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How to avoid marrying a lerk - American Counseling Association

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'How to avoid marrying a lerk'
ACA member packages dating plan for singles and singles again
Written and compiled by
Scott Barstow, Dara Alpert and
Christopher Campbell
House says
TRICARE counselors
should practice
Full recognition of Licensed
Professional Counselors by the
Department of Defense (DOD)
continues to move closer to reality, but more work remains for
the counseling community.
On May 25, the House of Representatives passed language as
part of the "National Defense
Authorization Act" (H.R. 1815)
granting independent practice
authority for mental health counselors under the TRICARE
health care program. The Ianguage was unchanged from the
version adopted earlier by the
House Armed Services Committee, as described in last month's
Counseling Today. While ex-,
pected, passage of the provision
by the full House of Representatives is a necessary step in the
Continued on page 12
John Van Epp first began helping singles and couples as a pastoral counselor, providing guidance and creating educational
programs for those in his church
who were dealing with relationship issues or divorce. The number of people struggling to find a
healthy relationship seemed to
be escalating, and at one point
he was counseling almost 75
percent of the congregation.
"I found so many couples
coming to get premarital counseling but already completely
set on the marriage and' marriage date:' he said. "There was
not a lot of openness toward
working on issues that may have
already been present in the relationship." He realized during
this time that the need existed
for a program targeted at singles
before they became serious in
their dating relationships. "Because once serious," he said,
"they overlook and minimize
the problems that later infect
and plague their marriage."
Van Epp felt strongly that there
was a need to help this population further, so he decided to pursue his counseling degree and
eventually a doctorate. In 1986,
he made the switch from the pastorate to a full-time counseling
practice in Ohio. Although he
was now working in a clinical
setting, he continued to see many
clients who were frustrated with
broken marriages or dysfunctional relationships.
"Once I got into the counseling practice," he said, "the same
issues kept presenting themselves in those who came in for
couples counseling, as well 'as
the individuals who had left the
relationship. They almost al-
ways could see problem areas
but overlooked them and mimmized them."
To better help his clients find
Continued on page 14
Combining business with counseling
Johns Hopkins program teaches students to use counseling skills to help organizations
Jordan Chase had been pondering her ideal job and puzzling over a move back to grad-
uate school when a fortuitous
call came to her as she sat in her
office at a Charlotte, N.C.-based
organizational consulting firm.
A student looking for an internship with Chase's company
mentioned a new master's degree program in organizational
counseling at Baltimore's Johns
Hopkins University. What began
as a brief job query turned into a
two-hour discussion about the
program -
and an answer for
Chase. "It was right up my
alley," she said. "I applied, was
accepted and moved to Baltimore within six months to start
the program."
That sort of comfortable fit is
common among the students in
the five-year-old program and among employers who increasingly are looking for people with the unique mix of skills
that the program provides.
Students with counseling
backgrounds looking for work in
a business structure and veterans
of the business world seeking a
better way to provide counseling
services have found a home in
the Hopkins organizational
counseling program, along with
newcomers to both fields. And
organizations looking for tins
unique blend of skills are hiring
the graduates, often after only a
brief stint as interns. (See sidebar on p. 17.)
Chase had known the general
direction she was headed in ever
since her days as an undergraduate. "I wanted to apply psychology to business somehow,"
she said. "That's where my
interests were." While she was
working her way through a
degree in psychology, Chase
became active in human resources professional groups,
Continued on page 16
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School safety receives low grade,
A new report titled "The State
of School Safety in American
Schools 2004-2005" claims that
sexual assault, violent cliques
and violent parents have become
commonplace in the nation's
schools. The report was developed by a research team at, a security consulting and training firm that offers
problem solving for school and
educational institutions in areas
such as school safety training,
bullying, sexual harassment and
teacher safety. In addition to collecting data based on its interviews with 1,200 teachers, 320
school administrators and 925
law enforcement professionals in
rural, suburban and urban school
districts, the research team compiled the report
using information from previous
studies on school safety and
child-on-child aggression.
"In 2000;' said research team
leader Dale Yeager, "the United
States Human Rights Projects'
National Campaign to Fight for
Children asked SERAPH to create a detailed report on school
safety for select members of the
U.S. Congress. Because of the
misconceptions about school
safety by the public and many
legislators, we felt that releasing
this year's report to the public
would assist in educating people
about the problem.
The report covers many areas
not traditionally discussed in
school safety research. These
topics include:
* Young children and aggression
N Educational philosophies
and student aggression
* Health issues and school
* Sexually transmitted diseases
* Piercing and tattoos
* Girl aggression, sexism and
school safety
* Youth-on-youth sex aggression and staff abuse of students
* Parenting
* Dress codes
* Hazing'
"The issue of school safety
affects everyone in society,
Yeager said. "Juvenile crime,
domestic violence and poverty
are all tied to school safety
issues. The report will provide
factual information to the public
so that they can understand the
complexity of the problem and
provide information to legislators so that they can assist
schools in preventing and managing school safety issues:'
The complete report is
available online at http://
The Last Word
"As I wrote about the things that had happenedto me, I was able to feel them
and embrace them. I was able tofind a way to recover."
-Sandy Riggin, counselor and adultsurvivor of child abuse
(See "Breaking the silence, breakingthe cycle" on page 10)
By the Numbers: Love and Marriage
Become an ACA 'Key Contact'
The American Counseling Association Office of Public Policy
and Legislation began putting an Advocacy Network in place in
2002 to mobilize counselors in each state to help impact legislation in the U.S. Congress. To work effectively, the network needs
at least two ACA members from each state to serve as "Key Contacts" and to be responsible for recruiting counselors and creating
a rapid response system to contact Congress.
Currently, the advocacy network has Key Contacts in 34 states
and the District of Columbia. Key Contacts are still needed in
Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana,
Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina,
Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Key Contacts will help to make sure that public policy information reaches as many counselors as possible. In addition, they will
help ACA to schedule meetings with members of Congress and
generate support from state counseling associations. ACA's Public Policy and Legislation staff will provide direction, support and
additional training to Key Contacts. For more information, call
Chris Campbell of ACA at 800.347.6647 ext. 241 or e-mail him
Bill contains school counselor provisions
On May 27, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford signed into law
the "South Carolina Education and Economic Development Act:'
The legislation is designed to foster development of a "career cluster system" within the state's Department of Education. The new
law requires that students "be provided individualized educational, academic and career-oriented choices and greater exposure to
career information and opportunities."
The new law includes several provisions of interest to school
counselors, developed and advocated for by the South Carolina
Counseling Association and the South Carolina School Counseling Association. Among these, the law stipulates that "School
guidance counselors and career specialists shall limit their activities to guidance and counseling and may ndt j6rform administrative tasks." The law requires that, by the 2007-2008 school year,
both middle schools and high schools provide students with the
services of either a certified guidance counselor who has completed Career Development Facilitator -certification training or a
career specialist who has completed such training and obtained a
bachelor's degree. Such services must be conducted under the
supervision of a certified guidance counselor. The law also
requires that middle and high schools have a student-to-guidance
personnel ratio of no more than 300-to-1.
For more information, contact Harriet Gardin Fields, chair of
the South Carolina Counseling Association's Committee on Public Policy and Legislation, at hfields213@aoL com or by phone at
ACA joins school personnel coalition
A: 43 percent of U.S. residents (age 75 and older) are unmarried; B: An estimated 50 percent
of marriages taking place today will end in divorce; C: Percentage of married people who reach
their fifth anniversary (82 percent); D: Percentage who reach their 15th anniversary (52 percent);
E: Percentage who reach their 35th anniversary (20 percent).
ACA was among nearly 20 organizations that joined together
on May 19 for a second national discussion on personnel qualifications and persistent vacancies in the U.S. school system. Following up on an initial meeting held earlier this year, the participants decided to form the Coalition to Address Personnel Needs
in Special Education and Related Services.
ACA believes that the coalition's advocacy efforts will assist in
ensuring that persistent vacancies, caused by school counselor
shortages in rural and urban areas, are filled by applicants who
are well-trained and qualified to serve as school counselors. In
addition, the coalition's efforts should raise the perceived value of
service providers in schools, encouraging decisionmakers at all
levels of government to support funding for school counseling
positions at the recommended ratio levels. The coalition's next
meeting will take place at ACA headquarters on Aug. 2.
For more information, contact ACA Professional Projects
Coordinator Simone Lambert at sla
Alternate model for
crisis debriefing
Thank you very much for the
"Before and after" article in the
May 2005 issue of Counseling
Today. It is so welcorme to hear
others talk about the fact that
there is no one intervention that
fits every situation or every
student/staff person (in the aftermath of a school shooting).
I was most interested with the
debriefing experience. The National Institute for Trauma and
Loss in Children generally suggests that debriefing not be conducted until at least the third or
fourth day after the event to give
witnesses time to process what
they experienced and/or to get
some distaqce from it. We have
found that several days later,
emotions have calmed a little
more. There is less need to
dwell on actual details, while at
the same time there is more
need to feel "connected" with
other survivors or other friends/
students and to know that others
are having similar thoughts and
. We have also said for years
that we can't possibly know
what students are experiencing
following exposure to a traumatic event because it is their experience, not ours. Joan CollinsMarotte's point that "We didn't
have the right ... to tell them
how they should feel" was well
said. It sounds' like her team
basically relied on crisis intervention by belpifig students discover their own inner resources
to "get through" the day.
I just wanted to say thanks for
the article. It was definitely on
track with our experiences and
strategies. Should your readers
be interested, our website is
William Steele
National Institutefor Trauma
and Loss in Children
Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.
Calling all counselors:
Law enforcement officers
S have need'for services
As a staunch reader of Counseling Today, I have always
found the articles informative
and worth the read. I particular-ly like the articles that focus on
counseling clients with certain
needs. Such client populations
have included minority cliehts,
persons with disabilities and
persons with different spiritual.
frameworks, to name a few.
While these populations have
special needs of which. counselors should be cognizant, there
is another population that often
gets overlooked.
Speaking both as a law en:
forcement officer of 14 years
and as a professional counselor
who provides counseling for
officers and their families, the
lav enforcement population offers unique challenges for counselors. Counselors consider this
population to be difficult to
attract into counseling, distrustful of any kind of mental health
services and very cynical. Despite the challenges this population presents, working with law
enforcement persofnel can be a
rewarding experience for any
counselor once trust is established
Counselors are prepared to
handle the challenges of law
enforcement personnel and their
families. However, like any
group of clienis that has special
considerations, it behooves the
practitioner to have an understanding of what the needs are
for this population and how to
effectively provide services. As
the world of law enforcement is
continually changing, more officers are seeking the assistance.
of professionals to help them
with job-related and personal
concerns. Counselors interested
in working with this population
will benefit greatly by earning
the trust of the officer as well as
the organization. This can be
achieved by taking the time to
understand how the police organization works and becoming
familiar with the special circumstances that officers and their
families experience.
For this reason, I strongly support Counseling Today publishing counseling-related articles
that address the needs of this
population. Law enforcembt is
becoming more receptive to
mental health services, and this
represents a new and growing
opportunity upon which counselors would be astute to focus.
Sgt. Deborah C. Moore
New York City
Editor'snote: We agree. We'll
try to publish an article about
the counseling-relatedneeds of
law enforcementpersonnelin an
upcoming issue.
Reader believes that
.anti-Christian bias
ispervading ACA '
One - of the first things I
learned in therapy school is that,
sometimes it is possible 'to say
too much. It would seem that
Terry Abell missed that day in
class judging by the Letter to the
Editor in the June.2005 issue of
Volume 48/Numbe
Counseling Today. The letter
trod on ground which angels
should fear to tread, and I find I
must respond to the thinly veiled
ieligious bigotry committed on
the letters page of that issue.
I am a Catholic pastoral counselor who has authored seven
books integrating Catholicism
and counseling practice. I host a
daily radio broadcast heard nationally on Catholic radio and
maintain an active behavioral
tele'health practice that draws
Catholic clients from around the
world. Frankly, I could not care
less whether the American Counseling Association acknowledged Pope John Paul II for anything (the issue to which Abell
was responding). Of course, it
would have been completely
appropriate to honor him not
only for his strong moral leadership or his huge contribution to
the canon and practice of social
justice teaching, but also because
he was the de facto head of the
largest social welfare agency in
the world. (For example, in the
United States alone, Catholic
Charities USA cared for 10 million people last year without
regard for age, race or creed.)
Nevertheless, his greatness hardly stands or falls by the ACA's
corporate recognition of it.
That said, Abell goes on to
suggest that the pope was perhaps not worthy of honor by ihe
ACA-because, for example, he
upheld the church's teaching on
artificial contraception and the
male priesthood, and insisted
that sex be reserved to married
heterosexuals. At this point,
Abell crossed the line.
This is not the space to
attempt to defend those teachings, but the printing of such a
letter is indicative of the hostility nd'ignorance that pervades
the membership and administration of ACA toward religion in
general and Catholicism in particular. In a recent issue of the
Journalof Counseling & Development, for example, contributors excoriated the Catholic
Church by name for being "hypocritical;' anachronistic and repressive. The article strained the
Continued on page 41
Counseling Today Staff
Richard Yep
800.347.6647 ext. 231
Jonathan Rollins
800.347.6647 ext. 339
Senior Staff Writer
Angela Kennedy
800.347.6647 ext. 320
Advertising Representative
Kathy Maguire
CT Column Coordinators
Washington Update
Scott Barstow
800.347.6647 ext. 234
Finding Your Way
Jeffrey Kottler
California State University
- Fullerton
Department of Counseling
Fullerton, CA 92834-6868
Dignity, Development
and Diversity
Michael D'Andrea
Dept. of Counselor Education
1776 University Ave.
University of Hawaii
Honolulu, HI 96822
Judy Daniels
Dept. of Counselor Education
1776 University Ave.
University of Hawaii
Honolulu, HI 96822
Student Focus
Richard Hazler
Dept. of Counselor Education,
Counseling Psychology and
Rehabilitation Services
327 CEDAR Building
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802
Resource Reviews
James S. Korcuska
624 Catalina Ave.
Vermillion, SD 57069-3610
Innovations in Counseling
Susan X Day
sxday@houston.r com
Patricia Arredondo
800.347.6647 eit. 232
empow@aoL com
Marie Wakefield
Executive Director
Richard Yep
.800.347.6647 ext. 231
Associate Executive Director
Carol Neiman
800.347.6647 ext. 288
Counseling Today
(ISSN 1078-8719)
is the monthly newspaper of the
American Counseling Association,
5999 Stevenson Ave.,
Alexandria, VA 2?304-3300;
Tel: 703.823.9800;
Subscriptions are available for $98
foy 12 issues by calling PP&F at
800.633.4931. Sihgle copies are
available at $9 each by calling
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Periodicals postige paid atAlexandria,
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Postmaster: Send address
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reserved, 2005 by the American
Counseling Association.
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Counseling Today accepts unsolicited articles and guest editorials
Please send via e-mail to ct@ or to Counseling
Today at 5999 Stevenson Ave.,
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typed, double-spaced copy. Submissions will not be returned.
For more information, locate the
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Counseling Today welcomes letters
to the editor Only letters from
individuals will be published. Individuals may write as often as they
like, but Counseling Today will
prnt only one letter per person per
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CounselingToday will publish
letters anticipated to be of interest
to readers. Due to time and space limitations, letters cannot be
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Conseling Today reserves the right
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Include your home and e-mail
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Opinions expressed in letters do not
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Send letters and comments to
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Anti-Discrimination Policy,
There shall be no discrimination
against any individual on the basis
of-ethnic group, race, religion,
gender, sexual orientation, age,
and/or disability.
-Mission Statement
The mission of the Amencan Counseling Association is to enhance the
quality of life in society by promotIng the development of professioial
counselors, advancing the counseling profession, and using the profession and practice of couhseling
to promote respect for human
dignity and diversity.
From the President - BY PATRICIA ARREDONDO
A year dedicated to
certain special gente
"De tal palo, tal astillo?'
In the multicultural counseling
literature, there is an expression
often heard about "standing on
the shoulders of those who came
before us," a way to acknowledge that our accomplishments
have historical roots. The
proverb, or dicho, I am using this
month means "the apple never
falls too far from the tree?' As I
prepared to write my first column as president of the largest
and greatest counseling association in the world, I automatically
had images of my parents and
maternal grandmother. These
three individuals have had an
enormous influence on my
respect for multicultural diversity, servant leadership, education
and hard work. My personal and
professional values are grounded
in their examples and dedication
to lafamlia.They are the special
gente, or people, I refer to in my
I am not a self-made person.
Indeed, there were others who
guided, supported or otherwise
let me do my thing. Some of
these special gente are friends,
family and American Counseling
Association colleagues. My involvement with ACA since my
graduate school days in the late
1970s has fostered the special
connection of community and
familia that I enjoy. Although I
cannot speak for those of you
reading this column, I imagine
there are special gente inside and
outside of ACA with whom you
connect and who have guided
your pathway both personally
and professionally. Take a
moment to celebrate them.
As we embark on another year
of professional activity within
ACA, I am reminded of how fast
time moves. It seems like not so
long ago I was preparing to
become president-elect and learn
from Sam Gladding as he ably
stepped forth to offer his vision
and creativity to ACA. And as we
all know, Sam did provide leadership throughout ACA as he
journeyed to different regions,
branches and countries. The role
of the ACA president is multidimensional, providing us with a
variety of venues to promote and
enact the mission of the association (published each month in
Counseling Today's masthead on
page 4). I am following the
example and contributions of my
predecessors, and in so doing I
hope that another dicho will become a reality: Dime con quien
andas y te dire quien eres (Tell
me who your "associates" are
and I will tell you who you are).
