The phrase “now more than ever” has been overused in any number of situations — politically, socially, economically. One need only open a newspaper, turn on the television or listen to the radio, however, to note that counseling is needed “now more than ever.” The important work of professional counselors in communities, schools, private practice, public facilities and the workplace cannot be underestimated.
Regardless of whether you agree with actions that have led to today’s political climate in the United States and around the world, the role of professional counselors is key to making our global community more understanding, more compassionate and healthier in many ways. Two key events will be taking place in March and April that will impact the counseling profession and those whom our members serve.
Later this month, more than 4,000 professional counselors, counselor educators and graduate students will gather in San Francisco for the American Counseling Association’s 65th conference. This premier annual event is open to ACA members and nonmembers alike. I am so pleased that Dr. Irvin Yalom has agreed to be our opening keynote speaker and that Jessica Pettitt will serve as our second keynote speaker the following day. When you add in the opportunity to meet with other counseling luminaries, visit more than 100 exhibit booths, make use of the ACA Career Center and even network in a special area just for graduate students and new professionals, I think that this year’s event is setting up to be very special indeed.
I hope that you will join ACA in the City by the Bay for what promises to be an event that will be engaging, rewarding and refreshing. For more information, visit counseling.org/conference.
In April, ACA will once again launch Counseling Awareness Month. This is an opportunity for professional counselors to “talk about themselves and what they do” in their communities and for the individuals they are so committed to serving. Visit the ACA website at counseling.org to pick up tips on how you and your colleagues can spread the good word about professional counseling.
Given the state of the world, I think that the ACA Conference in March and Counseling Awareness Month in April are two events that are needed, “now more than ever.” Whether you can make it to San Francisco, or only have time to tout the good work of professional counselors in your local community, I strongly urge you to get involved.
It seems to me that many people feel we are in uncharted waters, with today’s society having witnessed an amazing amount of change in a short period of time. When I hear that, I think of the good work that professional counselors do as change agents who work to empower their clients and students. You really are needed in the most immediate way. In order to help those with whom you work to meet the many challenges facing them, you will need a partner. I hope you will consider ACA to be that partner. We want to be your knowledge center, your advocate and where you turn for professional resources … now more than ever.