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The Psychosocial Aspects of a Pandemic Virus

The human spirit and soul are at stake for clients and mental health professionals at the epicenter of the COVID Generation. The surge of medical, physical, and mental health disorders, the stench of death in hospitals and tent cities that are lying on the coronavirus battlefield, reminds us of the frailty of human life. There is no beginning, middle, and end to a viral contagion that can morph into mutant variants and be transmissible within 24 hours. This is because infectious diseases and lethal viruses have been present throughout human history since the beginning of time.

The 6-hr continuing educational course, The Psychosocial Aspects of a Pandemic Virus, explores, highlights, and provides practical guidelines delineating the unique mental and psychosocial health characteristics of the COVID-19 pandemic and its mutant variants.

The material presented in this course differentiates viral pandemics from other natural disasters. It explores healthy-unhealthy, normal-abnormal behavior, and clinically significant aspects that are unique to pandemics. The research and practitioner material offered in this course is based on the instructor’s 10th professional text; Counseling Practice During Phases of a Pandemic Virus (American Counseling Association/Wiley & Sons, 2021).

Currently, we are in the midst of a paradigm shift within the field of disaster mental health counseling and psychology. Preparing for a mental health crisis requires being attuned to the future mental health needs of adults, families, and children with strategies for prevention, intervention, mental, and psychosocial health treatment.

It would be naïve to think that once most of the world’s population has been vaccinated, the medical, physical, psychological, and psychosocial impacts of the COVID-19 virus would just disappear. Rabies still exists today, despite Louis Pasteur’s development of a successful vaccine in 1885. Despite the development of other vaccines such as the tetanus vaccine (1927), measles, mumps, and rubella (1971), hepatitis B (1982), and hepatitis A (1995), all these viruses have potential to be a public health crisis in certain occupational settings and regions of the world. In the best-case scenario, epidemiologists and public health experts believe that if herd immunity is achieved through global immunization, COVID-19 and its mutant variants will be reduced to an endemic disease. Accordingly, it is anticipated that the mental and psychosocial health impacts of the COVID-19 virus have created a unique type of historical trauma. 

The literature in infectious disease, virology, epidemiology, public health, and mental health suggests the medical, physical, psychological, and psychosocial impact of COVID-19 and its mutant variants is anticipated to remain chronic, persistent, and virulent for many years to come. Accordingly, COVID-19 booster vaccinations and other disease mitigation measures will be required to maintain low incidence and prevalence to ensure that severe disease and hospitalization will not be required. The mental and psychosocial health concerns of the COVID Generation will require our attention for many years ahead due to the historical trauma that has resulted in serious illness and well-over 600,000 coronavirus-related deaths. 

From a healing perspective, it is therapeutic for others to understand that we are all having a normal response to an abnormal critical event. Because there is no beginning, middle, and end to a viral contagion, then healing in and out of the phases of a pandemic virus is not a destination; rather, it becomes a journey of the human spirit. A major takeaway to this 6-hr continuing educational course is the Pandemic Risk and Resiliency Continuum (PRRC) model developed by the course instructor which depicts the dynamic factors of risk and resiliency throughout phases of a pandemic virus. The work is unique for mental health and other behavioral health professionals offering guidelines for therapeutic engagements in a variety of settings, individuals, and vulnerable populations.

By Mark A. Stebnicki, Ph.D., LCMHC, DCMHS, CRC, CMCC

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It was one of the best courses I’ve attended; clear, well-structured, creative, transparent and professional! Bravo.
Elizabeth Tramonte, PsyD
Private Practitioner / Elizabeth Tramonte PC

The course was very detailed and informative. It covered everything that is necessary to work with Tele mental health.