Engagement with different
facets of ACA over the years
continues to be a source of both
professional identity enrichment
and affirmation. My recent participation in the Canadian Counselling Association conference in
St. John's, Newfoundland (a
four-hour plane ride from Scotland) was another reminder that
the spirit of counseling and counselors has no borders.
I have always valued language
and bilingualism or multilingualism. Call it serendipity, but the
2006 ACA Convention will be in
Montredl, in the province of
Quebec, in the country of Canada. Montreill is predominantly
French-speaking, although many
other Canadian cities and provinces have Francophone citizenry. There are many forces creating synergy for ACA's first conference outside the U.S. mainland. Culture, language, form of
government and history are just
some of the forces that influence
Canadian and U.S. worldviews,
making us both similar and different as countries that share borders. These facts caused me to
identify a multilingual theme for
the year and the convention that
communicates synergy and
Culture-Centeredand Diversity
Counseling Empowers All
French: Le counseling axe sur la
culture el la diversite facilite le
purvoird'agirde toute fanille.
Spanish: La consejeria centrada
en la cultura y en la diversidad
fortalece a todas lasfamilias.
As a profession, ACA is about
families, not just individuals.
After all, we all exist in relation
to others. The second message in
this theme is that of empowerment. Our preparation as counselors provides us with the
awareness, knowledge and skills
to facilitate the mental wellbeing and dignity of others. My
belief is that empowerment is
both an inherent process and outcome in counseling relationships.
For example, in our work with
immigrant families who speak
English as a second language, we
will likely focus on presenting
issues, but we also have to focus
on empowerment. Counselors
may need to affirm for the immigrant parents the strengths and resources they possess that enable
them to manage a major life transition and acculturative stressors.
The third message in the theme
promotes the importance of multicultural diversity in counseling.
Our conference in Canada, the
emergence of counseling programs in Mexico and Latin
America, the increase in international counseling conferences
and the continuation of new
immigration into the United
States are all indicators that culture and diversity are the fabric
of life. Adelante con ACA and le
famille de le counseling. N
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Executive Directors Message - BY RICHARD
duty and finding the elusive
school supplies that our children
"just have to have?'
You might wonder what my
fourth "new year" could possibly
be, and I want to tell you that it
occurs on July 1. This month is
yet another "new year" for ACA,
as it marks the beginning of our.
fiscal year.
June represented the month
when we said goodbye to a fine
group of dedicated leaders and
volunteers who served at all levels of governance and on our
committees and task forces. On
July 1, we begin our work with a
flew cadre of people who have
agreed to serve ACA and our
divisions. On behalfof the staff, I
want to officially welcome Patricia Arredondo as ACA's 54th
president, as well as those who
are joining the Governing Council, our committees and our task
forces for the first time.
In addition, I would be remiss
ifldidn'trecognize those assuming leadership positions in ACA's'
19 divisions, as well as on the
boards of those organizations
with whom we have professional
partnerships, including the ACA
Another new year
There are a number of days
that have special significance for
me during any given 12-month
period. Each year, I actually celebrate four different new years.
Let me explain what I mean.
On Jan. 1, I join with people
around the world as we usher in
a new calendar year. Some make
resolutions, some celebrate in a
very "active" manner and others
choose to observe the passing of
the previous calendar year in a
more reserved way. Regardless
of how people observe the new
calendai year, this is something
that impacts everyone.
Usually four t6 eight weeks
after the Jan. 1 "new year;" my
family and I observe Chinese
New Year. This "new year"
inipacts fewer people, but brings
with it interaction with family
and an abundance of good food,
customs and traditions.
In September, I acknowledge
the beginning of a new academic
year. For niany qf the student
members in the American Counseling Association, this marks a
significant passage in their professional development as they
continue their edication and
training. And for those of you in
counselor education, this time
period represents a new beginning after summer session or
summer vacation. Fot those of us
With children at the K-12 level,
this is a time of following a new
schedule as the summer ends,
possibly returning to carpool
Become a credentialed
Foundation, ACA Insurance
Trust, National Board for Certified Counselors, Council for
Accreditation of Counseling and
Related Education Programs,
and the American Association of
State Counseling Boards.
The hundreds of volunteers
assuming leadership roles in this
"new year" are to be congratulated for agreeing to serve and for
their dedication to the profession.
Froir the staff perspective, we
look forward to providing the
support and resources necessary
for all of you to meet your goals
for the year.
As we embark on a new year, I
want to ask all of you for your
input What we have planned for
this year came as the result of
many of you letting the staff and
me know what you expect .for
your membership dollar. Ideally,
we will meet (and hopefully
exceed) your expectations.
Over the course of the next 12
months, we will be launching a
number of new projects designed
to help those at the beginning of
their careers in counseling, at the
midpoint of their careers as well
as for those who ate looking
ahead to "life after" professional
As you know, we will also hold
our first joint ACA Annual Convention with our colleagues from
the Canadian Counselling Association in Montredl next April.
This event will feature more than
400 education sessions, as well
as half-day arid full-day preconvention learning institutes. We
will have interesting speakers, an
enhanced career center and a full
complement of more thani 100,
exhibitors demonstrating the latest products and services for professional counselors.
Our ongoing project to provide
more information to you via the
Internet will also see a number of
completed phases during this calendar year. I hope you will visit
us at during
the next several months to see
what we have built just for you.
Once again, thank you so
much for your membership in
ACA, and Happy New Year! As
always, contact me via e-mail at or via
phone at 800.347.6647 ext. 231
if you would like to share some
thoughts. Enjoy and be well. N
There are over two-hundred thousand, licensed,
* non-psychiatrists/psychologists, mental health
professionals inthe United States: Many of whom are
looking towards obtaining specialized certification
training and stature in providing forensic psychological
evaluations, and expert court testimony.
Therefore, NBFE has developed a credible, and
professionally recognized training/certification process
for the other allied licensed mental health professionals.
NBFE was established to enhance skills of licensed
mental health professionals, otherwise not effectively
trained, or recognized by the public or private sector, as
well as by the legal or mental health field. You will be
professionally recognized and nationally credentialed
with NBFE certification.
National Board of Forensic Evaluators
The NBFE credential process has full approval by the American
Counseling Association and NBCC for 1.5 Continuing Education Units
(15 Contact Hours) towards State license.
ACA has partnered with NBFE's credentialing process as well as to recognize
and approve our workshops and home studies for its national members.
More than a dozen controlled studies, including direct
comparisons with cognitive behavioral techniques, have
shown EMDR to be an effective and efficient treatment
for trauma-related disorders.
"The speed at which change occurs during EMDR
contradicts the traditional notion of time as essential
for psychological healing. Shapiro has integrated
elements from many different schools of psychotherapy
into her protocols, making EMDR applicable to a variety
of clinical populations and accessible to clinicians
from different orientations."
Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD
Professor of Psychiatry
Boston University School of Medicine
Trainings include supervised practice exercises
with-one skilled and specifically trained facilitator
for each 10 participants.
Visit the EMDR Institute website for national
and international training schedules.
PO Box 750 Watsonville, CA 95077
831.761.1040 800.780.EMDR Fax 831.761.1204
Spirituality: Teaching and
learning with children
Sitting in the back of the quiet
conference room with closed
eyes, I became aware of my slow
breathing and noticed tense
shoulders loosen as relaxation
took over. A calm smile began
and muscles released the tightness of a hectic day. Soft music
started to envelop the room and
ears soaked up the, sound of
ocean waves lapping against the
sand. I could visualize the
mighty ocean waters crashing on
the white, sandy beach, wild
waves roaring as the wind blew
salt into the air. A deep cleansing
breath and I was there.
Or was I? It felt like I was there
until the presenter's voice shattered the illusion of peace I had
experienced for a few precious
moments. It had been a spiritual
sort of place where comfort and
love were the core sensations.
There are things about such
places and experiences that
would have been good to learn
earlier in life but which later
experiences have taught me to
use effectively. My day as an
elementary school counselor
now begins and ends with soft,
nurturing background music
floating throughout the office. It
soothes my soul, prepares me
for the craziness of the day
ahead and settles me as I regroup and journey home to family. Music is a necessary part of
every one of my days. Sometimes body and mind tell me
there is a sense of spirituality in
this that is centering. Hearing
music or envisioning any num-
ber of nature scenarios reconnects and recharges me.
I know the importance and the
health benefits of winding down
after a long day. My productivity is greatly increased when I
take care of myself, but implementing the necessary actions is
easier said than done. Living my
work, taking it home with me
each day, having difficulty letting it go, neglecting to take care
of myself -
all of these things
still occur at times. The result is
decreased effectiveness on my
part, as well as my feeling overburdened with others' problems.
Exhaustion, disconnectedness
and loss of focus finally cause
me to ask, "Where is the peacefulness, the calming force, the
center, the spirituality? Where is
the music for my soul?"
The questions jolt me back to
reality and propel me to search
for what is missing. Eyes close
as I envision the white, puffy
clouds on an incredibly bright,
sunny day when the sky is as
blue as the Caribbean waters. I
hear the rustling of the autumn
leaves skipping across the forest
floor and walk in time to the
gentle beat of a hollow drum.
The cool, crisp wind brings a
sense of a larger presence that
returns me to the sereneness that
had escaped me. Ahhh.
In the book Riding the Drag-
on, author Robert Wicks refers
to these moments as "renewal
zones." He says we "need to
visit them on a regular basis in
order to avoid drowning in the
stress that comes our way." He
talks about how they are essential to our lives if we are to
remain vital, compassionate and
grateful. Renewal zones can be
as simple as walking in the park,
exercising, meditating, laughing
with friends, planting a garden
or listening to music. The more
we are in the moment, aware of
the incredible gifts every day
has to offer and thankful for Our
lives, the better we deal with the
stresses of work and home.
I try to go to my renewal
zones a couple of times during
the day for refreshment and
rejuvenation. My body tells me
when it's time for a visit.
Shoulders tighten, breathing
hastens and my forehead takes
on a furrowed look. These signs
confirm the need for me to get
back on course so I can better
help children and myself during their times of stress and difficult moments.
Children also need renewal
zones because they provide
them with opportunities to
express themselves in calm, nurturing environments. Children
can reconnect through play, relationships with each other or
relationships with adults. Observing children on the playground interacting in their natural environment, hearing their
contagious guffaws and seeing
them running, jumping, swinging, shouting, skipping and
singing remind me of lessons
we need to relearn as adults.
Children may not be cognizant
of the spirituality of these
actions, but they definitely feel
better, sense connectedness and
have niore energy after such
renewal activities. It's not unlike
the energy experienced after a
good workout, an invigorating
run, an action-packed soccer
game or a fully involved conversation concerning an issue of
vital personal importance.
My personal experiences with
children have taught me many
ways to help both them and
myself find creative and spiritual connections to our world.
These techniques go beyond
relaxation and meditation to
Big Sur chiffs,
The College, founded in 1984, is a non-profit organization composed
of those in the Allied Mental Health Professions including clinicians
and therapists engaged in research, education, psychotherapy, psychology, and psychiatry. These members seek to foster values that
enrich human growth and development. The College publishes
three newsletters, a journal, and provides approved CEU activities
annually. Opportunity to publish is open to all Clinical Members.
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Continued on page 17
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Checkerboard squares:
Making order out of chaos
Do you ever feel as if you are
smothering under a multitude of
problems to be solved, chores to
be done, people demanding attention from you? Are you
sometimes caught in multicomplex webs of work, family,
friends, and social and household obligations? Inundated by
paperwork and a cacophony of
sound? Ah -
and even after
you have done the breathing
exercise and quiet meditation, it
is all still there.
Many of us can easily be overwhelmed by events, worries and
fears. Indeed, the momentum of
life's complications seems to
gather strength.
This situation is further aggravated by thinking about the what
ifs, what might happen, what we
ought to have done or what
someone else should have done.
:We assume and exaggerate so
that we can't see realistically or
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tlinkmg results, creating dysfunctional or even destructive
situations for ourselves and others. We become addicted to the
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become governed by anxiety. We
lose control and are no longer
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lives. Some of us immerse ourselves in sleep, alcohol, affairs or
drugs 'to ease the pain, anxiety
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I frequently hear comments
such as: "Nothing ever works
my whole life is
out for me -
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anxious; I can't settle down?' "I
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The following practical, relatively simple method can aid in
keeping,' the negatives in per-
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can Jielp you (and your clients)
to take charge of the situation,
possibly even turning around the
reality with more constructive
results. It can enable you to
regain your life. How?
Picture a checkerboard with
traditional black arid white or
black and red squares resting on
a game table. It is as if the empty
squares are waiting to be filled
by your moves. Imagine the
squares representing blocks of
time, defined by boundaries.
These blocks of time can be one
hour, two or three hours, or a
half-hour. As you visualize the
square spaces on the. board,
decide which event or problem
must be dealt with first. What is
most important and urgent? Estiinate an amount of time to be
blocked off for a given purpose.
Place a checker piece that represents this task on the square or
squares closest to you at the edge
of the table. Perhaps writing in
the square or using chess pieces
to prioritize would be helpful.
One could even color-code priorities and use colored dots.
This is your first move. You've
already made a decision, assigning a priority to an issue, and
taken some control. You are on a
roll. In this specific space and
time, your most major problem
will be addressed and possibly
resolved. During the time that
you have designated, you will
focus your energy, effort and
Continued on page 21
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Sandy Riggin spent five years writing a memoir of
her struggle to heal from the emotional scars of child
abuse. Now she encourages other survivors to tell
their stories as part of the journey to recovery.
Breaking the silence,
breaking the cycle
In sharing her life story, a counselor and adult survivor of child
abuse develops a new therapy model to help other victims
Sandy Riggin graduated cum
laude with a bachelor's degree in
psychology from Armstrong
State College in Savannah, Ga.,
in 1988. She followed that up by
earning her master's of education
degree in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Georgia in 1992, completing the program with a 4.0 grade point average. But she didn't become a
Licensed Professional Counselor
or begin her practice until 1999.
"I knew I didn't have anything
Sto offer," Riggin said about the
8 years-long gap, "because I was
drowning in the emotional toxic
waste of my own past."
In fact, in June 1997, at the
age of 32, it appeared that Rig12 gin was about to lose the battle
to keep her head above water,
After ingesting 180 muscle
relaxants in a suicide attempt,
she spent five days in a coma, on
the very precipice of death. A
10 veteran of previous suicide
attempts, Riggin emerged from
the murkiness of her coma with
a newfound determination to
finally escape, once and for all,
the haunting darkness of her
childhood - a past filled with
physical, sexual and emotional
abuse and neglect.
Eight years later, it can no
longer be said that Riggin has
nothing to offer to clients or to
the counseling profession. She
has developed a new treatment
model she calls Cognitive Emo-'
tional Restructuring Therapy
(CERT) and maintains two private practices in Georgia where
she specializes in helping other
adult victims of childhood
abuse. Her memoir of abuse and
recovery, Forbidden Memories:
A Journey of Healing,was published in March 2004, and she
was subsequently nominated as
Georgia Author of the Year. In
addition, the book received honorable mention recognition in
the nonfiction category for-the
Writer's Digest International
Book Award. Riggin recently
followed up her first book with
Breaking the Cycle: A Step-byStep Guide to Healing From
Childhood Abuse, Neglect and
Trauma. The new book details
the CERT process she developed
and includes exercises and a CD
to assist in the healing process.
Finding a voice
After surviving her final suicide attempt, Riggin sought help
and entered into a three-and-ahalf-year counseling relationship with a therapist. Eventually, however, she found that even
her therapist "could only take
me, halfway down that path to
healing?' While the therapist
assisted her with the cognitive
aspects of the abuse she had suffered as a child, Riggin said, the
emotional issues -
going back
to deal with her wounded child
went largely unaddressed.
"So I went on this quest myself
to heal little Sandy who was still
stuck inside of me," Riggin said.
Riggin described that quest in
Chapter 1 of Breaking the
Cycle: "When I couldn't obtain
the healing I was looking for
through traditional counseling, I
started writing my life story. I
began looking for a way to help
the little girl who still lived
inside of me to heal from the
hurt and pain she was still carrying around. As I wrote about the
things that had happened to me,
I was able to feel them and
embrace them. I was able to find
a way to recover."
Chronicling the traumatic
events in her life proved extremely therapeutic for Riggin.
"For the first time in my life' she
said, "I was able to get my words
and my feelings to match!' Most
adult survivors of child abuse can
talk about what happened to
them but are numb to "feeling"
it, she explained, or are so overwhelmed by their feelings that
they can't put those feelings into
words. Before true healing can
begin, Riggin said, she believes
was witness to rampant alcoholism and what she termed
"weird spurts of poverty," dunng
which her family lived in a house
with no exterior siding and in a
structure previously home to
pigs, chickens and rats.
During the time she and her
-brothers were being abused,
Riggin only twice recalls school
counselors or other. school officials checking on their welfare.
