The Center for Professional Development

Certificate in the Biology and Psychopharmacology of Behavioral Health

Fridays, October 11-December 13, 2013(see independent course dates below)
Full Certificate Discount Fee: $550
Standard course fee $125/workshop
30 CEUs for entire series

This certificate series is designed to look at the biological component within the context of recovery. Each course within this series will focus on the use of biological information as it applies to behavioral health. Issues associated with psychopharmacology will be presented without sacrificing a holistic approach to recovery. In fact, one of the courses will specifically look at practices that include shared decision making and working collaboratively with prescribing clinicians. In all courses within this series, biological and pharmacological information is presented in such a way that an extensive background in biology is not a prerequisite.

Overall learning objectives for this series include: 1) recognize the most common medications and associated side effects for medications prescribed for children, adolescents and adults with behavioral health diagnoses; 2) summarize the relationship between brain chemistry and medications that should (and should not) be prescribed for people with a mental illness and an addiction; 3) list three factors which must be considered when people in recovery who are working are also taking psychotropic medications; 4) summarize the basic chemical effects substances of abuse have on the central nervous system (CNS); 5) list three current and future pharmacological treatments for mental health disorders.

Craig Strickland, PhD, former Program Director at the Philadelphia Behavioral Health Training & Education Network and current educational and program consultant, has researched and taught extensively in the areas of the biological etiology of mental illness and substance abuse and psychopharmacology.

Those who complete the full program of five courses within the current Professional Development program year will receive a frameable certificate of completion at the final session. There are two registration options
(1) Register for the Full Certificate* at $550. The full fee must be submitted upon registration;OR
(2)   Register for the eight independent workshops at the standard course fee (see below). Payment for each session must be submitted at least one week prior to class date.

*Registration and pre-payment of the full certificate program fee assumes attendance at all five sessions. Refunds of unused portions of full certificate discount fee will not be granted.

OCTOBER 11, 2013
Basic Psychopharmacology and Non-Traditional Medications
9am-3:30pm - $125 - 6 CEUs
The morning portion of this course is designed to provide a basic overview of commonly prescribed medications used to treat emotional and psychiatric disorders. The primary classes of medication will be discussed including antipsychotic medication, anti-depressants anti-anxiety medications (anxiolytics) and mood stabilizers. Benefits, common side-effects and drug interactions are included in the lecture. The afternoon portion of this course will consider a range of treatment alternatives including both traditional and novel services/programs. As research into etiology and treatment dramatically expands our knowledge about pharmacological choices, a relatively new field of alternative medicine including herbal medications is rapidly growing. Some non-herbal treatments designed to lessen the symptoms of anxiety and depression are discussed. The benefits and side-effects of these treatments will be compared to traditional pharmacological agents such as the SSRIs and benzodiazepines.

OCTOBER 25, 2013
Co-Occurring Disorders and Pharmacology

9am-3:30pm - $125 - 6 CEUs
This course takes a look at best practice as it applies to prescribing, or not prescribing, psychotropic medications for the person in recovery who has both a mental illness and substance abuse (MISA) diagnosis. Each medication class will be discussed in terms of benefits and side effects and, whenever possible, recommendations of one medication type over another for the “dually-diagnosed” individual. Introductory material relating to the neuroanatomy and physiology of the central nervous system will also be presented and linked to why some medications should be prescribed and why others should be avoided for this population. Case studies will be used to illustrate some of the concepts presented.

NOVEMBER 8, 2013
Psychopharmacology and the Workplace

9am-3:30pm - $125 - 6 CEUs
The role of meaningful employment has long been associated with improved quality of life for those individuals with behavioral health disorders. Supported employment is widely recognized as a critical component of the current behavioral health recovery movement by both professionals and people in recovery. However, psychotropic medications are rarely prescribed while keeping vocational goals in mind and may, in fact, interfere with these goals. This course is designed to be a discussion of commonly prescribed medications and the effect they may have in terms of supporting or interfering with a person’s employment related activities. Upon completion, participants are able to: 1) recognize the importance of assessing and treating the cognitive and affective symptoms of mental illness in consumers in the workplace; 2) discuss the importance of recognizing and treating sleep dysfunction; 3) compare and contrast some medication classes in terms of their effects on psychomotor behavior; and 4) recommend at least three strategies to help consumers manage medication related issues in the workplace

NOVEMBER 22, 2013
Addiction and the Central Nervous System
9am-3:30pm - $125 - 6 CEUs
This course covers the basic elements underlying addiction and addictive behaviors in the central nervous system (CNS). Various classes of addictive substances are discussed in terms of relevant structures in the brain, neurochemical changes that occur from ingestion and the mechanisms of tolerance and withdrawal. Also included is data regarding the pharmacological treatment of addiction especially as this treatment modality applies to opiate and/or central nervous system depressant addiction. The course is taught so that an extensive background in neuroscience is not a prerequisite.

DECEMBER 13, 2013
Current Developments in Psychopharmacology/Final Wrap-Up

9am-3:30pm - $125 - 6 CEUs
With the advent of sophisticated research tools and technology, contemporary psychopharmacology research and practice is being driven by what we know about the etiology of mental health symptoms as well as what we know about how medications work in the brain. The morning portion of this workshop looks at specific medications developed to "normalize" altered brain chemistry that results in symptoms. The afternoon portion of this workshop will address participants' questions/concerns centering on medications used by their clients, as well as a general wrap-up of information provided during the prior Certificate sessions.