client care, develop professionally, and impart and maintain ethical standards. This course will provide an overview of clinical supervision, the roles of both the supervisor and supervisee, and models of clinical supervision.
PODCAST (Brain Science): In this interview, Professor Seth Grant discusses his research into the evolution of a synapse. In order to understand the complexity of our brains today, it is also important to understand how the synapse has functioned in other mammals as well as invertebrates. This course will discuss a background to research into the proteins that exist within brain cells, their role in learning, and how this impacts our behaviors.
PODCAST (Shrink Rap Radio): In this interview, Dr. John Arden discusses his book, The Brain Bible, which covers break-throughs and benefits from neuroscience for a vital and productive life. In the course, we will discuss recent developments in neuroscience and health psychology. Specifically, this course will discuss how to maximize the brain's potential as we age and the main factors that contribute to brain health.
PODCAST (Brain Science): In this interview, Dr. Seung discusses the human connectome and the human connectome project. The goal of the Human Connectome Project is to provide an unparalleled compilation of neural data and an interface to graphically navigate this data and the opportunity to achieve never before realized conclusions about the living human brain.
PODCAST (Shrink Rap Radio): In this interview, Dr. Stuart Kaplan discusses bipolar disorder and its rise in popularity as a diagnosis for children. While there has been no scientific evidence to support bipolar disorder in children, there has been a significant increase in the number of children diagnosed and treated for this illness. Dr.
PODCAST (Shrink Rap Radio): In this interview, Dr. Panskepp discusses his current research in emotional behaviors and their relationship to mental illness. His focus is on understanding the primary emotions in the mammalian brain and how that understanding can inform clinical practice. Dr. Panskepp also discusses the application of his research and the development of non-pharmacological therapies for ADHD and depression.
PODCAST (Shrink Rap Radio): In this interview, Dr. Louis Cozolino will discuss the relevance of the latest neuroscience findings for the practice of psychotherapy. Throughout history, neuroscience and psychology have been pulled together by their common foundation in psychobiology. Neuroscience in psychotherapy attempts to understand the neurocircuitry of clients in order to help them deal with mental illness in a therapeutic setting.
PODCAST (Brain Science): Dr. R. Douglas Fields is a neuroscientist whose interest in the mechanisms of memory and brain development have led him to write a new book entitled, The Other Brain: From Dementia to Schizophrenia, How New Discoveries About the Brain Are Revolutionizing Medicine and Science. This course will examine his work.
PODCAST (Brain Science): In this interview, Dr. Bruce Hood discusses his book The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity. Consciousness and the concept of the self has been a point of discussion and debate for thousands of years. When do we become aware of the self in our development? How does the self get nurtured or damaged in our lives? This course will discuss how self-awareness develops, where researchers have focused their study, and the illusion of the self.
PODCAST (Shrink Rap Radio): In this interview Dr. Craig Surman discusses the experience of ADHD in adulthood and how to thrive with this disorder. He provides an overview of how ADHD looks different and similar in childhood versus adulthood as well as the popular view that ADHD is something that children outgrow. Dr.
Freud's theories have profoundly influenced the practice of counseling and therapy for over a century. While many think of only classical psychoanalysis, many different theories and approaches have evolved from Freud's theories. This course will discuss psychoanalytic and psychodynamic theories of counseling and therapy.
Adlerian psychology emphasizes understanding how a client uses his or her beliefs about life to achieve goals. Adlerian psychology developed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries from the ideas of Alfred Adler. He believed that we construct our reality according to our own way of looking at the world and that the person must be viewed as a whole.
Carl Rogers developed person-centered counseling in the middle to latter decades of the 20th century. A person-centered approach to counseling is based on a humanistic philosophy that assumes people are inherently growth seeking and capable of leading fulfilling, productive lives.
Existential counseling focuses on what it means to be human. Existential counselors attempt to help clients find meaning and purpose, take responsibility for their decisions, and come to terms with the finite and fragile nature of life. This approach assumes that clients will be better able to live in a purposeful way and cope with their life circumstances.
Gestalt therapists look at the whole person, made up of various traits and characteristics that form one integrated self. As we age, we are challenged to take increasing levels of responsibility and learn how to meet our own needs while respecting those of others. Gestalt theory focuses on what is experienced in the present moment with an emphasis on taking responsibility for where our lives are headed.
Reality therapy is based on the idea that all humans have fundamental needs and wants and the ability to control choices made. Instead of seeing the outside world as controlling our actions, reality therapists suggest that the outside world is a source of information we can choose to act on. Reality therapists work with clients collaboratively to decide whether different choices need to be made to meet client goals.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a combination of focusing on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Cognitive behavioral therapies attempt to understand what triggers and reinforces thinking and behaviors related to the presenting problems. CBT is the most widely used therapy today, based upon well-established learning theory with concrete, identifiable procedures and goals.
Solution-focused therapy provides a brief counseling model that can help clients make significant progress in just a few sessions. The brevity of this theoretical approach arises from a belief that once changes are set in motion, they tend to snowball and generalize to other parts of life. Solution-focused therapists are active participants in therapy, focusing on the exceptions to a client's problems.
Narrative therapists attempt to understand a client's life as a story in progress and is authored through many different viewpoints. Narrative therapists rely on their relationship with the client and the use of appropriately worded questions to bring out narratives and to help clients identify the stories they wish to create for themselves.
Treatment plans are considered road maps for behavioral health care, including all interactions. The treatment plan is created through a collaborative effort between the client and professional, providing regular opportunities for the development of rapport. When the goals and objectives of treatment planning focus on the client's needs, treatment plans are considered to be an essential tool in improving outcomes as well as treatment adherence.