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Medical & Healthcare Programs ►Mental Health Technician Specialist Certificate Program

This training program combines a two course training track:

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Mental Health Technician

Under the direction and supervision of a psychiatric nurse, psychologist or psychiatrist, as a mental health technician you provide care to mentally ill and emotionally disturbed patients. Your specific care duties might include monitoring patient behaviors, emotions and physical conditions; recording patient statistics, such as temperature and blood pressure; administering medications; providing direct personal interaction with patients; encouraging patients to take part in social activities; helping patients maintain personal hygiene and leading therapy sessions. You also confer with superiors about patients and assist with the implementation of treatment plans.

The Job Outlook

According to a 2011 report issued by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, potential employers include psychiatric hospitals, mental health facilities, residential mental retardation centers and substance. State agencies, general medical hospitals and family services providers are also potential employers. About 62,500 people worked as mental health technicians in 2008. By 2018 employment was projected to rise six percent to 66,100 workers total. Job growth was expected to be driven by an increasing population of elderly patients and their need for mental health services. Opportunities at residential facilities are expected to be strong due to an ongoing trend in favor of residential care over hospital care.

Abnormal Psychology

The Abnormal Psychology course is the study of abnormal behavior in order to describe, predict, explain and change abnormal patterns of functioning. Designed for anyone interested in the way we perceive and respond to our experiences, and especially for people considering careers in psychology, this course covers the dynamics and prevention of abnormal behavior, including neuroses, psychoses, character disorders, psychosomatic reactions, schizophrenia, and other abnormal personality patterns.

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Define abnormality and current trends in treatment
  • Identify common conditions of stress and anxiety
  • Identify common mood disorders
  • Identify eating disorders and the effects drugs have on the body
  • Define disorders that span the lifetime

Mental Health Technician

This Mental Health Technician course provides a solid background in mental health so you can work comfortably with clients who exhibit both effective and maladaptive behaviors. Nurses, case managers, psychiatric technicians, direct care providers, and other health care professionals will increase their awareness and understanding of a holistic view of mental health care with this comprehensive online training program. A variety of therapies and treatments are explored to assist in dealing with psychological or psychosocial problems, such as substance use conditions, medical illnesses, developmental delays and disabilities, and social stressors such as poverty, domestic violence, and homelessness.

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Recall the history and current trends of mental healthcare
  • Name the characteristics of common psychiatric disorders
  • Define human behavior and different elements affecting it
  • Identify methods for assisting those suffering from loss of life
  • Recognize legalities related to the mental health office

Abnormal Psychology Module 1

The Field of Abnormal Psychology

  • The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DMS)
  • Abnormal Human Behavior
  • History of Abnormal Behavior
  • Behavioral Characteristics
  • Personality Characteristics
  • Associative Risk Factors
  • Research in Abnormal Psychology
  • Psychodynamic Theory
  • Free Association
  • Dream Theory
  • Research Design

Abnormal Psychology Module 2

Perspectives, Assessment & Classification

  • Psychodynamic Perspective
  • Humanistic Perspective
  • Existential Perspective
  • Behavioral Perspective
  • Cognitive Perspective
  • Biogenic Perspective
  • Sociocultural Perspective
  • Assessment
  • Clinical Observation
  • Classification
  • Observational Learning
  • Operant Conditioning

Abnormal Psychology Module 3

Therapies & Anxiety Disorders

  • Psychodynamic Forms of Psychotherapy
  • Behavioral Therapy
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Biogenic Therapy
  • Electro-Convulsive Therapy
  • Psychosurgery
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Panic Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Gestalt Therapy
  • Analysis of Resistance

Abnormal Psychology Module 4

Dissociative Disorders, Physical Conditions & Personality Disorders

  • Somatoform Disorders
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Psychological Factors Affecting Physical Conditions
  • Cancer
  • AIDS
  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Hypochondria
  • Pain Disorder
  • Relaxation Training
  • Biofeedback
  • Personality Disorders
  • Paranoid Personality Disorder
  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Abnormal Psychology Module 5

Mood, Psychotic & Substance-Use Disorders

  • Mood Disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorders
  • Dysthymia
  • Depression
  • Mania
  • Suicide
  • Substance-Use Disorders
  • Drugs of Abuse
  • Aversion Therapy

Abnormal Psychology Module 6

Sexual Disorders, Organic Disorders & Mental Retardation

  • Sexual Disorders
  • Fetishism
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Gender Disorders
  • Gender Identity Disorder
  • Organic Disorders
  • Mental Retardation
  • Down Syndrome
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Huntington's Chorea
  • Korsakoff’s Syndrome

