The Importance of Continuing Education for Psychologists

Continuing education for psychologists is available in many forms and its importance cannot be overstated. Not only is it necessary in many states to renew the license to practice, it is of paramount importance for any mental health professional to stay current on the latest methods and research in his or her chosen field. As with any science, psychology isn’t a static field. There are always new ideas being added and old ones being dismissed. It is a living, breathing body of knowledge and any therapist who ignores the new in favor of the old does so at not only their own peril, but that of their patients.

When it comes to state requirements for continuing education for psychologists, the differences are vast. It is important for any therapist to learn what the requirements are for their own license renewal and meet those requirements in ways that are acceptable. Some states may have specific subject areas they want their psychologists to become more familiar with. For instance, in Florida and some other states, the Department of Health demands that their licenses be updated with additional classes in domestic violence. Other states may have an emphasis on drug abuse or suicidal behavior.

In addition to various requirements, continuing education for psychologists takes a number of different forms. Online learning is more popular now than it ever has been in the past. Students can learn through e-courses, taking seminars from online video, and interact with others who are trying to assimilate the same material. Of course, not everyone is comfortable with online learning and there is still plenty of opportunity for those people to further their education as well. In person courses and seminars are held all the time in every state and there are DVDs and book-based courses for those who prefer working on their own.

The benefits of continuing education for psychologists, of course, goes beyond simply fulfilling requirements to renew a license. It is vital to the survival and growth of the field in general. You wouldn’t purchase a piece of technology from the mid-70s and call it state of the art. While technology grows at a rapid pace, so do the sciences. In order to make sure you are providing your patients with the very best care and treatment possible, you have to be up on your field. That means reading the journals, attending seminars, and networking with your fellow psychotherapists. A well connected and informed therapist is a successful one.

Health Insurance Continuing Education for Producers

All health insurance professionals are required to acquire a certain amount of continuing education credits every 1-2 years depending on the state in which they reside in. Health insurance continuing education keeps agents up to date with the latest products available to their clients. Many agents choose to do their education online to save both time and money. This allows them to stay focused on writing new policies and signing new contracts. The real money in health insurance sales is selling to different corporations. Many corporations do their research and contact different health insurance companies so the companies’ employees get the best benefits possible. The health insurance agent in charge of selling the products must be up to date on current market trends and know exactly what small and large companies are looking for. Continuing education provides the knowledge to agents on new laws and regulations and also new services they can provide their clients.

Many agents hold both a life and health license so they need to complete certain classes to fulfill their continuing education for both licenses. A new agent should contact a reputable school to see when they are due and what courses they should take. An approved provider or an agent’s state can provide them with the correct courses to take and how many continuing education credits they need to stay in compliance. Agents who do not stay in compliance with state regulations could be subject to significant fines. The education provider will assist you over the phone and even take your order right then and there to assure you get what you need. Many online schools also report to the state within 24-48 hours from when you complete the course.

Continuing education schools will also let the agent know if you need a monitor present or your exam is open book. This is a very important rule to follow. Some states require a third party to watch you take the exam then sign an affidavit. Other states allow you to refer back to the textbook while taking the exam. Some states even require the agent to complete their continuing education in a classroom. Make sure to ask the provider what your state requires before you begin the course. Health insurance continuing education is essential and helps the agent and their clients stay up to date on the latest products available. Health insurance education also keeps the producers in compliance with their state to avoid any fines.

Using Social Networking Sites For Health Insurance

What is social Networking?

As paraphrased by the encyclopedia, social networking deals with the building of online communities. These online communities generally consist of individuals that share a common interest or activity and are interested in sharing that with others. Most social networks are web based and have several ways for individuals to interact.

Other forms of social networking have been around since personal computers began in the form of online bulletin boards (BBS’s) and forums. The unique thing about social networks today is that a network an individual belongs to can be made public to others. In other words, one individual can link his or her associates with another that can expose and share his or her associates.

