Tag Archives: American Counseling Association

Irvin Yalom to welcome questions at ACA Conference

By Bethany Bray January 31, 2017

Attendees of the American Counseling Association 2017 Conference & Expo in San Francisco will have an opportunity to direct their questions to a living legend in the field of mental health.

Irvin Yalom, noted psychiatrist, author and scholar, will deliver the opening keynote speech on March 17 at the ACA Conference. He plans to format his talk as a live interview, fielding questions from the audience. Afterward, he will sign books and take photos with attendees.

“Dr. Yalom has influenced my personal and professional life for many years; his books have often brought a light to my thought process and a shine to my heart,” says Catherine B. Roland, ACA president and chair of the counseling program at the Washington, D.C., campus of the

Dr. Irvin Yalom, pictured at ACA’s 2012 Conference & Expo in San Francisco.

Chicago School of Professional Psychology. “He is the perfect person to speak, given his gentle direction forward — always forward, with hope.”

ACA’s 2017 conference will run March 16-19 at the Moscone West Convention Center
in San Francisco. Jessica Pettitt will give the Saturday keynote address on March 18.

An existential psychiatrist, Yalom is professor emeritus of psychiatry at Stanford University and author of more than a dozen books, both nonfiction and fiction. He also delivered the keynote address the last time that ACA held its conference in San Francisco, in 2012.

Yalom lives with his wife, Marilyn, in California, where he writes and sees clients at his private practice. His latest title, a memoir, is in the editing process and will be published by Basic Books.

 

CT Online sent Yalom some questions to learn more and get his thoughts on speaking at the upcoming ACA Conference.

 

 

What motivated you to accept this speaking engagement to address thousands of professional counselors?

I am devoted to our field of helping others in need, and I am honored to be invited to address such a large and important group of therapists.

 

What can American Counseling Association members expect from your keynote? What might you talk about?

The format is an interview, and I’m open to discussing my personal history and the development of my particular interests in the field. Namely, group therapy, individual therapy with an emphasis on existential factors and the use of the relationship, and my use of narrative in teaching psychotherapy.

 

Many counselors consider you a professional influence and inspiration. What would you want them to know about your experiences and career path?

[In my keynote, I’ll be] glad to discuss my own development in the field and how I’ve reacted toward psychoanalysis and interpersonal approaches, group approaches and groups for learning interpersonal skills and for inpatient and outpatient psychotherapy.

 

What advice would you give professional counselors, particularly those who may be early in their careers?

Learn as much as possible about all the various approaches, but don’t forget that it is the intensity, the depth and the genuineness of the therapist-client relationship that really is the instrument of change. Also get yourself into therapy — and I advise [seeing a therapist] more than once and with individuals from varying schools [therapy methods]. And leap at the opportunity to be in a group with peers.

 

 

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Dr. Irvin Yalom will speak Friday, March 17, at the 2017 ACA Conference & Expo in San Francisco and sign books afterward. His keynote will also be live-streamed online. Find out more at counseling.org/conference/sanfrancisco2017

 

Find out more about his work and his books at yalom.com

 

 

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Bethany Bray is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Contact her at bbray@counseling.org

 

Follow Counseling Today on Twitter @ACA_CTonline and on Facebook at facebook.com/CounselingToday.

 

 

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Opinions expressed and statements made in articles appearing on CT Online should not be assumed to represent the opinions of the editors or policies of the American Counseling Association.

 

Powerful conversations, with a side of laughs

By Bethany Bray January 23, 2017

Consider yourself warned: The keynote address on Saturday, March 18 at the American Counseling Association 2017 Conference & Expo in San Francisco will cover some uncomfortable topics.

The speaker, Jessica Pettitt, has a gift for diving into things that are tough to talk about. At the same time, she brings a warmth and humor to the conversation. Pettitt is a stand-up comic in addition to her work as a professional speaker, trainer and author.

Jessica Pettitt

“Jessica Pettitt — educator, student affairs professional, comedian and talented storyteller, will be with us in San Francisco, helping us spread the joy and discover the humor within the crucial sociopolitical scene right now in our world,” says Catherine B. Roland, ACA president and chair of the counseling program at the Washington, D.C., campus of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. “We will go on a journey of politics, theory, advocacy, current events and narrative. And, we will laugh!”

Pettitt specializes in conversations about diversity, LGBTQ issues and other topics. According to her website, her talks “weave together politics, theory, current events and storytelling with large doses of humor reminiscent of Bob Newhart, George Carlin, Wanda Sykes and Paula Poundstone.”

ACA’s 2017 conference will run March 16 – 19 at the Moscone West Convention Center
in San Francisco. Dr. Irvin Yalom will provide the opening keynote on Friday, March 17.

Pettit lives in Eureka, California, with Loren, a philosophy professor, and their two dogs. They will be making a family trip to San Francisco in March to attend ACA’s conference and the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

CT Online sent Pettitt some questions to learn more about her work and her thoughts on speaking at the upcoming ACA Conference.

 

You specialize in speaking about diversity. How did you get into this area? How does it fit your personality and your passion?

I have always been that voice in the room. In sixth grade, my first research paper was on the hypocrisy of sodomy laws. I grew up in Texas, and that [research paper] was more controversial than most might expect. I also competed in our state speech tournament on eugenics, electroshock therapies and mandated birth control [coverage] for low-income women.

I have always needed to give voice to the injustices around me. I stumbled into this being a career as I worked in higher education for the past 15 years, both on campuses and now as a professional speaker and trainer. My personality isn’t just rooting for the underdog, but using my privileges, earned and accidental, to right hypocrisy. I think my own work in a counselor’s office has helped me come to peace with my Jedi skill of finding patterns and naming the missteps in a way that allows everyone to feel welcome to the conversation. A good dose of humor doesn’t hurt either.

 

What do you want professional counselors to know or keep in mind about this topic — especially when so many issues regarding diversity have made headlines over the past year?

It’s hard. It’s been hard. It will be hard. That is why you are often underpaid and overworked. It is important to remember that even though we all (including me) have job security, we must work toward our unemployment. The day no one needs our services means we have healed the planet. Until then, we have to remember to pack our lunch and get to work. This has been the same no matter who is president, whether or not we are at war and no matter our age or generation. Same work. Same tools. This matters.