Even when alarms were sounded, she said, "My stepfatherjust
found new ways of hitting us in
different places. ... Someone
should have stepped in, but I
don't think they (the school system) knew what-to say or do. In
a way, I think they felt paralyzed
by it." Another impediment to
school officials, she said, was
that her family never put down
roots for very long. Between the
ages of 8 and 16, Riggin and her
family moved eight different
In the eighth grade, Riggin
reached an emotional breaking
point. She began drinking, taking drugs and getting attention
each abuse victim must break his
with negative behavior. "I was
or her silence about what hapjust ieally crying out for somepened to them. But the process of
one to make the things happenopening up is challenging, she
ing to me at home stop;' she
acknowledged, because child
said. Instead, she was simply
abuse and domestic violence are
labeled a troublemaker.
still somewhat taboo subjects in
our society, and victims of abuse
stepped in when Riggin was
can be made to feel shameful for
about to get kicked out of school
sharing their "secret."
for the third time, offering to let
That taboo was doubly daunt- * her stay with him and his family.
ing for Riggin, givei the profes'
But instead of finding comfort
sion she had chosen to pursue. In'
and safety, Riggin again became
training to become d counselor,
the victim of an authority figure,
she had been warned against selfas the teacher began molesting
disclosure, and now she was
her. "So the school system didn't
thinking of laying her life wide
really work for me," Riggin said.
open for all to see in a book. "One
."It was like there was no safe
of the biggest fears was that peoplace for me to tum." When she
ple were going to thinkI was still - was 17, Ri;gin also began strugthe person describedin the book'
gling with anorexia and bulimia.
she said. But she took the chante,
not only to complete her owh
The heart of the matter
healing process but to encourage
According to the latest availother adult survivors of childhood,
able statistics, 3.2 million chilabuse to break their silence and
dren were abused (physically,
start down the road to recovery.
sexually or via neglect) in the
United States in 2002. And as
Personal history
Riggin pointed out, that number
Riggin, who spent five. years
takes into account only substanwriting Forbidden Memories,
tiated cases. Most therapists
was the eldest child of an abusive
believe the number of actual
father and a "distant and emocases is far greater, she said.
tionally crippled mother." AlAlmost as disturbing are other
ready acquainted all too well
numbers. According to Prevent
with physical abuse and neglect,
Child Abuse America, the nation
Riggin also became the victim of
spends more than $94 billion
sexual abuse at the hands of her
each year treating the fallout
first stepfather (her mother
from child abuse (hospitalizawould get married four times
tion, mental health care, child
during Riggin's childhood and
welfare, law enforcement, etc.).
adolescence). In addition, she
For every dollar being spent on
the aftermath of child abuse, only her daughter to be subjected to
physical and sexual abuse at the
a single penny is dispensed on
hands of others, Riggin longed
Riggin is a firm believer in pre- for nothing more as an adult than
vention as a cure for child abuse. her mother's approval and love.
People who have never been vic- Because she didn't receive those
things in satisfying amounts,
tims of it themselves don't
understand that abuse is a mind- Riggin felt emotionally abandoned.and like she wasn't good
set, she said, or that childhood
enough to live a normal life. Her
abuse is very often multigeneraself-destructive behavior eventutional. For instance, Riggin said
her mother was abused as a child ally landed her in numerous drug
treatment centers and mental
and never resolved' -her own
health facilities, she said, but
issues concerning her upbringing. Those issues carried over .none of them probed below the
surface of her symptoms to deal
into her relationship with Riggin
and her siblings. "She treated me with the core issues at the heart
of her problems.
the only way she knew how to,"
"As a survivor, I went to a lot of
Riggin said. "What we have is
people trying to figure
wounded children who are havwas
wrong with me, but
ing children, and then they
knew what to do,"
wound those children." Riggin
made me feel
believes that helping adult sureven
But during
vivors of child abuse could drasto healing
tically reduce the number 6f chiland
dren who will be abused in the
next generation.
To effectively reach and treat oir, Riggin believes she chscovered a recovery method that digs
this segment of the population,
below the surface problems of
Riggin again draws on her personal experience. Even when she abuse survivors and treats the
was old enough to leave home whole person.
and remove herself from her abuCognitive Emotional
sive environment, Riggin said,
Restructuring Therapy
she found her
Riggin characterizes CERT,
efforts 'to live a
in-depth in her book
Cycle, as a treatthe
the role
ment that combines traditional
cognitive therapy with a set of
techniques that address the past
abuse on an emotional level.
She begins with the cognitive
component, helping her clients
look at what happened to them
more objectively so they can
function better in their daily
lives. This process features many
steps, including:
* Educating clients on why
they behave the way they do.
* Helping clients to explore different ways of thinking about
themselves and the world they
live in, including relearning how
to trust other people.
E Teaching clients how to take
care of themselves.
E Teaching clients how to safeguard their decision-making
power instead of giving it away
to others. Generally, Riggin said,
abuse victims and survivors
allow others to tell them how to
think and feel.
In addition, Riggin helps adult
survivors of abuse to recognize
when they are taking on the role
of their inner, wounded child,
and allowing that dimension' of
themselves to run their lives. She
teaches clients how to respond to
different situations in a more
adultlike fashion and trains them
to analyze difficult situations
from their past to consider how
they could handle those circumstances differently in the present.
After clients have become
healthier in their daily lives, Riggin unlocks the emotional component of being an abuse survivor. Although vaguely aware
that their problems as adults may
stem from the abuse they suffered as children, most abuse sur- .
vivors can't connect all the dots,
Riggin said. That's because the
abuse caused these clients to
become emotionally arrested at
different points in their lives, she
said. "Most people come in
unaware of why they are the way
they are,' Riggin said. "Most
don't even know that they have
an inner child!"
The emotional component of
Riggin's CERT method involves:
M Teaching clients how to find a
safe place within themselves.
* Introducing them to the
wounded child who still dwells
within them.
M Having them revisit specific
instances of abuse and the perpeftators of that abuse.
* Teaching them how to resolve
those abusive experiences through
experiential exercises.
What generally happens dunng
this process, Riggin said, is that
former victims of abuse begin
viewing not only themselves
more objectively but also the
people who hurt them. This is
important, she said, because it
often allows them to forgive what
the other person did and helps the
client to finally release past hurts
instead of allowing them to fester. When clients succeed in
doing this, she said, the inner
child no longer assumes such a
dramatic influence in their life.
Then the cognitive tools learned
in the first part of the therapeutic
process essentially become the
framework for a new way of
thinking and living, she said.
"When they have faced the
demons in their closet, I find that
most people are able to resume
pretty normal lives;' Riggin said.
The missinglink
When helping adult survivors
of child abuse, Riggin stresses
both the cognitive and emotional
components of recovery and
healing, but she believes another
element is equally essential.
"Recovery, to me,just isn't possible without the spiritual component. ... We have to help ourselves in the natural (component)
so God can help us in the spiritual," said Riggin, who has earned
her associate degree in biblical
studies from Mustard Seed Bible
Institute in Georgia.
For a long time, Riggin said,
she struggled with why God did
such horrible things to her. Then
she realized that God didn't do
them but allowed them to happen
to her
and not without reason.
She believes God used those experiences to make her a stronger
person, to give her more empathy
for others and to present her with
keen insight on how to help other
survivors of abuse.
Likewise, she tries to help other
adult. survivors of abuse find a
deeper purpose and meaning to
their experiences and explores
with them how they can use those
experiences to benefit others especially their own children. "I
don't cram it down their throat,
but I do express my opinion,"
Riggin said. "And wherever I can
put God into the equation, I do it."
To. order either Forbidden
Memories or Breaking the Cycle,
visit To
contact Riggin, e-mail sandy@ or call 770..
Jonathan Rollins'is the
editord-chlef of Counseling
Today E-mail comments
about this article to
Washington Update
process. The Senate continues
to refine its version of the bill in
preparation for expected floor
consideration within the next
month. The Senate's bill does
not yet include language to
remove the physician-referral
and supervision requirement for
Near the end of May, Senate
offices received the long-awaited DOD study concerning its
demonstration project on removing the referral and supervision requirement. Although the
study's findings in many ways
support granting independent
practice authority for counselors, the DOD still opposes
this step. The American Counseling Association and the
American Mental Health Counselors Association joined in
writing Senate Armed Services
Committee Chair John Warner
(R-Va.) to urge Congress to base
its decision on the study's findings and to remove the referral
and supervision requirement.
ACA members are strongly
encouraged to call their senators
in support of independent practice authority for Licensed Pro-
Continued from page 1
fessional Counselors under
TRICARE. See the "ACA Call
to Action" on page 46 of this
issue, go to ACA's Legislative
Action Center at http:// or visit for
the latest news.
chart for funding levels of
selected Education and Health
and Human Services programs
on p. 13.) At press time, the Senate Appropriations Committee
was set to announce its allocations for the various appropriations subcommittees.
First hurdle cleared on
counseling appropriations
WIA consideration
facing likely delay
ACA is pleased to report that
the House Appropriations subcommittee on Labor, Health and
Human Services, and Education
included $34.7 million for the
Elementary and Secondary
School Coinseling Program
(ESSCP) in the Fiscal Year 2006
spending bill it adopted June 9.
Although this is the same
amount as was allocated for the
program in FY 2005, it represents a significant achievement
given that monetary support was
decreased or eliminated for
many education programs in the
bill. The legislation also restored funding for' the TRIO,
GEAR UP and Perkins career
and technical education programs. (See the accompanying
Senate consideration of the
Workforce Investment Act
(WIA) may not occhr until as
late as September, following the
August recess of Congress.
WIA, which establishes the system of One-Stop employmerit
centers and the state vocational
rehabilitation system, is overdue
for reauthorization. The Senate
Health, Education, Labor and
Pensions Committee approved
its version of WIA legislation
(S. 1021) on May 18, and Senate staff had considered attempting to quickly adopt the legislation. Continuing uncertainty
over the possible introduction of
amendments to make major
structural changes to the legislation - such as turning several
current programs into a single
block grant -
forced abandon-
ment of the effort. ACA will
continue to work on this issue
alongside other organizations.
Campbell elected co-chair
of pupil services coalition
ACA lobbyist Chris Campbell
was elected in June to serve as
one of three co-chairs of the
Natiohal Alliance of Pupil Services Organizations for 20052006. 4APSO is a coalition of
national professional organizations, representing more than 1"
million members, that provide
and support a variety of schoolbased prevention and intervention services to assist students in
becoming effective learners and
productive citizens.
ACA, others meet with
Education Dept.'s Hager
ACA lobbyist Chris Campbell, along with colleagues
from the School Social Workers
Association of America, the
AmericanlMusic Therapy Association, the Council for Children With Behavioral Disor-
ders, the National Association
of School Psychologists and the
National Mental Health Association, met with Assistant Secretary of Education for Special
Education Robert Hager on
June 8. The purpose was to discuss the Department of Education's new guidelines for measuring adequate yearly progress
under No Child Left Behind
(NCLB) for students with disabilities,(also known as the "2
percent guideline").,
The group emphasized the
importance of addressing the assessment of students with emotional and behavioral challenges
in the new regulations and of
ongoing training and professional development for related
services personnel, including'
school counselors. The group
reiterated its interest in helping
the Education Department in
further work on NCLB policies.
For more information on recent
Education Department guidelines on this issue, go to
2 0 05
/05/05102005.html. N
At the School of Psychology & Counseling at Regent University, you can
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Elementary and Secondary School Counseling
Title I (Basic Grants)
Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants
Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) - Training
RSA - Demonstration and Training Programs
Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities State Grants
Special Education - IDEA (total)
Special Education Grants to States Part B
Special Education Preschool Grants to States
Special Education Grants for Infants and Families
Special Education National Activities - Personnel Preparation
Technical Assistance and Dissemination
Special Education - Vocational Rehab. Transition Initiative
Vocational Education (total)
Vocational Education State Grants
Vocational Education Tech-Prep State Grants
Adult Education (subtotal)
Occupational and Employment Information
Pell Grants
Pell Grant Maximum Award (in thousands)
Enhanced Pell Grants for State Scholars
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants - SEOG
Federal Work-Study
Perkins Loan Cancellations
Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnerships (LEAP)
Presidential Math and Science Scholars
TRIO Programs (total)
Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need
President's initiatives in bold
Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration (SAMHSA) (total)
Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS)
CMHS Block Grant
Children's Mental Health
CMHS Programs of Regional and National Significance (PRNS)
Youth Suicide Prevention (Garrett Lee Smith and other programs)
Youth Violence Prevention (Safe Schools/Healthy Students)
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) Block Grant
Center for Substance Abuse Prevention PRNS
National Institute of Mental Health
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
National Health Service Corps
Traumatic Brain Injury
Medicaid Grants to States (total)
$157 0
Continued from page 1
and maintain meaningful relationships, Van Epp created a
seminar presentation that blended humor, psychology and commonsense strategies for determining whether a courtship has
the potential to turn into a
healthy, long-term relationship.
"Ideveloped a program, basically, that would help people have
the tools to know what to look
for in a relationship and
prospective partner before they
become so involved and infected with the 'love-is-blind syndrome,'" he said.
The seminar, "How to Avoid
Marrying a Jerk: The Way to
Follow Your Heart Without Losing Your Mind," was a hit and
eventually evolved into a video
program with a workbook, curriculum- and instructor certification. With amusing lesson titles
such as "You can't marry Jethro
without getting the Clampetts"
and "Putting the horse before
the cart," the program's popularity grew quickly. Van Epp's
seiniar has been taught in 45
states, seven countries, more
than 250 military bases and
thousands of churches, singles
organizations, educational settings and agencies. A book is
currently under review for possible publication as well.
"It's very concise and focused
because it's centered on a plan
and builds around a model the Relationship Attachment
Model (RAM)," Van Epp said.
"Because this is based around,
the RAM, it's very user-friendly'
and easy to remember and
apply. It informs the person on
the major areas that predict what
a persoi will be like in a marriage and the bonding forces
that must be kept in balance as a
relationship grows."
The five-hour video program
presents Van Epp's live seminar
that comprehensively and comically describes the five dynamics that create attachment and
the five crucial areas to explore
in a premarital relationship. A
42-page video series discussion
workbook is available to assist
viewers with the outlined lessons. In addition, numerous reflective questions help to personalize the material. The end of
the workbook has questions that
couples should answer during
the premarital period of the relam tionship. An instructor certification packet is also available for
2 those interested in leading dis2 cussion groups with the video
series/workbooks or those who
want to be certified to actually
Relationship Attachment Model
teach the program, now referred
to by its more politically correct
title, the "Premarital Interpersonal Choices and Knowledge
Program"or PICK. The certification packet includes a display
board of the Relationship
Attachment Model, a PowerPoint presentation of the program, a manual and a sevenhour DVD home instruction
"The program is about a lot
more than avoiding a certain
type of person;' Van Epp said..
"It's how to pace your relationship and know what exactly to
look for in a healthy' commitment." The course focuses on
what he calls the underdeveloped education of the mind and
the overdeveloped attachment
of the heart. "Too many people
simply do not know what to
look for when dating, and too
many people. simply do not
know how to keep a dating relationship in balance," he said. "It
was these two needs which led
me to develop a program to follow in the premarital relationship and decisionmaking
Van Epp concedes that tons of
self-help books for singles are
already on the market but contends that none of them really
provide a road map or plan for
effectively choosing a partner.
Head knowledge
"The program addresses two
main parts - the head and the
heart" Van Epp said. "There are
certain areas that a person needs
to get to know about another person. That's the 'head knowledge.' Even if you get to know all
the right stuff about someone
else, if your heart has become so
involved, so attached and so
overwhelmed with a person, it
will not even pay attention to
who you are getting know." The
most common mistake in new
relationships, he said, is assuming that how a person acts now is
how he or she will act over the
course of a long-term commitment.
"They draw the conclusion
that the way the person is treating them the first months of the
relationship is how they will be
treated throughout the course of
a long-term relationship, especially into marriage," he said.'
"It's one of the main problem
areas that I see singles buy in to.
The reality is there are some
very subtle but powerful predictors as to what a person will be
like in a marriage?'
To address the head knowledge, he said, it is important to
explore five areas - or FACES
- when forming a relationship.
Family dynamics
and background
The way a person interacts
with family members is a subtle
predictor of how he or she may
act in a relationship, Van Epp
said. The roles and dynamics
learned from the family tend to
present themselves later on in
the commitment, he said.
"A good example is a man
who has major conflicts with his
mother," Van Epp pointed out.
'He may be wonderful in a dating relationship because he is
not viewing the woman as a
prospective wife or mother. He
is viewing her as his girlfriend
or soul mate. Yet once married,
those roles will kick in and
become lenses that he looks at
the woman through?' At that
point, he said, the man may
have a major shift in behavior.
For example, while he once was
very conscientious in the dating
period, he may become
detached and uninvolved in the
"It becomes very important
that singles - before they are
heavily involved in a relation-
ship - learn what to look for so
that when they get into a relationship, they aren't fooled or
overwhelmed by all the positives that might be happening,"
he said. "They can look at the
areas, like family background,
that might be predictors of
something very negative."
Unfortunately, he said, this
idea goes against popular dating
practices, where the courtship
takes place first, followed by a
commitment. Only then do suitors tend to "meet the parents?'
Attitudes andactions
of the conscience
Someone can have charm or
"mad game," as the kids would
say, but then tum into Al. Bundy
once the newness of the relationship has worn off. "These
are the skills of winning a person;' Van Epp said. "They are
extremely focused on the other
person in the beginning. With
that intense connection, one
cannot see how the person will
actually be like in a long-term
relationship, but over a few
months you can detect the patterns of their relationship conscience through subtle patterns
in their behavior."
key is their relationship conscience will determine when
they use or don't use their skills
later on in a relationship;' Van
Epp said. "They may be very
skilled but choose to not use
those skills with you, or they
will use those skills against you.
Understanding a person's relationship conscience and their
relationship skills is vital?'
Van Epp exemplified this
point with some classic stereotypes. "There arejobs where the
person may have great relationship skills but a very poor con
science, like the idea of a used
car salesman or politician;' he
said. "It's common knowledge
that there is a difference, but
many times when a person is
forming a relationship they
overlook that and assume that
the skills are the conscience.
And that can be very misleading
and very painful to face later on
down the road."
In today's impatient society
that embraces instant gratification, accelerated attachment appears to be a precursor to failed
relationships. "Singles have to
know what to look for and slow
down their attachment so they
can see clearly from the beginning;' Van Epp said.