List of social networking sites for health insurance

The advent of true networks began with a site called Six Degrees in 1997. Based on the theory of six degrees of separation, it linked users in a way we are familiar with today. Other major sites of this type include: My Space starting in 2003; LinkedIn starting in 2003; You Tube starting in 2005; Face Book starting in 2005; and Twitter starting in 2006. Although none of these is specifically designed for health insurance, you can find health and health insurance related information discussed within them.

Advantages of social networking sites for health insurance

Health reform is taking place now and people have lots of questions. The focus, now, is on fighting over what policies and options should be. But, as an expert in the field for many years I can tell you that regardless of the type of health reform that ends up being law, consumers will need to take more responsibility for their own care. I support reform and believe only good can come of it. But, currently, consumers have no idea of the knowledge they will need to posses to help get good care. This can be a major advantage for social networks. Consumers can learn and educate themselves through the experience of others. The information can be shared almost instantly. It could also be a form of informal health exchanges. The possibilities could be endless.

Disadvantages of social networking sites for health insurance

The main problem with passing information through social networks is that it is vulnerable to rumor and misinformation. This is true with the internet in general. Currently, few real experts actively participate in many of these networks and misinformation is often left un-challenged. Without proper education and knowledge, networking about health could be more trouble than it is worth.

Immortalizing Values Through Education for Sustainable Development

Education is the primary agent of transformation towards sustainable development, increasing people’s capacities to transform their visions for society into reality. Education not only provides scientific and technical skills, it also provides the motivation, and social support for pursuing and applying them. For this reason, society must be deeply concerned that much of current education falls far short of what is required. When we say this, it reflects the very necessities across the cultures that allow everyone become responsible towards quality enhancement.

Improving the quality and revelation of education and reorienting its goals to recognize the importance of sustainable development must be among society’s highest priorities. It is not that we talk only about environment but also about every component of life.

We therefore need to clarify the concept of education for sustainable development. It was a major challenge for educators during the last decade. The meanings of sustainable development in educational set ups, the appropriate balance of peace, human rights, citizenship, social equity, ecological and development themes in already overloaded curricula, and ways of integrating the humanities, the social sciences and the arts into what had up-to-now been seen and practiced as a branch of science education.

Some argued that educating for sustainable development ran the risk of programming while others wondered whether asking schools to take a lead in the transition to sustainable development was asking too much of teachers.

These debates were compounded by the desire of many, predominantly environmental, NGOs to contribute to educational planning without the requisite understanding of how education systems work, how educational change and innovation takes place, and of relevant curriculum development, professional development and instructive values. Not realizing that effective educational change takes time, others were critical of governments for not acting more quickly.

Consequently, many international, regional and national initiatives have contributed to an expanded and refined understanding of the meaning of education for sustainable development. For example, Education International, the major umbrella group of teachers’ unions and associations in the world, has issued a declaration and action plan to promote sustainable development through education.

A common agenda in all of these is the need for an integrated approach through which all communities, government entities, collaborate in developing a shared understanding of and commitment to policies, strategies and programs of education for sustainable development.

Actively promoting the integration of education into sustainable development at local community

In addition, many individual governments have established committees, panels, advisory councils and curriculum development projects to discuss education for sustainable development, develop policy and appropriate support structures, programs and resources, and fund local initiatives.

Indeed, the roots of education for sustainable development are firmly planted in the environmental education efforts of such groups. Along with global education, development education, peace education, citizenship education, human rights education, and multicultural and anti-racist education that have all been significant, environmental education has been particularly significant. In its brief thirty-year history, contemporary environmental education has steadily striven towards goals and outcomes similar and comparable to those inherent in the concept of sustainability.

A New Vision for Education

These many initiatives illustrate that the international community now strongly believes that we need to foster – through education – the values, behavior and lifestyles required for a sustainable future. Education for sustainable development has come to be seen as a process of learning how to make decisions that consider the long-term future of the economy, ecology and social well-being of all communities. Building the capacity for such futures-oriented thinking is a key task of education.

