In this issue of Counseling Today, you’ll read about the many offerings and opportunities that await those attending our first international convention co-sponsored by the Canadian Counselling Association. For those of you who have somehow managed to avoid seeing a multitude of marketing and informational pieces during the past several months, the event begins on March 30 and continues through April 3 in Montréal.
As you read through this issue I hope that you’re saying to yourself, “I have to remember to get to that session” or “I need to visit the American Counseling Association bookshop and the 100 other booths in the expo” rather than “Oh, I sure wish I was going to the convention this year.” But if not, I have good news — you still have time to register for what will surely be one of the most important counseling events of the year.
This year’s convention will again provide opportunities to attend more than 500 educational offerings, including the “Counseling 20/20” town hall, which will bring together many experts to examine the future of counseling. There is also an even greater focus this year on what is being offered for counseling graduate students and emerging professionals. An enhanced Career Center, the ever-popular ACA Cyber Café and some terrific keynotes will also be featured.
I also want you to think about the fact that events representative of all 19 ACA divisions, as well as our four regions, and more than 20 committees and task forces will occur during our time together in Montréal.
Take a moment to consider where else you can go to find all the great offerings of the ACA divisions in one place. The answer, of course, is nowhere else but the convention. Look at the Education Sessions, a good many of which were selected by experts from our ACA divisions. And when you need a release from learning, you’ll find that our divisions offer many social and networking opportunities such as brunches, lunches and receptions. There is also the chance to meet with their leadership in the ACA expo!
ACA’s divisions originally helped to form our association. Those four groups, along with a number of others that have followed during the past 50 years, are key to the cutting-edge practice, research and scholarly work that is so important in moving the counseling profession forward. I appreciate the dedication and commitment of our division leaders, and I hope that all of you will take the time to learn more about what these special groups offer. What better way than to see them in action at the ACA Convention!
In the event you cannot make it to Montréal, I hope you will check out the ACA website at www.counseling.org during the first week of April, as we will make both keynote speeches from the convention available for your viewing pleasure. Tipper Gore and Stephen Lewis have both made an impact on the lives of countless people around the world. Gore’s advocacy of mental health services and Lewis’ efforts at addressing HIV/AIDS services in Africa are what make them exceptional human beings. So please “tune in” to the ACA website when we rebroadcast their remarks.
I also want to update you on ACA’s other new efforts in the digital world. We now have an online ethics course, “Building a Foundation for Ethical Practice.” (For more information, go to www.counseling.org/resources, click on “Professional Development” and then read the section on “Continuing Online Education.”). This course is part of our effort to provide you with the best information on ethical practice in counseling.
Last month we also began sending ACAeNews to our members for whom we have e-mail addresses so they can keep up on the latest trends, information and opportunities. If you didn’t get a copy in your e-mail inbox and would like to receive a free subscription (ACAeNews is published every two weeks), let me know by sending me your e-mail address. If you have colleagues (regardless of whether they are ACA members) who might be interested, have them contact me as well, and we’ll provide them with a trial subscription.
After 18 years with ACA, I can say that I am sensing a renewed energy in our association. The leadership of ACA, the commitment of our divisions and the hard work of our committees and task forces have combined to make this “new era” one in which ACA is thriving once again. I would be remiss if I did not specifically recognize our president, Patricia Arredondo, and also acknowledge the role of the ACA staff, who have been part of bringing us to this momentous point in our development. I am proud to work side by side with such dedicated professionals. I hope you also appreciate their efforts.
I trust you know how important it is for us to hear from you. As always, I hope you will contact me with any comments, questions or suggestions that you might have. Contact me via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 800.347.6647 ext. 231.
Thanks and be well.