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Online Courses For Therapists: Top 12 Resources For Continuing Education In 2023

December 5, 2023


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For mental health practitioners, continuing education can be crucial for maintaining licensure, improving their quality of care, and remaining competitive in a quickly growing profession. Most licensing boards require a certain number of CE credits to be attained through formal instruction, either in a classroom setting or online. Many professional associations and universities alike offer vast libraries of CE courses from which therapists can choose. 

You can access CE courses via professional associations, online course providers, and educational institutions. In addition to these courses, you can obtain CE credits through clinical supervision, workshops and seminars, conferences, books and journal articles, and webinars. You may also check with your employer or online therapy platform, as they may offer CE opportunities suited to your area of expertise.

Here, we have compiled a list of the top CE course providers in 2023. These professional associations and course providers offer reputable CE courses from top clinicians, researchers, and industry experts, helping you stay up-to-date and informed on the latest advancements in the field.

Top Continuing Education Course Providers For Therapists

Whether you’re looking to specialize in a particular therapeutic approach, meet licensure requirements, or simply broaden your knowledge base, there are dozens of reputable CE providers who offer courses across a range of topics at every price point. Below, we’ve put together a list of top continuing education course providers for therapists, each of which has a range of courses designed to meet your professional development needs.

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1. American Psychological Association

With nearly 150,000 members, the APA is the oldest and most established professional organization for psychologists in the country. Psychologists and other mental health professionals are eligible to join, as well as students and instructors of psychology. The APA offers a vast library of CE programs across a variety of topics and formats, including article- and book-based exams, online courses, and video-based courses. 

2. American Mental Health Counselors Association

The AMHCA is a professional association for counselors, students, administrators, and partners. Their library of CE resources includes several webinars, interactive workshops, and journal articles, many of which are offered at a discount rate for members. Topics include advancements in neuroscience, intersectional considerations in counseling, and population-specific content, among others. 

3. American Counseling Association

The ACA is the world’s largest professional and educational organization in the world, composed of professional counselors across numerous practice settings. The ACA’s professional development center offers many video courses, webinars, educational sessions, book chapters, and journal articles, including one free CE opportunity each month. You may also receive credits by attending their annual conference, which can double as an opportunity to network with other counseling professionals. 

4. The National Association For Addiction Professionals Institute

NAADAC is a professional organization for addiction professionals and those working toward licensure or certification, as well as peer recovery support specialists and students. If you specialize in treating substance use disorder and behavioral addictions, you may benefit from exploring their extensive library, which includes webinars, online training modules, magazine articles, and independent study courses. 

5. International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Foundation

IAEDP is a professional organization that offers education and training to medical and mental health professionals who specialize in treating eating disorders. Through them, you can access several different educational and training materials and may also pursue credentials to become a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. The IAEDP’s monthly live webinars can provide a resourceful way to receive CE credits while also expanding your clinical knowledge. You may also receive credits for attending their annual virtual symposium or in-person conference. For additional professional development resources, you may choose to access their selection of webinar recordings for free. 

6. American Art Therapy Association

The AATA’s online learning academy is an excellent resource for art therapists, with courses covering ethics, research, and identity-specific treatments, among others. Formats include panel discussions, presentations, papers, and live sessions. Resources are available to members and non-members alike for a small fee. They are accredited by the Art Therapy Credentials Board and National Board for Certified Counselors, as well as the State of New York for Licensed Creative Arts Therapists (LCATs).

7. Beck Institute

The Beck Institute is a nonprofit organization that focuses on education, research, and clinical practice in the field of cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. They offer a number of clinical certifications for mental health professionals specializing in CBT and CT-R (recovery-oriented cognitive therapy). Their CE resource library includes on-demand courses, live workshops and webinars, and group training modules focused on the use of CBT and CT-R across a diverse array of clinical applications. 

8. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

The AAMFT is a professional organization for marriage and family therapists (LMFTs). They offer a wide selection of self-paced online courses and literature across a diverse range of topics, including eldercare, diagnostics, marketing, and more. Courses are available at a discounted price to members, and each course is priced according to the number of credits it offers.