 

Your bio mentions that an understanding of yourself and others as “differently right” is important in advocacy. Can you elaborate on that?

The concept of “differently right” is the backbone of being good enough now. When striving for perfection and excellence, we tend to get frustrated with and by others. Moreover, we frustrate others. To be good enough, right now, to keep trying to try, we have to take responsibility for how we show up, consciously and unconsciously, and hold a space for whatever is frustrating to be powerful in a way that we aren’t. I am not going down a moral relativism route here – holding a space for someone else to be powerful or “differently right” for 30 seconds allows your space to listen and hear the other person. Once we can more genuinely connect with someone else, we can often uncover patterns of what is missing in ourselves and collaborate together better. And, yes – you, and others, can be wrong.

 

From your perspective, how does your focus dovetail with mental health and counseling?

What doesn’t? Communication, diversity, business, innovation, creativity — I can keep going but these elements are [all] connected to human interaction, on or off the couch. Mental health providers are three-dimensional community members who need to be cared for too as much as their patients when they are at work. We must work to bridge the “on the clock” and “off the clock” realities together for no other reason than keeping them apart hasn’t really been successful.

 

What made you accept this speaking engagement to address thousands of professional counselors?

Continuing education credits. Just kidding! My job is to host powerful conversations that allow folks to heal and continue their good work. Doing this allows me to continue my good work. This is why I speak anywhere I can, as often as I can.

I really only have two skills: 1) giving voice to things that are really hard to talk about and 2) folding fitted sheets.

Oddly, it is number two that gets folks immediately excited. If you want a copy of my folding fitted sheets video, drop me an email at Engage@GoodEnoughNow.com and I will send it along. Your shelves will thank you and then we can get back to the topic at hand.

Honestly, with all that is going on in the world right now, I am honored to be of service as your closing keynote speaker.

 

What can attendees of the American Counseling Association Conference expect from your keynote? What might you talk about?

I don’t want to ruin the surprise, plus anticipation is a good thing, so I will say this: You [will] need a piece of paper and a pen. You will also need to prepare ahead by bringing a full and complicated life history with you to the keynote.

Those of you who think you are boring, that is complicated enough, so just show up. We will map out together how to deal with the most frustrating people, topics and situations, and ACA members will develop a plan right there on one sheet of paper how to keep trying to try. If it goes as planned, you will laugh as much as you learn.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

People feel very vulnerable right now, and some of those people are counselors and mental health workers. Together our work matters, and you are really on the front lines. Thank you for your time, energy and commitment to conversations that matter.

 

 

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Jessica Pettitt

Jessica Pettitt will speak Saturday, March 18, at the 2017 ACA Conference & Expo in San Francisco. Her address will also be live-streamed online. Find out more at counseling.org/conference/sanfrancisco2017

 

Find out more about Pettitt and her work at goodenoughnow.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bethany Bray is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Contact her at bbray@counseling.org

 

Follow Counseling Today on Twitter @ACA_CTonline and on Facebook at facebook.com/CounselingToday.

 

 

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Opinions expressed and statements made in articles appearing on CT Online should not be assumed to represent the opinions of the editors or policies of the American Counseling Association.

Counseling’s connector-in-chief

By Bethany Bray June 30, 2016

When you see Catherine Roland at a professional event, the number of lives she has touched throughout her career soon becomes clear.

“You can go to any American Counseling Association conference, and when [Roland] walks down the hall, people are constantly stopping her, running up to her, hugging her. She’s left behind quite a trail of very accomplished people,” says Vincent Viglione, clinical assistant professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. “Without her, I would not be where I am today. And it’s not just me. She gives constant, very intentional support, good advice and goodwill through it all. She’s very interested in the betterment of the profession.”

Roland, chair of the counseling program at the Washington, D.C., campus of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, becomes the American Counseling Association’s 65th president on July 1.

“I think of her as the pied piper of counselor educators. She has a gift for it,” says Larry Burlew, a retired counselor educator and licensed professional counselor (LPC) who worked with Roland at the University of New Orleans and Montclair State University. “She draws people in and knows how to connect well with people. She’s extremely friendly, very loyal and high energy. She’s the glue. She glues people together.”

Many of Roland’s former students have gone on to educator or leadership roles within the counseling profession. Some now pass on her example of mentorship to students of their own. A case in point: Monica Osburn, a past president of the American College Counseling Association, says she was one of five students from her Ph.D. cohort with Roland at the University of Arkansas who went on to become ACA division presidents.

Richard Balkin, another member of that Ph.D. cohort and a past president of the Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling, says Roland’s legacy extends to the students he graduates as a professor at the University of Louisville. “They all know who Catherine Roland is. They see her as part of their lineage,” Balkin says. “It really is an ACA family that she has created. … She’s very good at making connections. She’s very relational in her leadership approach. That’s one of the real treats of knowing Catherine and working with her.”

Although Roland has held many titles throughout her career, she says her role of mentor is one of the most important to her. “I was mentored well, and I’ve always thought that was important. You pay it back,” Roland says. “It’s something that you give to someone, and they give it to other people. … My book of students past is very long, and that is such a gift.”

Career journey

Roland brings a diverse skill set to the ACA presidency. She has worked in private practice; in student affairs as a college dean, residence life director and director of a college counseling

Catherine Roland, chair of the counseling program at the Washington, D.C., campus of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Catherine Roland, chair of the counseling program at the Washington, D.C., campus of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology

center; and as an educator, both in public school classrooms and as a counseling professor.

As a counselor, Roland’s areas of focus and expertise include LGBT issues, trauma and aging. She is a past president of the Association for Adult Development and Aging, a division of ACA, and has more than three decades of experience in private practice counseling couples, families and individuals. She has also been employed both at small private colleges and large state universities. A native of Long Island, Roland has worked and studied in eight different U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia.

Roland began her career as a high school English teacher at an inner-city school in Cincinnati, where she became good friends with a co-worker who was a school counselor. Through that friendship, Roland became more interested in the ways that counselors could support students and meet their needs.

“I took a couple of master’s classes in counseling, and I knew that was it,” Roland says. “When I was in doctorate work, I just fell in love with the clinical piece of [counseling]. I have always dealt with people of all ages. Counseling, in general, fits my personality very well. I really like working with families, couples … and some of the more difficult stuff — trauma, death and dying, and grief.”