Compatibility is what attracts
one person to another person
and can be influenced by personality characteristics, values
or lifestyle.
Examples of other relationships
Van Epp suggests looking at a
person's past intimate relationships for clues. "Find out their
history from friends or family,"
he said. "If we listen more carefully and we ask about some
key areas in terms of the past
relationships, you can start to
see patterns in the subtle areas.
Patterns become very important
- patterns from their family,
other relationships - patterhs
that help to reveal or expose the
way their relationship conscience works?' Van Epp cautioned, however, that many
times people automatically take
the side of their partner and
assign blame to "the ex" for
whatever issues arose in the former relationship.
This is the area often addressed in counseling sessions
- communication skills, conflict resolution skills, keeping a
balance between assertiveness
and understanding, etc. "The
Heart knowledge
"Heart knowledge" uses the
RAM model, which examines
bonding processes and how to
properly pace a growing relationship. The model, which borrows from other areas of research, illustrates the components of attachment and closeness. Five key bonding components are present in almost every
type of relationship. Healthy
relationships keep all the components in balance. In contrast,
when any one component is
extremely high or low, the relationship becomes unsafe. The
model offers both clients and
counselors an easy way to measure the areas and see how they
relate to each other. The bonding
components are:
* Getting to know someone.
The process of getting to know
someone and having him or her
get to know you can form a very
strong bond, Van Epp said.
N Trust. "The trust that we
feel pulls from what attachment
theory has found in terms of
mental representation," he said.
"As you are getting to know
someone, you are forming a picture or representation of him or
her in your mind. The more posContinued on page 18
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Organizational counseling
took every course she could in
industrial psychology and organizational behavior, and worked
on a minor in business administration. She said she wanted to
bridge the gap between business
management and counseling.
Her efforts landed her a job in
human resources, then with an
organizational development and
leadership consulting firm, but
she still felt unsettled. She
hoped to hone in on ajob where
she could use counseling in the
workplace and combine it with
a thorough understanding of the
workplace environment.
'The organizational counseling program is a wonderful combination of clinical theory and
business application;' Chase
said. After graduating last spring,
she landed the job she wanted as
a consultant for the corporate
offices of a large health care firm
where she had interned.
New program takes root
Mary Guindon, chair of the
Johns Hopkins University Department of Counseling and
Human Services and founder of
the organizational counseling
program, litters conversation
about the program's history with
similar stories of students finding
just what they want and employers finding what they need.
When she took over as chair of
the department, Guindon said, a
certificate program was in place
that prepared students for careers
in employee assistance. But she
sensed that the program could be
expanded and was encouraged
by her dean to offer a full degree.
After extensive research and
input from several focus groups,
Guindon determined a direction
for the program, confident that it
would succeed.
"What I heard over and over
again, and continue to hear
today, is that there is a real need
for this," she said. "These students receive targeted training in
organizational psychology, organizational behavior and development, and they are taught
how to apply their counseling
skills to this coursework. No
other counseling program does
this to my knowledge?'
There are three phases to the
course work, beginning with an
eight-course regimen of counseling courses similar to those
one might find in other counseling degree programs. Included
are such standbys as "Theory
and practice of counseling,"
"Group counseling" and "Diagnosis?'Phase two is described as
a workplace orientation and
includes four courses concern-
Continued from page 7
ing organizational culture and
behavior and consultation. This
phase utilizes a cohort format
that features distance education
and monthly class meetings.
The third phase, a 600-hour
internship, requires students to
spend two-thirds of their time in
a clinical setting and 'the
remainder in an organizational
counseling role.
"They receive the same basic
training as the other counseling
students here;" Guindon said.
"They learn the organization is
the client, although they do service to the employee or the
Also offered is a post-master's
certificate, which requires as a
prerequisite exposure to various
courses related to organizational
counseling. The certificate program provides 15 credits in
courses similar to those taken in
phase two of the master's program relating to the workplace
culture and organizational behavior and counseling.
A different beginning
As a 25-year veteran of human
resources work with the federal
government, John Rogers approached the organizational
counseling program at Johns
Hopkins with a very different
background than Chase. He
graduated from the post-master's
certificate program. 'This program appealed to me because it
involves working in an organization (and) using mental health
training to help them deal with
the inkier aspects of the organization and the people in it,"
Rogers said. He found the program prepared himn to work on
issues within an organization by
using a counselor's eyes to
examine the organization's structure and tendencies.
Rogers now works for a federal agency where he routinely
puts his training to use in everything from traditional employee
assistance and dispute resolution to innovative preventative
measures. He said his day-today work might involve helping
a supervisor with "lousy communications skills;' developing
a group to tackle an opgoing
employee issue or counseling an
employee when personal problems begin to interfere with
their work.
Sara Sundstrom, an instructor
with the organizational counseling program, said graduates can
use the skills acquired to meet a
wide range of needs, including:
U Serving as a "sounding
board" for individuals facing
home issues, battles with a boss
knowledge they need to be credible and-talk the talk."'
I Guindon said the Johns Hopkins program offers something
different than the traditional
training for organizational
psychology, career counseling
or employee assistance and
often fills a gap between the
responsibilities of these specialists and those of human
resource professionals.
Mary Guindon
or co-worker, problems with
drugs or alcohol, or stress,
burnout or mental illness. Essentially, organizational counselors
serve as a link between employees and the organization.
* Offering career counseling
for employees.
* Serving at the forefront of an
organization undergoing change
by reassuring those who are
most iffected and anticipating/
mitigating disruptions and
changes in relationships that
might occur. In addition, the
counselors would report to management about the psychosocial
effects of the change.
* Setting up training and
coaching programs to deal with
issues such as alcohol abuse or
sexual harassment, and working
with management to improve
supervisors' "soft skills" for
managing people. Counselors
might organize offsite retreats
and meetings to address interpersonal relations or workplace
N "Taking the pulse" or mood
of an organization, then reporting to management and recommending ways to alter it.
* Helping supervisors manage
an employee with psychopathology or assisting employees who are mentally ill.
* Sitting on committees involved in issues related to their
field, such as inappropriate
behavior, substance abuse or
conflict resolution. In the absence of these committees,
organizational counselors might
take charge of establishing
groups on those topics.
* Offering staff information
about key topics in their realm
of expertise.
"They are really experts in
community building at a time
when the world of work has
increasingly replaced family
and neighborhood as the place
where many people seek a sense
of community in their lives,"
Guindon said. 'This (field) targets worker well-being. Our
graduates are a personal counselor and coach, a career development specialist and an organizational consultant in the workplace. They are trained as counselors who have the workplace
9/11 solidifies urge to help
Danielle DeSimone knew she
wanted to work with people, but
after receiving her degree in
sociology she was still uncertain
how her career would develop.
"I wanted to do counseling;' she
said, "but I wasn't sure what age
groups and what degree program would be best for me. I
considered social work, counseling psychology, community
counseling and other positions?'
She was living in New Jersey
when the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks occurred, and after the
shock wore off she began to
think about how survivors and
people in nearby buildings were
struggling. "It helped me see
that people in organizations have
a unique need that, currently,
personnel and human resources
are not able to handle;' she said.
DeSimone decided the Johns
Hopkins program best met her
needs because it would satisfy
her interest in employee assistance while also providing substantial flexibility. "It offered a
unique advantage over typical
master's courses in counseling
or social work," she said. Her
internship offered her an opportunity to work in a large federal
agency in the area of depression
awareness. She later took a permanent position in a human
resources department, with the
hope of finding a specific slot in
employee assistance.
While the organization counseling program meets a very distinct need, DeSimone said, there
is often some confusion about
the skills and placement of graduates. She said that many people
don't yet recognize the field's
Career decision made
on the commuteA subway car poster describing the Johns Hopkins organizational counseling program got
Emily Noll's attention one morning on her way to work, then
stuck in her head as she saw it
several more times. She already
had a degree in psychology and
sociology and was working for a
survey research firm but was
considering other options.
"The ad copy appealed to my
combined interests in human
services and business;' she said,
noting that she thought she
might be happy "helping the
people of an organization to
have a happier and more productive life." Noll thrived in the
program, thoroughly. enjoying
what she described as diverse
but practical course work, the
unique mix of students and the
flexibility. She even put her
organization-building skills to
work and began the Association
of Counseling Students.
Noll returned to the research
firm but soon got an opportunity to move into human resources and combined that
experience with her master's
work. "That advanced my
knowledge of work-life culture," she said. "The Hopkins
program helped me develop my
ability to build relationships
and hear ideas, and make connections with people."
Noll has since taken an account executive position with
the workplace wellness department of a large health care organization, and she finds that her
training in organization counseling often pays off. She conducts
wellness seminars, handles
child and elder care referrals,
and offers employee assistance
and coaching.
"I get to help our business
understand that the value in providing these services is to cultivate a productive, happy, creative
and committed workforce," she
said. 'It's more than just doing
the right thing. It really does
make a difference in the energy
of a working moim to have assistance in selecting high-quality
child care, for example. ... I also
use the counseling skills every
day to shape the programs and
the decisions made to benefit the
All the graduates of the organizational counseling program
interviewed for this article believe that the field will change
and that more opportunities will
anse. "Workplace leaders have
increasingly acknowledged that
career development increases
retention and that psychosocial
issues affect worker productivity," Guindon said. "Consequently, interventions targeted at
enhancing optimal worker wellbeing are in demand. This program trains people to make
those interventions."f
Jim Paterson is a high school
counselor and writer living in
Olney, Md.
E-mail comments about this
article to
Student Focus
An internship
beyond all
son, another participant in
the consulting project, the
A group of students in the students were trying to develJohns Hopkins University op out-of-the-box thinking.
organizational counseling Among the students' recomprogram had an opportunity mended actions were mediatlast spring to be involved in ing before decisions and
a consulting project that statements were made, formthrilled their employer and
ing online discussion groups
taught them a lot about their
spanking new field of study. and making management
In the process, they got a more transparent
Murillo said the students
firsthand look at how counto develop "sound,
seling can sometimes involve more than a single needs-based recommendations. ... Instead of focusindividual.
According to Sara Sund- ing on the challenges, we
strom, an instructor in the helped the organization
organizational counseling develop a balanced. conprogram, the students were crete perspective on their
given a chance to conduct current reality which leaned
an organizational analysis on their strengths. We were
with a directorate in a large able to help them craft a
federal agency. Such stud- vision of what could be
ies generally involve gathfrom evidence of what
ering data through surveys
already was."
and interviews, organizing
The result? The recipient
the data into themes, drawing conclusions and making of the students' work asked
recommendations, she ex- them to present their findplained. The students used ings and recommendations
detailed employee survey to 20 members of a leaderdata and interviews with ship team, with others tuning in offsite.
"The beauty of our work
For Murillo, the proof of
was that, just as in counsel- what the students had acing individuals, we helped complished came after the
this part of the organization presentation. "When the
listen to itself better and presentation was complete,
thereby improve its organi- people actually stayed in the
zational self-awareness," room, engaging one another
said Jason Murillo, one of and us on a variety of the
the students involved.
issues we discussed;' he
Such a distinction is a key
interpart of the new Hopkins said. "They expressed
program, which strives to
fill a gap in the "therapy"
provided to organizations on an organizational counseling intern. The project
and their members.
a big success."'
According to
Continued from page 7
include many of the more traditional academic and counseling
activities. Each technique can
reach beyond the words and
actions to support the growth of
one's inner strength.
Music: CDs have proved very
useful in my efforts to help children prepare, regroup and
recharge. Kindergartners entering classrooms where music is
playing are bestowed with a
calmness needed to settle them
and begin the day in a positive
way. Background music that
plays as students develop stories
or write in journals serves to
promote a more relaxed and creative state for expressing ideas.
Music-guided imagery that
exudes feelings of peacefulness
and calmness works well during
classroom lessons, especially
prior to state-testing periods
when anxiety levels are high.
Then there are character-education traits such as self-control
and respect that are taught as
important parts of the school's
climate and safety programs.
Whatever the model for teaching these traits, students receive
strong reinforcement from song
lyrics and musical rhythms that
match the concepts being discussed. Music also connects me
to the children and to my own
tasks in a way that preparation
and experience alone' cannot
Expression notebooks: Notebooks for writing and drawing
have proved useful to me in
helping children let go of their
negative feelings and worries.
They are powerful tools in reconnecting children to their
world and refocusing them on
the things they can control versus the things they cannot. Journaling in particular provides a
valuable connection between the
children, therapeutic sharing and
myself. Both the children and I
gain a greater sense of each
other, our concerns and our
thoughts on how to deal with life
situations. Sometimes children
mention a higher power in these
discussions and exhibit an
accompanying sense of security
and confidence. I smile, nod and
acknowledge what they said,
knowing that writing and sharing about ourselves often reconnects us to spintual sensations
that can provide comfort and
Play: Using dollhouses for
free-play expression seems particularly helpful for children
working through traumatic incidents that occurred in their
homes, often the night before.
The incidents don't make much
initial sense to them, but the
play often can provide a broader
perspective. I have seen children
re-enact domestic violence situations where fighting occurred
and police were involved. Some
children change their voices to
mimic the substance-abusing
parent who stumbled through
the house chasing a sibling or
adult. Fears and haunting
dreams are played out with
characters the children can more
effectively control. While it is
rewarding to be involved with
children, watching innocent
minds rid themselves of the
dragons is also emotionally
draining. Witnessing play so intense that exhaustion quickly
follows might lead one to
believe that something bigger is
part of the process. As healing
begins and freedom from the
dragons is gained, a serene
calmness can emerge - both
for students and myself - that
has the feeling of spirituality,
connectedness to self and
recharging of the soul.
Artwork: Crayons, markers
and paints (with lots of paper on
hand) encourage children to
explore feelings and thoughts
through artistic means. Color,
images, shapes and objects are
used to create works of art that
are meaningful to life events,
emotions, conceptualizations
and self-exploration. Just being
part of the process of self-discovery, awareness and healing
that takes place is refreshing and
rejuvenating. I have witnessed
how huge strides in the counseling process are made through
the artistic path. Watching children draw, paint, create, build,
mold or color their hidden
secrets, forbidden truths and
hard feelings forces the counselor to experience something
that is hard to put into words.
Creating art along with the
students and participating in the
counseling process provides me
with another renewal zone.
Drawing, coloring and just
doing along with the children
helps them feel more connected
to me, less anxious about the
task and more open to expressing inner experiences. Helping
children experience this connectedness at school can also
bring more direct benefits back
to me. During one recent group
focused on loss, special moments were remembered by
drawing memory pictures of a
loved one who had died. Memo-
ries of my mother who died
recently were bouncing around
in my head itching to come out
- and they did in drawings and
words. A small amount of sharing these thoughts and pictures
with the children encouraged
healing to begin both for the students and myself. A general spiritual energy was exhibited as the
grieving children and I began
sharing, letting go of some pain
and recharging ourselves.
A wide variety of paths lead to
renewal zones, where opportunities for self-expression and
nurturing of spirit abound. The
ways of getting there are not
always so different for children
and adults, and we all need to
take advantage of these opportunities. All the paths contain a
common thread of connecting,
and those connections between
children and the adults who care
for them have been particularly
meaningful to me. The messages we give to young people
every day are essential: We love
you. We accept you and your
life. We care about you. We care
about what happens to you. We
are here for you. We think you
are special.
These relationships are extremely important to children
and offer powerful meaning to
us all.
Maybe there is a spiritual
component working within us to
affect a life here or there, to
make a real difference in someone's world or to change and
recharge our own existence.
Perhaps this spirituality informs
us of the essential need to care
for and love one another. To find
this spiritual place on our life
journeys, it seems we need to
slow down, breathe deep, listen
and watch. Creating special
renewal zones for ourselves and
for those we serve may better
enable us to deal with those
bothersome dragons nipping at
our heels. Seeking peace and
spirituality in our everyday
experiences can move us toward
the growth and healing so evident in children at play..It's
something we all strive for in
-our own lives as adults, students
and counselors. N
Sharon P Gieringer
school counselor at Harrison
Elementary School in Ohio.
Richard Hazier isthe column
coordinator for Student Pawus.
Submit columns for con sidera.
tion to
Continued from page 14
itive the representation, the
stronger the trust is toward that
* Reliance. Depending on a
person for your needs. "What is
found in social exchange theory
whereas I go about meeting a
person's needs and they go
about meeting my needs -
picked 15 teen-agers from her
church congregation's youth
group to attend the three-day
retreat. "They were really receptive to it," she said. "John puts
this in an application that just
makes sense to people. That simple (RAM) board is such a great
visual that people can wrap their
minds around very easily and
really understand. Regardless of
whether it's taught from a Christian perspective or a secular one,
people can see that when things
are out of balance, that's when
they are in pain."
Miller also taught an abbreviated version of the program to
previously homeless individuals
who were seeking services at an
inner city outreach agency in
Richmond, Va. "No matter what
walk of life or where you are
coming from;' she said, "it just
makes sense. One of the agency
employees told me the next day
that one of the men came up and
said, 'I learned something
tonight ... I'm a jerk.' John's
material helps people recognize
the poor choices that they are
making in terms of relationships, but they are also, in a ifonconfrontational way, forced to
look at themselves and see
where they may be a 'jerk."'
that) the better our needs are
met, the stronger the dependence and reliance is on each
other and, therefore, the
stronger the bond?'
* Commitment The degree to
which two people belong to one
another. "It's a kind of healthy
ownership in a relationship,"
Van Epp said. "In terms of a
strong bond in a relationship,
the more I feel that this person
really belongs to me and I
belong to them, the stronger the
* Sexual chemistry and
touch. "Even in friendships
there may be sexual chemistry,
but we set boundaries," he said.
"This is certainly a very bonding
force in romantic relationships."
