How do I Choose the Best Counseling Continuing Education Courses?

A.C. Gaddis

To work as a counselor, social worker or psychologist, counseling continuing education courses are vital. Not only are continuing education courses a good way to stay abreast of the latest developments in counseling, they are necessary in many cases to maintain certification. In order to choose the best continuing education courses, you need to thoroughly research your options. The key is to find courses that are provided by an accredited educational facility that is licensed by a professional counseling organization or local government agency. You also need to make sure that the courses you take will fit into your schedule and meet your needs as a student and a professional.

Continuing education courses are vital to counselors, social workers and psychologists.
Continuing education courses are vital to counselors, social workers and psychologists.

Finding counseling continuing education can seem difficult, but researching your professional development options will make finding high quality courses easy. First, you have to research continuing education providers and make sure that they are licensed to provide you with quality, relevant continuing education. One place to check for continuing education courses is the agency where you earned your counseling certification. Many mental health professional organizations also provide lists of accredited continuing education facilities.

In addition to researching whether the education facility is licensed to provide certifications and quality continuing education, you can ask other counselors or social workers where they took their counseling continuing education courses. Most mental health professionals have to attend professional development programs to maintain their certification, so you know that others in your field probably have attended some form of continuing education class. You can ask your coworkers or other professionals where they took their continuing education classes, how much their courses cost and whether the classes were effective.

Another great option for finding continuing education is mental health professional conferences. Counseling continuing education courses are sometimes scheduled during conferences, so check with your local mental health professional organization for conferences held in your area. When you attend a conference for continuing education, make sure that it will provide a certificate or other proof of attendance.

To find counseling continuing education classes that will meet your needs as a student, take a minute to consider your educational goals and preferred method of learning. If you would like to take your career to the next level, getting a higher level degree at an accredited university might be a good option. If attending a university won’t fit into your schedule, however, you can get professional counseling continuing education online or from licensed professional training centers.

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