After earning her master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Cincinnati, Roland transitioned from classroom teaching to student affairs, working at universities in Philadelphia, just outside New York City and New Orleans. She spent a decade in full-time private counseling practice in New Orleans before becoming a college professor.

While living in New Orleans, Roland was very involved in providing support services, both as a volunteer and as a professional counselor, to those in the community affected by AIDS. This was in the 1980s, when little was known about the disease and a crushing amount of stigma was attached. People would often lose their jobs because of the diagnosis, Roland says.

“There were no medications. … We didn’t know back then. We thought it was a death sentence,” she says. “I devoted most of my practice and personal time to HIV/AIDS work, and that’s what shaped me. It changed my life, and it changed my practice as well. I started doing a lot of pro bono work. … It was a very difficult time in the city, very tragic.”

Roland says she got involved because more and more of her clients were getting sick with HIV/AIDS. As a private practitioner with a background in student affairs, she frequently received referrals to work with young men and college students. When clients couldn’t pay, she counseled them pro bono.

“I can’t even begin to say how many personal friends I lost, one after the other after the other,” she says. “Of course, if you had the [counseling] license and the degree, you wanted to help. … [This experience] is part of who I am. These are the things that shape us. I learned a lot about adversity. It’s what you did. It’s not something to be congratulated [for]; it’s just what had to happen.”

Roland was involved in numerous agencies and nonprofits that supported those affected by HIV/AIDS in New Orleans in the 1980s and early 1990s, including serving as chairwoman of New Orleans Women Against AIDS. She also helped cowrite a training manual for HIV/AIDS counseling that is still used in New Orleans today.

Roland spent many hours counseling clients in a clinic that was housed in a New Orleans church basement. The operation was kept very hush-hush because of the stigma that was prevalent at that time surrounding AIDS. Part of the work involved opening a sealed envelope with the client that contained the person’s test results. Roland would then counsel the client about the diagnosis, which was most often HIV-positive.

“The indignity those guys must have felt, sitting in a cold room in the basement of a church,” Roland recalls. “You [the counselor] are on one side of the table, and the guy comes in, and he’s never seen you, you’ve never seen him. You’ve got an envelope in your hands which hasn’t been opened yet, so I’m also surprised when I see [the test results]. It never occurred to me that that was hard to do. In retrospect, it was horrendous. It was just what you did. Someone had to do that. … I think back, and I’m so happy to have been a part of that, so proud to have been a part of that.”

A mover and a shaker

Many of Roland’s former students say that she possesses the ability to see qualities and potential in people that they may not recognize in themselves. She is described as the type of mentor who applies pressure when needed but also gives students enough room to grow and learn on their own.

“There were times with me when [Roland] needed to sit back and let me go, and times when she needed to provide more mentorship or challenge me,” says Balkin, an LPC and ACA fellow who is the editor of the Journal of Counseling & Development. “I think she struck that balance very well.”

“She truly is one of the most intuitive people that I’ve ever met. As a student, that was kind of scary. You felt like she was peering into your soul,” says Balkin with a chuckle. “But that allows her to form deeper connections. … It’s not just what you do, but how you get there. That’s important to her.”

Osburn, director of the counseling center at North Carolina State University, describes her former professor and dissertation chair as a “seed planter.”

“She’s so unassuming. It’s just a series of small, building-block snippets that help turn you into this person you’d never thought you’d be. No one moment defines it. It just solidifies over time,” says Osburn, an LPC supervisor. “She is a quiet leader, intentional and thoughtful. She really has a knack for making you feel [that] you are the most capable and worthwhile person, which gives you the confidence to take a leap of faith that you maybe didn’t think you were ready for. And she’ll always be there to catch you if you fall too.”

“She sees things in people that they don’t even see themselves,” Viglione adds. “She sees their strengths, what they need, and she orchestrates it for them.”

In addition to being an intuitive and relational mentor, Roland is a visionary leader who is very driven, according to several people who know her well. “She’s extremely kind and giving of herself, her heart and her time,” Osburn says. “She is this unassuming, always-smiling person, but don’t let that fool you for a second. She is sharp — and fiery if she needs to be.”

Viglione, an LPC and clinical supervisor who has a private practice in Denville, New Jersey, studied under Roland at Montclair State and later worked with her in private practice, sharing an office. He expects that Roland, as ACA president, “will be a driving force — an absolute driving force. I’ve never seen her back down from anything or take shortcuts. She’s pretty straightforward. She knows what she wants, what she needs, and she pursues it single-mindedly. She’s a mover and a shaker, without a doubt.”

Viglione and Burlew saw these attributes come out in Roland as she worked to build a doctoral program at Montclair State a few years ago. When Roland joined the faculty at Montclair State, the university’s counselor education program offered only a master’s degree track. She soon crafted a proposal to introduce a Ph.D. program for counselor education and presented it to the university administration.

A Montclair State dean initially said no to the proposal, Burlew remembers, because the university was considering the creation of several other programs at the time. But that didn’t stop Roland. She worked diligently to rework, edit and finalize her proposal, and the school’s president bumped it to the head of the queue, according to Burlew.

Montclair State’s Ph.D. counseling program, of which Roland was the inaugural director, came to fruition in less than two years. At the time, it was the only counselor Ph.D. program in the tri-state area of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, Viglione says.

“She hand-picked the professors, designed [the program] and made it happen,” Viglione says. “Everything she puts her hands on, she makes it the best possible thing it can be.”

Burlew also credits the program’s existence and growth to Roland’s effort, vision and initiative. “She just kept at it  [even] after people said, ‘This is never going to happen.’ … It was just like a whirlwind. It was like lightning. That’s how she works. She does things 200 percent. If it’s really important, she’ll figure out a way to work through barriers.”

Catherine Roland, surrounded by students from the first counselor Ph.D. cohort at Montclair State University, at a farewell dinner held for her as she was leaving the university in 2013. Roland was instrumental in creating the university’s counselor Ph.D. program. The students gave her this photo in a frame inscribed with the words “Thank you for believing in us!”

Catherine Roland, surrounded by students from the first counselor Ph.D. cohort at Montclair State University, at a farewell dinner held for her as she was leaving the university in 2013. Roland was instrumental in creating the university’s counselor Ph.D. program. The students gave her this photo in a frame inscribed with the words “Thank you for believing in us!”