"If you think of all these
areas, they are very bonding, but
they also relate to each other,"
Van Epp said. His theory is that
if the components are kept in a
safe zone, where one level does
not greatly exceed a previous
level, then the relationship is
positive. For example, don't let
your sexual involvement greatly
exceed your commitment; don't
become more comititted than
the level of reliance you have
formed; don't try to meet each
other's needs beyond the level
of trust; don't trust a person you
don't know well.
"Married couples also need to
keep those five areas of the
RAM vital and vibrant in their
relationship," Van Epp said.
"Couples, over time, can feel
like they don't know each other
anymore. Their trust picture of
each other can begin to be
infected with small, negative
attitudes. They may stop meeting each other's needs, causing
the reliance to drop?' Teaching
this model to married couples
and showing them how to evalu8 ate their relationship can help
keep each bonding component
strong, he said. Van Epp often
a uses the RAM chart in his practice to conduct assessments of
4 couples seeking marriage coun, seling. Having the couple rate
each of the five components in
gtheir marriage is helpful in set0 ting the agenda, he said. "It's
become a very utilitarian
model," he said, "not just to help
them rebuild their relationship
but to continue to build it
throughout the years."
Military involvement
According to Van Epp, his
program's versatility allows it to
be presented in a variety of settings, be it churches, organizations for singles, divorce recovery groups, women's shelters or
high schools. Even the military
has embraced his simplified
design for successful courtships.
The U.S. Army started implementing the PICK program five
years ago, Van Epp said.
"Before, they didn't have any
type of program geared toward
choosing a partner and building
a relationship;' he said. Now,
several chaplains and family
advocacy officers are certified to
teach the program.
"About three years ago the
Army took a more serious interest," he said, "and the Chief of
Chaplains Office orchestrated a
funding of a research project
that would look at how useful
this program would be for single
soldiers in both Army bases and
academic settings." The research project 'was recently
completed, and the findings will
be submitted for publication this
summer. "The findings were
extremely positive in terms of
altering attitudes and intentions
of single soldiers toward dating
and relationships," Van Epp
said. "The military has really
struggled to try to help singles
slow down these accelerated
relationships. Military bases are
like incubators for these types of
relationships. So the PICK program has really taken off in that
Spreading the RAM gospel
Van Epp encourages counselors, both secular and pastoral,
to become certified in the PICK
program and to use the model
with clients and in the community. "Psychoeducational programs are a tremendous asset to
a counseling practice," he said.
"It helps to take the information
that is so necessary for personal
change and personal growth and
put it in a structured educational
format so that it becomes handand-glove with your counseling
practice. Being certified in the
PICK program will help you not
only address singles' needs better but also help you organize
your own seminars where you
can teach the course.,"
While attending a marriage
conference five years ago, Bob
Ruthazer and his wife discovered Van Epp's program. Impressed by the program's principles, the Ruthazers, who have
been married 26 years, purchased the video for their two
young-adult children. "It had a
pretty significant impact on our
college-aged daughter," Bob
Ruthazer said. Since implementing the program, he said,
his daughter can tell within the
first two weeks of dating someone whether the courtship. has
potential for turning into a
happy and healthy relationship.
"She can avoid that serial dating
trap which many singles get
stuck in - being in a relationship for six months to a year and
then realizing it just can't work
out," Ruthazer said. "Then they
break it off and start another."
Ruthazer, a certified family
life educator through the National Council of Family Relations, is now also a certified
instructor of the PICK program.
He has presented the program to
a variety of religious groups,
universities and area community
organizations and once held the
presentation at a local coffeehouse over the course of two
days. "The program has great
value in helping people understand the basic ideas of relationships and how they work," he
said. "It's helpful in preventing
people from getting hurt over
and over. It gives them a better
start to forming a healthy relationship that might lead to a
long-term commitment. Every
single or single again should
familiarize themselves with this
Beth Miller is also a certified
PICK instructor and believes the
program is too effective not to
use and teach. In fact, Miller and
Epp collaborated last summer on
the first seminar for teens. Miller
Inthe works
Van Epp is currently updating
the program's website (www. to include a password-protected instructor's section that will make supplemental materials available for download free of charge. Instructors
will be able to tailor the program to their specific populations. For example, if an instructor is teaching the program to
singles who have previously had
abusive relationships, the instructor can download information that can be added to the
"trust" lesson or one of the other
key parts of the RAM. Other
areas to be addressed include
issues concerning single parenting and stepfamilies.
For more information about
the PICK program or the
How to Avoid Marrying a
Jerk video, contact Van Epp
at or
330.321.3527. U
Angela Kennedy Is a senior
staff writer at Counseling
Today. E-mail comments
about this article to
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Reader Viewpoint
concentration on that most
urgent situation. The "pieces" or
"checkers" or colored dots are
specific situations requiring
your attention. Nothing else will
be allowed to invade that area or
areas. Because there are many
competing demands, you continu planning your strategy by
placing your checkers on the
board based on your priorities.
As an example, imagine you
are the mother of teen-agers,
but you are now in graduate
school learning a profession
after having been a stay-athome mom. You are part of the
"squeezed generation." Your
teen-age children still need
guidance, supervision and patience, while the elderly members of your family may have
failing health and are often in
distant locations. Imagine that
a parent is quite ill, one of your
teen-agers has had several
minor car accidents and is not
doing well in school, and your
husband's nephew has come to
live with you temporarily.
Meaiwhile, you have papers
and exams due within the next
, Standing in the middle of the
family rooin floor, having just
returned from a night class with
new assignments, your husband insists that decisions must
be made about your son at
once. You feel overwhelmed
and panicky. In order to calm
down, you can develop a mental game plan of priorities. It
feels like a survival tactic but
can also be an interesting mental challenge.
As events move on or change
and other pressures materialize,
your goal is to move to the next
row of squares or priorities that
have presented themselves and
that may be less crucial. You
need to be flexible enough to
utilize many of the squares, one
Continued from page 9
at a time, or to change and
rearrange the pieces as needed.
This can be a fun challenge in
itself. The number of squares for
any given situation can vary
depending on the urgency and
time needed. The "game plan"
must be flexible. You are to be in
control of it; it is not to be in
control of you.
Back-to the dilemma of the
mother/student. First, it is imperative that you spend that very
evening stitdying and organizing notes for your paper, as
there ate immediate deadlines to
be met. The nearest couple of
squares have checkers on them,
covering non-negotiable time
slots in the next couple of days.
Another empty space a few
blocks away awaits the piece
representing the meeting with
your husband about your son.
Filling this square pacifies you
both because you know time has
been set aside to concentrate on
that important problem, while
another square of space and
time in the row beyond awaits a
piece for the dialogue with your
son. There will be time to work
on your paper the following
morning. That afternoon you
will study, and the square for
that evening already has a piece
on it for class attendance. Several spaces will be occupied the
next weekend for visiting a sick
parent, taking care of her needs
and studying in the car while
your husband drives. But what
on earth to do about giving your
nephew time?
Here's where you have to become really creative. Since the
nephew works all day, you visualize "checker hopping" and
using spaces in between those
already filled to visit with him
and your family during leisurely
meals. You would save blocks
here and there to cook new
recipes, which gives you a cre-
ative outlet and which your
nephew especially appreciates,
and save blocks of time for
those family dinners. You would
also allow time for yourself to
lie in the hammock gazing at the
leaves and listening to the birds.
And you and your husband
would fill a blank space next
weekend with dinner and a
movie, also leaving time to talk
to a friend in need. You may
have to shorten some blocks of
time, but something is better
than nothing. And where do
these hours come from? You
As you see, the "pieces" or
"checkers" and useof the empty
squares are what you choose
them to be. They could be projects to complete, appointments
to keep, creative work or study
to focus on, relaxation or fun,
errands to do, conversations to
have, support to give to another,
etc. They could be items on your
"to-do" list.
But a list or full schedule can
be as overwhelming and daunting as the vague confusion of
wondering where to begin. A
list can hit you in the face like a
formidable wall, causing despair or depression. What, then,
is the diffeience between lists or
schedules and placing "pieces"
,on the squares of your checkerboard? .
By separating items from the
list (which could be made in
writing first), you have the
opportunity to analyze each one
in terms of time and attention
needed, importance and effect
on others, urgency in regard to
timing and so on. The process of
doing this empowers you to
make decisions, to prioritize and
to place activities in a kind of
sacred time and space according
to needs and desires - both
yours and others' -
as repre-
sented on the checkerboard.
For a person who is visual,
this task might be fairly easy to
complete. For those who have
more trouble, a therapist can
help with exercises in visualization, imagery, the discipline of
attacking irrational beliefs,
developing pro and con lists in
order to prioritize, etc. Assertiveness training and the
examination of one's interests,
strengths and values can aid in
preparing a client to make decisions and to take control by
placing his or her "pieces" on
the checkerboard.
Probably the most effective
way to utilize the checkerboard
squares is to mentally create or
to create a board on paper representing one week of time.
Simply drawing the game board
can help you see that there is a
time and space for a chore, relationship or project that needs to
get done.
Seeing the board mentally or
on paper can relieve worry, anxiety and fear that important
aspects of life will not be given
attention or completed as needed. By knowing you have made
both time and space to accomplish the tasks you feel are
important, you are using your
power and taking control of
your situation instead of allow-
ing it to captrol you. This
knowledge can bring relief
from chaos, freeing you from
feelings of helplessness and the
ensuing dangers of depressioff
and despair. The process contributes to peace of mind, to
physical and emotional health,
and to efficiency.
The value here is that you
have taken charge of yourself,
your time and your space. In
this way you know that the
problem, decision, activity or
crisis will be taken care of in a
,timely fashion because you have
planned and prepared for it.
* Need a fob?
What are some steps you can
take to get from confusion to
clarity on your checkerboard?
* Identify and separate your
N Flash a spotlight on the
thoughts causing the feelings.
Focus with ratiorial thought on
the irrational ideas and assumptions that create or complicate
problems. For example, identify
exaggerations based on your
own unsupported ideas: "I can't
possibly do all of this! There is
no time. I am too tired. I don't
know what to do first!" Change
the irrational to rational: "I am
wasting time stewing about
what I can't do. Instead I'need
to separate what I feel to be crucial and discipline myself to do
what I can?"
* Recognize what you can and
cannot do. .
E Distinguish the things that
are your problems and responsibilities from those that do not
belong to you.
N Organize your thoughts,
energy and time by creating and
isolating spaces defined by
boundaries such as checkerboard squares and decide what
takes precedence.
N Now move your pieces
according to your designed
E Play the game of life, have
fun and embrace satisfaction.
"For everything
there is a season,
.and a timefor every matter
uder heaven."
Ecclesiastes 3:1 0
Carolyn Brastow Pledger, a
Ucensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Marriage
ahd Family Therapist, recently
retired after 17 years in private
practice and 25 years inthe
counseling field. She now
writes, acts inamateurthe-'
at&r; participates indiscussion
groups and leads a liberal
interfaith fbliowship.
rtificat&Prog rams in
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Finding Your Way-
Facing the bully,
facing myself
"Finding my way" has, been
an underlying theme throughout
the course of my life. When I
was 7 years old I moved to the
United States from the Philippines, and I can remember how
hard the struggle was to feel
comfortable in a new culture.
Even 'at my present age, I remember my experiences in the
U.S. public school system as if
they had'occurred yesterday.
I reached the airport in the
evening. An early spring rain
was falling. I waited in the
lobby with my mother. I ran
toward the gate after seeing my
grandmother fight through a
crowd of Filipino faces, I felt as
though this would be the last
time I would see her. She handed me a handkerchief after tears
ran down my face. I knew at
once that I would not be able to
Before departing to the new
land, I remember clinging desperately to my grandmother,
whq had escorted me to the airport. I have probably never felt
more emotional pain in my life
than the moment when niy
mother pulled me by the arm
and dragged me across the airport lobby. Crying and screaming, I could not bear the painful
agony of having to leave. Leaving the Philippines, and especially my grandmother, was
similar to leaving my parents
because my "Lola" (Filipino for
grandma) had raised me my
whole life.
On the evening of my arrival
in America, I felt completely
lost. I had wished that my moving was only a big dream. I had
been welcomed with a great big
hug from my father, whom I had
not seen in five years, and with a
plastic bag full of mixed fruits. I
remember feeling exhilarated,
thinking -how everything would
be a happy ending now that my
family was reunited. I soon realized, however, that I could not
escape mourning over the loss
of my friends and relatives back
ifi the Philippines. The euphoric
feelings of anticipation were
quickly replaced with heartache
and deep pain.
My first night in America felt
like my first night in prison. We
had to live with my cousins until
my father earned enough for our
own apartment. That night, I lay
between my parents. Restless, I
began thinking of iny grandmother. I began to let out my
sorrows, crying freely as I entertained thoughts of "I wish she
was here" or "I wish I was back
home?' I desperately wanted my
mother's embrace as I screamed
into the soaked pillow. All I
received was silence. I did not
know which was more painful
- being emotionally ignored
by my parents or missing my
In the morning I was awakened by the merry noises of my
PFeRtlHrrn anorne
little cousins running across the
hallway. I felt so anxious that
my legs seemed paralyzed,
unable to move down the stairs.
Hoping to be invited down, I sat
nervously at the top of the stairs
and then proceeded down slowly while in a sitting position.
Halfway down I heard, "Hurry
up, big crybaby!" Not only were
my legs paralyzed, but now my
butt was paralyzed as well.
Ashamed, I desperately wanted
to slide back up to hide in my
Unexpectedly, my uncle gleefully picked me up and put me
in the middle of the dining table
to join everybody else. Still
frozen in fear and embarrassment, I couldn't open my
mouth. My cousins kept making
fun of me for crying and for the
way I was dressed. They teased
me for looking like a "FOB," a
defogatory acronym meaning
"fresh off the boat?'
-Three weeks later, I found
myself in grade school. Talk
about out of the frying pan and
into the fire. This was an even
worse form of torture for a lost
little boy. I cried and hid behind
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a school building each time my
mother dropped me off. I ran
home from school each day in
an attempt to avoid being beaten
up by bullies who harassed me
because I looked, dressed and
talked differently than the other
In the beginning, I was youhg,
naive and lost. I figured the key
to American life was to imitate
pop culture and daytime television. In short, the key to learning
the English language was to
model myself after characters in
TV sitcoms such as Punky Brewster and I Love Lucy. I felt like an
extraterrestrial wanting desperately to go unnoticed in this new
world. I said to myself, "I definitely am no longer in the Philippines;' emulating Dorothy's
character in The Wizard of Oz.
Recalling these childhood
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possible. But since I had never
heard of recess or lunchtime, I
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didn't know what cafeteria tickets were. Therefore, I had no
notion of how to obtain them.
Instead, I simply ate my packed
hot dog, which was the only
thing my mother had put in my
lunch bag.
On another occasion, I had a
squished hot dog in the bottom
of my book bag. I feltembarrassed about taking it out to eat
for lunch, but it was either the
hot dog or having to sit and wait
for everyone else to finish their
-cafeteria .unches-AlthoughL
was not a bit hungry, I didn't
want to draw attention to myself
by sitting alone without any
food to eat. So I reached in to
grab the hot dog that my mother
had packed for me. Unbeknownst to me, the hot dog was
soggy with grape juice, as was
everything else in my book bag.
A few kids pointed at me and
someone threw a milk cartoon
that hit me in the head. Humiliated, I ran to the bathroom.
After the hot dog fiasco, I
thought I would never have to
go to school again. But apparently, feeling humiliated was not
a good enough excuse to hold
off on public schooling. To my
surprise, after I decided to face
the music and set my foot back
on school soil, it seemed as
though the hot dog incident had
never occurred. Everyone ignored me as I walked back into
the classroom. My fear of being
on the receiving end of long
stares from my classmates
quickly dissipated when a fight
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broke out between two students
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The teacher quickly took matters to hand and sent the two
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The rest of the class was soon
inundated with school stuff so I,
too, casually lost myself in the
assigned tasks. I felt assured that
everybody's attention was on
the fight and not my hot dog
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Phrosoal Psychology
I thought I had survived the
dreadful day of returning to
class after my embarrassing
moment until the school bully
caught me. He had warned me
earlier that he planned to beat
me up after school. Evidently,
when I had stormed out of the
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for m Ie at the entrance. I coul 'd no longer turn
ba'ck because the 6ully had seen-me.: I1felt.Iike..,
a n imriate walking on death rowl."
party since I had been seen running away from the crime after
he got hit. I clearly had been set
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sufficient to explain the circumstances.
I ran home that day as fast as I
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apparently was misplaced, and I
had no way of letting myself in.
No one was home to open the
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or I could go back to school to
call my parents. Grudgingly, I
decided to return to school.
After all, I assumed that the
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curriculum. Moreover, under-
standing these three components will prepare students to
partake in different types of
advocacy, whether it is for the
Akron student's essay
takes top honors in
ACA Foundation contest
clientele or for the profession.
It is essential that students are
aware of the history of advocacy.
For example, reading the works
of Clifford Beers could enlighten
students as to why such action is
beneficial to the profession and
the welfare of humanity. Learn-
ing about the rewards of advocating can motivate and encourage the counselor to get involved
and take social action. It can reiterate that counseling is more
than a 50-minute session in a
Marisa White, a student in the
Solomon also thanked the
doctoral program of counselor
many readers of this year's
education and supervision at the
essays for their time and dedicaUniversity of Akron in Ohio,
tion to the organization and prohas been selected as the winner
fession. "Their work was not
of the 2005 Graduate Student
easy, given the quality of the
Essay Contest sponsored by the
essays, but I've heard that it was
American Counseling Associaa very enjoyable task," Solomon
tion Foundation. As winner of
said. This year's readers were:
the top prize, White will receive
Patricia Arredondo, Tom Blume,
a $500 grant from the ACA
Craig C. Cashwell, Roberto
Foundation and a one-year
Clemente, Brooke B. Collison,
membership to ACA.
