Friday, June 7th, 2024 10:00 AM EDT -1:00 PM EDT Rus Devorah (Darcy) Wallen, LCSW, ACSW, CIMHP
The field of Epigenetics is a hot topic in the scientific community. The root, “Epi” – means above, beyond, transcending, and “Genetics” – refers to inherited genes or our DNA sequences. The main principles of Epigenetics take a diametric turnaround from our old concept of what is inherited (nature, DNA), and what is due to life experiences and exposures (nurture). In the past, we thought “inherited” phenomena such as medical and mental health predispositions were a fait accompli - a lifelong sentence. For instance, if a grandfather and his son had heart problems, and both generations died early because of them, thus, it was considered likely that the child of the next generation would die at an early age from these problems as well. Today we have knowledge about epigenetic marvels that can improve such odds. It is encouraging to know that we do have some control over the remediation of our inherited health history. So, by optimizing sleep, movement, diet, and other lifestyle changes as well as reducing one’s chronic stress response and reactivity one can attain epigenetic benefits. Physiological conditions such as diabetes, heart problems, insomnia, fatigue, gut issues, systemic inflammation, etc., can be improved and even cured.
In this presentation, participants will learn the basic concepts of Epigenetics and how this burgeoning field relates to mental health. We will explore its extensive research and color the talk with real-world examples. Building on that knowledge, we will share practical applications for enhancing attendees' own positive genetic expression. Empirical examples from the presenter’s psychotherapy and wellness coaching practice, as well as her personal health experiences, will round out the discussion. During this session, we will actively reflect together on how knowledge about this promising field can benefit our client’s mental and physical health, with the hopes that attendees will gain practical ideas for their own well-being, for their patients, clients, colleagues, and loved ones. The PowerPoint notes and additional resource materials will be available for later study.
- At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to articulate the fundamental connection between epigenetics and mental health, demonstrating an understanding of how epigenetic mechanisms influence mental health outcomes.
- Following the presentation, attendees will be able to recall and list a minimum of five distinct factors that can epigenetically modulate mental health. These factors will include both positive and negative influences on mental health outcomes.
- By the end of the session, participants will possess a range of tools, techniques, and interventions to effectively integrate epigenetic concepts into their professional practice. This integration will enable them to enhance positive genetic expression in individuals seeking mental health support.
- Welcome and brief overview of the presentation's objectives and topics
- Definition and basic concepts of epigenetics
- Epigenetics and Health
- Exploring the relationship between epigenetics and health, particularly mental health
- Overview of epigenetic research on physiological conditions such as diabetes, heart problems, insomnia, fatigue, gut issues, systemic inflammation, etc.
- Research examples and recurrent themes in this field.
- Real-world examples of epigenetic benefits for improving physiological conditions
- Historical precedence for emotional, psychological, and medical epigenetic effects (i.e., Dutch Hunger Winter, Holocaust, etc.)
III. Epigenetics and Lifestyle Changes
- The impact of lifestyle changes on epigenetic expression
- Research examples
- The connection between sleep, movement, diet, and other lifestyle factors and epigenetics
- Empirical examples from the presenter’s psychotherapy and wellness coaching practice, as well as her personal health experiences, to demonstrate how lifestyle changes can improve epigenetic expression.
- Epigenetics and Mental Health
- Epigenetics and mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety
- The connection between chronic stress response and epigenetic expression
- Real-world examples of epigenetic benefits for improving mental health conditions.
- Reflection and Discussion
- Discussion on how knowledge about epigenetics can benefit our client's mental and physical health.
- Sharing practical ideas for attendees' own well-being, their patients, clients, colleagues, and loved ones.
- Conclusion, Discussion and Q&A
- Summary of the key points and takeaways from the presentation
- Additional resources and materials for further study
- Closing remarks and questions.
This presentation is open to:
- Behavior Analysts
- Social Workers
- Professional Counselors
- Licensed Mental Health Practitioners
- Other professionals interacting with populations engaged in mental health based services
This online class is offered at an intermediate level ,and is beneficial for an intermediate level clinician:
- New practitioners who wish to gain enhanced insight surrounding the topic
- Experienced practitioners who seek to increase and expand fundamental knowledge surrounding the subject matter
- Advanced practitioners seeking to review concepts and reinforce practice skills and/or access additional consultation
- Managers seeking to broaden micro and/or macro perspectives
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- Satisfactory Completion: Participants must have paid the tuition fee, logged in and out each day, attended the entire webinar, and completed an evaluation to receive a certificate (If this is a pre-recorded program, a post-test with a passing grade of 80% to receive a certificate.) Failure to log in or out will result in forfeiture of credit for the entire course. No exceptions will be made. Partial credit is not available. Certificates are available after satisfactory course completion by clicking here
- Participants will receive their certificate electronically upon completion of the webinar and course evaluation form.
- There is no conflict of interest or commercial support for this program.