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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Continuing Education

 
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Continuing Education

This section brings together free in-depth Continuing Education resources for the Professional community concerned with trauma.

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Courses all participants will be able to fully comprehend. Content includes concepts that are considered basic skills/knowledge for those in the field.

Courses participants may more fully comprehend if they have at least some work experience in the topic.

Courses include concepts requiring a high-level of previous educational background or work experience in the topic.

PTSD 101 courses are one-hour presentations by a faculty of recognized experts in the field of traumatic stress. Content is appropriate for both seasoned PTSD professionals and those new to PTSD treatment or care for military personnel.

The Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) Series provides expert training based on the latest revisions to the VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for PTSD.

Clinical Skills Training courses are multi-hour presentations aimed at teaching specific clinical techniques for treating patients with PTSD.

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aging.jpg
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Credits: ANCC, APA, ASWB, CA BBS
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

Aging Veterans comprise a large part of patient care in the VA. This course reviews literature explaining the prevalence and longitudinal course of PTSD in older adults and describes the potential impact of aging on PTSD. Information about best practices for assessment and treatment of PTSD in older adults in included.

This course presents video clips of older Veterans describing their experiences to illustrate the importance of aging processes in PTSD.

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shared_decision.png
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Credits: APA, ASWB, NBCC, Other Orgs
  • Skill Level: Basic
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

Clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of PTSD support the use of shared decision making. However, few providers receive training on how to collaborate with patients around health care decisions.

This course introduces providers to a practical model of shared decision making that can be used in clinical practice with PTSD patients. The course includes an overview of research highlighting the potential benefits of shared decision making for PTSD treatment as well as behavioral examples of how clinicians can engage in each step of this model.

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cb_conjoint_therapy.png
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Credits: APA, ASWB, NBCC, Other Orgs
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

PTSD can impact the quality of family and social relationships. Research indicates that some Veterans desire family involvement in their treatment for PTSD due to this impact.

This course provides an overview of Cognitive Behavioral Conjoint Therapy (CBCT) for PTSD, an evidence-based approach for treating PTSD that includes a family member in treatment. The course reviews the therapy sessions of CBCT as well as research findings that support how this treatment can help Veterans with PTSD.

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sexual_assault.png
  • Time to Complete: 1.5 hours
  • Credits: ANCC, ASWB, CA BBS, ACCME, NBCC
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

Experiences of sexual harassment and sexual assault during military service, referred to as military sexual trauma (MST), are associated with a variety of mental health conditions, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

This course discusses best-practice recommendations for sensitively asking about MST experiences and responding to disclosures. Treatment of MST-related PTSD and other mental health difficulties is discussed. A video of providers sharing insights and strategies is also included. No prior knowledge of MST is required.

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reintegration.png
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Credits: ANCC, APA, ASWB, CA BBS, ACCME, NBCC
  • Skill Level: Basic
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

Transitioning to and from a combat deployment or leaving military service can be a challenging process. When a Servicemember or Veteran is experiencing symptoms of PTSD during these transitions, the process of reintegration can be much more complicated.

This online course describes the stresses associated with different phases of the deployment cycle military families. The author gives particular attention to the impact of PTSD on the process of reintegration following combat deployments.

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tx_comorbid_tbi.png
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Credits: ANCC, APA, ASWB, CA BBS, ACCME, NBCC
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

Among OEF/OIF Veterans receiving care in VA, it is likely that those with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) also have a diagnosis of PTSD.

This course provides a brief overview of two treatment studies for co-occurring PTSD and TBI: the SCORE Cognitive Rehabilitation Trial and Prolonged Exposure (PE). The author describes factors affecting treatment outcomes and compares the effectiveness of the two approaches.

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pro_burnout.jpg
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Credits: ANCC, APA, ASWB, ACCME, NBCC, Other Orgs
  • Skill Level: Basic

Serving as a health care provider may result in unique stress reactions, especially for those working with traumatized individuals.

This course provides information about burnout and secondary traumatic stress (STS) for health care providers and, in particular, those who work with Veterans and others who have experienced trauma. Practical, easy to implement strategies for offsetting the effects of burnout and work-related SES are reviewed, including tips on knowing when and how to seek help.