9. American Association for Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences

The AATBS is a leading subscription-based provider of continuing education for mental health professionals. With an extensive library of self-paced, board-certified CE courses, the platform is available to all mental health professionals for a low monthly or yearly fee. Counselors who are new to BetterHelp may be eligible for a free one-year subscription.

10. Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy

ABCT is a professional organization for CBT practitioners and students. They hold ticketed events including annual conventions, clinical intervention training, presentations, workshops, and seminars. They also host general sessions which may include clinical demonstrations, speakers and panel discussions, mini-workshops, round tables, research presentations, and symposia. 

11. PESI, Inc.

PESI is a nonprofit organization offering a wealth of online learning and continuing education resources for mental and behavioral health professionals. They offer courses for LMFTs, LPCs, LCSWs, and psychologists, and ​​are accredited by many state licensing boards and professional organizations. Courses include seminars, webinars, self-paced online courses, and in-person events. 

12. IPT Institute

For practitioners of interpersonal therapy, or therapists interested in specializing in this popular form of therapy, the IPT Institute offers online and in-person courses to clinicians of all experience levels. These courses may take place in 4- or 8-hour blocks over two or more days, giving professionals the opportunity to earn APA CE credits.  

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Tips For Building A CE Plan

CEUs are not only necessary for license renewal, but they can also be a valuable asset to your practice by giving you the opportunity to deepen your clinical skills, pursue a niche or specialty, and stay updated with current research and trends. As there are many CE courses from which to choose, it may be worth developing a strategy that takes into account your unique needs and professional goals. Here are some tips for building a CE plan that fits your preferences and needs:

  • Check with your licensing board: Consult your state’s licensing requirements to find out how many credits you need and what types of courses are approved for CEUs. Before purchasing or beginning a course, check whether it is eligible for CEUs by your licensing board.
  • Reflect on areas for improvement: If there is a particular skill, approach, or area that you struggle with, look for CE courses that can help strengthen your skills in that area. This targeted approach can help you achieve professional growth, enhance therapeutic outcomes, and improve client retention.
  • Update and refresh current knowledge: Take courses that delve deeper into your current area of expertise to stay abreast of the latest research, methodologies, and best practices. Staying current can bolster your credibility as a practitioner and help you stand out among your peers.
  • Examine industry trends: Research which therapeutic approaches and techniques are gaining traction. For example, more individuals are now turning to online therapy, making it increasingly important to learn how to adapt your practice to a virtual setting. Pursuing CEUs that align with these types of trends can help you stay updated and competitive within the mental health field.
  • Pursue a niche: For therapists early in their careers, CEUs offer an opportunity to pursue specific areas of interest and specialization. For example, if you think you may be interested in pursuing trauma therapy, consider searching for CEUs that align with that topic. These courses can often be a stepping stone to certification in a particular therapeutic approach or specialty.

Accessing Free CEUs With Therapists.Com

Therapists.com offers a wealth of resources for mental health professionals, including continuing education. This space was created for therapists and counselors looking to connect with one another, pursue professional development opportunities, and stay updated on the latest trends and needs in therapy. A sister site of BetterHelp, the world’s largest online therapy platform, Therapists.com is a gateway to the tools and information needed to elevate your practice. By signing up on Therapists.com or becoming an online counselor through BetterHelp, you can gain access to free CEUs to expand your knowledge and enhance your efficacy as a mental health care practitioner.

Takeaway

Professional organizations, nonprofits, and online CEU platforms offer a way to sharpen your clinical skills, stay updated on current research, and gain a deeper understanding of specialized therapeutic approaches. These resources can help you fulfill your state’s licensing requirements while empowering you with up-to-date, evidence-based information tailored to your needs as a clinician. To receive more information about continuing education or to access free online CEUs, consider signing up with Therapists.com or BetterHelp. Each of these sites caters to a range of mental health professionals and can help you stay current in your field.

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