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The Painted Ponies:
Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents
Diagnosis and treatment, including sandplay, play therapy, family therapy, medication and psychoeducation

Katie Amatruda PsyD, MFT, CST-T, BCETS

This course meets the qualifications for 5 hours of continuing education,



By the time Sophie was 10, she had been kicked out of seven schools and seen four therapists. Her family suffered as she struggled with temper tantrums, mood swings, night terrors, oppositional behavior, social problems, and psychotic episodes. One week after her 11th birthday Sophie attempted suicide.


Gary was the "teenager from hell", according to his family. His rages had escalated to the point at which the police were frequently called. Was Gary bipolar, an addict, or just out-of-control?


This course will follow the treatment of Sophie and Gary and their families and look at how the assessment of bipolar disorder was made.

We will explore how bipolar disorder impacts the lives of children and adolescents with this illness, as well as their families.

Different treatment options based upon the client, such as play therapy, supportive therapy, family therapy, psychoeducation, medication will be discussed.

Differential diagnosis, medication, heredity, countertransference , nature and nurture, body and soul and the importance of acknowledging the wholeness in each other will be explored in the cases presented and in the links.  


This course meets the qualifications for 5 hours of continuing education

is approved by the:

Board of Registered Nursing (#13620)
California Board of Behavioral Science accepts our CE Provider Approvals through APA, NASW, and NBCC. Course meets the qualifications for hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Science
Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, Mental Health Counseling (BAP 753 )
NAADAC - The Association for Addiction Professionals (#575)
National Board for Certified Counselors - www.psychceu.com has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6055. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. www.psychceu.com is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. (ACEP #6055)
Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (#1761)
The Texas Board of Social Work Examiners (#6246)

maintains responsibility for the program.



Learning Objectives:

This course will allow the student to:

1. recognize the symptoms involved in the Bipolar Disorder diagnosis in children and adolescents.

2. identify the concepts of diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder in pediatric populations.

3. know the difference between bipolar disorder and other illnesses; be able to complete a differential diagnosis through the child's behavior and play.

4. understand the concept of bipolar disorder as a life long condition necessitating psychotherapy, medication and psychoeducation.

5. explore countertransference issues regarding bipolar disorder;

6. understand the high risk of suicide in people with bipolar disorder.

7. understand and choose between different treatment options based upon the client (play therapy, supportive therapy, family therapy, psychoeducation, medication, etc.).



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