The year ahead

Roland is taking the reins at ACA during what may appear to be a turbulent time. In May, the association announced its decision to move its 2017 annual conference out of Nashville after Tennessee passed a law allowing counselors to deny services to prospective clients based on “sincerely held principles.” Denying services based solely on a counselor’s personally held values is a violation of the ACA Code of Ethics (see cover story for more details).

Roland served as president-elect during the past fiscal year under outgoing ACA President Thelma Duffey. As president-elect and a member of the ACA Governing Council, Roland was involved in the discussions and decision to pull the conference out of Nashville. Roland says she is aware of and prepared for the extra demands that will be placed on her and the association in the year ahead.

“I never thought it would be an easy or a simple thing to be president, but this year more than ever, it will be more complicated and intricate,” Roland says. “It’s going to be a challenge, and I’m up for the challenge. … I think I can approach it with a good heart, ready to learn as much as I can, in addition to what I’ve learned [already].”

“Catherine is very approachable,” Burlew says. “If you feel things should be going in a different direction, you can talk to her and she’ll listen. She has an open-door policy. You can walk right up to her as an ACA member, and if she thinks action needs to be taken, she’ll take action.”

Balkin believes that thanks in part to Roland’s previous experience and professional focus on issues affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, she is the right president at the right time for ACA. “She’s very in tune to the issues that are at the forefront of ACA today,” he says. “I think she’s going to have a very well-timed presidency. … She is a capable person who will, I think, articulate very clearly, compassionately and very empathically the direction that ACA is moving the profession.”

While serving as president, Roland says she will have two focuses: life span development of minority populations and bringing ACA’s branches, divisions and regions together for mentorship and leadership.

“I think we have a lot of things in common among us as far as ACA’s regions, divisions and branches [go]. I want to tap into that. We’re more alike than we are different,” Roland says. “I believe we have more common ground than we understand, and I want to harness that common ground. From that stems the best kind of leadership and leaders.”

 

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Meet Catherine Roland

Degrees: Ed.D. in counselor education and M.Ed. in guidance and counseling from the University of Cincinnati; B.A. in English literature and education from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia

Licensure: Licensed professional counselor, national certified counselor and licensed clinical supervisor

Has taught or worked at: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Washington, D.C., campus (current position); Georgia Regents University (now Augusta University), Augusta, Georgia; Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey; University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas; University of New Orleans; Delgado Community College, New Orleans; St. Mary’s Dominican College, New Orleans; Manhattanville College, Purchase, New York; Temple University, Philadelphia; and University of Cincinnati (as a graduate assistant)

What ACA members may not know about her: She currently works a block and a half from the White House. She’s an only child from an Italian American family. She’s an animal lover and a self-described “cat lady.” She loves to travel (Cape Cod, New Orleans, New York City and the Maine coast are her favorite destinations). She also enjoys being outside and taking walks, photography, needlepoint, knitting and going to plays, musicals and museums. Her taste in music is wide-ranging; her favorite genres are opera, country music and rock ‘n’ roll.

 

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Bethany Bray is a staff writer and social media coordinator for Counseling Today. Contact her at bbray@counseling.org.

Letters to the editor: ct@counseling.org

License to deny services

By Laurie Meyers June 27, 2016

In April, the Tennessee Legislature passed a bill, which the state’s governor then signed into law, allowing counselors to refuse to see any client if counseling that client involves “goals, outcomes or behaviors that conflict with the sincerely held principles of the counselor or therapist.”

The law, which is in direct opposition to the ACA Code of Ethics, was pushed through despite the concerted efforts of the American Counseling Association, the Tennessee Counseling Association (TCA) and other opponents. Even more alarming is that the legislation could represent only the beginning of efforts to pass similar laws in other states.

In response to the controversial law, the ACA Governing Council made the decision to move the Branding-Images_sky2017 ACA Conference & Expo out of Nashville and relocate it to San Francisco.

“We agreed it was important to move the conference because the Tennessee governor signed a bill into law that attacked our code of ethics and allowed counselors to refuse services to clients in the Tennessee communities based on their religious and personal beliefs,” explains Thelma Duffey, whose term as ACA president ends July 1. “We believed it was important that ACA take a public and powerful stance in opposition to this bill, and relocating provided us with this opportunity. We also believed it was important that we communicate our support to our members who voiced deep concerns about continuing to hold the conference in Tennessee in light of the new law. And, ultimately, we made the move based on our long-held belief of nondiscrimination and our commitment to advocacy for all people.”

The intent of Tennessee’s law is to allow counselors to discriminate against potential clients who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), says ACA CEO Richard Yep. “This [is] a full-frontal attack on specific populations that some very conservative right-wing groups in the United States want to exclude from mental health services that they desperately need,” he says. “The new law will permit a counselor to reject an individual simply because of that provider’s beliefs and values. ACA and its code of ethics are very clear that counselors do not bring those beliefs and values into a counseling relationship.”

In addition to being unethical, the law is harmful to those looking for help, Yep emphasizes. “For someone seeking the services of a mental health provider to be told that because of who they are, a service provider will not work with them sends an incredibly negative message of exclusion, bigotry and discrimination,” he says.

Counseling in the crosshairs

When the Supreme Court ruled in June 2015 that states must recognize the validity of same-sex marriage, it marked a significant step forward in the fight for equal rights for LGBT individuals. At the same time, it also served as a clarion call to those determined to continue discriminatory policies and attitudes.

Currently, there are nearly 200 pieces of proposed anti-LGBT legislation in the United States. Like the Tennessee law, many of these proposed pieces of legislation — and other laws that have already been passed — were born partly in reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision, notes Perry Francis, who served as chair of the Ethics Revision Task Force for the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics. ACA believes that conservative politicians and lobbying groups focused on Tennessee and the counseling profession in large part because of a prior legal case, Ward v. Wilbanks.

In 2009, a counseling student named Julea Ward was dismissed from the counseling program at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) for refusing to counsel a gay client. Ward then filed suit against EMU in U.S. District Court, asserting that the university’s counseling program violated her rights to free speech and freedom of religion. In 2010, a U.S. District Court judge granted summary judgment in favor of EMU.