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chain_analysis.png
  • Time to Complete: 4 hours
  • Credits: APA, ASWB, ACCME, Other Orgs
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Course Series: Clinical Skills Training

Chain analysis is a method of assessment that can be used collaboratively by a therapist together with a client. It helps to unpack what thoughts, feelings, sensations, and prompting factors lead to problem behaviors and or consequences for the client following traumatic events.

It can be particularly helpful in determining specific targets to focus on in order to improve negative behaviors that result. In addition, chain analysis can also be used to help a therapist choose an overall intervention or treatment approach for a client and to build a case formulation.

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intro_suicide.jpg
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Credits: APA, ASWB
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

The relationship between PTSD and suicidal behavior is complex. This course provides an overview of the scope of Veteran suicide, reviews literature on PTSD and suicide, and presents a conceptual model of suicide in the context of PTSD.

This course offers practical recommendations for suicide risk assessment and therapeutic risk management and presents treatment implications for PTSD among individuals with suicide risk.

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dementia.jpg
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Credits: ANCC, APA, ASWB, ACCME, ACPE
  • Skill Level: Advanced
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

The association between PTSD, cognitive impairment, and behavioral problems among older adults is complex. This course reviews the epidemiology and significance of PTSD in regard to aging, highlighting factors that suggest a bidirectional relationship between PTSD and dementia.

The course includes recommended PTSD assessment practices for individuals with dementia and outlines treatment recommendations for those with co-occurring PTSD and dementia.

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caps5_training.png
  • Time to Complete: 4.5 hours
  • Credits: APA, ASWB, Other Orgs
  • Skill Level: Advanced

The CAPS-5 is considered the "gold standard" for PTSD assessment and diagnosis, and has been updated to correlate with DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. CAPS-5 revisions aimed to streamline administration and scoring, and a psychometric study has shown that the CAPS-5 is reliable and valid.

This course allows you to score along during a video of experts conducting assessments with the CAPS-5. Expert tips and feedback are provided throughout the course. Clinicians have the opportunity to learn advanced interview skills for using the CAPS-5 in complex and challenging clinical situations.

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managing_anger.jpg
  • Time to Complete: 6 hours
  • Credits: APA, ASWB, NBCC, Other Orgs
  • Skill Level: Advanced
  • Course Series: Clinical Skills Training

This web-based course is a PTSD series to increase provider knowledge related to the treatment techniques for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The objective of this course is to teach the skill of leading a 12-session anger management treatment designed for group application with those who have PTSD.

Mental Health Providers who treat individuals with PTSD will learn new skills for group treatment and management of individuals with anger issues.

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context_military_culture.png
  • Time to Complete: 1.5 hours
  • Credits: APA, ASWB, Other Orgs
  • Skill Level: Basic
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

A lack of cultural competence among providers can impact treatment seeking and compliance among Servicemembers and Veterans with PTSD. This course addresses such concerns by providing information about how the influence of military culture may impact provider world view, assessment, and treatment planning.

This course includes video to illustrate how developing core competencies related to military culture can improve rapport, compliance, and adherence to treatment among Servicemembers and Veterans with PTSD.

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engaging_patients.png
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Credits: APA, ASWB
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

Clinicians and patients may be initially resistant to PTSD psychotherapies. This course reviews the evidence base and utilization data for PTSD psychotherapies available in Veterans Affairs and defines patient engagement.

The author discusses multiple levels of engagement and demonstrates strategies to increase provider and patient engagement.

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impact_deployment_risk.png
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Credits: APA, ASWB
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

No one factor explains why some Veterans experience mental health problems following deployment and others do not. This course applies a psychosocial risk and resilience framework adapted from the Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory-2 (DRRI-2) to describe deployment-related factors with documented implications for the post-deployment mental health of OEF/OIF/OND Veterans.

Recent study findings are described and gender differences are discussed.

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pathways_health.jpg
  • Time to Complete: 45 minutes
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

Traumatic exposure can affect many aspects of well-being and functioning, including physical health. This course explains a multidimensional model of trauma, PTSD, and physical health and discusses mechanisms through which PTSD could promote poor health.

The author reviews clinical implications of the relationship between trauma and poor health, as well as areas for future study. Continuing education credits are not available for this course.

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dissociative_subtype.jpg
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Credits: APA, ASWB, ACCME
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

DSM-5 includes a dissociative subtype of PTSD focusing on symptoms of depersonalization and derealization. This subtype has been associated with high trauma exposure, childhood adversities, childhood onset of PTSD, greater re-experiencing, and suicidality. This course describes the etiology and mechanisms underlying symptomatology.

