Tag Archives: New Members Audience

New Members Audience

Cincinnati is full of surprises

Heather Rudow September 1, 2012

In the past, tourists looking for a vacation hotspot in the Midwest tended to overlook Cincinnati in favor of larger cities. But this diamond in the rough has undergone a cultural transformation throughout the past decade — so much so that well-known travel guide Lonely Planet named Cincinnati one of its top three U.S. travel destinations for 2012. Even so, counselors and their families attending the American Counseling Association 2013 Conference & Expo (March 20-24) might be surprised by all that the Queen City has to offer.

Cincinnati, the third-largest city in Ohio, sits along the Ohio River at the border of Kentucky and close to Indiana. It features unique offerings in the way of food, history and entertainment. Cincinnatians are proud of their hometown, and ACA members who live there are excited to show off all that the city has to offer to conference attendees.

Jewels of the city

G. Susan Mosley-Howard, a professor of educational psychology at Miami University of Ohio and an ACA member, has been living in Cincinnati for nearly 20 years. She says the city’s unique neighborhoods, stunning riverfront views and thriving fine arts community are some of her favorite things about Cincinnati. She hopes her fellow ACA members and conference-goers will take advantage of those features as much as possible while visiting.

When conference attendees have some downtime, Mosley-Howard says they should “definitely go to the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, the Cincinnati Zoo [and] Botanical Garden area, explore Findlay Market, take a walk through downtown and simply enjoy a meal on Fountain Square.”

Formerly known as the Cincinnati Union Terminal, the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal was one of the last great railroad stations built in the United States. It has since been transformed into museums, theaters and the Cincinnati History Library and Archives. The Cincinnati Museum Center holds the Museum of Natural History & Science and the Cincinnati History Museum, along with an Omnimax theater. According to locals, the beautiful architecture of the 1930s art deco-style railroad station is alone worth a visit.

First opened in 1875, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden not only is one of the oldest zoos in the United States, but also is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s best, housing everything from gorillas to polar bears to white tigers. The botanical gardens are filled with perennial flowers, native plants, trees, shrubs and various other flora that visitors can take in after they have finished seeing the fauna at the zoo.

The zoo and botanical garden are just a couple of miles from Findlay Market, the oldest continuously operated public market in Ohio. The market, which is brimming with prepared foods, local fruits and vegetables, cheeses, pastries, coffee, and wine and spirits, is open year-round except for Mondays. Visiting Findlay Market is a great way to get both a literal and figurative taste of Cincinnati’s local flavor as well as a bit of the city’s history because the market is located in the notable Over-the-Rhine district.

In the 1840s, Germans immigrated in large numbers to Cincinnati and tended to settle in the northern part of the city, which developed into today’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. The area began to go through a resurgence about six years ago and has developed into one of Cincinnati’s brightest cultural hotspots. Locals say Over-the-Rhine offers a plethora of great places to eat and drink and is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city. It is also home to Cincinnati’s arts community, including the free-of-charge Cincinnati Art Museum and the American Classical Music Hall of Fame.

ACA member Carl Grueninger, lead counselor for Cincinnati Public Schools and chair of the counseling department at Walnut Hills High School, has family ties to the area. His great-grandparents settled in Over-the-Rhine after emigrating from Germany. “[The neighborhood] has cutting-edge restaurants, the Music Hall [and] 19th-century architecture,” he says.

During that time period, German entrepreneurs built a successful brewing industry that became associated with Over-the-Rhine. Grueninger recommends heading to Moerlein Lager House, which brews its own German-style beer and gives visitors a bit of the history of the area through its drinks.

Getting a taste of Cincinnati

Additionally, Grueninger suggests that conference attendees partake in some of the city’s other unique dining experiences. First, he recommends grabbing a plate of chili — though Cincinnati’s take on the classic dish is a little different than one might expect. The chili itself is a regional take on chili con carne, with different spices and a thinner consistency, but what really sets the city’s chili apart is all of the “ways” that Cincinnatians love to get it.

