Approved Continuing Education Content Areas

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Approved Continuing Education Content Areas

Your continuing education credit does not have to come only from NBCC Approved Continuing Education Providers. There are many ways to earn continuing education credit, as long as the activities fall under one of the accepted content areas. You can also claim up to 20 hours per certification period for unrelated activities.

Counseling Theory/Practice and the Counseling Relationship

Continuing education programs in this content area provide an advanced understanding of the counseling processes.

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Examples: Foundational and well-established counseling theories, principles and techniques and their application in mental health settings; diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders; wellness and prevention within counseling and treatment; crisis intervention techniques for counselors to use in response to disaster or other rapid-onset trauma-causing events, including psychological first aid strategies; psychophysiological awareness and mindfulness in the counseling process; distance counseling; and biofeedback used in a mental health setting.

Human Growth and Development

Continuing education programs in this content area provide an advanced understanding of the nature and needs of individuals at developmental levels and are relevant to professional counselors and the counseling profession.

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Examples: Foundational and well-established theories, including personality theory, life span theory, learning theory and human development theory; end-of-life issues within the scope of practice of mental health professionals; and information related to developmental crises, disabilities, and situational, transitional and environmental factors that affect behavior.

Social and Cultural Foundations

Continuing education programs in this content area provide an understanding of the issues and trends in a multicultural and diverse society that impact professional counselors and the counseling profession.

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Examples: Multicultural competency as a professional counselor; societal subgroups; societal changes and trends; mores and interaction patterns; major societal concerns; social justice; and cross-cultural effects, such as acculturation, assimilation and multicultural and pluralistic trends.

Group Dynamics and Counseling

Continuing education programs in this content area provide an advanced understanding of therapeutic group development, dynamics and counseling theories and group counseling methods and skills.

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Examples: Group counseling theories and group counseling leadership styles, developmental stages in group counseling and related principles of group dynamics, group counseling methods and skills, and group members’ roles and behaviors within a mental health setting.

Career Development and Counseling

Continuing education programs in this content area provide an advanced understanding of career counseling, development and related life factors.

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Examples: Theories, principles and techniques of counseling as applied to work and career; career counseling processes and resources, including those applicable to specific communities and populations; career/life planning and decision-making models; life-work role transitions, including outplacement and retirement counseling; career development program planning, resources and program evaluation; assessment of workplace environment for purposes of job placement; trends in job search; and career avocational, educational, occupational and labor market information, and resources and career information systems.

Assessment

Continuing education programs in this content area provide an advanced understanding of approaches to assessment and evaluation in counseling practice.

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Examples: Diagnostic interviewing; clinical assessment and interpretation for use in treatment planning; ethical strategies for selecting, administering and interpreting assessment and evaluation instruments; information on the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM); implementation and interpretation of standardized assessment instrument protocols; new and existing assessments; issues related to assessment development; legal issues related to counselor authority to administer and interpret tests and inventories that assess psychopathology, abilities, interests and career options; and information on basic classification, indication and contraindications of commonly prescribed psychopharmacological medications, in order to make appropriate referrals for medication evaluations and to identify the side effects of medication.

Research and Program Evaluation

Continuing education programs in this content area provide an advanced understanding of research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment and evaluation, and ethical and legal considerations in research.

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Examples: Critical evaluation of research findings and its clinical implications, development of measurable outcomes for counseling interventions, foundational and well-established research design and methods, statistics in research, research report development and information on disseminating research findings, and critical evaluation of research findings.

Counselor Professional Identity and Practice Issues

Continuing education programs in this content area provide an understanding of various aspects of professional functioning as graduate-level counselors.

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Examples: National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) or American Counseling Association (ACA) ethical codes and conduct standards in professional counseling and/or counseling research; ethical decision-making models directly related to counseling practice; NBCC certification, state licensure and related mental health public policy; professional counseling organizations and associations, limited to NBCC, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP), and ACA and its branches and divisions; roles and processes related to counselor advocacy on behalf of the profession and the client; the counselor’s role and function as a member of an interdisciplinary team; starting and maintaining a counseling practice, including business-planning, quality control, service delivery, billing and reimbursement, fee-setting, capacity-building, referrals and ethical marketing; effective and ethical utilization of social media; counselor self-assessment to address areas for ongoing professional growth; critical analysis of emerging issues in the counseling profession; clinical supervision models, practices and processes for professional counselors; the counselor’s role and function as a professional consultant; the counselor’s role and function as a forensic interviewer; legal issues in professional counseling and/or counseling research; self-care strategies and burnout prevention appropriate to the counselor role; and grant writing for counselors and counseling programs.

Wellness and Prevention

Continuing education programs in this content area provide psychoeducational information for counselors to enhance their ability to promote optimal wellness related to client mental health.

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Examples: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), community-based wellness initiatives, conflict resolution, sex education, sleep hygiene, nutrition, and anger management.