There are a multitude of ways mental health professionals can earn continuing education (CE) credits on various topics and through different routes to improve their professional abilities, broaden their knowledge, and stay current in the mental health field. That said, some CE credit offerings are more creative and innovative than others.
In this article, we’ll look at a few of these unique and cutting-edge alternative CE credit offerings that are available for the inventive therapist wishing to advance their professional development.
Professional licensing boards for mental health professionals require continuing education credits for license renewal. For example, mental health professionals in California must obtain 36 CE credits every two years to maintain their licenses. LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs all need to earn CEs annually.
Ultimately, CEs allow therapists to provide better care to the individuals they serve. There are a variety of methods and modalities in which professionals can earn these CEs, including online, through conferences, or at multiday workshops. Continuing education helps professionals recognize knowledge gaps as well as learn new skills. What’s more, they can network with others in the field and continue to advance in their career.
25 Creative CE Credit Offerings for Mental Health Professionals
For new and exciting ways for mental health professionals to earn CEs, here are 25 creative and innovative CE credit offerings.
A note from the creator/manager of Mind Remake Project: Please note that many of these CE credit offerings are associated with a cost. For free CE opportunities, visit 75 Free Online Resources for Continuing Education for Mental Health Professionals.
1. The Affirmation Couch
The Affirmative Couch is a committed advocate for the mental health of LGBTQIA+, consensually non-monogamous, and kink communities, working with both groups and individual providers. The organization was founded in response to the paucity of affirmative mental health care providers able to meet the needs of sexuality-, gender-, and/or relationship-expansive communities.
To address this problem, they take a multi-pronged approach: provide continuing education for affirmative psychotherapists, transform more group practices and clinics to become leaders in affirmative mental healthcare, empower beginner affirmative therapists with information, and create visibility of affirmative mental health professionals.
Current CE credit offerings range from $20 (1 CE) to $240 (12 CEs).
Find out more here: Gender-Affirming Therapy Training | LGBTQ Education Courses (affirmativecouch.com)
2. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions
ALLEGRA Learning Solutions designs and develops continuing professional education courses, certificate programs, curricula, classes, and workshops for an interdisciplinary audience, including nurses, health care professionals, and other interested individuals.
With a focus on integrative health, wellness, and a holistic perspective, they are the premier education provider for those who wish to enhance their health care knowledge, skills and abilities. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions believe that individuals have the capacity to heal themselves and that health care providers must deliver care with intention and in partnership so people can tap into their own innate healing abilities.
Currently, course offerings range from $10 (for 1 contact hour) to $40 (for 4 contact hours) with certificate courses ranging from $64 to $272.
Find out more here: Online CE Courses – ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC
3. California Association for Play Therapy
The Mission of the California Association for Play Therapy (CalAPT) is to sustain a community of support for play therapists and to promote an understanding of play therapy and its effective practice through outreach, training and research. They place a special emphasis on diversity and the developmentally appropriate treatment of children’s mental health.
Play therapy is a structured, theoretically-based approach to therapy that builds on the normal communicative and learning processes of children. Play therapy also may be used to promote cognitive development and provide insight about and resolution of inner conflicts or dysfunctional thinking in the child.
The registration fee for a workshop is around $100; CalAPT also provides free CE credit offerings for members.
Find out more here: CalAPT – CA Play Therapy Association (calplaytherapy.org)
4. Center for Council
Center for Council’s Council Training Level One (CT1) offers a thorough introduction to the pedagogy, modalities and forms of council practice and offers 15 CE credits. This workshop is an opportunity to develop your understanding of, fluency with, and capacity to engage in and facilitate council – a dialogic practice of authentic expression and attentive mindful listening – so as to integrate this evidence-based methodology into professional settings and personal practice.
Center for Council offers CT1 workshops throughout the year in the Los Angeles area and intermittently in locations throughout the US and Europe. Early bird registration fees start at $399.
Council Level Two and Level Three trainings are also offered for advanced practitioners who have completed Council Training Level One.