Grueninger’s personal recommendation is to order a “four-way,” which he describes as “chili and a generous topping of shredded cheese on a cheese coney — a hot dog [with] mustard, onions and shredded cheese on a bun.” Diners also have the option of ordering their chili served over spaghetti instead of on a cheese coney. Other options include purchasing a “three-way” (chili, spaghetti or a hotdog, and cheese), a “five-way” chili, spaghetti or a hotdog, cheese, onions and beans), a “two-way” (chili and spaghetti or a hotdog) or simply a “bowl,” with just the chili itself.

Chili parlors are abundant in Cincinnati, but Grueninger says the three most popular are Skyline Chili, Gold Star Chili and Camp Washington Chili.

After a satisfying chili dinner, conference-goers might also want to sample a scoop of Graeter’s ice cream, a much-loved regional chain that originated in Cincinnati. “The best ice cream in the world,” declares Grueninger. “My favorite flavor is the black raspberry chocolate chip.” A Graeter’s location in Fountain Square is within walking distance of the Duke Energy Convention Center, where the ACA Conference & Expo will be held.

“Cincinnati’s Fountain Square is the center of our city,” Grueninger says. “Whenever someone comes to visit the city — an important politician, when we win at sports or when the Choir Games are in town — we gather at Fountain Square. It is about two blocks from the convention center where the conference will be held, and many of the hotels people will stay at are either surrounding Fountain Square or are only a few blocks from it.”

For those conference attendees looking to unleash their inner carnivore while in Cincinnati, Grueninger suggests heading to the Ohio River to dine at Montgomery Inn at the Boathouse. “Former presidents, the late Bob Hope and many sports figures all would eat here for the famous ribs,” he says. Or attendees can check out Jeff Ruby Steakhouse, located on Walnut Street in nearby Fountain Square, for what Grueninger considers the “best steaks in town.”

A new hub of activity

Locals also recommend visiting a newly developed neighborhood called The Banks, located (logically enough) along the banks of the Ohio River. The city recently revamped this riverfront area, turning it into a stylish hub of activity that is within walking distance of the convention center. Among the neighborhood’s highlights are Smale Riverfront Park; the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, where visitors can learn about the history of slavery in America and investigate their genealogy; the Taft Museum of Art, which features unique works of art, both from Cincinnati artists and from artists around the world; and the Cincinnati Reds Baseball Team Hall of Fame, which is the largest team hall of fame in the United States. Visitors can also tour the former home of President William Howard Taft, located in The Banks district. Additionally, Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, used to reside a couple of miles northeast in the Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati. Her home is available for tours as well.

There are also interesting places to drink in The Banks, such as Moerlein Lager House and Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, owned by the country music star and presumably named after his hit song “I Love This Bar.”

Because of Cincinnati’s close proximity to Kentucky, it is also easy to venture outside of the city during one’s stay. “You can walk across the river on the Purple People Bridge” — a pedestrian-only walkway known officially as the Newport Southbank Bridge — “or the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, [which] Roebling designed … before the Brooklyn Bridge, and visit Newport on the Levee or Covington, Kentucky,” Grueninger says. “Riverboat cruises are available also.”

Mosley-Howard adds that getting around the city, which is 80 square miles, shouldn’t be difficult for conference attendees. “If you are staying downtown, walking is easy,” she says. “The city’s metro bus system is good, however, to get around in the city core.” For more information on Cincinnati’s metro system, visit its website at go-metro.com.

Both Grueninger and Mosley-Howard are looking forward to having others in ACA experience the charm and positive spirit they see every day in Cincinnati.

“Cincinnati is known as a friendly city,” Grueninger says, “and I hope to meet many of my fellow counselors in March.”

For more information on the ACA 2013 Conference & Expo, including tours of the city provided by ACA, visit counseling.org/conference.

 Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Contact her at hrudow@counseling.org.