Suzanne E. Degges-White,
This year's contest drew essays
Duane Geiken, Jane Goodman,
from 90 graduate students from
Jim Hendersop, Nita Jones, Terri
across the country. Said ACA
Lonowski, Jane Myers, Mark
Foundation Chair Clemmie
Pope, Lois Wedl and Kelly L.
Solomon in announcing the winWester.
ner and the four runners-up: 'Tm
delighted that so many truly
Editor's note: Counseling
thoughtful and interesting essays
Today has edited only for
were submitted, and as my conspelling.
gratulations go out to the winners, I also thank all who make
the effort to think about these
important issues facing all of us
in counseling. Since 1999, this
contest has attracted some of the
brightest students in our counselor education programs.'
The four runners-up are:
Michelle A. Worden of the University of Wyoming; Edward
Wahesh of the University of
Scranton in Pennsylvania,
Courtney R. McDermott of Pace
University in New York; and
Sandra L. Pollock of the University of Central Florida. Each of
Marisa White
these individuals will receive a
White graduated from the Unione-year membership to ACA.
versity of Tennessee last year
The winning essays appear
with a master's degree in mental
both here and on the ACA webhealth counseling. She is currently a counselor education and
site at
supervision doctoral student at
SGrand-prize wnner
the University of Akron and
anticipates graduating in 2007.
Subject: Define "advocacy"
and explain if you support
requiring "advocacy" as a component of graduate counseling
programs. Advocacy is taking actions to
increase awareness and create
positive change for individuals,
groups, organizations and societies. Counseling does not entail
advocacy; it is advocacy. We,
counselors, speak for our
clients, the counseling profes-
sion and our livelihood. Advocacy is not only a role of a counselor, but also a responsibility.
If the premise of the counseling profession is advocacy, then
why do we, counselors, take a
back seat to psychologists and
social workers due to their ag-
gressive advocating skills? I
believe that the path to the "front
seat" is paved with advocacy
training. One way to improve the
profession, which in turn accommodates the needs of our clientele, is to integrate advocacy
training into all graduate cours-
es. Moreover, due to the vast
amount of information needing
to be learned, I support incorporating an advocacy course into
the training requirements.
In order to advocate, counsel-
ing students need to be aware
of the purpose of advocating,
they need to discern what causes to advocate for and determine how to advocate in a successful manner. Potentially
these three aspects could be the
focus of an advocacy course
small, square room. Knowing
that there is more to the profession can inspire students to
unleash their abilities. Learning
advocacy skills will arm counseling students with confidence
in their helping ability and increase their awareness of social
justice concerns.
Once students understand that
the future of their profession and
well being of their clients rely on
their advocating, it is essential
that they learn how to choose
their battles. Advocacy training
could teach students how to
access information about current
events and legislative activities
that affect the counseling profes-
sion and their clientele. Additionally, this course could allow
students the opportunity to par-
ticipate in self-exploration. It
could give them the opportunity
to discover what issues are
important to them and release
their passions. Once they engage
in self-reflection and identify
how to obtain pertinent information, students need to identify
what actions to take and how to
do so in a productive manner.
There are a multitude of social
action skills that counseling students could learn that would
write letters to legislators, start
petitions, speak to local organizations, prepare debates, etc.
Additionally, I would suggest
incorporating an advocacy committee in the department or Chi
Sigma Iota branch, which I have
done at the University of Akron.
Learning advocacy techniques
could liberate counseling students by taking them out of their
box (more commonly known as
the 12 x 12 room).
In addition to learning functional applications, counseling
students should also be aware of
the negative aspects of advocacy.
Ideally, an advocacy course
would teach counselors that advocating could be demanding,
emotionally taxing and jeopardizing to their job. Being aware
of the drawbacks would prepare
students for the struggles and
enable them to manage the stress
that accompanies social justice
action. Because advocates may
be viewed as troublemakers, it is
imperative that students learn
how to work against the system.
from within it. In an advocacy
class they could learn how to use
their personal characteristics and
counseling skills as social action
Requiring advocacy as a component of graduate training
would benefit the individual
counselor, the counseling profession and the clientele. An effective counselor is an advocate,
thus counselors need specialized
training in advocacy. Counselors
who have advanced advocating
skills would not only grow personally but also professionally.
Thus training programs should
unleash a counselor; unveil an
First runner-up
enhance their advocating abilities. An advocacy course could
teach counselors how to mediate
between clients and outside
institutions, negotiate with outside agencies and cope with
resistance at a systemic level. It
could teach students practical
methods of advocating, as sug-
gested by ACES's Advocacy
Network. Students could learn
how to take action against public
advertisements that misuse the
word counselor, create brochures
that describes a counselor's
skills, publish articles about
counseling in popular media,
Michelle A.Worden
WOrden is working on her
master's in counselor education
at the University of Wyoming
and expects to graduate in
December 2005.
Subject: Should graduate
counseling programs continue
to focus on human development
and career counseling or shift to
emphasize diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders??
I believe that graduate counseling programs should continue
educating and training in humanistic development and career
counseling irith less focus on
diagnosis and treatment. With
most mental health professionals
now obtaining a strong education,
in the medical model, counselors
may be the orily "healthy" client
advocates left among mental
health providers. For, the counseling profession it is paramount
that student counselors receive
solid humanistic training so they
are able to critically evaluate current possible incompatible therapeutic models utilized in the
workplace. If programs succumb
to the "medical-ized" focus,
counselors' ability to give voice
to healthy developmental views
and to influence economic and
political powers will continue to
diminish, and subsequently we
will be consumed by the medical
madhine. Employment forces
will then ask us to forsake out
roots, our voice.
My personal journey into becoming a humanistic/client-centered counselor started in the late
1990s with my acceptance into a
CACREP-accredited Counselor
Education program. My education.helped me fdrm the belief
that clients desire their counselors to witness their human
dignity and, in turn, their counselors believe that the clients
possess the skills to grow in
healthy directions. My job as
therapist is to "be" with clients
on this part of their journey.
Comfortable and confident
with my academic training, I
started my internship At a hospital psychiatric ward. I experienced firsthand how safe the
diagnostic world can be. I found
the medical model to be "cleaner" and with strong boundaries.
It was easiet for me in my inexperience to put a label on a person whose life seemed 'out of
control and very complex. The
medical model helped me
devise treatment plans designed
for anyone in such dire straits. I
had a diagnosis, psychotropic
prescription and a treatment
plan. The patieits will get better.
If they did not, it was not
because of the diagnostic and
statistical manual's defined
treatment plan but rather an
incorrect diagnosis, the need for
a drug change or lack of patient
motivation. The locus of control
and blame was outside me, the
therapist. I unwittingly found
the medical model a comfortihg
place in which to exist.
Next, I decided to intem at
Hospice. I had not realized the
extent of my internal theoretical
change until I was sitting with a
dying person. I found it really
did not matter what the psychological diagnosis was or what
psychotropic drugs were prescribed. What was most poignant was the relationship and
human dignity present in the
dying process.
I was a counselor from a solid
humanistic background; hoW
could I fall into the medical
model trap so easily? The
changes were so subtle, subversive and frighteningly simple.
My experience of adopting the
medical model gave me a false
sense of authority and expertise
which allowed me to distance
myself from patients' weakness
and- disease - their humanity.
In turn, I distanced myself from
my own pain, fear and weakness
- my own humanity. I discovered that distancing was the last
thihg dying People and their
families need in,that moment;
they need meaningful relationship, and I want to' be in that
If offered early during their
education, I believe that student
counselors who are struggling
with the ambiguity and tension
of the "therapeutic relationship"
will grab hold of the concrete
steps and answers the inedical
model offers. This model is less
messy than having to deal with
all the unknown factors of the
clients' and counselors' uniqueness, strengths and humanity.
Medical model training allows
counseling students to distance
themselves from their personal
struggles with ambiguity, a
struggle which I now believe is
paramount in achieving the personal growth and compassion
needed to become partners in
the therapeutic relationship.
Even though many presentday professional counselors
come from a humanism background, they and the political
and economic authority appear
trapped in the medical model.
Indeed, my own counselor education program has been some-
what modified to meet the
changing demands of mental
health employers to hire those
savvy in the medical 'model.
Although I understand the universal language, utility and
appeal of the medical model, I
believe the subtle shift I experiended in what it means to be a
developing human coping'with
life's difficult circumstance was
a product of my exposure to the
medical model. This shift resulted in me compromising my
clients' dignity and integrity.
This is far too great a price to
pay for the economic and political future of our counseling programs and future employment.
We cannot give up our roots, our
voice, our soul.
SecIn dIn
Edward Wahesh
Wahesh graduated in May 2005
from the University of Scranton
with a master's of science in
school counseling and a specialization in secondary school
Subject: How can counselor
training programs better prepare
students to address today's
broad range of social justice
The concept behind this essay
materialized at around 36,000
feet altitude. I was on a flight
returning home from a spring
break service trip. During the
past week we were at Red'
Cloud, a school located on the
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
in South Dakota. While there,
we personally witnessed many
of today's most pressing social
justice issues. On the plane ride
home an undbrgraduate counsel-
ing major who we'll call Jill (to
protect her identity) mentioned
how counselors could do so
much mbre as advocates for the
oppressed if they received adequate education in justice-felat-
ed political, social and econom-
ic issues. After I responded with,
"Well, um, we do have the
social cultural issues class:' I
realized that something was not
right. Social justice concerns
influence in every dimension of
society. As a result, it would be
wrong to confine these issues to
one course. Instead, a counselor
training, program must offer an
integrated approach to teaching
justice interweaving education,
skills training and direct firsthand experience to better prepare students to address these
issues in the future.
Since all aspects of a counselor's professional identity are
influenced by social, political
and economic issues, every training course within a counseling
program should be geared to
address these concerns in a, relevant and appropriate manner. For
instance, a course on social and
cultural issues dah be molded to
prepare counselors to identify
issues within their community
and also provide the skills training necessary to be an -advocate
for populations who experience
these forms of discrimination
and oppression. A professional
issues course can enhance student's knowledge of the many
local, state and national laws and
prpvisions (PATRIOT. Acts,
poverty laws, etc.) that may
impact their futire clients. In
order to integrate these issues,
counseling departments should
establish a curriculum committee
composed of faculty, staff and
representatives from lodal advocacy organizations, to outline
clear education for social justice
objectives for the program, review current course offerings and
make recommendations to the
department chair and dean on
what gaps are pisent.
Beyond elucation and training, a direct experience working
with the marginalized and oppressed is necessary in order to
fully prepare future counselors.
To facilitate this experience,
practicum and, internship requirements should be reconsidered. I propose that students be
required to spend a designated
amount of hours -researching a
social justice topic and then
completing direct onsite hours
at an organization which works
with those who are negatively
impacted by the issue. Taking
this one step further, programs
can offer short-term immersion
experiences to live and work
within a community that has
been devastated by economic or
political justice issues to provide an even more profound
frame of reference. My experience in Pine Ridge exposed me
to poverty on the reservation,
but at the same time revealed
the poverty and economic depression present where I live,
which-had gone unioticed by
me -until now. I believe that
these experiences, which provide the human faces and personal stories behind the statistics, will give students the motivation and energy to continue to
integrate advocacy and justice
concerns throughout their professional lives.
In order to' prepare future
counselors-to incorporate social
justice concerns and advocacy
into their professional lives,
counselor training programs will
need to integrate these themes
into education, training and
experiential learning opportunities. Students in such programs
will have a firmer grasp of the
magnitude and complexity of
how issues such as poverty,
homelessness, workers' rights,
immigration and women's rights
negatively impact the health and
well-being 'of individuals. By
receiving education on these
social, political and economic
issues as well as training in
advocacy skills, counselors will
be more equipped to take on
these problems within therapeutic relationships employing an
ecological systems framework.
Drawing from past direct experiences working with the marginalized and oppressed to motivate
and reinforce, counselors will
also have a realistic understanding of what they can accomplish
outside of thdir offices and on
the streets. One of the first things
I learned when studying counseling is that positive change
does not always occur within a
session, it happens outside of it,
in the client's life when they are
able to put into practice what
they have learned in counseling.
As a profession, we must realize
that if we want to act as change
agents within our communities
and be a vojce for the voiceless,
students must be given enough
preparation and insight during >
training to instill the confidence
and hope they will need as counselors to stand -up and make a .E
Continued on page 26
ACAF Essays
Third runner-up
Courtney R.McDermott
McDermott will graduate in May
2006 with a master's of science
in counseling from Pace University's Dyson College of Arts and
Should graduate
counseling programs continue
to focus on human development
and career counseling or shift to
emphasize diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders?
To answer the question of
whether graduate counseling
programs should continue to
focus on human development
and career counseling, it is
important to understand the fundamental beginnings and focus
of counseling as a profession, as
Continued from page 25
well as how these factors make
counseling unique in the context
of the other helping professions.
When exploring which topic
areas to include in the curriculum of a counseling program, it
is necessary to determine the
goals and focus of the associated profession. Counseling, as a
-helping profession, has several
cousins that are similar in scope,
yet differ in significant ways,
such as psychology, psychiatry
and social work. According to
the American Counseling Association website, professional
counselors "work with people
of all ages, races, cultural backgrounds and circumstances to
help them maximize their
potential, make positive changes
in their lives and achieve their
goals" (
Specific areas concentrated on
by professional counselors include education, career development and well being across the
life span. Counseling differs
from psychiatry in that psychiatry is focused on the medical
disease model (B.F. Okun,
2002). Counseling also differs
from psychology in its focus on
development and prevention,
rather than treatment of pathology (BE. Okun, 2002). In order
for prevention to occur, it is nec-
essary to understand the nature
of pathology (thus its inclusion
in most counseling programs);
however, it is against the inherent nature of counseling to focus
solely on it.
When examining the relationship between counselor education programs and career counseling as a specialty within the
counseling field, it is impossible
to ignore the intrinsic history
they share. Interestingly, as
pointed out by M.L. Savickas
(2003), the counseling profession as we see it today was born
of what was the field of vocational guidance in the early 20th
century. Given the occupational
demands most individuals face,
it is difficult, if not impossible,
to separate well being from
one's occupational and career
experience. The counseling vocation grew from the seeds of
occupational guidance not by
coincidence, but because many
of the issues that one faces in the
workplace or in making occupational decisions are issues that
are pervasive throughout his or
her life. As a result, most graduate counseling programs require
at best one course in career and
lifestyle theory (The author's
current graduate program only
recommends the Career and
The workshop is six hours and consists of 3 videotapes or 3 DVDs.
The Study Guide for the NationalCounselorExam (4th ed., 2000)
is included and provides organization and coherence with
specific references to page numbers throughout the workshop.
The workshop covers four areas thoroughly: Appraisal, Research,
Professional Orientation (Ethics), and Career.
The areas reviewed briefly, with suggestions about specific content as
to importance, likelihood of being on the exam, and strategies for
studying that content are: Human Growth & Development, Social &
Cultural Foundations, Helping Relationships (theories/techniques) &
The workshop begins with a discussion and review of the National
CounselorExam, the content areas, the work domain contexts,
scoring procedures, and cutoff score determination. Test taking
strategies are also reviewed thoroughly.
A set of VHS tapes or DVDs with the Study Guidefor the National
CounselorExam costs $150. If you already have the Study Guide (4th
ed.) which is $60, the cost is $90. You can also just buy the Study Guide.
Order your set (specify videos or DVDs) by sending a check for $150
to: Andrew Helwig, 1154 Loch Ness Ave., Broomfield, CO 80020.
Credit cards are accepted. E-mail number (Visa or MC) with
expiration date to:
or call 303-466-3191 (after 10 AM Eastern).
For other resources, visit:
University of Colorado at Denver & Health Sciences Center
The one-day workshop preparing counselors for the NationalCounselor
Exam (and similar exams) conducted over 200 times by Dr. Helwig,
is now available on videotape and DVD. This is an actual workshop
conducted in 2004 preparing counselors and graduate students for the
National CounselorExamination.
treatment and diagnosis, one
additional question must be
answered: How do you treat the
abnormal until you know what
normal development looks like?
Human development is described as "the multidisciplinary
study of how people change and
how they remain the same over
time" (R.V. Kail and J.C.
Cavanaugh, 2000). The study of
human development is unique in
that it allows for the exploration
of human behavior and growth
from a multitude of angles, such
as found in longitudinal, crosssectional and cohort studies.
Observing behavior from these
perspectives allows for the most
comprehensive view of human
behavior, allows for recognition
of commonalities and a better
understanding of the human
experience. In addition, many
theoretical perspectives such as
psychodynamic theory, cognitive theory and learning theory
have constructs that are applicable to both psychopathology
and the study of human development. As such, it is difficult to
truly understand one without the
I recommend that career counseling and human development
continue to be included in counselor education programs, because these two areas of study
Lifestyle Development course
for those sitting for licensure;
however, it is not required for
graduation.) It, would be discouraging to witness the elimination of a career counseling
component to counselor education programs, as this specialty
is fundamental within our field.
Therefore, the question should
not be whether to maintain the
inclusion of career counseling
in graduate programs, but how
to aid its growth to maintain the
integrity of our profession.
As the counseling profession
began to evolve into what we
see today, a focus began to
emerge on development and
well being. As such, and as was
previously noted, counseling
programs emphasize normal
human development over pathology, while psychology programs emphasize diagnosis and
treatment. As with career counseling, when examining the
worth and importance of human
development as a part of counselor education curricula, it
becomes a question of the identity of a profession. Greater
emphasis on human development is one of the key areas that
sets the counseling profession
apart from the other helping
professions. Additionally, for
proponents of emphasizing
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are what make counseling
unique and therefore serve as the
cornerstones of the profession.