Find out more here: Council Training for Mental Health Professionals – Center for Council
5. Center for Reflective Communities
The Center for Reflective Communities (CRC) provides early intervention and parent training to enhance relationships between children and caregivers, leading to greater school readiness, increased academic achievement, and more productive lives. Their Reflective approach is especially effective in communities with risk factors including poverty, a history of loss or trauma, and other barriers to healthy child development and school readiness.
Currently, the cost for a virtual 12-hour Reflective Parenting Program Level 1: Fundamentals Training is $500.
Find out more here: Center for Reflective Communities
6. Center for Story and Symbol
The Center for Story and Symbol offers continuing education seminars and workshops on the psychology of fairy tales, mythic stories, creativity, movies as mythic imagination, and law and ethics for psychotherapists. CE credit offerings are available for psychologists, marriage & family therapists, teachers, social workers, nurses, and other mental health professionals. Courses meet requirements in most states.
Online interactive courses that provide CEs cost $140 and home study CE courses are $95. (Non-CE courses can be purchased for a lower price.)
Find out more here: Dr. Jonathan Young, Center for Story and Symbol – Continuing Education Workshops, Seminars, Home Study (folkstory.com)
7. Clearly Clinical
Clearly Clinical started out as Elizabeth ‘Beth’ Irias, LMFT’s passion project… she thought online CE credit offerings could use an upgrade. When she was a new therapist at a county-contracted facility, she went online for her CE courses because she didn’t have the money or time off for the in-person stuff. To her dismay, it seemed like the really great educational opportunities were reserved for the therapists with big wallets. Discouraged, she worked with what she had, and read online PDFs to get her CE credits.
As a result, Beth set out to create new online CE credit offerings* for therapists, social workers, psychologists, counselors, and addiction professionals that were affordable, meaningful, diverse, and accessible. “Why not podcasts?,” she thought.
*Several free CE courses available.
Find out more here: Clearly Clinical Podcast Continuing Education
8. Cognitive Leap
Cognitive Leap offers efficient, objective, and fun assessment tools, as well as engaging treatment systems that bring children, families, and clinicians together to support lasting functional improvements. They aim to empower and extend the resource capacities of clinicians and therapists globally, especially in developing nations and communities where high-quality mental healthcare is in limited supply.
Cognitive Leap is committed to developing and providing non-stigmatizing approaches for treating mental health conditions that empower patients by recognizing their strengths and talents while removing their barriers to success.
LeapPlatform is a clinician education and training platform with Cognitive Leap’s APA-certified program in digital treatments administration with CE credit offerings.
Find out more here: Cognitive Leap
9. Culture Ally
The Cultural Foundations Credential (CFC) is a multidimensional learning process through which participants gain the foundational skills, awareness, and practice required for effective intercultural interactions. The principles of cultural humility, intersectionality, antiracism, and social justice inform each aspect of the program and provide structure for this holistic process designed to spark transformational change.
Workshops for organizations start at $2,250 (for up to 50 participants).
Find out more here: Home – Culture Ally
10. Discovery Behavioral Health
Discovery Behavioral Health believes that everyone deserves a happy, rewarding life. That’s why they connect people, professionals, and payors through a seamless network of evidence-based treatment centers in communities nationwide. They believe when access to care is easy, recovery is possible.
Currently, Discovery Behavioral Health does not provide CE credit offerings, but they publish articles on mental health, substance use, and recovery, as well as a treatment locator tool.
Find out more here: Discovery Behavioral Health
11. The Drama Therapy Institute of Los Angeles
The Drama Therapy Institute of Los Angeles is accredited by the National Association for Drama Therapy as a training program for students and clinicians interested in the clinical applications of drama in therapy. It is a recognized and well-respected program at the forefront of drama, narrative, and creative arts therapy training, and offers an NADTA-approved alternative training track towards becoming a Registered Drama Therapist.
Drama therapy is the skilled and deliberate use of drama and theater to achieve therapeutic goals. It engages the imagination and involves participants intellectually, emotionally, and physically; it provides participants with a safe yet stimulating environment in which they can explore personal and family stories, set goals, uncover and express feelings, resolve problematic patterns, and (when appropriate), achieve catharsis.