Letters to the editor: ct@counseling.org

Facts about Cincinnati 

  • Cincinnati was originally called Losantiville, meaning “the city opposite the mouth of the Licking River,” when it was settled in 1788. The city was renamed in 1790 after an organization formed by officers who served in the Revolutionary War called the Society of the Cincinnati.
  • Cincinnatians, extremely proud of the massive growth of their city during its first 40 years, began referring to their home as the “Queen City” or the “Queen of the West.” The nickname was memorialized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1854 poem “Catawba Wine.”
  • Cincinnati was also known as Porkopolis for a time beginning around 1835, when it was the country’s chief hog-packing center and herds of pigs traveled the streets. Some locals speculate that this chapter of Cincinnati history is where the city’s famous Flying Pig Marathon got its mysterious name.
  • Well-known Cincinnatians include Henry Heimlich, George Clooney, Doris Day, Annie Oakley, Steven Spielberg, Jerry Springer, Bootsy Collins and the Isley Brothers.
  • The Cincinnati Reds, formed in 1869, were the first all-professional baseball team in the United States. The city also hosted the first night game in Major League Baseball history in 1935.
  • Cincinnati is home to the first professional city fire department in the United States.
  • The Oscar-nominated film Seabiscuit starring Jeff Bridges and Tobey Maguire was filmed in Cincinnati.
  • Cincinnati was the first U.S. city to establish a municipal university — the University of Cincinnati in 1870.
  • Cincinnati was the site of the first airmail transportation in the United States in 1835. The mail was carried by hot air balloon.
  • Two-thirds of the U.S. population lives within a one-day drive of Cincinnati.

— Heather Rudow

What travel sites are saying about Cincinnati

  •   Frommer’s recommends visiting the Mount Adams neighborhood for “stunning views of downtown and the Ohio River.”
  • Lonely Planet chose Cincinnati as one of its top U.S. travel destinations for 2012. Cincinnati’s “historically entertaining” American Legacy Tours, the American Sign Museum and Carew Tower, the world’s tallest standing pre-World War II tower, are just a few of the reasons the city made the list.
  • Budget Travel magazine ranked Cincinnati as one of America’s “11 Greatest Waterfront Towns.” The magazine suggests dining at Montgomery Inn at the Boathouse for its “unique riverfront setting,” as well as signing up for a historic boat cruise on BB Riverboats.
  • Midwest Living magazine says, “This historic city on the Ohio River offers top cultural institutions and a revitalized riverfront.” Among the highlights on its list of Cincinnati’s 15 top attractions are the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (see picture above), the Cincinnati Observatory, downtown’s Contemporary Art Center, Hyde Park Square and Findlay Market.

— HR 

ACAC becomes newest organizational affiliate of ACA

Lynne Shallcross April 1, 2011

It was a question Randy Astramovich heard over and over: Why doesn’t the American Counseling Association have a division for counselors working with children and adolescents in a multitude of settings? This past spring, Astramovich decided it was time to take action so these counselors could have a true organizational “home.”

Astramovich, along with a few other individuals interested in seeing the idea come to fruition, collected 450 supporting signatures. With approval from the Governing Council, the Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling became ACA’s newest organizational affiliate this past fall. Once ACAC gains 500 ACA members, it can qualify to become an ACA division.

ACA Executive Director Richard Yep says the timing couldn’t be better. “I appreciate all of the work that the founding officers of ACAC did to move the process forward to the Governing Council. The issues that confront professional counselors who work with children and adolescents are at an all-time high, and the work of ACAC could be instrumental to the success of those providers.”

“The movement toward the establishment of ACAC originally grew out of conversations between ACA members who provide counseling services to children and adolescents across a wide variety of settings and who sought venues within ACA for networking, collaboration, research, preparation and training in child and adolescent counseling,” Astramovich wrote in a letter petitioning for ACAC to become an organizational affiliate. He further noted that although ACA’s Annual Conference & Exposition regularly features a grouping of conference presentations on child and adolescent counseling, no place existed within the ACA family for those counselors to collaborate and network outside the conference. Astramovich, now founding president of ACAC and an associate professor of counseling at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, also pointed out that other organizations for helping professionals, such as the American Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Workers, already offered special divisions for child and adolescent work.

