First of all, my thanks to those of you who responded to last month’s column about pledging to help end the divisiveness in our society. Your words and commitment were inspiring, comforting and well-received. This column is about the next step we will need to take: healing.
Professional counselors do an amazing job of working with clients, students, families, institutions and communities to help heal so many different kinds of wounds. These wounds can be the result of discrimination, hate, bullying, hunger, homelessness or countless other types of oppression.
Many of you are called on each and every day to work with people in need of healing. I hope that you take pride in this important work that you do. I also hope that you constantly strive to learn more, experience more and do more regarding those who have such great needs. You need not email me (unless you want to!) about how you strive to help heal others; I know you are busy and want to stay focused on your clients and students.
I’ve written about this many times before, but it bears repeating: Here at the American Counseling Association, we want to help you in your quest to heal others. Now more than ever, your good work is critical in communities across the United States and around the world. We all know that the need for healing doesn’t take place only after a specific “hurt” has occurred. The feeling that you are about to be hurt (or could be hurt or have been threatened with being hurt) can also result in the need for professional counseling.
As a professional membership society, ACA is in a position to develop materials, resources and information designed to help you in your practice or on your educational path leading to your degree and license. I am fortunate to have an outstanding staff here at ACA that is ready, willing and able to assist you. All we need to know is what the biggest help would be to you.
If you do have time to communicate with me this month, let me know what you would like from your professional membership organization. I can’t promise delivery on every last request, but I can tell you that the staff and I will review your suggestions to see what is possible. If we can’t fulfill your request right now, we might be able to explore ways to do so moving forward.
One thing I often hear from professional counselors is what the ACA Conference & Expo means to them. This is the one time each year that you get to “be you” with thousands of other professionals who share your desire to be the best counselor possible. I know it’s only September, but the ACA Conference coming to Atlanta next April is already shaping up to be one of the best in terms of content. Our call for programs attracted so many responses that the various content tracks promise to be chock-full of interesting, timely and useful information for attendees. For more information about the ACA Conference & Expo, go to counseling.org/conference. Visit the site now, and then return each month to see what we have updated for you.
Finally, here is something else that I imagine you do not hear enough: Thank you. Your commitment, compassion, advocacy and work on behalf of clients and students does not go unnoticed. You are special human beings, and the impact you are making now will have a long-lasting effect on your clients and students and those with whom they will interact during their lifetimes.