When I was trained to be a mental health therapist, I was taught how to offer therapy for wide variety of psychological problems – but not for psychosis. We were essentially taught that human problems were understandable up until a certain point, but beyond that ….”There Be Dragons!” And these “dragons” could only be addressed by drugs, so people should simply be sent to the psychiatrist and not offered any therapy.
It is now more widely understood that “psychosis” is often an understandable response to life difficulties and trauma, and that therapy can at least often be helpful. But in most locations in countries like the US, training in how to get started in practicing therapy for psychosis is simply not available.
To help remedy that, I’ve put a lot of time into putting together 2 online continuing education courses that people can take anywhere, to get a great start in learning to be effective in helping people recover from “psychotic” difficulties!
Online courses allow people to watch video lectures and demonstrations at their own pace, while also being able to ask questions in writing, and get answers (within a few days) as they go along. The two courses (currently on sale) are:
CBT for Psychosis: An Individualized, Recovery Oriented Approach (5 CE credits),
Working with Trauma, Dissociation, and Psychosis: CBT and Other Approaches to Understanding and Recovery (6 CE credits). I’m the instructor for both of these courses.
The regular price for each course is $90, but they are available for less, just $50, at the above links.
Both courses provide both a deeply humanistic view of the difficulties involved in “psychosis” along with practical and understandable “evidence based” approaches to being helpful. And both come with CE credits for most US mental health professionals (more detailed information about CE credits is available at this link.)
Registration gives you lifetime access to the videos and other course materials, you can go back and review them whenever you want.
What follows are descriptions for each course, followed by some testimonials from students:
CBT for Psychosis (5 CE): Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for psychosis is an evidence-based method to reduce distress and disability related to psychotic experiences, and to support a possible full recovery. Psychotic experiences are conceptualized as being understandable in relationship to an individual’s life story, and capable of being altered when people experiment with different ways of thinking and behaving. Learn how to collaborate with people having these experiences, “exploring the evidence” rather than imposing beliefs, and developing coping options so people are not forced to rely entirely on the often limited effectiveness of medication to address problems.
The course starts by examining the nature of psychosis and CBT, providing a foundation for understanding how CBT can be helpful. Then the basic style of CBT for psychosis is introduced, followed by an introduction to two of the most important techniques. Finally, applications of CBT are explored for some of the main problem areas, such as hearing distressing voices, paranoia, delusional beliefs, disorganization, and negative symptoms.
Included in the course are video lectures, slides with some diagrams, video demonstrations of CBT for psychosis being practiced, and links to additional resources for further study.
- “Thank you! My perspective on psychosis has changed. I was trained in the psychiatric/medical model and I now see psychosis in a different light! :)”
- “Being a therapist and supervisor who wants to expose other therapists and students to CBTp, this is a great place to start. Ron describes and explains the elements of person-centered psychotherapy and CBTp quite well, giving a good foundation for interested students and practitioners to build upon…… Nicely done.”
- “Meaty exceptional material, very engaging and enjoyable. I have had some CBT training but this is by far the best approach that is person centered and offers real promise in being helpful! I actually looked forward to each lecture with a sense of anticipation and discovery.”
- “Ron Unger provides an insightful and multi-dimensional view of working from a cognitive behavioral perspective with those who struggle with strained reasoning and or serious “mental illness”. He provides clear interventions from the CBT perspective and the role playing videos are helpful and entertaining. Highly recommended to all interested in helping people “RECOVER”!”
Working with Trauma, Dissociation, and Psychosis (6 CE): If you’re experience has been like mine, you’ve noticed that our modern mental health system typically pays little attention to the way difficult life experience often eventually pushes people into “madness” or what is called “psychosis.”
And even when professionals manage to admit there might be a connection between something like trauma and psychosis, there’s often few ideas available about how to bring an understanding of that connection into practical treatment options which offer the hope of resolution and recovery.
That’s the gap that Working with Trauma, Dissociation, and Psychosis, CBT and Other Approaches to Understanding and Recovery is intended to fill; it explores the links between adverse experience, dissociation, and later psychotic experience, and then outlines a number of methods which can be used to facilitate coping and recovery.
The course is designed to make sense to people new to this subject matter, but also contains a lot of material that will be of interest to experienced practitioners.
- “It is research-based and also the speaker is easy to follow and what he says makes sense in light of my own experience, and also my knowledge of anthropology, which is often completely ignored by psychological approaches. In addition, the material integrates and makes sense of a lot of supposedly different phenomenon and sees many kinds of unusual behavior on a continuum with more usual behavior.”
- “Great expertise and knowledge and communication. Very relevant to the clients I work with. I find myself writing almost everything down and replaying.”
- “The content is at the forefront of the field of psychiatric medicine and the delivery, engaging. Being that the US medical model is so outdated there is very limited availability for US practitioners to learn these updated treatment tools.”
- “This is beyond my expectation; it is giving me a lot of insight.”
- “This class is so informative and so detailed. Mr. Unger provides examples of the kinds of challenges one might encounter and addresses how to tackle these. There is a ton of additional material which contributes to the depth of this course. Thank you.”