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Course: What You Can Change and What You Can't: The Complete Guide to Successful Self-Improvement
by Martin E.P. Seligman

CE Credit Hours: 11
Fee: $44

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Today's self-improvement literature address all kinds of ills: addictions, assertiveness, eating disorders, fear of flying, sexual dysfunctions, weight loss, etc., etc. The confusion over what works and what does not work is understandable.

Martin Seligman has analyzed respected scientific research on treatments for alcoholism, anxiety, weight loss, anger, depression, and a range of phobias and obsessions to discover what is the most effective way to address each condition. He candidly describes what does not work, and pinpoints the techniques and therapies that do work best for each condition. He discusses why they work and how you can use them to make long-lasting change. He reviews the four natural healing factors for alcoholism recovery work; the vital difference between overeating and being overweight; the four therapies that work for depression, the pros and cons of anger and much more.

The scientific information will help therapists from varying approaches with differing clientele be more successful in their clinical settings.

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the clinician will be able to:

  • Describe the history of the self-improvement industry and its effect on how people view change.
  • Identify the three basic principles of biological psychiatry.
  • Compare and contrast the ideologies of biological psychiatry vs. psychotherapy and self-improvement.
  • Summarize scientific research on treatment for a variety of clinical conditions including alcoholism, anxiety, weight loss, anger, depression, and a range of phobias and obsessions.
  • Pinpoint the techniques and therapies that work best for each clinical condition and apply those techniques in clinical practice to help clients make long-lasting changes.
  • Describe Seligman's theory of depth and change.

Syllabus / Course Instructions

  • This course is suitable for CE for beginning, intermediate and advanced level clinicians.
  • The Course consists of reading the selected book, successfully completing an online posttest and filling out a course evaluation.
  • The printed book is not included in the cost of the course. It must be purchased separately. We have supplied a link to for your convenience.
  • Purchasing your course will give you access to both a printable copy of the test and an online version of the test. Print the test to use as a companion as you read the book and answer the questions.
  • You cannot exit the online test once you begin, so have your answers available.
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Bio: Martin Seligman

Martin Seligman received his A.B., Princeton University, Summa Cum Laude (Philosophy), in 1964 and his Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania (Psychology), in 1967.

His research on helplessness, depression, optimism and pessimism, has been on the forefront of positive psychology. He is currently the Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.

His bibliography includes more than 20 books and 170 articles on motivation and personality. Among his better-known works are Learned Optimism(Knopf, 1991), What You Can Change & What You Can't(Knopf, 1993), The Optimistic Child (Houghton Mifflin, 1995), Learned Helplessness (Freeman, 1975, 1993) and Abnormal Psychology (Norton, 1982, 1988, 1995, with David Rosenhan).
Dr. Seligman's research and writing has been broadly supported by a number of institutions including The National Institute of Mental Health (continuously since 1969), the National Institute of Aging, the National Science Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation. His research on preventing depression received the MERIT Award of the National Institute of Mental Health in 1991. He is the network director of the Positive Psychology Network and Scientific Director of the Values-in-Action Project of the Mayerson Foundation.

In 1996 Dr. Seligman was elected President of the American Psychological Association, by the largest vote in modern history. His primary aim as APA President was to join practice and science together so both might flourish a goal that has dominated his own life as a psychologist. His major initiatives concerned the prevention of ethno political warfare and the study of Positive Psychology.

Since 2000 his main mission has been the promotion of the field of Positive Psychology. This discipline includes the study of positive emotion, positive character traits, and positive institutions. As the science behind these becomes more firmly grounded, Dr. Seligman is now turning his attention to training Positive Psychologists, individuals whose practice will make the world a happier place.