“Many of the child and adolescent counselors and counselor educators found ourselves without a specific network of support in ACA,” echoes Dee Ray, ACAC secretary and associate professor of counseling and director of the Child and Family Resource Clinic at the University of North Texas. “Over the years at conferences and through e-mails, we’ve wondered why there wasn’t a division solely dedicated to working with children and adolescents. We provided informal support for each other, but we wanted to have an organization that provided a formal network and support system for this population.”

Now that ACAC is up and running, Ray says expectations are high. “We hope that ACAC will focus on the training needs of counselors who work with children and adolescents and additionally provide professional support in terms of ideas, resources and encouragement to keep counselors motivated and energized to work with children,” she says.

ACAC will offer a variety of benefits to members, says Astramovich, who also serves as editor of the Journal for International Counselor Education. The organization will promote best practices, as well as research and networking opportunities for professional counselors who work with children and adolescents. ACAC will also strive to highlight the unique developmental and cultural needs of these clients, advocate for expanded child and adolescent counseling services, promote interdisciplinary collaboration among specialties whose members work with children and adolescents, and offer ACA members a collective voice in this specialty. “Although other [ACA] divisions address children, we felt like there was a need for some unity in the provision of counseling services to children across multiple settings,” Astramovich says.

ACAC’s primary focus will be to promote research and effective counseling services for children and adolescents, Astramovich says. In working with adults, he adds, most counselor practitioners come to understand that many of the issues their clients struggle with are rooted in their childhoods. Professional counseling is based on the idea of optimal human development, Astramovich says, and maximizing counselors’ effectiveness with children and adolescents could prevent or lessen problems for those individuals when they reach adulthood.

ACAC will also work to ensure that counselors in the field have the education and qualifications necessary to be effective, Ray says. “For so long, our field has focused mostly on working with adults and just applying those same skills to children and adolescents. Working with children and adolescents requires a specific skill set, and we will advocate for counselors to become formally trained in those skills. In addition, we will seek to differentiate skill sets needed for children and skill sets needed for adolescents. We will provide a developmental focus to work effectively with children and adolescents.”

Bridging the disconnect

ACAC isn’t geared specifically toward school counselors, but because they work closely with children and adolescents, the hope is to get school counselors actively involved in ACAC, Ray says. “However, ACAC will focus on the needs of all counselors who are counseling children and adolescents,” she emphasizes. “Private practitioners, mental health counselors in the schools, agency counselors, counselors in hospitals and school counselors are all part of the network that works with children and adolescents. The counseling part is the most important aspect of our concentration.”

Michael Moyer, ACAC trustee and assistant professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, says when it comes to school counselors and professional counselors working with children and adolescents, partnering is key. “I believe ACAC will emphasize the need for collaboration between school and community counselors,” he says. “School counselors provide valuable services within the school system and the school setting, and community counselors also provide valuable services outside the school walls. Sometimes there is a disconnect between the two, and I feel very strongly that there should be collaboration and support from both sides to best support children and adolescents.”

It’s possible, Astramovich says, that ACAC could also promote a new paradigm in the way services are provided to children and adolescents in schools. Astramovich previously worked in Dallas as a school counselor and found that the ratio of students to school counselors left counselors juggling too many tasks. “What was clear was that the demands placed on school counselors are enormous,” he says. “There are so many duties school counselors are expected to fulfill that it’s simply impossible for all those duties to be met effectively by one individual.” (ACA recommends a maximum average student-to-counselor ratio of 250:1, but the most recent data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics show the average ratio in U.S. elementary and secondary schools stands at 457:1; see the March 2011 issue ofCounseling Today for more information.)

