When September rolls around, many of us think of it as another “new beginning,” given that it is the start of the school year for many folks. For a number of us who followed a traditional education model, September was when we went “back to school,” which we associated with new clothes, interacting with new teachers and meeting up with friends we hadn’t seen all summer long.
Because I seem to be in this mind-set, I wanted to share what the American Counseling Association has been doing as we “begin” a new year with all of you. Not to sound like an infomercial, but some very positive things are happening at ACA, and I want you to be aware of what your leadership, your staff and your association are involved in.
For instance, toward the end of July, more than 110 leaders from ACA branches, regions and national divisions gathered in the Washington, D.C., area for the second annual ACA Institute for Leadership Training. The event spanned five days and featured networking, professional development, leadership training and resource gathering.
One of the highlights for me was seeing so many professional counselors and counselor educators head to Capitol Hill to talk with senators, representatives and their staffs about the importance of counseling and the need for policy that allows consumers access to the services provided by our members. This was a very powerful experience, and despite a few pre-meeting jitters, your leadership was phenomenal in accomplishing what they did. Kudos to all who attended and participated in the institute. If you ever get a chance to participate in this event, I hope you will do so. The next one is scheduled for July 27-31, 2011, also in the Washington area.
We also realize that extended periods of travel away from your students and clients are not always feasible. We have listened to those of you who want more continuing education opportunities, and I am glad to report that during the current fiscal year (July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011), you will have an even greater number of chances to obtain CE credit through ACA. In fact, as the year progresses, you will see that our podcasts will be eligible for CEs, so check our website and take the time to download something from our ever-growing podcast library.
During 2010-2011, ACA will publish a number of new books. Included in those releases will be:
- Play Therapy: Basics and Beyond, second edition, by Terry Kottman
- Counseling as an Art, fourth edition, by Sam Gladding
- Integrating Spirituality and Religion Into Counseling, second edition, edited by Craig Cashwell and Scott Young
- Experiential Activities for Teaching Multicultural Competence in Counseling edited by Mark Pope, Joe Pangelan and Angela Coker
- Counseling Children: A Core Issues Approach by Richard Halstead, Dale Pehrsson and Jodi Mullen
- Group Work and Outreach Guide for College Counselors edited by Trey Fitch and Jennifer Marshall
- Developing and Managing Your School Guidance and Counseling Program by Norm Gysbers and Patricia Henderson
I encourage you to check the ACA website so you can be the first to know when a book is released. The new and improved ACA Publications Catalog was packaged with the issue of Counseling Today you are now reading.
We are also very excited to return to New Orleans for the ACA Annual Conference & Exposition (March 23-27, 2011). Recently, we were able to confirm that our opening keynote speaker will be CNN reporter Soledad O’Brien, and our second keynote presenter will be Dr. Judith Beck of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research (for more on these speakers, turn to page 50). Add to that more than 400 education sessions, along with a very special community project that you will be hearing more about, and I think we can all agree this will be one ACA Annual Conference that should not be missed. Next month, look for the ACA Annual Conference Advance Registration Brochure (packaged with Counseling Today) for more details!
With all that we work on, I realize we don’t always take enough time to celebrate the “good times.” So, if I may brag on ACA a bit, our membership at fiscal year end (June 30, 2010) was the highest it has been in five years, and your official ACA magazine, Counseling Today, recently won four awards for writing and design excellence!
So, for those of you beginning a new school year, the best of luck in your academic endeavors (whether you are learning or whether you are teaching!). I believe the information in this column provides just a few examples of what your staff and your leaders are doing on your behalf.
As always, I hope you will contact me with any comments, questions, or suggestions that you might 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.