Improving Focus, Motivation and Stress Response: Utilising New Research in Epigenetics and the Neuroendocrine System

Improving Focus, Motivation and Stress Response: Utilising New Research in Epigenetics and the Neuroendocrine System

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The convergence of research on the neuroendocrine system, the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) Axis, and epigenetics has led to new insights on stress. Chronic and acute use of our fight, flight, or freeze system creates changes in our brain that are related to mental health disorders in ways we’ve never understood as well as we do now.


This course will review new evidence in order to teach participants how to more accurately diagnose and enhance treatment techniques.


This is a comprehensive course that will review research and breakthroughs provided by novel data as well as changing past misconceptions about our neuroendocrine system. Practice on more effective techniques of providing psychoeducation to clients will be provided. The course also focuses on understanding how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) shape our threat response and stress systems, hormones, prime us for how we experience and cope with stressful events, and more.

The course will complete an overview of the most common questions and misconceptions people have about how our brain perceive and interpret stressors. Learners will be prepared to respond to client questions and present information in digestible and useful terms that is clinically relevant. Case vignettes and clinical examples as well as educational videos will also be provided as discussion and practical application in the course. Useful videos and digital handouts will also be provided.

Workshop participants can expect to

  • Be able to identify the function of the Hypothalamus
  • Be able to identify the function of the Anterior Pituitary Gland
  • Be able to identify the function of the Adrenal Cortex
  • Be able to explain the interaction between the pieces of the HPA Axis.
  • Be able to understand how past research on the HPA Axis informs care.
  • Be able to understand how current research on the HPA Axis informs care including brain imaging information
  • Be able to explain the interactions between the HPA axis including negative feedback
  • Be able to provide psychoeducation on the HPA axis in verbal or visual format.
  • Be able to understand purpose and function of HPA in formation of trauma
  • Be able to understand how the HPA axis plays a role in the treatment of trauma

Leo DeBroeck is a Mental Health Practitioner and Child Mental Health Specialist in Washington State (USA). He is CBT Plus certified through the University of Washington and Harborview Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress Centre. He has completed his Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology at Eastern Washington University with his thesis on factors in suicide. He has experience working with children and adolescents at an intensive inpatient program in Spokane, Washington for several years.


Leo works full-time at a community health centre as a therapist with a team of  Marriage and Family Therapists,  Clinical Social Workers, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners, and Psychologists. He has worked in several different levels of care for mental health treatment including long-term inpatient care, WISE wraparound intensive services, school-based therapy services, and outpatient clinical settings. He also works as a quarterly faculty lecturer for Eastern Washington University’s satellite campus at Bellevue College. He teaches night classes to graduate and undergraduates in foundations of psychotherapy, trauma: assessment, management, and treatment, cognitive and behaviour change, and others. He has published peer-reviewed scientific research on young adults related to suicidality.


He has written several children’s therapy books, which are published on Amazon, for use in therapy settings addressing grief, addiction, neglect, abuse, and others. He is the president and founder of Counsellor’s Choice Award, LLC which reviews and promotes scientifically validated therapeutic tools and books.

This online workshop will give you instant access to video content, accessible via streaming on our website. This course also includes PowerPoint slides and downloadable research/references and additional handouts and resources you can use in your practice. You can view the course content in your own time, there is no time limit on access.


The duration of this workshop is 6 learning hours.


A certificate of completion will be generated upon finishing the course and completing a multiple-choice evaluation quiz. Please consult your professional organisation/association to confirm whether you are able to claim any CPD points/hours for this online workshop.