Ward was represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a nonprofit law firm that Art Terrazas, ACA’s director of government affairs, describes as the conservative equivalent of the American Civil Liberties Union. ADF is connected to the Family Research Council, a conservative lobbying organization. These organizations influence the Family Action Council of Tennessee, whose president, David Fowler, is a former Tennessee state senator who was a driving force behind Senate Bill (SB) 1556 and House Bill (HB) 1840. A group of conservative state legislators sponsored the bills, which eventually became the law signed by the governor.

The counseling profession also made an inviting target because the ACA Code of Ethics explicitly focuses on protecting clients by not imposing a counselor’s viewpoint, explains Lynn Linde, ACA’s senior director for the Center for Counseling Practice, Policy and Research. Linde, an ACA past president who also served on the Ethics Revision Task Force, notes that this focus on the client is unique to ACA. Although other organizations’ ethics codes implicitly prohibit mental health professionals from imposing their personal beliefs on clients, she says, the ACA Code of Ethics is explicit in this prohibition.

The legislation was introduced in the Tennessee Senate in January and passed with very little discussion, according to TCA President Kat Coy. It then moved on to the Tennessee House of Representatives. At that point, TCA rallied its members to contact their legislators to express their opinions on the bill, Coy says.

As the legislation was being debated in the Tennessee House, TCA and ACA worked together to provide expert testimony on the harmful nature of the bill and to educate individual legislators about the counseling profession, its code of ethics and the danger the legislation posed to those seeking mental health services in Tennessee. Although the law states that any counselor who turns away a client because of personal beliefs must give the client a referral, Linde notes that Tennessee has a critical shortage of mental health professionals. That raises questions about whom a counselor can refer to if he or she is the only mental health professional within 150 miles and, more important, where prospective clients are supposed to go to get the help they need, she says.

Linde and others testified about the harm this could do to potential clients. In the process, they also tried to clear up some mistaken beliefs that Tennessee legislators held. For example, Lisa Henderson, who chairs TCA’s public policy committee, says one of the first arguments she encountered was that because Tennessee is a sovereign state, it would not be dictated to by the federal government. Henderson had to explain that ACA is a professional organization that is not connected in any way to the federal government.

Linde and others testified that ACA’s opposition to the legislation was not about controlling individual counselors but rather concern for the harm that could be done to prospective clients. In addition, the law would be in direct opposition to the ACA Code of Ethics, which all member counselors are obliged to follow. Many states — including Tennessee — base their licensure standards of practice all or in part on the ACA ethics code.

An ethical dilemma

A common claim by those who support the law is that by asking counselors not to impose their beliefs on clients, the ACA Code of Ethics is actually demanding that counselors give up certain personal beliefs. That is an incorrect assumption, Linde says.

“Nobody is asking us to give up who we are the moment we walk into a counseling session,” she emphasizes. Counselors do not have to change their beliefs, but they must not impose those beliefs on clients, she continues.

“We, as professional counselors, seek to engage our clients in a genuine, thoughtful, caring relationship,” says Francis, a professor of counseling and coordinator of the counseling clinic in the College of Education Clinical Suite at EMU. “In order for me to connect to a client, I need to know who I am and what my personal values are so that I can be genuine in the room. At the same time, the profession is saying to counselors that you also enter the room with the values of the counseling profession, which are clearly delineated in the code of ethics.”

Francis says a counselor’s responsibility is spelled out in the ACA Code of Ethics in Standard A.4.b. (Personal Values): “Counselors are aware of — and avoid imposing — their own values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. Counselors respect the diversity of clients, trainees and research participants and seek training in areas in which they are at risk of imposing their values onto clients, especially when the counselor’s values are inconsistent with the client’s goals or are discriminatory in nature.”

Many of those who supported Tennessee’s “sincerely held principles” legislation asserted that ACA changed its code of ethics regarding counselors’ personal values during the 2014 revision in response to Ward v. Wilbanks. Francis and Linde say that assertion is false.

“We clarified what has [long] been there,” Linde says. From the 1988 version onward, the ethics code has stated that counselors can refer clients only when a client is no longer progressing, when the counselor’s services are no longer required because the client has met his or her goals or when counseling no longer serves the client, Linde explains.

Anticipating that some might try to argue that a counselor who holds views diametrically opposed to what the client believes is not “competent” to counsel that client, the 2014 revision of the ethics code clarified the issue of referral, Linde and Francis explain. Standards A.11.a. and A.11.b. were added to further delineate what constitutes competency.

v A.11.a. (Competence Within Termination and Referral): “If counselors lack the competence to be of professional assistance to clients, they avoid entering or continuing counseling relationships. Counselors are knowledgeable about culturally and clinically appropriate referral resources and suggest these alternatives. If clients decline the suggested referrals, counselors discontinue the relationship.”

v A.11.b. (Values Within Termination and Referral): “Counselors refrain from referring prospective and current clients based solely on the counselor’s personally held values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. Counselors respect the diversity of clients and seek training in areas in which they are at risk of imposing their values onto clients, especially when the counselor’s values are inconsistent with the client’s goals or are discriminatory in nature.”

In addition, Standard A.4.b. was expanded to include the necessity of obtaining training and multicultural competency, Francis says.

Linde says ACA’s official position is that although counselors in Tennessee are now legally able to refer clients on the basis of personal beliefs, that action still goes against the profession’s code of ethics. Accordingly, ACA will still sanction any member who engages in such behavior, Linde emphasizes. This also applies to counselors-in-training at university or college programs.

Linde testified in detail for legislators on the issue of competence. “Counselors can’t refer due to client characteristics,” she says. “It’s on [the counselor] if you come from another country and I don’t know anything about you or your culture. I have to educate myself on your culture.”

However, if a client comes to a counselor with a problem or issue that the counselor is not qualified to treat based on his or her individual scope of practice, then referral is appropriate. For example, Linde says, a client might present to a counselor for treatment of depression. In the course of therapy, the counselor might realize that the heavy drinking the client is engaging in is due to a chronic substance abuse problem, not just self-medication. Unless the counselor is specially credentialed to provide substance abuse counseling, the counselor would be operating outside of his or her scope of practice to offer those services. In this case, the counselor should instead refer the client to another counselor who is qualified to provide in-depth substance abuse services.