Sandra L.Pollock
Currently a full-time student with
a small private therapy practice,
Pollock expects to graduate in
May 2007 from the University of
Central Florida with a doctorate
in counselor education.
Subject: How can counselor
training programs better. prepare
students to address today's broad
range of social justice concerns?
"Never believe that afew caring people can't change the
world. For indee4 that'sall who
ever have." - MargaretMead
You do not teach social justice. You do not lecture on it.
You do not take tests in it. You
live it. You observe the treatment of others. You question.
You challenge others to question. You imagine what it feels
like to bejudged based solely on
what you look like, what you
earn, how you worship, whom
you love. You search inside
yourself and honestly acknowledge how you benefit from the
privileges of your gender, color,
ethnicity, socioeconomic status,
physical stature, religion or sexual orientation. You examine
your own prejudices.
We can be a few of the caring
people. Our counselor education programs need to encompass addressing social justice
concerns and effecting change.
Counselors are change agents
for their clients and students.
We can be change agents for our
communities. We should read
about social justice. But reading
is not enough. We should talk
about social justice. But talking
is not enough. Counselor education programs can do more than
1cture on diversity and multicultural issues. Reading literature from cultures other than
one's own is important. But, it is
not enough. Our institutions
should intentionally fill their
programs with a diverse population of students.
We can learn froi working
alongside each other. Our programs need to challenge students
to explore and question their own
convictions first. Addressing social justice concerns means
encouraging people to challenge
their own belief systems. It is an
ongoing, interactive and experiential process. The steps comprise awareness, -open-mindedness, education, understanding,
intention and action.
Examine yourself boldly and
honestly. Acknowledge your
own prejudiced beliefs bravely.
How do they disconnect you
from others? What do you want
to do about them? In her book
Learning to Be White: Money,
Race and God in America
(1999), theologian and minister
Thandeka explores the price of
admission to being "inducted"
into whiteness. She writes how
white people reserve racial
descriptions for those who are
not white and learn, as children,
that they must uphold and guard
the'privileged position of whiteness or risk the loss of affection
by caretakers and peers. She purports that white children must
learn to separate themselves
from their own feelings in order
to survive. The result is selfalienation, emptiness and shame.
Indeed, being a member of the
dominant culture does not protect you. Whether we live as
perpetrators or victims of social
injustice, we all lose. We do not
have to aspire to be Mohandas
Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr.
or Mother Teresa to change the
world. We can be one of a few
caring people.
What can our counselor educational programs do to immerse
students in learning social justice? Social justice can be incorporated into our current curriculum. A professor teaching social
justice could encourage her students to experience their education and stretch their limits.
Imagine that you could choose
from the following class projects:
* Attend a religious service
that is different from your own
previous experiences. What did
you like and appreciate about it?
* Volunteer with an organization that works for social justice
on a grassroots level such as
Habitat for Humanity, a homeless shelter, a spouse abuse shelter or an organization working
with AIDS victims. What do
you learn from the people you
work with?
M Mentor a student at an innercity school. How is his life different from your own?
E Spend one day imagining all
the ways your life would be
affected, and how you would be
treated by others, if you were in
a wheelchair, blind or deaf.
Journal about this.
* Learn who your local politicians are, and contact them on
an injustice issue that touches
you and relates to the counseling profession.
* Speak up assertively and
respectfully when you find a
joke or comment socially insensitive. How does it feel to take
this risk?
E Share a traditional meal with
someone you know who is from
a different country or culture.
Learn about some of their customs. What do you like about
How might doing any one of
these experiences, writing about
it and processing it with your
peers affect you? How might it
change you?
Our counseing education
programs should urge students
to be role models of social justice through knowledge, words
and actions. Be one of a few caring people. Inspire a few more.
Our opportunities abound. E
PRIVATE PRACTICE: Starting or Expanding?
Robert Walsh, MA, NCC, LCPC arid Norman C. Dasenbrook, MS, LCPC,
consultants afid authors, have helped hundreds of counselors start and expand successful
private practices. Since 1999 Walsh and Dasenbrook have lectured throughout the
country and co-authored, "The Complete Guide to Private Practice for Licensed Mental
Health Professionals, now in its 3rd edition.
The Complete Guide 3rd edition contains over 170 p$ages of ideas and examples, included
are all the private practice forms on CD-ROM. Some of the topics covered:
* Marketing strategies, and advertising
* Referral sources
* Office set up with minimal
* HIPAA disclosure and clients'
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Dealing with managed care
Office procedures
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the latest private pra6tice information.
Finding Your Way
Finding Your Way
Continued from page 23
bully was long gone. As I
approached the school, I froze
in fear after realizing that my
executioner was still waiting for
me at the entrance. I could no
longer turn back because the
bully had seen me. I felt like an
inmate walking on death row.
After walking half a block,
which seemed more like a long
mile due to my high anxiety, I
was standing five feet away
from the bully. Looking down, I
couldn't see what he was about
to do. I anticipated a punch, but
what I received was an unexpected pat on the back. Apparently, a fellow classmate had
stood up for me and had cleared
my name prior to this confronta-
tion. The bully had intended to
call off the fight that day at
school, but since I had exited the
classroom so quickly, he didn't
have the opportunity. I felt both
relieved and a little braver that
day. I went on to befriend the
notorious school bully, which to
me felt like befriending the
president of the United States.
Save these dates, March, 30
Looking back, I realize now
that most of my fears and worries came from within. I felt
scared to confront anyone
because I was too fearful to face
the most significant individual
- myself. I also realize that during this transitional phase of my
life, I was suicidal and extremely depressed. Perhaps during the
April 3
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moment of approaching the
bully, I felt that I had nothing
more to lose, so I simply surrendered. I remember entertaining
many irrational thoughts, such as
"I'm lower than everybody else
because I'm different." At times,
I came to actually believe those
thoughts. At other times, I
watched TV rather than face my
shortcomings. I followed my
instincts, thinking that the immigrant thing to do was to take
life's punches, fight to get back
up and move forward.
I am still trying to find a-constant feeling of belonging. I am
just a beginner as a counselor,
and I hope that I don't find
myself screaming into my pillow over another new culture. I
must say that I feel as lost now
as I once did as a newcomer to
this country. The main difference is that now there is no bully
chasing me (at least none I'm
aware of).
Perhaps it is not surprising
that I now feel a strong need to
stand up for anyone who is
being taken advantage of by a
bully. I also feel a need to help
those who are ignored. At least
now I can say that my English
will finally suffice to get directions. I may still be lost at times,
but now others can help me to
find my way.
In my work as an advocate for
minority and iimmigrant students, I recognize myself in
their struggles. I am able to provide emotional support for my
clients and to share my own
experiences. In addition, I challenge my clients to find their
own way and not allow society
or their parents to, dictate their
Nevertheless, I am still learning how to comfort those who
have no clear directionsin life. I
know that nobody can destroy
my belief in myself, which
sprung from all the hopes and
aspirations of my dear grandmother, Lola. Often in my practice, I'm in a position to give
clients what I desperately needed but did not receive myself. To
me, that is both exhilarating and
healing. 0
Jon Arat is a counselor in
California State UniversityFullerton's Siudebt Diversity
Jeffrey A. Kottler professor
and chair of the Counseling
For more informati
Visit ACA's website for more information on Montr6al at
Department at California State
University-Fullerton, is the column coordinator for Finding
Your Way. Submit columns for'
consideration to Jkottler@
Innovations in Counseling - evSUSANxmY
Tattoos and piercings:
Decoration or distress?
Many people believe tattooing
and body piercing among young
people represent normal desires
for attention and individual
style. Others think such body
modification is a sign of negative underlying tendencies, and
past research has linked tattoos
and body piercings with drug
and alcohol use, unprotected
sex, crime, violence, suicide,
eating disorders, low selfesteem and body dissatisfaction.
Jonathan Roberti and Eric
Storch explored the association
between body modifications and
psychological symptoms among
198 college undergraduates in
the Journalof College Counseling (Spring 2005, pages 14-19).
Having more than one tattoo or
piercing (excluding pierced ears
for women) was considered
body modification for this study.
All the students completed the
Beck Depression Inventory and
the Trait version of the StateTrait Anxiety Inventory. Students with body modifications
(65 percent of the sample) received significantly higher
scores on both depression and
anxiety inventories.
The individual's number of
tattoos and piercings correlated
significantly with levels of depression and anxiety, as well.
The auth6rs advise that college
counselors attend to clients'
body modifications as symbolic
representations of inner states.
Perfectly Rogerian
When perfectionism is separated into two factors - having
high standards and feeling a distressing discrepancy between
one's performance and one's
standards -
two types of per-
fectionists can be distinguished:
High standards in combination
with distressing discrepancies
characterize maladaptive perfectionists, while high standards
without the distress characterize
adaptive perfectionists.
These two groups can also be
distinguished from nonperfectionists, argue Jeffrey Ashby,
Simone Rahotep and James
Martin in the Spring 2005 Journal of Humanistic Counseling,
Education and Development
(pages 55-65). These researchers perceived an association between perfectionism and Rogerian personality constructs, and
tested these by analyzing the
responses of the three groups to
scales of the Feelings, Reactions
and Beliefs Survey (FRBS). The
FRBS comprises nine scales
reflecting aspects of Carl
Rogers' personality theory. Both
types of perfectionists scored
more highly on ability to focus
conscious ittention and on emotional sensitivity in relationships
than nonperfectionists. Adaptive
perfectionists scored higher than
the other two groups on the
Fully Functioping Person subscale, which captures the Roger-
ian version of self-actualization,
and scored lower than the other
groups on feelings of inferiority.
These findings are consistent
with logical interpretations of
perfectionism from a Rogerian
point of view.
The only scale that distinguikhed maladaptive perfectionists from both nonperfectionists
and adaptive perfectionists was
Feeling Ambivalent in Relationships. The researchers construe
this finding as maladaptive perfectionists' desire to have intimate relationships and their
simultaneous impatience with
the time and energy these require. Ashby, Rahotep and Martii discuss the implications for
person-centered counseling of
Marketing counseling
outreach programs
College counseling centers
usually develop programs for the
campus community designed to
promote positive behavior, prevent problems from developing
and educate people about mental
health topics. Furthermore, outreach programs may encourage
students who otherwise would
be reluctant to seek individual
counseling to do so when needed. However, many counselors
become discouraged by the low
turnouts for programs they have
so carefully designed.
In the Spring 2005 Journal of
College Counseling (pages 8696), Lawrence Marks and
Richard McLaughlin provide a
useful report on their efforts to
discover the best ways -to improve student attendance at psychoeducational presentations.
The authors applied several tactics to an outreach series featuring eight to 10 presentations a
semester on topics such as time
management, self-esteem and
relationships. They investigated
students' responses in two focus
groups, in written surveys given
during classes and in evaluations
after each presentation.
The researchers concluded
that electronic advertising through the school's daily email announcements, in online
calendars of events, on the
counseling center's website and
on relevant departments' links
Continued on page 32
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AMHCA pioneer
Rencken dies at 60
Made lasting contributions as a mental health counselor,
sex therapist and school psychologist
Robert H. Rencken's plan as
an undergraduate was to become a professional Air Force
officer. Instead, he became a
force in the fields of mental
health counseling, sex therapy
and school psychology, and a
vital contributor to the American Counseling Association, the
American Mental Health Counselors Association and the Arizona Counselors Association.
Rencken died suddenly on May
12 at the age of 60 in Arizona.
In addition to playing a pivotal role in the creation of both
AMHCA and a state division of
AMHCA in Arizona, Rencken
served as ACA Governing
Council parliamentarian in
1995-96 and as president of the
Arizona Counselors Association
in 1982-83. He became the
executive director and conference coordinator of the Arizona
Counselors Association in 1985
and held the position for 14
years. He was twice named the
AzCA Member of the Year and
was honored by AMHCA as its
Counselor of the Year in 1986.
In addition, he was the first
recipient of ACA's Kitty Cole
Human Rights Award in 1989,
given in recognition of his
efforts to recognize and affirm
the personhood of all individuals regardless of race, gender or
sexual preference.
Rencken - a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor, a
Licensed Professional Coun-
a selor,
a National
a Counselor and an American
.S Board of Sexology Certified
Sex Therapist and Diplomate o devoted much of his career to
o advancing counselor credentialing at both the state and nation30
al levels. He led the charge to
establish the Certified Cl inical
Mental Health Counselor credential for AMHCA and served
on the Clinical Academy that
oversaw administration of the
credential. He also was a dedicated advocate for the up grading of the Certified Profes sional
Counselor credential to the
Licensed Professional Counselor credential in Arizona
In addition, Rencken was a
member of the ACA Insuirance
Trust and had two books published by ACA: Intervention
Strategiesfor Sexual Abus e and
Briefand Extended Interventions
in Sexual Abuse. He also created
an ACA home study progr im for
counselors about interv mon
strategies for sexual abus e and
presented workshops and seminars nationwide concernin g sexual abuse, incest and childhood
sexuality. He and his wif e Kay
Stritzel Rencken also tau ght an
undergraduate and graduat e level
class on human sexualit y and
sexism in the Marriage, 7amily
and Child Counseling program at
Pacific Oaks College.
Despite his varied accon iplishments, Rencken's peers said he
was never interested in drawing
the spotlight to himself. "Bob
wasn't lik6 that" said Joy ce M.
Breasure-Herrick, who set ved as
ACA president in 1995-96,
when Rencken was parli amentarian, and who first mret him
nearly 30 years ago as A 4HCA
was organizing to become a division of ACA. "He was i iternationally recognized ... but if you
stood next to him, you 'd just
think that he was a good comedian. He was a brilliant maan who
was quiet and humble. Hle was
just one of those worker s who
epitomized a greatcounsel[or. He
was always there and did more
than his fair share."
Those thoughts were echoed
by Howard B. Smith, as sociate
dean of the College of Edu cation
and Counseling at South Dakota
State University, who fir st met
Rencken in the early eigh ties at
an ACA Convention where
AMHCA was holding apr e-conference training session. "Bob
made innumerable contril)utions
to the counseling profe ssion,"
Smith said. "To his credit, he did
not seek office that some might
say is little more than the seeking
of power, but rather he used his
considerable skill and understanding of the profession as a
volunteer, if asked, he would tell
you immediately whether he
would do something or not. If he
took on the responsibility, as he
most often did, you could count
on the job not only being done,
but being done well and in a
timely fashion. He, more than
anyoneelseIcanthink of, wasa
quiet leader - the type of individual who people go to when
they have a concern or problem
and want some assistance in
resolving that issue. Bob was
there, ready to play the devil's
advocate to challenge your ideas,
or to be supportive of you, if not
your decision. He was a master at
disturbing one's comfort and of
comforting one's disturbance."
"Bob Rencken was one of the
good guys," said William
Krieger, a past president of
AMHCA. "A pioneer in the
field of mental health counseling, he never lost is sense of
perspective. Bob Reucken was
my friend, and that would be the
thing he most cherished - Is
friendships. Bob epitomized the
people person?'
In fact, it was Rencken's love
of people that eventually threw a
curve into his initial career path,
as he himself wrote about in a
chapter of Robert Dingman and
John Weaver's book, Days in the
Lives of Counselors, published
in 2003: "When I majored in
psychology as an undergraduate
at Rutgers University, I never
thought I would be working in
this area. At the time, my career
plan was to become a professional Air Force officer. Instead
of a twenty-year career, it became a five-year wonderful
growth experience (Rencken
was a captain in the 100th
Strategic Reconnaissance Wing
of the U.S. Air Force and served
in Vietnam). One of those areas
of growth was the recognition
that my rewards came from
dealing with people rather than
machines, creating options rather than limiting them?'Reneken began his counseling-related
coursework even before exiting
the Air Force and went on to
cam two master's degrees from
the University of Arizona -
one in counseling and the other
in child development and family
While working jobs in residential treatment and child guidance, he also obtained training in
the area of testing and became
credentialed as a school psychologist, which he liked to say provided him with his "day job." He
served as a school psychologist
for the Sunnyside School District in Arizona. As his private
practice also evolved, his interest
in clinical sexology developed,
and Rencken took courses at the
Institute for Advanced Study in
Human Sexuality in San Francisco. From that point on, one of
his specialties became helping
clients deal with problems related to sexual abuse.
Many of Rencken's colleagues
remember him most fondly for
his pioneering role in promoting
the field of mental health counseling and his leadership in helping to start AMHCA. "Bob was
an important force behind the
early group of mental health
counselors," said Bill Weikel, a
past president of AMHCA. "He
led training workshops and wrote
and edited the training manual
The Book of AFIHCA. Bob and
his wife Kay were present at virtually every AMHCA meeting
and event. ... He was a gentle
giant (Rencken stood approximately 6'4"), an imposing man
with a heart truly of gold."
Recalled as someone who gave
great hugs by Breasure-Herrick,
Rencken had another comforting
talent especially appreciated by
colleagues. "Late nights in the
AMHCA suite," Weikel said,
"we would all line up for a shoulder or foot massage from Bob."
But Rencken was even more
valued for his guidance, Krieger
said. "Iwas a state president and
becoming active at the national
level," he said. "The national
leadership would gather in the
AMHCA suite at midnight. Bob
was one of those whose advice
and reactions were always
sought after while I, a relative
newcomer, would sit on the outskirts of the circle and watch
Bob and Dave Brooks calm a
rowdy group of young turks with
their thoughtful responses and
suggestions. Years later, when I
was president of AMHCA, I
often called Bob for advice and
feedback. ... He was one of us
who formed a profession out of a
dream, and for many years he
gave his life to making that
dream a reality."