This represents a new vision of education, a vision that helps learners better understand the world in which they live, addressing the complexity and inter-contentedness of problems such as poverty, wasteful consumption, environmental degradation, urban decay, population growth, gender inequality, health, conflict and the violation of human rights that threaten our future. This vision of education emphasizes a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to developing the knowledge and skills needed for a sustainable future as well as changes in values, behavior, and lifestyles. This requires us to reorient education systems, policies and practices in order to empower everyone, young and old, to make decisions and act in culturally appropriate and locally relevant ways to redress the problems that threaten our common future. We therefore need to think globally and act locally. In this way, people of all ages can become empowered to develop and evaluate alternative visions of a sustainable future and to fulfill these visions through working creatively with others.

Seeking sustainable development through education requires educators to:

• Place an ethic for living sustainable, based upon principles of social justice, democracy, peace and ecological integrity, at the center of society’s concerns.
• Encourage a meeting of disciplines, a linking of knowledge and of expertise, to create understandings that are more integrated and contextualized.
• Encourage lifelong learning, starting at the beginning of life and stuck in life – one based on a passion for a radical transformation of the moral character of society.
• Develop to the maximum the potential of all human beings throughout their lives so that they can achieve self-fulfillment and full self-expression with the collective achievement of a viable future.
• Value aesthetics, the creative use of the imagination, an openness to risk and flexibility, and a willingness to explore new options.
• Encourage new alliances between the State and civil society in promoting citizens’ liberation and the practice of democratic principles.
• Mobilize society in an intensive effort so as to eliminate poverty and all forms of violence and injustice.
• Encourage a commitment to the values for peace in such a way as to promote the creation of new lifestyles and living patterns
• Identify and pursue new human projects in the context of local sustainability within an earthly realization and a personal and communal awareness of global responsibility.
• Create realistic hope in which the possibility of change and the real desire for change are accompanied by a rigorous, active participation in change, at the appropriate time, in favor of a sustainable future for all.

These responsibilities emphasize the key role of educators as ambassador of change. There are over 60 million teachers in the world – and each one is a key ambassador for bringing about the changes in lifestyles and systems that we need. But, education is not confined to the classrooms of formal education. As an approach to social learning, education for sustainable development also encompasses the wide range of learning activities in basic and post-basic education, technical and vocational training and tertiary education, and both non-formal and informal learning by both young people and adults within their families and workplaces and in the wider community. This means that all of us have important roles to play as both ‘learners’ and ‘teachers’ in advancing sustainable development.

Key Lessons

Deciding how education should contribute to sustainable development is a major task. In coming to decisions about what approaches to education will be locally relevant and culturally appropriate, countries, educational institutions and their communities may take heed of the following key lessons learnt from discussion and debate about education and sustainable development over the past decade.

• Education for sustainable development must explore the economic, political and social implications of sustainability by encouraging learners to reflect critically on their own areas of the world, to identify non-viable elements in their own lives and to explore the tensions among conflicting aims. Development strategies suited to the particular circumstances of various cultures in the pursuit of shared development goals will be crucial. Educational approaches must take into account the experiences of indigenous cultures and minorities, acknowledging and facilitating their original and significant contributions to the process of sustainable development.

• The movement towards sustainable development depends more on the development of our moral sensitivities than on the growth of our scientific understanding – important as that is. Education for sustainable development cannot be concerned only with disciplines that improve our understanding of nature, despite their undoubted value. Success in the struggle for sustainable development requires an approach to education that strengthens our engagement in support of other values – especially justice and fairness – and the awareness that we share a common destiny with others.

• Ethical values are the principal factor in social consistency and at the same time, the most effective agent of change and transformation. Ultimately, sustainability will depend on changes in behavior and lifestyles, changes which will need to be motivated by a shift in values and rooted in the cultural and moral precepts upon which behavior is based. Without change of this kind, even the most enlightened legislation, the cleanest technology, the most sophisticated research will not succeed in steering society towards the long-term goal of sustainability.

• Changes in lifestyle will need to be accompanied by the development of an ethical awareness, whereby the inhabitants of rich countries discover within their cultures the source of a new and active solidarity, which will make possible to eradicate the widespread poverty that now besets 80% of the world’s population as well as the environmental degradation and other problems linked to it.