Values clash

Henderson, a private practitioner in the Nashville area, says that when she met with individual legislators about the “sincerely held principles” bills, it appeared that some of them already had their minds made up. When presented with the ethics testimony, she says, many of these legislators argued that it was impossible for counselors to separate themselves from their beliefs. They also rejected a primary counseling value of putting clients first, Henderson says.

“I kept reminding them that these are complex issues,” says Henderson. She points out that even though it takes years to become a professional counselor, the legislators were making decisions about the counseling profession based on a few hours’ worth of knowledge gleaned in hearings and meetings.

EventhoughDuring efforts to defeat the legislation, Henderson acknowledges that she also encountered some counselors in Tennessee who supported it. The most common reason given was the counselors’ religious beliefs, she says. For example, one counselor told Henderson that he could not separate his religious beliefs from his counseling values. So, if a client came to him for treatment of alcoholism and wanted to use harm reduction, the counselor — who believes it is wrong to drink or take drugs — would only agree to treat using complete abstinence. Another counselor said she would not be able to counsel someone committing adultery unless that person pledged to end the adulterous relationship.

Francis says another common explanation or justification for values-based referrals is that a counselor who has a conflict with a client’s lifestyle or choices might not provide the best service or even cause harm. “This is a perfectly valid concern and is upheld in the ethics,” he says. “We don’t want to cause harm. We don’t want to put the client in any sort of jeopardy.”

However, Francis explains, the flaw in that reasoning is in assuming that the problem resides with the client. Instead, it is the counselor who needs to make adjustments and seek supervision, consult with trusted colleagues or get additional training to better serve the client.

Ultimately, it is those seeking mental health services who will be harmed by the passage of the legislation. “In rural Tennessee, or anywhere in the state that is listed as a mental health shortage area, there simply are not enough providers,” says Catherine B. Roland, who begins serving as ACA president July 1. “So, if a counselor is allowed to pick and choose who they will see simply due to a strongly held belief or value, those most in need of services will have nowhere to turn.”

The law is also written very broadly, which leaves it open to individual interpretation, Terrazas notes. “Initially the bill covered religious beliefs, but the wording was changed to ‘sincerely held principles,’ which could be broadened to include almost anything that a counselor disagrees with,” he says.

Duffey agrees. “People seeking mental health services can potentially be affected in any number of adverse ways as a result of this law,” she says. “For one, they are now aware that a law exists that protects counselors from working with them if the counselors’ beliefs conflict with who they are. That is profound. In a time where so much progress is being made with respect to equality and human rights, this bill may bring a painful resurgence of old feelings of rejection and discrimination and feelings of social exclusion.”

Current and future implications

Although those who defend the law often cite religious concerns for doing so, TCA leaders say many of their members who are Christian counselors have vowed not to use the law to discriminate.

In fact, other counselors have cited their religious beliefs as a reason not to discriminate. “[The Tennessee law] is an affront to the heart of Christianity,” says Ryan Thomas Neace, an ACA member and counselor practitioner in St. Louis. “The Scriptures reveal that those whom the religious folks said weren’t towing the line — not observing religious rituals or laws, not living up to sexual and moral purity codes by having sex too much or with the wrong people or drinking too much, etc. — those people were often far more hungry for genuine, transformative encounter than the religious folks themselves. This is why Jesus kept their company so much.”

Neace, who has been practicing for almost 14 years, cites his experience as an example of how harmful the law is to clients and to the counseling profession’s ideals. “By the time many of my LGBTQ+ clients show up at my office, they’ve already been hounded by unsupportive, and often abusive, friends, family, religious communities and sadly, professionals,” he says. “This law makes the sacred space that we offer as counselors less sacred and less spacious.”

There are already many barriers that discourage potential clients from reaching a counselor’s office, Neace says, and research suggests that LGBT individuals face even more obstacles. In Neace’s opinion, the obstacles the Tennessee legislation has erected for LGBT clients “are perhaps more akin to land mines.”

Unfortunately, Neace says, some counselors don’t seem to comprehend the precedent — and the slippery slope — that this law sets. “In a more long-term sense, it literally opens the door for clients to be denied therapy if they in some way represent an affront to anything counselors sincerely or principally believe,” he says. “This actually could, in my case, extend to me as a Christian. Someone could refuse to see me because of my religious beliefs. It’s hard to understand that religious folks who back this bill don’t see that it ushers in opportunities for the very persecution they hope to avoid.”

Keith Myers, a licensed professional counselor and ACA member, wrote an opinion piece for USA Today in May in which he highlighted some of the potential consequences of the law that its advocates might not have anticipated. “Imagine that Joe, a veteran who served our country faithfully, comes to counseling at a rural Tennessee practice,” Myers wrote. “He talks about his strong opinions concerning the Islamic State terrorist group and ways the military should be intervening. His male counselor happens to be a pacifist. This counselor has strong feelings against any kind of war or any type of military intervention against ISIL. Before the new law, he would have felt obligated to help Joe. Now, he refers Joe to another counselor 25 miles away from where Joe resides. Joe becomes angry and ultimately avoids getting help. The harm has been done.”

Henderson has already seen an effect. “After the news broke that the bill had been signed into law, one of my own clients asked if I would continue to see her now that I don’t have to,” Henderson recounts. “And this is a person who I already have an existing relationship with.”

One of Henderson’s counseling colleagues shared another story related to the passage of the law. During a client intake, the client asked questions about how the counseling process worked but also asked how long it would be before the counselor might decide not to work with the client any longer. The client wanted to know what he would do if that happened.

Counselors who practice in other states might question why they should be overly concerned about what is happening in Tennessee. “Quite simply, if it can happen in Tennessee, it can happen in any state in the union, making it an issue for all counselors,” Roland says. “One only needs to realize that the anti-LGBTQ legislation in so many states continues to grow. Those who believe in an anti-LGBTQ agenda are passionate and are using the legislatures and courts in this country to make their voices heard. ACA stands in support of the counseling profession and the consumers who seek our services — all consumers.”

The law could also contribute to misperceptions that go beyond what is happening in Tennessee. “This bill is problematic for counselors who hold religious beliefs and also support our code of ethics,” Duffey says. “The discussions around this issue can create misunderstandings and generalizations, with suggestions that faith-based counselors are, in principle, discriminatory. This is, of course, unfair and inaccurate, and runs the risk of creating division where it doesn’t exist.”

