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5.0 Clock Hours Home Study Recorded Video

5.0 Hour Continuing Education Credits are provided as a recorded video session if you pass the post-test following the course video content. The certificate of completion will be emailed to you within 10 minutes after passing the post-test.

New brain research on how to help clients with focus, motivation, trauma, anxiety, and stress has dramatically changed because of new data on the neuroendocrine system, including the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis. Over the past 10 years, new brain scanning technology has combined with new understandings of epigenetics, including the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and gene editing, CRISPR. Through this course, you will be introduced to how this new research has changed our theories and treatment models for the stress related disorders, attentional problems, and glimpse into how future research may inform our understanding of this previously perplexing and misunderstood system.

Content Areas: Counseling Theory/Practice and the Counseling Relationship

Human Growth and Development

Social and Cultural Foundations

Wellness and Prevention

The convergence of research on the neuroendocrine system, the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) Axis, and epigenetics has led to new insights on stress. Chronic and acute use of our fight, flight, or freeze system creates changes in our brain that are related to mental health disorders in ways we’ve never understood as well as we do now. This course will review new evidence in order to teach participants how to more accurately diagnose and enhance treatment techniques.

This is a comprehensive course that will review research and breakthroughs provided by novel data as well as changing past misconceptions about our neuroendocrine system. Practice on more effective techniques of providing psychoeducation to clients will be provided. The course also focuses on understanding how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) shape our threat response and stress systems, hormones, prime us for how we experience and cope with stressful events, and more.

The course will complete an overview of the most common questions and misconceptions people have about how our brain perceive and interpret stressors. Learners will be prepared to respond to client questions and present information in digestible and useful terms that is clinically relevant. Case vignettes and clinical examples as well as educational videos will also be provided as discussion and practical application in the course. Useful videos and digital handouts will also be provided.

Course Objectives:

Workshop attendees can expect to

· Be able to identify the function of the Hypothalamus

· Be able to identify the function of the Anterior Pituitary Gland

· Be able to identify the function of the Adrenal Cortex

· Be able to explain the interaction between the pieces of the HPA Axis.

· Be able to understand how past research on the HPA Axis informs care.

· Be able to understand how current research on the HPA Axis informs care including brain imaging information

· Be able to explain the interactions between the HPA axis including negative feedback

· Be able to provide psychoeducation on the HPA axis in verbal or visual format.

· Be able to understand purpose and function of HPA in formation of trauma

· Be able to understand how the HPA axis plays a role in the treatment of trauma

Course Outline:

1) Introduction

     a) Disclaimers

     b) Instructor information

     c) Course objectives

2) What is the HPA Axis (Objective 1, 2, 3, and 4)

     a) Definitions

         a. Stress

         b. The brain

         c. Emotions

     b) Understanding Brain Research

         a. fMRI and MRI

         b. CATS

         c. PETS

         d. EEG

     c) What is the Hypothalamus

         a. Placement

         b. Function

         c. Sympathetic and Parasympathetic

     d) What is Anterior Pituitary gland

         a. Placement

         b. Function

     e) What is Adrenal Cortex

         a. Placement

         b. Function

     f) Measurement

    g) Causes (Nature or Nurture)

    h) The Takeaway

     i) Discussion: Over and under desensitization?

3) History and Current Data (Objective 5 and 6)

     a) Early History

         a. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

         b. Using definitions in research and the field

         c. Stress in the body

     b) Modern Research

         a. ACE scores

         b. Gene-environment-HPA axis

         c. Acute stress

         d. Toxic stress

     c) The Takeaway

     d) Discussion: Accessibility

4) Functions and Adaptations? (Objective 7 and 8)

     a) Epigenetics

         a. Definitions

         b. Gene-expression as psychiatric issues

    b) Identifying “healthy” functioning

         a. Perceived Threats

         b. Safety and control

    c) Identifying “unhealthy” functioning

         a. Analogy

         b. “Malfunctioning” or “learned adaption”

    d) The Takeaway

    e) Discussion: Form and function

5) From the Lab into Practice (Objective 9 and 10)

     a) Definitions

     b) The Cycle/Problems

         a. Risk factors

         b. Protective Factors

     c) Fear cycle work

         a. Avoidance and fear

         b. Fear ladders

     d) Treatment

     e) The Takeaway

      f) Case Study: Philip

     g) Discussion: What will you remember?

     h) Further readings

6) Questions and Answers

Other Course Information: Partial credit/partial attendance is not allowed for this course.

If you have any questions about this course or would like to request accommodations, you can contact us If a participant or potential participant would like to express a concern about the or a continuing education program provided by, the individual may email Although we do not guarantee a particular outcome, we will consider the complaint, make any necessary decisions, and respond as soon as possible. If you have any questions regarding a refund, you can view our policy page and legal notices found at the bottom of this webpage or you can contact us


National Provider Number (NPI): 1417308024

Washington State License Number: LH60827185

Leo DeBroeck, MS, LMHC, CMHS, MHP is Child Mental Health Specialist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Washington State. He is CBT Plus certified through the University of Washington and Harborview Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress Center. He has worked full-time at a community health center as a Mental Health therapist with a team of other Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists. he has previous experience working with children and adolescents at an intensive inpatient program in Spokane, Washington for several years. He has completed his Masters of Science in clinical psychology with his thesis on factors in suicide. He has published scientific research on young adults related to suicidality. He writes and has published children's therapy books for use in counseling settings. These are published on Amazon, for use in therapy settings addressing grief, addiction, neglect, abuse, self-confidence and others. He is the president and founded an LLC called Counselor's Choice Award that reviews counseling products and therapeutic tools. This also offers Continuing Education Courses. He has taught Continuing Education courses throughout the United States of America, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. He has worked in several different levels of care for mental health treatment including long-term inpatient care, WISe wraparound intensive services, school-based therapy services, and outpatient clinical settings.

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Provider Contact Information

Phone: +1 (425) 931-5336

Mail: 3516 NE 75th St #8, Seattle, Washington, 98115, USA

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