Continuing education (CE) is an ongoing process that most, if not all, professionals in the United States are required to undertake under the credit requirements of the state where the professional is practicing.
In the field of psychology, CE consists of a variety of learning activities that mental health professionals do to keep them updated with the knowledge, science, and new psychological practices, as well as the legal, ethical, and regulatory matters associated with their profession.
Some of the most important topics in a CE program include substance abuse, suicide prevention strategies, child maltreatment, and racial awareness. These are prevailing problems in the country that need psychological intervention.
Taking continuing education regularly is the best way for psychologists to maintain or improve their competencies. It allows them to get better opportunities for themselves, apply their knowledge and skills for the benefit of society, and give their best to their profession.
Continuing education for psychologists is offered in a variety of formats, including videos, books, articles, podcasts, and in-person and webcast workshops.
For psychologists and many other professionals, education does not end after they have completed their degrees. They need to continue learning to stay current on the changes, adopt new practices, and get familiar with new materials in the assessment and treatment of behavioral and mental issues.
It can make them more competent in providing their patients with the best possible care. It also allows them to comply with their respective state requirements to earn a certain number of CE credits to keep their licenses valid.
The 10 Free CE Courses for Psychologists
Many CE providers offer many great free psychologist CEUs. These free CEUs can help you in a lot of ways. It not only increases your knowledge, but it also allows you to continue practicing and be of good service to the community.
So, to keep things easier for you, here are ten free continuing education (CE) courses for psychologists:
HIPAA Security Compliance in Mental Health
Provider: Person-Centered Tech
The free CE from Person Centered Tech is a guided reading introductory-level CEU course for clinical psychologists, family therapists, and counselors. It consists of some fundamental theories of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
- Free CE equivalent to one legal-ethical CE credit hour
- A self-study program available online and on-demand
- Includes optional review exercises
- Provides a clear view of the importance of complying with the security rules of HIPAA
- Recognized by the APA – American Psychological Association and the NBCC – National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. and Affiliates
Telehealth: Legal and Ethical Issues
Provider: SimplePractice Learning
Issues about legal and ethical compliance restrain many counselors, psychologists, social workers, and therapists from engaging in online practice. This one-hour free CE focuses on addressing several legal and ethical issues that can happen in the delivery of telehealth. It allows therapists and their clients to conduct a smooth, compliant, and effective telehealth process.
- A great free CE consisting of a one-hour non-interactive recorded video featuring Dr. Benjamin Caldwell, PsyD, LMFT
- Recognized by the APA, NBCC, NAADAC (National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors), and CAMFT (California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists)
- Enable participants to identify not less than three legal concerns associated with telehealth practice
- Allow participants to distinguish the difference between therapy and coaching
- The course is accessible via smartphone, computer, or tablet
Provider: Clearly Clinical
If you are a white therapist or psychologist, you may be wondering how you can help or how to avoid making things worse, especially for people of color. One of the great free CEUs from Clearly Clinical, it is a practical and compassionate guide that allows caring white therapists to work effectively and make a difference in their profession.
- One-hour free CE recognized by the APA, NBCC, NAADAC, CAMFT, CCAPP (Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs), and ASWB (Association of Social Work Boards).
- A Practical, compassionate guide for white therapists who want to work effectively with people of color
- Enable participants to understand the concept of “white privilege”
- Great CE for white practitioners who want to make a lasting impact on their profession
Therapy, Trust, and Racial Trauma
Provider: Clearly Clinical
Therapy, Trust, and Racial Trauma is a free one-CE credit-hour free CE podcast of a panel discussion about transgenerational racial trauma and its effect on the lives of black people in America. The podcast features three Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) clinicians who intend to share their expertise on the impact of racism on the brain development and mental stability of blacks and African Americans.
The panel discussion covers topics about being black in America and provides therapists with the first steps they can take to build therapeutic trust.
- This Free CE is recognized by the APA, NBCC, ASWB, CAMFT, CCAPP, and NAADAC.
- Provides psychologists, social workers, and therapists with an awareness of the impact of systemic oppression on the mental stability of people of color.