Terrazas says there is a danger that similar legislation could be proposed in other states and notes that ACA Government Affairs is maintaining a very watchful eye.

Seeking solutions

With the “sincerely held principles” legislation being signed into law in Tennessee, what happens next? ACA and TCA are taking a number of steps.

“We are certainly starting to pick up the pieces of what has transpired over the past several months and focusing on the future,” Coy says. “We are aware that there are varying opinions in Tennessee, and we will need to navigate through all of that in the coming months. Our ultimate goal shall remain meeting the needs of our membership and focusing on the needs of our clients.”

At July’s state leadership institute, TCA plans to focus on educating its members about what happened and encouraging them to in turn educate the public on the issues, Coy says. TCA’s annual conference in November will be devoted in part to additional education and training and to deciding what the association’s next steps should be.

When she was interviewed near the end of May, Coy said the rest of TCA’s plan of action was under development. “We will be sending out a survey to membership asking them what they want,” she said. “Our initial ideas will be training in the form of webinars, single-event training opportunities, podcasts, training bulletins and continued membership development.”

On the national level, Terrazas says that ACA Government Affairs is encouraging counselors in all states to get to know their legislators. The purpose is not only for counselors to be aware of what bills are being proposed in their states but also to educate legislators about counseling and what counselors do, he says.

The ACA leadership also wants counselors in Tennessee to know that even though the 2017 ACA Conference is being relocated from Nashville, the association is not abandoning the state’s practitioners. “ACA stands ready to assist with grassroots advocacy and to provide materials to Tennessee counselors who seek resources that will help the public policy officials understand the deleterious effects of this new law on the citizens of Tennessee,”
Yep says.

“We will continue to work with our colleagues in Tennessee in hopes that this law can be overturned,” Roland says. But she also offers a caution: “We cannot for a moment forget about the other 49 states where efforts like these can arise quickly and without notice.”

Despite the potential damage caused by the “sincerely held principles” law in Tennessee, Duffey believes the counseling profession will eventually emerge stronger than ever. “I absolutely believe we will ultimately be stronger as a result of our decision [to relocate the ACA Conference] and the unity we are experiencing through this advocacy,” she says. “I have been heartened by the outpouring of support for the Governing Council’s decision and by the appreciation of those members who courageously shared their stories and concerns. In fact, people who often vigorously debate other issues have come together on this one — in support, with clarity and with a sense of pride.”

 

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Does the ACA Code of Ethics trump discriminatory institutional policies? Read the July issue of the Journal of Counseling & Development, featuring three articles in the special Trends section that discuss the ethical issues raised by the practice of accrediting counseling programs at colleges and universities that use statements in their Codes of Conduct that are nonaffirming of LGBT individuals.

 

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Laurie Meyers is the senior writer for Counseling Today. Contact her at lmeyers@counseling.org.

Letters to the editor: ct@counseling.org

 

ACA Conference to feature keynotes by Jeremy Richman, Silken Laumann

By Bethany Bray November 24, 2015

Both of the keynote speakers for the upcoming American Counseling Association 2016 Conference & Expo in Montréal, being held in partnership with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, have risen above the heartbreak and hardship that life has dealt them.

Jeremy Richman, a scientist and the father of a child who died in the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, will provide the opening keynote on Friday, April 1.

Silken Laumann, a three-time Olympic medalist in women’s rowing for Canada, will give the keynote on Saturday, April 2, and sign copies of her 2014 memoir, Unsinkable.

 

Jeremy Richman

For Jeremy Richman, introducing himself is now a two-step process: He is both a scientist who specializes in neuropsychopharmacology and the father of a murdered child. He gained his second Richman_resizetitle — a title no parent would want — after his 6-year-old daughter, Avielle Rose, lost her life in one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history. A total of 20 first-graders and six adult staff members were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School by a mass shooter on Dec. 14, 2012.

Richman works in neuropsychopharmacology, or the study of how chemicals, including drugs, affect the brain and human behavior. He has spent many years in laboratories conducting drug discovery and disease research, including while working on his doctorate at the University of Arizona. Richman’s wife, Jennifer Hensel, is an infectious disease specialist and medical writer.

As they faced Avielle’s death, Richman says, their science training kicked in and led them to pursue the “why” of the tragedy at Sandy Hook. Three days after their daughter was killed, the couple started the Avielle Foundation with a goal of using brain health research to prevent violence.

“What we do as scientists is ask the ‘why,’” Richman says. “The brain is just another organ. It can be healthy or it can be unhealthy, just like the lungs, the heart, the kidneys, the liver. We just need to study it. Unfortunately, brain science is the least explored of all our sciences, bar none. We know more about the bottom of the ocean and the surface of Mars than we do [about] what’s between our ears.”

“When you don’t understand something, when it remains invisible, we build a lot of fear and trepidation about it,” Richman continues. “As a result, all things that we call mental come with a lot of baggage that we call stigma.”

Richman would like to replace the term mental health with brain health. Labels, stigma and a lot of baggage accompany the former term, he says. Offering an example, he points out that a doctor would never call someone a broken arm, but medical professionals routinely label patients as depressed.

“When you move away from that [labels], it’s a matter of chemistry and character,” he says. “It gives people hope — something they can understand, something tangible and something they can hold on to. You aren’t a cold any more than you’re bipolar.”

One of the goals of the Avielle Foundation, Richman says, is to better understand the risk factors for violence and how behavior is related to the functioning of the brain. To that end, he views behavioral health, including talk therapy, and science research as “two sides of the same coin.”

“We really want to bridge the biochemical and behavioral sciences,” he says. “When it comes to the brain, they’re really the same.”

As an example, he points to someone who is disenfranchised from society and contemplates violence. “What is the difference between [that person’s] brain and the everyday citizen’s brain? Those are the pieces of the puzzle we need to fill in,” Richman says.

Humans’ behavior is related to the proper functioning of the brain, Richman contends. When people change their perspective to see the brain as “just another organ” that needs to be kept healthy, there is less stigma and fear associated with getting help, he says.

“And therein lies our charge. We think that was a big fault in what happened in our case [in Newtown], and that’s what happens on our street corners and in our homes where children or adults are sad enough to hurt themselves or others,” he says. “The more visible we can make [brain health], the easier [the counselors’] job is and the more effectively they’ll be able to get help to people who need it.” The first step is “getting people comfortable about talking about brain health at all,” he asserts.