Clinicians can use information in this course for psychoeducation. This course includes case examples to discuss assessment of dissociative symptomatology and describe targeted treatment interventions.

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lecture_series.jpg
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour webinar
  • Credits: ANCC, APA, ASWB, ACCME, NBCC
  • Skill Level: Basic
  • Course Series: PTSD Consultation Lecture Series

The PTSD Consultation Program Lecture Series is a free, online webinar offered monthly that covers topics such as PTSD diagnosis, treatment, and common co-occurring conditions.

Presentations focus on clinical implications of recent research and best practices for treating PTSD. Presenters are typically expert clinicians and researchers in VA.

Continuing education credits are available for live webinars.

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practical_assessment.jpg
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Credits: APA, ASWB, Other Orgs
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

Psychological assessment involves collecting data from different sources that must be evaluated and integrated. This course provides a practical guide for assessing PTSD. The purpose and importance of screening for PTSD and monitoring symptom change and treatment outcomes are addressed.

The best tools and methods for PTSD assessment purposes are reviewed, with a focus on revised DSM-5 measures.

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military_culture_hcp.jpg
  • Time to Complete: 4 2-hour modules
  • Credits: ANCC, APA, ASWB, CA BBS, ACCME, NBCC
  • Skill Level: Basic

Understanding military culture can support clinicians seeking to tailor clinical practices for military patients. This course, jointly developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense, describes military organizations and roles, reviews military-specific stressors, and provides treatment tools for best practices.

This interactive course includes video to illustrate how core competencies in military culture improve the therapeutic alliance and support effective treatment planning for Servicemembers and Veterans.

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assessment_sleep.png
  • Time to Complete: 5 1-hour modules
  • Credits: ANCC, APA, ASWB, CA BBS, ACCME, ACPE, NBCC
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

One of the most common complaints among those with PTSD is sleep disturbance. Sleep problems may lead to exacerbation of PTSD and other comorbid symptoms. This course provides information on PTSD and sleep problems, the advantages and disadvantages of pharmacological and cognitive behavioral interventions, and different ways these interventions can be implemented.

This course includes videos that demonstrate assessment of sleep-related problems and the tools included in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia.

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peWeb course
  • Time to Complete: 10 hours
  • Credits: APA, CA BBS, NBCC, Other Orgs
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Learn how to provide Prolonged Exposure therapy (PE) to your patients. This training has a particular focus on treatment of military and combat-related PTSD, although the principles and methods work well for any type of trauma that results in PTSD.

This interactive training program includes step-by-step instructions for each component of PE, printable scripts, and video demonstrations with expert clinicians.

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prescribe_oldervets.jpg
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Credits: ANCC, APA, ASWB, ACCME, ACPE, Other Orgs
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

Older adults with PTSD face unique challenges in regard to comorbid problems, polypharmacy, and cognitive decline. This course provides general information about PTSD and best psychopharmacology treatment practices in this group.

This course reviews prevalence and incidence of PTSD in older adults and describes the role of aging and cognitive impairment in PTSD. Based upon data primarily from Veteran samples, recommendations and cautions for psychopharmacology in older adults with PTSD are presented.

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traumatic_guilt.jpg
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Credits: APA, ASWB
  • Skill Level: Advanced
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

Guilt is common following trauma and is sometimes challenging to treat. This course explains the relationship between trauma and guilt and reviews how to assess traumatic guilt. The authors describe treatment considerations for guilt in prolonged exposure (PE) therapy and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT).

Video clips of patients and family members describing their experiences with PTSD are included. Viewers are assumed to have familiarity with PE and CPT.

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warzone_homefront.jpg
  • Time to Complete: 32 1-hour trainings
  • Credits: APA, ACCME, Other Orgs
  • Skill Level: Basic
  • Course Series: From the War Zone to the Home Front

This collaboration between the Home Base Program and the National Center for PTSD offers 32 hour-long trainings that can be viewed independently, on-demand. From the War Zone to the Home Front includes a comprehensive look at challenges facing returning Veterans and their families.

The series includes a focus on PTSD diagnostic criteria, common co-occurring conditions, evidence-based treatment options, and family-focused interventions and support. Three case consultation trainings present the development of an evidence-based treatment plan for complex cases.