Clinicians can register for courses such as Allies in Healing: Narradrama and Narrative Therapy and Dance Movement for Trauma for 1 CE credit offering per course hour.
Find out more here: The Drama Therapy Institute of Los Angeles (dramatherapyinstitutela.com)
12. Elevate You CE
Elevate You CE’s mission is to advance your skills, knowledge, and wellbeing so you can experience fulfillment and longevity in the mental health field. Elevate You CE knows how challenging your work can be and keep your wellbeing in mind when designing courses and coaching services.
Course fees range from $20 (for 1 CE) to $350 (for 12 CEs). A 30-hour Mindfulness Certification program is also offered for $799. Some examples of course offerings include Treating Grief After the Loss of a Pet, A Successful Path to Body Acceptance, and Getting the Shame Out of Substance Misuse.
Find out more here: Continuing Education that Values Clinician Well-Being | Elevate You CE
13. Feeling Good Institute
Feeling Good Institute is on a mission to improve lives. It was born to set the standards, train, organize, and support the therapist community practicing a highly effective form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) called TEAM-CBT.
Developed by Dr. David Burns, TEAM-CBT is eight times more effective than other treatment approaches. Clients see a 30% average reduction in suffering per therapy hour and meaningful improvement within 5 sessions.
In addition to comprehensive training courses, Feeling Good Institute offers free 1-hour webinars that introduce participants to basic CBT skills.
Find out more here: TEAM-CBT Training & Consultation | CBT Therapist Certification (feelinggoodinstitute.com)
14. A Home Within
A Home Within is the only national organization dedicated solely to meeting the emotional needs of foster youth. They envision a world in which every foster child has a relationship with at least one consistent, caring adult. They provide open-ended, individual psychotherapy, free of charge, to current and former foster youth.
While A Home Within does not currently provide CE credit offerings, they publish clinical resources and tools for mental health professionals.
Find out more here: Foster Care Psychological Services From A Home Within
15. Illuminated Education
Illuminated Education provides educational activities designed for people who are interested in issues related to psychology, healing, and other aspects of human thought, feeling, and behavior. The goal is to present up-to-date, thought-provoking content integrating material from psychology and other fields including (but not limited to) mind-body medicine, mindfulness practice, and eastern and shamanic approaches to health and healing.
CEs are offered for reading a journal article or other publication and then passing a test. Fees range from $10 (for 1 CE) to $90 (for 9 CEs).
Find out more here: Illuminated Education – Continuing Education Activities for Mental Health Professionals
16. Institute on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma (IVAT)
The Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma (IVAT) condemns violence and oppression in all its forms. They stand with all who work for equality and peace.
IVAT is a one-stop shop to address and end violence. They host two international summits annually, house three academic journals, maintain several research databases, provide program evaluation, consultation, and a wide array of trainings addressing violence, abuse, and trauma – many of which can be used toward specialty certificates and continuing education, and offer vital professional and clinical services to San Diego County and beyond.
Webinar training fees range from $20-$35 and offer 1-2.5 CEs.
Find out more here: Trainings Offered — IVAT (ivatcenters.org)
17. Natural Processing Trainings
For over three decades, two questions have driven the therapy orientation of Natural Processing Trainings: “How does our nature work, and how can we best work with that nature?” These questions have led them to find ways to work with the potential movement and integration of our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual natures.
“Natural processing” is the somatically-based, process-oriented therapy that emerged from the integration of multiple approaches to healing and growth.
Course fees range from $40-$375 (for 13.5 CE hours).
Find out more here: Homepage | Natural Processing Trainings
18. Pacific Anxiety Group
The Pacific Anxiety Group was founded by Stanford-trained clinical psychologists with expertise in the treatment of anxiety, stress, and depression.
The Pacific Anxiety Group is dedicated to training the next generation of evidence-based clinicians. They offer a practicum training program and postdoctoral training/psychological assistantships. PAG is also approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.
Find out more here: Training — Pacific Anxiety Group
19. Relationship Institute Training
The Relationship Training Institute was established to provide training, consultation, treatment, and research in the field of relationship development and relationship enhancement.