- Identification of at least two therapist responses that may have an impact on the therapeutic safety of colored clients.
Getting Through COVID-19 Directives: Supporting Connection and Emotional Health
Provider: Clearly Clinical
This one-CE credit-hour free CE consists of a podcast interview featuring Dr. Judy Ho, Ph.D., ABPP, ABPdN, and a triple board certified and licensed Clinical and Forensic Neuropsychologist. The program covers clinical tips on how you can manage your clients’ anxiety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
It also provides pointers on how you can organize your telehealth sessions, maintain good boundaries between work and play at home, and formulate evidence-based strategies to provide your clients with emotional health.
- Recognized by the NBCC, CAMFT, APA, CCAPP, NAADAC, and ASWB.
- Backed by science-based insights that enable you to take care of yourself while providing support to your clients during the pandemic.
- Provides a deep understanding of the biological basis of loneliness and anxiety and their impact on the mind and body.
- Identifies strategies for managing stress caused by the feeling of isolation due to social distancing measures and discusses methods for enhancing social connectivity.
The Grip of Grief: Processing the Continual Losses of the Pandemic
Provider: Clearly Clinical
The Grip of Grief is a one-CE credit-hour free CE track that provides practical advice for extending support to people who continue to grieve the loss of a loved one due to the pandemic. It also includes a discussion about several forms of losses.
This free CE features Jill Johnson, a licensed clinical social worker and grief expert.
Her decades of experience as a hospice social worker gave her a deep understanding of things to do and things to avoid doing to grieving clients. This CEU course introduces you to several types of losses related to the pandemic. It provides you with practical and simple ways to deal with people as they grieve.
- Provide you with appropriate clinical interventions to enable grief-stricken families to process grief and move on with their lives.
- Allow you to define the advantages of processing non-death-elated losses.
- Provide you with details of the applications, strengths, and weaknesses of the Kubler-Ross grief model.
- Accredited by the APA, NBCC, ASWB, CCAPP, NAADAC, and CAMFT.
- Great CE course for counselors
Swiftly Transitioning to Online Therapy, Legally, Ethically, and Efficiently
Provider: Clearly Clinical
Delivered in podcast format, this one-CE credit-hour free CE program is designed to provide you with practical and compassionate guidance on how to transition legally and ethically from traditional to online therapy. It features Dr. Amber Lyda, a Florida and North Carolina licensed psychologist. She’s an expert in providing ethical and legal online therapy to patients with mental problems.
- Recognized by the APA, NBCC, ASWB, CCAPP, NAADAC, and CAMFT, this free course teaches you what software, hardware, and paperwork you need to connect effectively with your clients online. It also provides instructions on the proper online navigation of HIPAA, and how to manage technical challenges associated with the online method of operation.
- Provides details of the process of transitioning clients from face-to-face to Telehealth.
- A great free CE course is for practitioners who want to expand their client base.
Ethics and Boundary Issues
Ethics and Boundary Issues is a five-hour free intermediate-level CE program that provides information about ethics and defines professional boundaries for psychologists. The course is updated to the latest professional codes of ethics recognized by the APA, NASW, ACA (American Counseling Association), NBCC, and AMHCA (American Mental Health Counselors Association).
- Case studies emphasize the key learning points of the course.
- The course gives special attention to certain topics such as confidentiality, HIPAA, mandated reporting, and age of consent.
- Develops the ability to recognize the connection between legal and ethical issues and identify the causes of ethical problems.
Clash of the Sex Drives
Provider: The Buehler Institute
Clash of Sex Drives is a 1.5-hour free CE program that gives counselors, therapists, and psychologists added insights into mismatched sexual desires between couples and provide them with theoretical and practical approaches to helping couples find ways to resolve this issue.
It features Dr. Stephanie Buehler, a psychologist and sex therapist certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). She maintains a private practice in Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach and Irvine, California, helping individuals and couples with sexual issues. She also offers sex therapy online.
- Great training for new sex counselors or therapists and experienced practitioners who want to try new ideas to resolve issues of mismatched sex drives between couples.
- Enables course participants to define and assess the sexual desire discrepancy problem in couples.
