Mental Health Continuing Education Formats

No matter which health care field you are in, you will find that you must pursue education after college and post-college training in order to maintain your competitive edge and often to become certified as well. If you need mental health continuing education, you will find a wide range of formats available to you. By choosing the format that best fits your schedule, you can continue to meet the needs of your patients while pursuing the education vital to your career.

Online Courses

Online courses offer one of the most convenient ways to pursue a new certification or simply refresh your mind about topics important to your career field. Online mental health continuing education allows you to study on your own time schedule. If you need to be in the office for a 12-hour day, you can postpone study for the next day when you have few patients scheduled. You can read or listen to a lecture on your lunch break, or you can finish the entire course in a short time frame to earn your credits quickly. If flexibility is what you need, the online courses will work well.

Evening Classes

Some times the best way to ensure that you get the mental health continuing education that you need is to sign up for an evening class or two. Set aside one or two evenings a week, dedicate them as time spent furthering your training, and then use those evenings to attend a course at a college in your area. It may take a while to earn a certificate or complete a degree on this schedule, but you should be able to get enough credits to maintain your certification, while still keeping your schedule free to help your patients.

Seminars

Seminars provide mental health continuing education in a condensed format. Instead of returning to the university week after week, you set aside a day or two to hear speakers talk about hot topics in the psychotherapy field. You come away with a wealth of information covering many topics, as well as a few credits to add to your resume. When you attend a seminar, the time spent away from the office yields valuable information and practical tools you can bring back to the clinic to implement with your patients.

Online Seminars

Sometimes the best speakers and trainers do not come to your area. Rather than traveling long distances to find a seminar, see if you can find online seminars, or "webinars" that cover the topics you need to learn more about. This combines the flexibility of online coursework with the condensed training found in a seminar. Best of all, you do not have to leave home to earn your mental health continuing education credits.

Each of these formats has benefits and drawbacks. Some require an ongoing time commitment, while others may require you to close up shop for a few days. You must weigh these benefits and drawbacks carefully as you decide which format for training best fits your needs.