One byproduct of the school shooting at Sandy Hook has been the creation of an atmosphere in which people in the community are comfortable with and open about discussing mental health, according to Richman. In casual conversations with friends or neighbors, it isn’t uncommon for people in the community to reference something their therapist said recently or a topic they’ve been working on in therapy, he says.

And why shouldn’t it be that way, Richman asks. Why can’t people be just as comfortable talking about a diagnosis that they received in therapy as when a doctor diagnoses them with high cholesterol and prescribes a statin drug?

Says ACA President Thelma Duffey, “When we were exploring options for keynote speakers, and in light of this year’s [ACA] initiatives on anti-bullying and interpersonal violence, Jeremy Richman’s focus on brain health and the relationship between violence and compassion really resonated for me. At a time when their world was torn apart in the most unimaginable of ways, they [Richman and his wife, Jennifer] directed their grief, training and resources to a cause that could make a difference to each and every one of us. … His passion for destigmatizing mental illness, his commitment to exploring the ‘whys’ of violence and his dedication to promoting education and information is truly relevant to our work as counselors. We are so fortunate that Dr. Richman will be our conference keynote. To suffer this kind of loss and to then redirect one’s energy to a mission of preventing violence and fostering compassion is pretty incredible.”

 

Silken Laumann

“I believe everyone has a superpower,” Silken Laumann says. “My superpower is my imagination, and I’m always able to imagine what I want to create in my life and how I want an outcome to unfold. … One thing Olympic athletes are really good at is envisioning what they want.”

Silken Laumann photo by Beth Hayhurst Photography.

Silken Laumann photo by Beth Hayhurst Photography.

Laumann is no stranger to fighting against the odds to reach a goal. An elite rower and three-time Olympic medalist, she represented Canada for 13 years in international competitions.

In May 1992, just 10 weeks before the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain, Laumann was seriously injured during training when her sculling boat (also called a shell) was involved in a collision with another boat. The accident shattered one of her legs. Although she was the reigning world champion in women’s single scull rowing, it appeared the accident would force her to miss the Olympics.

But thanks to an iron will and her willingness to endure multiple surgeries and countless hours of rehabilitation, Laumann was able to recover and compete again at a very high level, winning a bronze medal in single sculls for Canada that summer (she had previously won a bronze medal in double sculls at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and would go on to win a silver medal in single sculls at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta). She was also chosen to carry Canada’s flag during the closing ceremonies of the 1992 games.

Laumann’s 1992 comeback and Olympic triumph is a well-known story throughout Canada. But it wasn’t until much later, 15 years after retiring from professional competition, that Laumann shared her full story in her 2014 memoir, Unsinkable.

Having grown up in an abusive home, Laumann dealt with anxiety and depression — struggles that to many people on the outside seemed to conflict with her persona as an Olympic champion. “There are some people who have a hard time getting their head around it, even after my book has come out,” she says.

After 10 years of counseling, Laumann has come to terms with the darker parts of her story. “Unsinkable was the story that lay inside me. … I had a moment of clarity where I realized I needed to get help [and start counseling],” she says. “I realized that if I didn’t begin to work on myself, I was going to repeat some of the things that I didn’t want to repeat [from her childhood] with my own children.”

It is hard for anyone to accept that they need help, Laumann says, but it is especially difficult for someone who is supposed to be invincible — someone who is associated with strength and overcoming obstacles. “I had the feeling that I was alone. ‘How could I be feeling bad when my life is so great?’ I came to realize that these are very common things people tell themselves,” Laumann says.

At the ACA Conference & Expo, Laumann is looking forward to encouraging and connecting with an audience of counselors — a profession for which she voices a great deal of gratitude — while also sharing a client’s perspective.

“I’ve been there,” she says. “I say this with a lot of respect for other survivors who have worse stories, but I think I’ve been to some pretty dark places and experienced some things that children shouldn’t have to experience, and I’ve come out the other end. … A lot of times counselors are working with people to maximize their potential. That’s really what counseling did for me. It opened up my life and gave me, for the first time in my life, true freedom of choice because I wasn’t being limited by my old belief systems and by past trauma.”

Laumann says she wrote Unsinkable because she felt compelled to be authentic — authentic to herself and for others who might be struggling with some of the same issues.

“To share [one’s] story is very liberating. It gives us the extra courage to get the help we need. Even just the sharing [itself] is healing,” she says. “I needed to share because I suspected there were other people out there who were struggling the same way I’ve struggled, and that hearing from someone they respected about her journey was going to be helpful.”

Duffey says she’s looking forward to hearing Laumann speak, describing the Olympian as inspirational, honest and “amazingly resilient.” Laumann’s story “is a story of incredible determination and strength, with a message that dreams can be big and doable and that even in adversity, we can reach immeasurable heights,” Duffey says.

Laumann is married with four children, including a stepdaughter, Kilee, who is profoundly autistic. In addition to participating in author events and speaking engagements, Laumann engages in a significant amount of advocacy work, including fundraising for autism causes with her husband, David Patchell-Evans.

In 1998, Laumann was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. But what makes her most proud, she says, is when people approach her at public events and tell her that her story has inspired them to get help or make changes in their own life.

“It took a lot of courage and energy for me to put that book out there,” she says. “Those kinds of comments are what I’m most proud of. Whatever I shared gave someone else that little bit of a lift they needed to decide to take that first step.”

 

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Find out more about Jeremy Richman and the Avielle Foundation at aviellefoundation.org.

To learn more about Silken Laumann and her advocacy work, visit SilkenLaumann.com.

Attendees of the ACA 2016 Conference & Expo in Montréal will be able to meet both keynote speakers. Laumann will be signing copies of her memoir Unsinkable at the conference.

The full conference, being held in partnership with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, will take place March 31-April 3. Pre-conference Learning Institutes will take place March 30-31. See counseling.org/conference for session and registration information. Register by Dec. 15 to secure the super-saver rate.

 

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Bethany Bray is a staff writer and social media coordinator for Counseling Today. Contact her at bbray@counseling.org

Letters to the editor: ct@counseling.org

 

Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal, Montréal

Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, Montréal