Tremendous Growth Expected for the Counseling Profession: How ACA is Preparing the Counselors of Tomorrow

December 17, 2019

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The ACA 2020 Conference & Expo promises to support the preparedness of professional counselors, helping you to meet the growing need for mental health treatment services


During the coming decade, the counseling profession is expected to grow at a much faster-than-average rate, according to a September 2019 report by the U.S. Department of Labor. The strongest growth is expected among substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors (22 percent) and marriage and family therapists (22 percent).


The expected growth in the profession is necessary to meet the many untreated, and often unaddressed, mental health needs nationwide. In the United States, more than 10 million adults say they have an unmet need for mental health treatment, according Mental Health America’s 2020 State of Mental Health in America Report. And, for our nation’s youth, only 28.2 percent of those facing severe Major Depressive Episodes received consistent treatment.


If you’re a professional counselor, you may already be experiencing the growing demand for the mental health services that you provide. You also know how important it is to continue to update your knowledge base so you are better prepared to support your clients. You’re working hard to stay ahead of your clients’ challenges such as opioid addiction, disaster-related trauma, and marriage and family struggles. The American Counseling Association is here to help and we’ve dedicated countless hours to developing the tools and resources you need to prepare for the challenges of tomorrow.


One of our most significant learning events of the year is our Annual Conference & Expo taking place this coming April 16–19 in San Diego. This educational event offers you an opportunity to earn up to 28 continuing education credits through more than 500 education sessions organized into 36 content area tracks. Attendees will learn from – and alongside – the profession’s top practitioners.


“Counselors joining us in San Diego will have access to countless opportunities to develop cutting-edge, timely skills to support their clients today, and into the future,” said ACA President Heather Trepal. “For me, the conference is also a professional reunion where I’m able to connect in person with long-time colleagues and enhance my network of counselors within similar specialty areas.”


This year’s clinical mental health sessions explore several clinical perspectives of suicide, including prevention and postvention planning, and dig deep into therapeutic approaches to meet individual needs.


Treating the individual is the foundation of the work of our keynote speaker, Irvin Yalom, MD. An avid reader from childhood, Dr. Yalom says this passion informed his approach to his clients – “with a sense of wonderment at the story that will unfold.” He says he believes that a different therapy must be constructed for each patient because each has a unique story. You won’t want to miss his address on Friday, April 17 at 8 a.m.


The 28 continuing education credits offered this spring provide many practitioners the education needed to maintain licensure. Sessions explore individual trauma and crisis counseling, multicultural and international issues, ethics and risk management, child and adolescent counseling, and more. Up to 20 CE credits will be available during conference sessions held April 17–19. Eight additional CE credits will be available through Pre-Conference Learning Institutes held on April 16 (additional fees apply)Explore the full program.


“ACA empowers members stay on the leading edge of client-focused and student-centered practice,” said Lynn Linde, Chief Knowledge and Learning Officer. “It’s our job to help ACA members pull ahead in the race to monitor and master the best tools of practice.”


Find out more about the ACA 2020 Conference & Expo and register online today.


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