Abnormal Psychology Module 7

Children and Adolescents, Eating and Sleeping Disorders & Legal Issues

  • Abnormal Behavior of Children
  • Abnormal Behavior of Adolescents
  • Autism
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Eating Disorders
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Sleeping Disorders
  • Narcolepsy
  • Sleep Terror Disorder
  • Legal Issues
  • Social Policy

Mental Health Technician Module 1

Mental Health Care: Past and Present

  • The History of Mental Health Care
  • Early Years
  • 19th Century United States
  • 20th and 21st Centuries
  • Current Mental Health Care Systems
  • Care Settings
  • Delivery of Community Mental Health Services
  • Client Populations
  • Ethical and Legal Issues
  • Sociocultural Theories
  • Psychotherapies

Mental Health Technician Module 2

Theories and Therapies

  • Influences of Culture
  • Cultural Assessment
  • Historical Theories
  • Developmental Theories and Therapies
  • Behavioral Theories and Therapies
  • Humanistic Theories and Therapies
  • Cognitive Theories and Therapies
  • Body-Based CAM Therapies
  • Energy-Based CAM Therapies

Mental Health Technician Module 3

Principles and Skills of Mental Health Care

  • Psychotherapeutic Drug Therapy
  • Classification of Psychotherapeutic Drugs
  • Client Care Guidelines
  • Skills for Mental Health Care
  • Principles and Practices for Caregivers
  • Mental Health Assessment Skills
  • Mental Health Treatment Plan
  • The Health History
  • Mental Status Assessment

Mental Health Technician Module 4

Therapeutic Environment

  • Theories and Characteristics of Communication
  • Levels of Communication
  • Dynamics of the Therapeutic Relationship
  • Characteristics of the Therapeutic Relationship
  • Roles of the Caregiver
  • Problems Encountered in the Therapeutic Relationship
  • Use of Inpatient Setting
  • Goals of the Therapeutic Environment
  • The Therapeutic Environment and Client Needs

Mental Health Technician Module 5

Childhood to Adulthood

  • Normal Childhood Development
  • Environmental Problems
  • Emotional Problems
  • Behavioral Problems
  • Mental Health Problems of Adolescence
  • Therapeutic Interventions
  • Adult Growth and Development
  • Mental Health Problems of Adults

Mental Health Technician Module 6

Cognitive Impairment and Managing Anxiety

  • Overview of Aging
  • Common Problems of Older Adults
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Dementia
  • Types of Anxiety
  • Stages of Dying
  • Hospice Care

Mental Health Technician Module 7

Illnesses and Depression

  • The Nature of Illness
  • The Hospitalization Experience
  • Loss and Grief
  • The Dying Process
  • Theories Relating to Emotions and Their Disorders
  • Emotions Throughout the Life Cycle
  • Mood Disorders

Mental Health Technician Module 8

Physical and Dissociative Issues

  • Role of Emotions in Health
  • Anxiety and Stress
  • Somatic Symptom Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Sleep-Wake Disorders
  • Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation Within the Community
  • Continuum of Self-Concept Responses
  • Self-Concept Throughout the Life Cycle

Mental Health Technician Module 9

Anger, Outward and Inward Focused Emotions

  • Theories of Anger and Aggression
  • The Cycle of Assault
  • Anger-Control Disorders
  • Social Factors and Violence
  • Mental Health Disorders Relating to Violence
  • Impact of Suicide on Society
  • Dynamics and Theories of Suicide
  • Suicide Throughout the Life Cycle

Mental Health Technician Module 10

Substance, Sexual, and Personality Disorders

  • Role of Chemicals in Society
  • Categories of Abused Substances
  • Characteristics of Substance Use and Abuse
  • Sexuality Throughout the Life Cycle
  • Modes of Sexual Expression
  • Psychosexual Disorders
  • Personality Throughout the Life Cycle
  • Theories Relating to Personality Disorders

Mental Health Technician Module 11

Schizophrenia and Chronic Mental Health Disorders

  • Psychoses Throughout the Life Cycle
  • Theories Relating to Psychoses
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Public Policy and Mental Health
  • Experience of Chronic Mental Illness
  • Special Populations
  • Challenges for the Future
  • Change and Mental Health Clients

Required Materials:

  • All materials are included in this course.


Upon successful completion of our Mental Health Technician course, students will be prepared for an entry-level position in a mental health setting and will be prepared to sit for the NCCB national certification exam to become a Certified Mental Health Technician (CMHT).