Astramovich says the future could include creating school-based counseling centers, which might look much like university counseling centers, with a variety of helping professionals, including professional counselors, available to students. If the dynamics trend that way, Astramovich says, school counselors wouldn’t disappear, but their roles would likely change. For example, the roles might be split between an academic counselor who helps students with courses and academic concerns and a mental health counselor who is based in a school counseling center. “Asking one individual to provide all the services that our children need isn’t realistic,” Astramovich says.

A tailored approach

The issues today’s children and adolescents face are wide ranging, Ray says, but perhaps the most common trouble point is society’s lack of understanding of what is developmentally appropriate in terms of mental health, growth and education. “This developmental mismatch between what is expected of children and what is naturally healthy for them is at the root of many children’s behavioral and emotional health problems,” she says.

To see change on the societal level, Ray believes the most important thing counselors can do is be active members of ACA and ACAC and advocate for best practices with children and adolescents. “Clinically, a counselor needs to be educated in working with children and adolescents from a theoretically sound framework,” she says. “Formal education will help counselors develop a belief system from which techniques and skills will emerge. The current trend to just grab any book or article on a technique to use with young people is ethically suspect and fairly ineffective.”

Counselors generally rely on talking in their work with clients, but Ray points out that children and adolescents often communicate in nonverbal ways, making it imperative that counselors cultivate their own nonverbal communication skills. “Because of cognitive differences or emotional issues, children and adolescents typically prefer nonverbal methods of communication to build relationships,” she says. “For example, young children communicate through their play, so we have found play therapy to be the most effective means of developing counseling relationships. Adolescents might prefer a physical activity or expressive arts activity to build their counseling relationships. Counselors need to be trained and supported in these methods to be effective in their counseling.”

Astramovich echoes that sentiment, saying that the use of developmentally appropriate techniques with children and adolescents is key to helping them. For instance, he says, counselors should gain experience using play techniques because substantial research exists showing the effectiveness of these techniques with kids.

Moyer adds that counselors must keep things exciting and moving when working with kids. “I find myself integrating different activities and types of play and not using as much traditional talk therapy,” he says. “Children and adolescents have so many options and activities that involve fast-paced technology that counselors working with that population have to be able to adapt their counseling skills to keep [these clients’] attention and make it meaningful to them.”

Another unique aspect of working with children and adolescents is the potential interaction with their parents or guardians, Moyer says. “Unlike working with adults who can provide their own informed consent, children and adolescents cannot. A legal guardian must provide that consent for them. In addition, parents and guardians have a legal right to know what a counselor is talking to their child about and, I believe, should be involved in the counseling process. On the other hand, as a counselor, I have to balance that sharing of information with the parent or guardian because the child or adolescent is my client, and I have to be able to build a trusting relationship with them. In short, there is a balancing act in building a trusting relationship in which the child or adolescent feels comfortable and confident in talking openly [even as the counselor keeps] the parents informed to an appropriate extent.”

As ACAC gets off the ground, Ray and Moyer offer some general words of wisdom about working with children and adolescents. Quality formal education is absolutely essential, Ray says, as is quality supervision of a counselor’s work by an experienced child counselor supervisor. “Working with children and adolescents is qualitatively different from working with adults,” she says. “Further, working with children is qualitatively different from working with adolescents. One cannot just apply those adult counseling skills to children and expect them to work. Counselors need a new language to be effective.”

Moyer offers the same advice he gives to his counseling students: “Be genuine. Children and adolescents can see right through you when you are being fake, and you will lose them pretty quickly. Be present and listen to their concerns. And [be] nonjudgmental. Children and adolescents — like all populations, I’m sure — are judged constantly on their thoughts and actions. Counselors can do wonderful things just by listening and not judging.”

Interested in getting involved in ACAC? Contact Randy Astramovich at randy.astramovich@unlv.edu for more information.

Lynne Shallcross is a senior writer for Counseling Today. Contact her at lshallcross@counseling.org.

Letters to the editor: ct@counseling.org