Approved Continuing Education Topic Areas

Activities taken for recertification credit need not be from an NBCC approved provider. However, the activities must fall under one of the following content areas OR be counted under "Unrelated Programs" activities, which are limited to 20 hours per certification period (see the Ways to Earn Continuing Education page for details). Continuing education activities taken for recertification credit must focus on increasing knowledge and/or skills in one or more of the areas listed below.

Counseling Theory/Practice and the Helping Relationship
Approved topics in the area include: historic and well-established contemporary counseling theories, principles and techniques of counseling and their application to professional settings; information on the use of the current edition of the DSM; diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders; the mind-body connection and its applications in the counseling setting; psychopharmacology and the role and effect of psychotropic medications in mental health; burn-out prevention designed for helping professionals; counselor self-understanding designed for mental health professionals; crisis/disaster counseling; mediation or coaching training designed for mental health professionals.
Human Growth and Development
Approved topics in this area include: the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels; normal and abnormal human behavior; personality theory; life-span theory; learning theory; and end-of life issues.
Social and Cultural Foundations
Approved topics in this area include: societal changes and trends; human roles; societal subgroups; social mores and interaction patterns; multicultural and pluralistic trends; social or cultural issues affecting individuals, couples and families; differing lifestyles; major societal concerns, including violence, poverty, terrorism, stress, person abuse, substance abuse, religious/spiritual issues, and discrimination; and, methods for alleviating such concerns.
Group Dynamics, Processing and Counseling
Approved topics in this area include: group development, dynamics and counseling theories; group counseling leadership styles; basic and advanced group counseling methods and skills; other group counseling approaches; theories of family counseling; family dynamics and roles of family members; and addictions group counseling.
Career Development and Counseling
Approved topics in this area include: career developmental theories; occupational and educational information sources and systems; career and leisure counseling, guidance and education; lifestyle, career and retirement decision-making; career development program planning, resources and effectiveness evaluation; worker behavior and adjustment; and workplace issues affecting worker performance and behavior.
Assessment
Approved topics in this area include: group and individual educational and psychometric theories, and approaches to appraisal; data and information gathering methods; psychometric statistics; factors influencing appraisals; administering appraisal instruments and interpreting appraisal results in helping processes; and, legal issues affecting counselor rights to administer and interpret tests and inventories that assess psychopathology, abilities, interests, and career options.
Research and Program Evaluation
Approved topics in this area include: types of academic and professional research; basic statistics; research-report development; research implementation; counseling program evaluation; needs assessment in the counseling setting; publication of counseling research information; and, ethical and legal considerations in counseling research.
Counselor Professional Identity and Practice Issues
Approved topics in this area include: philosophic bases of the helping processes; professional roles and functions; professional goals and objectives; professional organizations and associations; professional history and trends; ethical and legal standards; professional preparation standards; professional credentialing in mental health; federal and state laws and regulations affecting counselors; practice management issues for mental health professionals; the counselor as professional consultant; administration and management of counseling programs; clinical supervision of mental health professionals.
Multiple Sessions/Conferences
Includes total clock hours earned through multiple sessions which earned several NBCC approved content areas. Examples (under this content area) would include ACA national conferences and a series of in-service sessions covering many topics.