This special issue of Counseling Today is the result of numerous hours spent by our writers and editors researching, interviewing and writing about counseling around the world. While no one publication could hope to cover even a small portion of such a diverse and broad topic area, it is our hope that you will find the articles both interesting and thought-provoking.
Given that the American Counseling Association will be partnering with the Canadian Counselling Association for our first “jointly sponsored” convention in just a few months, this special issue of Counseling Today seems especially timely.
Counseling certainly encompasses a “world community,” and for this reason helping professionals must have the ability to access tools and resources that will allow them to do the best they can for their clients and students. At ACA, we recognize that our role is to support those of you doing such important work with millions of children, adolescents, adults and families each and every day. Our job is to listen to what you need.
I am pleased that last month we launched the latest generation of the ACA website at www.counseling.org. The new site features a cleaner design that includes easier navigation. This effort was the culmination of many months of research and feedback from our members and staff. I thank all who were part of making this important communication vehicle a reality.
In a previous column, I commented on the Counselors Care Fund, a project of the ACA Foundation. The fund was designed to help our members who were impacted by the ravages of the hurricanes in the Gulf Coast region last fall. When it comes to helping others, counselors are the best. With the outpouring of donations to the Counselors Care Fund, I’ve witnessed that same level of caring for your colleagues who suffered through such devastating events.
At the end of December, the Counselors Care Fund had received donations of more than $15,000. As you may remember, the ACA Foundation matches each dollar, resulting in a fund of more than $30,000. The heart-wrenching stories of our members and branches affected by the hurricanes reinforces to me that the ACA Foundation trustees made the right decision in organizing this important effort. Your donations are being put to good use, and I appreciate your compassion.
This column not only acknowledges those of you currently doing such good work, but also recognizes those who made their mark and are no longer with us. At the end of 2005, we lost two people who made significant contributions to the counseling profession, each in their own unique and talented way.
Roger Herring was a fine author and compassionate educator and was well known for his positions on issues relative to multicultural issues in counseling. When he passed away, he had already authored and edited numerous articles and texts that are continually cited and referenced by others. Perhaps more importantly, Roger’s passing resulted in many people sharing (via listservs and in print) the impact that he had on their lives.
We also marked the passing of Nancy Pinson-Millburn. She was well regarded in the career development field and on international issues, and was a strong believer in public advocacy on behalf of those less fortunate. Nancy also worked here at ACA headquarters and was my boss in the late 1990s. I came to know her as a superior scholar, excellent communicator and compassionate listener. During her memorial service at the University of Maryland, many people spoke of her spirit, her humor and how she positively impacted their lives. I remember her as someone who could easily move within the worlds of academia and advocacy and still be able to connect with leadership, staff and members.
Two of the counseling profession’s bright lights have gone out, but what they brought to the table, and their dedication to convey the importance and relevance of counseling in a global community, will continue to live on (see related articles on p. 56 and p. 57, respectively).
As we begin a new calendar year, I want to wish all of you a pleasant, healthy and peaceful 2006. Your work is so incredibly important, and I hope you will continue in your endeavors to help, serve and advocate for your clients and students. I also want you to know that ACA will continue to do what we can to support you in your good work.
As always, I hope you will communicate any comments, questions or suggestions that you have. Please contact me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 800.347.6647 ext. 231.
Thanks and be well.