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.