Cynthia Allison
Mental health Counselor / Friendly Therapy LLC
Brillant concept and a great way to support counselors as they transition into on-line therapy/services.
Bianca Abrams
License Professional Counselor / The Wellness Institute of Atlanta
I took the Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider Training Certification Course in 2018, I feel so lucky to have found the TeleHealth Certification Institute. It's a top notch training center which has continued to provide me with tools and the knowledge to grow my private teletherapy practice. I recently participated in the TeleMental Health Preparedness Summit 2020 and was definitely not disappointed. The excitement and enthusiasm from the participants and TeleHealth Certification Institute staff is contagious. I've been inspired, since, to look into taking more courses, and joined their FaceBook group. I will likely join their consultation group in the near future. I don't believe there is another training institute out there that is as good as this one for everything telebehavioral health. Thank you Ray! You are a visionary!
Larissa Golloub, LCSW-R
Psychotherapist, solo practitioner / Larissa Golloub, LCSW
This course was very interesting and allowing me to understand the way telementalhealth services need to work correctly.
Patricia A Hill
Mental Health Counselor II and LCDC, MAC / Central County Services
Wonderful free training. Helpful discussion on how to aid clients in breaking out of the negative thought trap.
Jaime Wright
Necessary technological guidance!
Frances D Murdock
This course was extremely helpful understanding the legal requirements for interstate telehealth counseling.
Donald Kirk Henderson
Licensed Professional Counselor / Milestone Family Resources
I learned a lot in this course and will put what I learned into practice when I move my home office space.
Raymond Corbo
Clinical Supervisor and Counselor / Redeemer Counseling Services
Vey helpful and user friendly. Most importantly informative. Very good information to enhance an individual's practice.
La Keicia Boyd
Licensed Professional Counselor / Private Practice
This was quite beneficial. You explained well at a comfortable pace and you provided sufficient details for me to develop an Emergency Management Plan. Thank you!
Dr. STEPHEN KIURI GITONGA
Very informative training, instruction was clear and easy to follow
Jill Bogan-El
Therapist
Great, course. Really helped me during this challenging time to connect with students.
Priscilla Robinson
School Counselor / Baltimore County Public Schools
Educational and informative content that was easy to follow and comprehend.
Scott Lipp, Ph.D., LMHC, LAC, NCC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor; Adjunct Professor / Greater Things, LLC; Florida Atlantic University
I really gained a deeper understanding of Telehealth. I think this course helps pave the way for success in our field. This was very convenient. I am so blessed to take a course like this during the crisis we are facing as a nation. This course really helps me perform at a high level for my job. THANKS!!!!!!!
Jackie Tanna
Therapist / Region One Mental Health
The training was well structured and presented by a knowledge individual. Information shared in the training was useful, clear, and concise and can easily be incorporated into future practice techniques.
Dora Falls
LPC, MAC Private Practice - / Private Practice
Very informative. I learned things that I wasn't aware of about state laws!
Tamara Coleman
Counselor / Tamara Coleman Counseling LLC
Courses were very informative! Extremely helpful!
Carron D. Alexander
LPC / Premier Counseling Services
The course was so informative and I was glued to my screen for the entire duration. I received so much knowledge concerning ethics in telehealth and I am greatly encouraged to read about all the standards and policies that pertain to my practice. Thank you!
Bridgette Nalumu
Public health consultant / Green and Purple Consultancy Network
This course is providing me with valuable information that will be helpful in providing competent and effective services for clients.
Nancy Sweet-Holp, LMSW
Therapist / Liberty House of Albany
Amazing and relevant information conveyed over excellent format. This is a professional organization worth joining.
Summer Allan Wilson LCSW-S; Nationally Certified TFCBT
Pediatric Psychotherapist / East Texas Family Guidance Center
Easily one of the best online or in-person workshops I have ever attended. The information was unbelievably relevant to current practice with our students doing e-learning and having to provide online therapy and support. Thank you so much for this workshop and the information.
Vincent Amador
School Psychologist / Thornridge High School
Very informative! Well organized! Takeaway- protect yourself- know your ethical code and standards/ be insured.
Brenda Staerker
Private practice / Thaxton Holistic Wellness
This course was eye opening and highlighted some definite areas for improvement to better address emergency management planning.
Nikkita Scott
Director of Counselling & Student Activities / Bbermuda College
Thank you for an informational, relevant course to help me obtain my TMH certificate. Excellent presentation.
Tomica Horton
counselor/therapist / Jodi Province Counseling Services
This course was very informative and very relevant to today's telehealth practices!
Keith Ayson
Housing Case Manager / Bridgeways
Very well done. Encourages active engagement in telemental health process while guiding effectively.
Chris Brotherton
Marriage and Family Therapist / Addiction Counselor / Brotherton Counseling LLC
The training was very informative, there was more in-depth information to the details of privacy and HIPAA on an electronic level that I was not aware of. The more technological part of it was new information to me.
Nellie Decker
Therapist II / Yakama Nation Behavioral Health
This course is more comprehensive than all the other HIPAA courses I've taken combined.
Michelle R. Gould, LMHC
Mental Health Counselor
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