Organizational training opportunities are listed here with upcoming workshops listed here.
Find out more here: The Relationship Training Institute provides workshops on Domestic Violence Prevention, Partner Abuse Assessment and Treatment, and Relationship Development Seminars (rtiprojects.org)
Soultenders is committed to making quality mental health services accessible to all by offering licensed mental health providers with their administrative needs so they can focus on their clients and their private practice instead of the paperwork.
Soultenders provides CE credit offerings that go further than meeting the requirement standard and also meet the professional needs of therapists. They offer CEs for social workers, psychologists, counselors, and MFTs. (Registration required to enroll in courses.)
Find out more here: Continuing Education Center – Soultenders
21. Spiritual Competency Academy
The Spiritual Competency Academy offers mental health professionals a selection of over 30 unique online courses that provide the skills and knowledge to become more spiritually competent. Their foundational curriculum starts with a course on how to conduct an evidence-based and spiritually sensitive spiritual assessment. Other courses cover a wide variety of topics including self-compassion, mindfulness, and forgiveness.
All courses are free to enroll in (after registering for a free account); CEs are offered for a fee (averaging around $10 per credit hour).
Find out more here: Spiritual Competency Academy
22. Stand InBalance
After experiencing the powerful and profound changes that can occur through partnership with horses, Stand InBalance founder Dr. Val transitioned from her private practice in Santa Monica to developing the Stand InBalance Ranch.
Stand InBalance is proud to offer innovative CE courses for psychologists, LMFTs, LCSWs, and addiction treatment counselors. Their small group CE workshops and retreats provide a combination of didactic and experiential learning designed to enhance clinical skills, and bring more joy and resonance to your life and practice.
Examples of CE courses offered for mental health professionals include Intro to Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Growth & Learning Workshop, Countertransference and Restorative Experience Workshop, and Moving from Resistance to Resonance.
Find out more here: For Therapists & Healing Professionals – Stand InBalance
23. Two Chairs
Two Chairs believes that high-quality care starts with taking care of clinicians. They are building a mental health system that takes care of you by prioritizing your personal wellbeing, providing opportunities for growth and connection, and empowering you to do work you enjoy.
For free CE credit offerings, join the Two Chairs Clinician Community.
Find out more here: For Therapists | Two Chairs
24. A Window Between Worlds
A Window Between Worlds (AWBW) believes that creating art is a human right. They exist to empower individuals and communities impacted by violence and trauma through a transformative healing arts program.
AWBW views art as a catalyst to release trauma, build resilience, and ignite social change. When individuals create art in a safe community they can be heard and respected – replacing violence and shame with safety and hope.
Earn CEs by registering for a Windows Facilitator Training where you will get everything you need to implement art programming and become a Certified Windows Facilitator, as well as gain ongoing access to an expanding curriculum of 600+ strengths-based art workshops and free professional development opportunities.
Find out more here: Facilitator Trainings | AWBW
25. Zur Institute
The Zur Institute provides a variety of learning modalities and address challenges professionals are likely to routinely encounter. Their content embraces diverse approaches and orientations, and recognizes the importance of addressing diversity across a broad-spectrum including, but not limited to, culture, race, age, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic variables.
The Zur Institute currently has over 120 unique courses with CE credit offerings ranging from $19 (for 1 CE) to $199 (for 26 CEs). Additionally, sign up for their newsletter for free resources and promotions.
Find out more here: Courses By Subject – Zur Institute
To conclude, online trainings, podcasts, webinars, and in-person workshops are a fantastic method to discover the most recent developments and evidence-based treatments in the field of mental health. CE credit offerings are a great approach to advance knowledge and expand expertise while maintaining the standards for licensure. For therapists wishing to advance their professional development, there are numerous innovative and creative CE credit offerings to choose from.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sydney Scanlon, Executive Development Specialist, Center for Council
Sydney Scanlon has been working in nonprofits across the world focusing on issues of healthcare, education, equity, and mental health. She has published research experience in climate change and health, childhood trauma, and psychedelic therapy. She has been working in marketing and design for universities, nonprofits, and musicians.