|| Neuroscience Track | Technology Track
What Mental Health Clinicians Need to Know About the Immune System
Presented by Penijean Gracefire, LMHC, BCN, qEEG-D
As mental health counseling becomes more informed by neuroscience, discussion around connections between mind and brain and body have evolved to include the critical roles of the central nervous system, neuroendocrine hormones, and immune response (Eskandari, 2006). Strategies recommended by mental health professionals for handling stress have expanded beyond the cognitive and emotional management realm, and have begun to encompass everything from sleep hygiene to breathing exercises to biofeedback technology (Firth, 2019). The current political, economic and healthcare landscape are undergoing significant changes, and mental health professionals may find themselves increasingly challenged to help clients better navigate a complex and unstable environment in the pursuit of well being (Kiecolt-Glaser, 2010). Since 2000, researchers have produced a growing framework of observational and biological evidence suggesting that the body's defensive immune response, rather than the infection itself, may be what damages the brain. Further, chronic stress may activate a harmful immune response, even in the absence of infection. (Dantzer,2008). This presentation will review the relevant fundamentals of biology and neurophysiology, and present emerging research currently shaping the conversation around how mental health is affected by inflammation, infection and injury (Jacka, 2010). Resources will be introduced to support clinicians as they update their intake procedures to help better identify physiological variables potentially contributing to mental health symptoms. Practical suggestions will be provided to help with both educating the clients and providing more comprehensive treatment plans, and the developing role of teletherapy and therapeutic technologies will be highlighted as options and recommendations are discussed.
|| Specialized Clinical Assessment Track | Forensic Evaluation Track
Can I Do That? The Counselor's Guide to Psychological Testing
Presented by Aaron Norton, LMHC, LMFT, CCMHC, CFMHE
Survey data demonstrates that many clinical mental health counselors (CMHCs) are confused about counselors and psychological testing. Some think we can only administer and interpret certain types of tests, some think we can administer but not interpret tests, and others think we can do anything a psychologist can do. This training seeks to clarify the issue of CMHCs and psychological testing, as well as introduce CMHCs to a variety of tests that they can use to improve clinical practice. Attendees will be given an in-depth introduction to free online assessment measures created by the American Psychiatric Association that they can start using immediately with clients, whether they are students, interns, or licensed counselors. They will also become familiar with sections of the 2020 AMHCA Code of Ethics that pertain to psychological testing.