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ptsd_overview.jpg
  • Time to Complete: 45 minutes
  • Skill Level: Basic
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

PTSD is distinguished from other psychiatric disorders in that there is a known etiological component: an event that involves life threat, serious injury, or death. This course provides a detailed description of the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria, risk factors, and evidence-based treatments for PTSD.

The course includes videos of Veterans with PTSD describing their symptoms and clinicians explaining Prolonged Exposure (PE) Therapy and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT).

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article_domesticviolence.jpg
  • Time to Complete: 0.5 hours
  • Credits: ACCME
  • Skill Level: Basic

Learn how to help Veterans and their intimate partners at risk for domestic violence by recognizing risk factors, including PTSD. This Psychlopedia activity from The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry reviews ways to assess for, prevent, and address intimate partner violence in Veterans and their families.

The Strength at Home program for military families struggling with post-deployment conflict, anger, and readjustment issues is described.

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STAIR.jpg
  • Skill Level: Advanced
  • Course Series: Clinical Skills Training

Learn how to provide STAIR to your patients. STAIR a promising intervention with evidence suggesting that it helps reduce PTSD symptoms, and problems in emotion regulation and social and relationship functioning.

This online STAIR training consists of 8 modules covering several core treatment components. STAIR can be provided as a standalone therapy or as a complement to trauma-focused therapies.

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care_returning_vets.png
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Credits: ACCME
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Learn about the mental health needs of returning Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans and their families in this COMMENTARY from The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

A panel of experts discusses the challenges for receiving treatment for mental health conditions, including PTSD. Ways that employers and community members can assist are also discussed. The article highlights the importance of information sharing between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DOD).

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PEtherapy.jpg
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

This course refers to information published in the 2010 VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for PTSD. Although a new course based upon the 2017 revision of the Guideline will be created in the future, this course remains on our website because it continues to provide relevant and useful facts about PTSD treatment.

Several interventions for PTSD are supported as first line treatment, including Prolonged Exposure (PE). This course summarizes the 2010 VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for PTSD related to Prolonged Exposure, including a review of empirical evidence supporting this psychotherapy.

Treatment structure and overview for PE is explained and types of exposure are reviewed in detail. This course includes video clips to illustrate different stages of PE treatment.

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CPT.jpg
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

This course refers to information published in the 2010 VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for PTSD. Although a new course based upon the 2017 revision of the Guideline will be created in the future, this course remains on our website because it continues to provide relevant and useful facts about PTSD treatment.

First line treatment interventions for PTSD are identified based on strong evidence. Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is one of the trauma-focused therapies recommended. This course summarizes the 2010 VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for PTSD related to CPT, including a review of empirical evidence supporting CPT.

This course includes video clips to illustrate the therapeutic stages and related worksheets for CPT. A case presentation including outcome data is included.

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ext_pfa_training.png
  • Time to Complete: 6 hours
  • Credits: APA, CA BBS, ACCME, CA BRN, Other Orgs
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Learn how to assist people in the immediate aftermath of disaster and terrorism. This course is for individuals new to disaster response who want to learn the core goals of Psychological First Aid (PFA), as well as for experienced practitioners who want a review.

This is a 6-hour interactive course developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and the National Center for PTSD. The user takes the role of a provider in a post-disaster scene and features include activities, video demonstrations, and mentor tips.

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cptweb.png
  • Time to Complete: 9 hours
  • Credits: APA, CA BBS, NBCC, Other Orgs
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Learn how to provide Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) to your patients. This training has a particular focus on treatment of military and combat-related PTSD, although the principles and methods work with any type of trauma resulting in PTSD.

The site includes step-by-step instructions for each component of CPT, printable scripts for introducing concepts and techniques to clients, and video demonstrations of therapy procedures conducted by expert clinicians.

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cbi_psychotherapies.jpg
  • Time to Complete: 1 hour
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Course Series: PTSD 101

Learn about effective psychotherapy treatments for PTSD. The course outlines the theoretical underpinnings, therapy components and empirical support for two evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapies (CBTs): prolonged exposure (PE) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT).

This is an interactive learning tool with optional exercises to establish understanding of the therapies. Case examples and audio excerpts of treatment sessions are included to help further understanding of cognitive behavioral therapies.

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Get help for PTSD

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PTSD Information Voice Mail:
(802) 296-6300
ncptsd@va.gov
Also see: VA Mental Health