- Enables participants to learn at least three ways to treat sexual desire discrepancy in couples.
- Approved by the American Psychological Association.
Improving Cultural Competency for Behavioral Health Professionals
Provider: Think Cultural Health
This 4 to 5.5-hour free CE program is designed to enhance your cultural and linguistic competency as it is a strategic way to improve the quality of care you provide to your clients. It is an e-learning program aiming to help behavioral health professionals refine and boost their cultural and linguistic abilities.
- Approved by the APA, NBCC, NASW, and NAADAC.
- It makes you learn about the role of culture and its impact on behavioral health care.
- It increases your self-awareness and provides you with a deep understanding of your cultural health and identity and its impact on your work.
- It allows you to know and understand your client’s cultural identity.
- It provides you with a good understanding of ways to build strong therapeutic relationships with clients from different cultural backgrounds.
Understanding the Importance of Free Continuing Education Courses for Psychologists
Compliance with State Licensure Requirements
Every state in the US requires professional psychologists to maintain a valid license, and one of its requirements for the renewal of a license is for practitioners to earn CE credits.
Free CE Courses Enhance Competence
Competence is an important aspect I any professional endeavor, and it can offer several advantages, including prestige and financial rewards. Free CE credit courses can equip you with additional knowledge and update you on the latest practices in the industry.
Please don’t get us wrong. We emphasize the word “free” because it offers benefits without the need to incur costs. But you can get the same or better benefits with CE credits from paid providers like quantum Units Education.
Free CE Courses Increase Job Marketability
Your knowledge of the latest developments and practices in psychology can help to make you a hot item in the job market. It can open doors for you to grow as a professional. It translates to a better place in a business organization and better compensation.
Continuing Education for Psychologists Boosts Your Image as a Professional
Continuing education translates to added knowledge and skills that you can apply for the benefit of specific individuals and society in general. It helps to make you believe in yourself more, and the added knowledge and ability that you earn can help you carry yourself with greater confidence and make you feel better about yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
What factors do I need to consider when choosing a continuing education course for psychologists?
When choosing a continuing education course for psychologists, these are the vital factors that you should consider to make the best judgment:
- The CE format. Whether it is a podcast, video, in-person, or web-based workshop, it should match your learning objectives.
- Compliance with your state’s requirements. The CE program you want to take should adhere to and comply with your state’s requirements for approval, as it will be used as a basis for your license renewal.
- Relevance of the topic. The subject matter of CE must be relevant to your practice.
- Credentials of the instructor or presenter. The presenter of your CE course must have the credentials, qualifications, and authority to impart the knowledge and expertise of the subject.
Are there stark differences between a psychologist and a clinical psychologist?
Yes. A psychologist is a graduate of general psychology. Their job entails the scientific study of behavioral problems and disorders. Clinical psychologists, on the other hand, are graduates of Doctorate in Psychology. Their job focuses on the evaluation and treatment of behavioral disorders.
What skills should I develop to become a clinical psychologist?
To become a clinical psychologist, you should possess superb analytical, observational, and communication skills. You also need to have excellent interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence to earn the trust of clients you want your emotional support.
What is Quantum Units Education?
Quantum Units Education is an accredited for-profit online CE provider that offers alternative ongoing education courses for nurses, therapists, counselors, social workers, and human services professionals. Its tuition ranges from $150 to $800 depending on the program you take.
In the United States, all psychologists who intend to practice professionally as clinical psychologists are required to comply with federal and state educational and licensing requirements. It includes accumulating continuing education units after passing the state psychology board examination.
The rapid environmental, behavioral, and social changes make psychology an ever-evolving field. It makes psychologists wanting for additional knowledge to be able to cope with the pace of these changes.
It is one of the primary reasons behind the decision of professional organizations such as the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education. They are offering free CE-credit courses to their members.
It is unarguably the reason why continuing education is necessary because what was applicable for psychologists a decade or so ago may no longer be relevant today.
It is also the reason why the government requires CE courses for the renewal of professional psychologists’ licenses. It just wants to make sure that psychologists, therapists, and mental health professionals can deliver appropriate services to its citizens.