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Depression: Symptoms, Assessments, and Traditional & Alternative Treatments

6 CE Credit Hours - Online Course - $59.00

Developed by Garry Cooper, LCSW.

Course materials: text/webpage Articles

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General Course Description

Most therapists still believe that the most effective treatment for depression is a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressants, and that depression is caused by low serotonin levels. Are you lagging way behind the research too? There are different causes for depression and many more proven effective treatments. If you are relying on only one or two treatments, then you are probably going to help only about 2/3 of your depressed clients - and you will make things worse for some of them. To competently treat depression, today's therapists should have a broad understanding of its symptoms and causes and have different treatments available to them.

This basic course is composed of three sections and includes the work of Barry Duncan, Jacqueline Sparks and Scott Miller. The first section provides a general overview of depression's symptoms, assessments and traditional treatments. It includes information on the surprising incidence of depression among pregnant women and new mothers and how it can affect infants. The second section examines the issues and controversies surrounding antidepressant medications and includes information on the most commonly prescribed antidepressants.. The third section describes various psychotherapies and alternative treatments for depression. The final section describes additional resources for further information and self-help resources for your clients.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach the participant to:

1.    Define treatment guidelines for various kinds of depression.

2.    Identify the limitations of published research on antidepressants.

3.    Identify the side effects of antidepressant medications.

4.    Conduct more careful screenings of new mothers and children for depression.

5.    Review effective treatments, including some alternative medical treatments.

6.    Assemble self-help resources for depressed clients.

Course Syllabus

Defining the disease

  • Assessment guidelines from major mental health associations
  • Differences between infant, child/adolescent and adult depression
  • Psychodynamic view of definitions, symptoms and descriptions
  • Spiritual dimensions of depression; depression as an indicator of growth
  • Physical causes of depression

Treatment guidelines

  • Treatment guidelines from major mental health organizations
  • Recommended treatments from National Institute of Mental Health
  • Specific antidepressant medications: mechanisms, side effects, interactions
  • Addressing the physical cause of depression

Antidepressants: do the benefits outweigh the side effects?

  • The Kirsch study: are antidepressants more effective than placebo?
  • How research can slant the results: critically examining research
  • Withdrawal symptoms from antidepressants

Depression among pregnant women and post partum depression

  • Prevalence rates
  • How pregnant and new mothers' depression affects infants

Recent effective psychotherapies and treatments

  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy
  • Process-experiential therapy
  • Behavior Activation therapy
  • Exercise & Other alternative approaches

Additional Resources

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