"Bob was a very large man with
an equally large heart" recalled
Richard Wilmarth, another of
AMHCA's past presidents. "During the beginning days of
AMHCA, we had a slogan 'Work hard. Party hard! Bob did
both very well. He was a gentle
man with exceptional skills."
Rencken was known for being
quick with a joke and for bringing levity to almost every situation. Wilmarth recalled a trip
that several of AMHCA's leaders took to China in 1985 as part
of a goodwill exchange program. "Bob and I decided to
place one of our promotional
AMHCA balloons on the Great
Wall," Wilmarth said. "We were
always trying to promote
AMHCA in every way we
could. After we had located a
site to place the balloon, Bob
turned to Bill Weikel and myself
and said as he looked at the
Great Wall, 'It's a GOOD wall.'
If you knew Bob, you surely
appreciated his refreshing and
advanced humor."
Weikel concurred: "Whenever
there was work to be done for
the counseling profession, Bob
was there. Whenever there was
fun to be had, Bob was there.
The world has lost one hearty
laugh, and I have lost a dear and
true friend."
Smith also remembered
Rencken's playful nature fondly.
"Bob loved to play with words
and often used innuendoes, double-entendres or perhaps only a
pause with a wry look," Smith
said. 'It gave conversations with
him an edge that was entertaining
and intriguing as I anticipated his
next line. In addition to his wellknown sense of humor that was
sometimes a bit risqu6 and verging on impropriety, he was one of
the most sensitive men I have
ever known. He held fervently to
such a wide range of dispositions
in his quest for life at its fullest.
He was a 'quiet' leader, which is
a bit of an oxymoron given his
raucous laugh and love of a good
time. Throughout the 20-plus
years of knowing Bob, my respect for and value of him as a
person, for his judgment and for
his understanding of the profession continued to grow. My
memory of him is one of my
highly valued possessions:'
Breasure-Herrick seemed to
sum up everyone's feelings
about Rencken. "He loved to
laugh and he loved life," she
said. "He was one of the best
people and counselors I know."
Robert Rencken is survived by
his wife, Kay Stritzel Rencken;
children, David and Michele
Rencken, Kristin and David
Audelo, C.J. Stritzel and Lorca
Wood, and Stephen and Leanne
Stritzel; grandchildren, Gregory
Rencken, Kayla Osborne, Taylor Stritzel and Milo Stritzel;
and a sister, Dottie Kafalas. E
John W. Bloom, a professor
in the Butler University School
Counseling program and a
close friend of the Rencken
family, contributed much of
the background forthis article.
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"How to Avoid Marrying aJerk"
1. What made Van Epp realize the need
for a program targeted at singles?
o a.couples counseling still requires
a lot of individual work
o b.people inaserious relationship overlook
and minimize problems
o c.people often find themselves getting serious
before they are clear about what they want
o d.his own feelings of isolation and confusion
when he started dating again
2.The article mentions how all of the following
have been impacted by Van Epp's program
o a.a previously homeless individual
o b.a college-aged daughter
o c.a Marine and his wife
o d.teenagers from a church congregation
youth group
"Combining Business With Counseling"
3. After graduating last spring, Chase landed
the job she wanted as a consultant for the
corporate offices of _.
o a.a powerful multinational manufacturer
o esteemed advocacy organization
o c.a famous design company
o d.a large health care firm
4. According to Guindon, organizational
counselors are experts in:
o building
o b.skillful communication
o c.power dynamics and politics .
o d.allof the abovee
"Washington Upd ate"
5.The Elementary andSecondary School
Counseling Program received -was
allocated for the program in FY 2005.
o a.more than
o b.the same amot nt that
o c. less than
o d.none of the above
6. Chris Campbell:
o a.was elected to serve as one of three co-chairs
of the National Alliance of Pupil Services
Organizations '
o b.isan ACA lobbyist
o c.met with Assistant Secretary of Education
for Special Education Robert Hager
o d.all of the above
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"Breaking the Silence, Breaking the Cycle"
7.When Rigin couldn't obtain the healing she
was looking for through traditional counseling,
she started:
o a.writing her life story
o b.making forays into nature
o c.meditating inorder to hear her own thoughts
o d.singing
8. Riggin thinks the school system _ the abuse
she received as a child.
o a.ignored
o b.felt paralyzed by
o c.had no tools to deal with
o d.genuinely was not aware of
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9.The author posits that her practical, relatively
simple method does all of the following
o a.aid inkeeping the negatives inperspective
o b.aid incontaining the feelings of panic
o c help you discover new sources of motivation
o you take charge of the situation
10. What isthe difference between lists, schedules
andplacing ieces' on the squares of your
o a.prioritizing (and following through accordingly)
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interms of time and attention
o c.viewing the pieces as stepp ing-stones
to a goal
o d.making a game of it
Please allow 3 to 6 weeks for notification of your results and your certificate of completion (ifyou pass).
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From p.
Counseling Career Corner - BY AMY REECE CONNELLY
Ten things you can do this
summer to enhance your career
It's July. It's hot. Your energy
reserves are depleted.
Maybe you're bored.
Maybe you're bumed out.
Don't despair. Summer can be
a great time to recharge your batteries and enhance your career.
Here are 10 ideas for digging out
of the dog days doldrums:
* Read. Are you curious about
a new development in the field?
A new practice area? A new tethnique, perhaps? Browse the
American Counseling Association Publications online bookstore for inspiration. (Start at our
home page,,
click on "Publications," then find
"Browse the online bookstore'")
* Write. Who in academe
hasn't heard the phrase "Publish
or perish?" If the ebbs and flows
of the academic year are part of
your life, maybe the downtime
of summer would be a good
time to do some research, write
your first draft or shop your
manuscript for publication.
Why 'not start an outline of that
book you have in your head?
* Take a class. Something
career-related, maybe? Why not
try continuing education online?
Check out some of ACA's exciting new offerings. (Start at the
home page, then click on "Continuing Education Online!") Or
feed the right side of your brain
by taking an art class or attending an gutdoor concert series.
Maybe you could pick up some
new (and helpful) computer
skills by enrolling in a community education course.
N Teach a class. Granted, it's
probably too late to get on the
schedule for the local community college's summer offerings,
but what about teaching a parenting workshop at a local
church or synagogue, or starting
a self-help group at the Y? Contact local schools to arrange a
workshop for teachers. Develop
a series on different counseling
topics in conjunction with your
public library.
0 Get on a speakers bureau
list. Check with libraries, newspapers, television and radio sta-
tions, the Chamber of Commerce
and local professional organizations. An "exper' is anyone who
knows more about a topic than
you do, right? Why not be the
"expert' members of the media
call to get a counselor's viewpoint on the latest headlines?
E Network. That would be an
active verb! Have lunch with a
colleague you haven't talked to
for a while, Collaborate on a
project with a classmate from
graduate school. Meet with the
new director of the rehabilitation center. Lots of careerchanging information is exchanged in informal settings.
* Attend a professional conference. Lots of great workshops and a change of scenery
(or climate!) can nurture you
occupationally, spiritually, socially. ... Hey, that's starting to
sound like a wellness model!
* Volunteer. Could the community center use some help
from someone with your expertise? How about the hospital or
area nursing home? What about
your ACA state branch? A volunteer stint can introduce you to
contacts that might lead to parttime consulting or full-time
employment, depending on your
career goals.
* Get an internship. What
would two weeks to a month
helping to develop an employee
assistance plan for- the human
resources department of your
area's largest employer do for
your career?
* Update your resume or
curriculum vitae. Ideally, you
should revise your curriculum
vitae any time you publish an
article, deliver a presentation,
teach a class, join a professional
organization, etc. Some experts
recommend a semiannual dustoff, but why let it get dusty in
the first place? "Vitae" is from
the Latin for "life." Keep your
career alive! U
Amy Reece Connelly is ACA's
mhanager of career services.
She earned a master of arts
dedree instudent personnel
administration in higher education from Ball Staie University and has nearly 20 years'
expprience in university career
services, outplacement and
executiVe recrulting.,Ouestions
maybedirecteoto,her it
was the most effective pub-
licity. Integrating a presentation
into the curriculum of existing
courses for extra credit or
homework also served as a
good incentive, and many students who attended one presentation for class reasons came
back for subsequent presentations. Distributing series brochures to other campus offices
informed faculty and administrators about the series and
allowed them to refer students
to presentations. Late afternoon
or early evening scheduling at a
consistent and well-known
place were other strong components of success.
During the two years of the
study, average attendance at
each presentation increased
from 26 to 34. This article contributes a helpful model for
counseling centers developing
and evaluating their outreach
Susan X Day isa counselor
educatorinHouston who
writes graduate-level textbooks about counselirng.
The Challenge of Counseling
Teens: Techniques for
Engaging and Connecting
With Reluctant Youth
presented by John Sommers-Flanaganwith
Rita Sommers-Flanagan
In skillful sessions with six culturally
diverse teenagers, John SommersFlannagan demonstrates explicit engage-
Other Pro grams Available Include
MSCE Couigeling/Psydhology
M.Ed. in.Schpl Counseling
Class A add-on Certification in School Couqseling
Oth(er Prograiris Aailable
SACS Accre
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methods for giving direct, authentic feedback
aton with Cohimbia SouthernUniversity
ment techniques for managing adolescents'
resistance to counseling. As his clients
discuss a range of issues commonly seen
pg" in therapy such as anger and destructive
behavior, John shows how to connect
with teenagers in ways that deepen the therapeutic relationship and maximize results.
This videotape presents teen-friendly goalsetting procedures and homework assi-iiments,
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critique John's work with the client and offer
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and interpretations, and using humor and
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At the end of each session, Rita and John
800-422-2648 x222
Governing Council adopts resolution on
families, reviews ethics code changes
In an effort to keep American
Counseling Association members abreast of what is happen-
ing in the organization, Counseling Today presents information
from the April 2005 ACA Governing Council meeting.
Based on the research supporting same-sex parenting, a
resolution regarding sexual ori'
entation, parenting and children
was approved by a unanimous
vote of the Governing Council.
The motion, proposed by the
Association for Gay, Lesbian
* Has established policies mandating that professional counselors do not discriminate on the
basis of sexialorientation.
N Acknowledges that discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered (GLBT) parents deprives their children of the
benefits, rights and privileges
enjoyed by the children of heterosexual parents..
E Has reviewed the research
indicating that the adjustment,
development and psychological
well-being of children are unrelated to parental sexual orientation.
and Bisexual Issues in Counsel-
ing, stated that ACA opposes
any discrimination based on
sexual orientation in matters related to creating and maintain-
ing families, including adop'
tion, child custody and visitation, foster care and reproductive health care.
"AGLBIC continues to work
at not only supporting and
advocating for sexual minority
counseling professionals and
our straight allies in our work,
but also'to continue to identify
and discuss important issues
that affect the sexual minority
community at large, including
our biological families and families of choice;' said Ned Farley,
the division's president. "In that
vein, it became clear to us that
with the rising tide of anti-gay
'initiatives around the country, it
was time for us to begin using
our voices as a professional
organization to ensure that the
rights of sexual minorities and
their families and friends were
heard. I am so honored that we
have had such strofig voices
representing AGLBIC on the
ACA Governing Council, including our current representa-
tive, Colleen Logan, whose
leadership has encouraged the
introduction of this resolution."
Passage of the resolution cor-
roborated the work of AGLBIC
and the ACA leadership in promoting equity and honesty, both
within the field of counseling
and in society, he said.
Among the items noted in the
resolution are that ACA:,
0 Supports and promotes safe,
secure and nurturing environments for all children.
Other points in the resolution,
are as follows:
* ACA believes that children
reared by a same-gender couple
benefit from legal ties to each
* ACA shall take an active leadership role in opposing all discrimination based on sexual orientation in matters related to creating and maintaining families,
including adoption, child custody
and visitation, foster care and'
reproductive health services.
N ACA' strongly encourages
counselors to actively participate
in the eliminatioi of all discrimination based on sexual orientation in matters of adoption, child
custody and visitation, foster
cafe and teproductive health services in their practice, research,
education and training.
* ACA shall continue to serve
as a resource to the general public as well as to its members,
divisions and regions regarding
discrimination based on sexual
orientation in matters of creating
and maintaining . families, including adoption, child custody
and visitation, foster care and
rdproductive health services.
Samuel T. Gladding, ACA's
immediate past president, said,
"Inpassing this resolution, ACA
continues to affirm the value of
persons in families everywhere
regardless of their sexual orientation. We know from the research that families are diverse
and that one's sexual orientatioh
has nothing to do with one's
ability to parent in a caring, compassionate and effective way.
Children, parents and. families
need to feel safe, supported and
secure." He noted that the resolution's passage puts ACA on
record as standing up for families
of same-sex parerits in exercising
their basic rights.
Logan, past president of
AGLBIC, agreed, adding that
being part of a united front on
this issue is essential for the association's progression, reputation
and authority. "It's important for
ACA to take a strong stand with
the other mental health professional organizations affirming
gay and lesbian families," said
Logan, who was a majorplayer
in coordinating and developing
the propqsal. "We, as counselors,
are obligated to provide affirmative, effective counseling to our
gay and lesbian families and
clients. We need to be educated
on the research, legal issues -and
challenges of this population, just
as we would With any couple of
single person."
"This is critical because it provides the foundation," she said.
'We are saying that we believe in
gay and lesbian families, we
affirm gay and lesbian families,
and we will provide the best
treatment we can." She noted
that tihe resolution should make
GLBT clients feel confident and
safe in 'seeking help from ACA
'We cannot afford to have our
voice silent on these important
social issues that have a direct
impact oh -our clients;' said Mark
Pope, ACA president in 20032004. "Same-sex families and
parents need our love and support
and help to fight the prejudice
that they face. Further, I think we
have a moral obligation as professional counselors, to take on
such prejudice wherever it raises
its ugly and hateful head. Some
counselors cast this in conservative religious terns, but I think
they are very far outside of the
mainstream in our profession. I
do think it is a values issue. We as
a profession have said that we
value' removing obstacles for
individuals to achieve their full
potentihl. Our roots historically
are allied with the progress of and
positive reform for hunianity, not
regression. We have a duty to
such clients and their families."
Editor's note: Next month,
Coinseling Today will take a
closer look at same-sex families,
including the struggles and triumphs of those within this population. CT is also soliciting submissions for 'the PointlCounter-,
point column. The column is a
forum for two 'counselors to
debate current hot-button topics
within the field, including
"Should the counseling profession supportgay marriage?"For
complete details on the column,"
see the Bulletin Board on page.
39 of the 'June issue of CT or
contact Angela. Kennedy at
800.347.6647 &t. 320.
Appointments for 2005-06
The Governing Council approved the appointment of Timothy Rambo to serve as student
representative to the council for
the 2005-06 association year.
Judy Lewis was appointed to
serve as chair of the ACA Insurance Trust, and Bernal Baca was
named the newest trustee of the
Insurance Trust. Patricia Arredondo, ACA's 2005-2006 president, also announced the following appointments, which did not
require Governing Council
Rachel Kristiansen - Regional Financial Affairs Committee
Michael Hutchins - National
Financial Affairs Committee representative
Sandra Winborne was selected
as the representative to the Executive Committee on behalf 6f
underrepresented groups. This
position is subject to approval by
the Human Rights Committee.
Caucuses for election
of representation
Policy requires that AdA divisions and regions shall caucus at
some point during the spring
Governing Council meeting to
select their representatives to the
ACA' Executive Committee,
Nominations and Elections Committee, and Strategic Planning
Subcommittee for the coming
year. Consequently, these groups
each held a caucus with the following results.
2005-2006Executive Committee:
Division representative Pam Paisley
Region representative -
2005-2006 Nominations and
Elections Committee:
Division representative Kim Long
Region representative
Randy Burwell
2005-2006 Strategic Planning
Division representatives Cathy Malchiodi and Molly Van
Region representative -Anita
Ethics Committee
Motions passed
The "ACA Policies and Procedires for Processing Complaints
of Ethical Violatiois" will be
revised to allow for educatioinal
advice and counsel in closing
selected case adjudications.
Educational advice and counsel
rendered by the committee
sh6uldin no way be construed as
a finding of unethical conduct or
a sanction.
Section K and Section 0 of the
"ACA Policies and Procedures
for Processing Complaints of
Ethical Violations" will be edited to be consistent regarding
telephone conference adjudication hearings versus physical inperson conference adjudication
Policy language in Section N
was changed to include new language as submitted, and the title
of Section N was also changed.
The new language approved by
this motion is as follows:
Section N
N.. The ACA Ethics Committee will receive and review evidence that an Ethics Committee
sanction has been completed and
fulfills the terms and conditions
imposed by the Committee. A
quorum is needed to take a vote
and a majority of votes cast will
determine whether that obligation has been satisfied or not. A
letter of notification will be sent
by the Co-Chair of the Committee to the member stating the
Committee's decision within thirty (30) businessdaysfrom receipt
of proofof completion.
Continued on page 40
Social advocacy and
professional identity
An interview with Reese M. House
I- '
Reese M. House retired in
June. He started his career as a
school counselor in rural Indiana, worked as a counselor educator for 30 years and spent the
last eight years working on the
Transforming School Counseling Initiative at the Education
Trust in Washington, D.C. 'He
also worked for several years as
an HIV/AIDS activist and educator.
I was the last doctoral candidate of Reese House. Vowing
never to read another dissertation, House finished a distinguished career at Oregon State
University in 1997 to begin
another one with the Education
Trust. He left Oregon State to
shape the future of school counselor education, while I left to be
shaped by the very.forces he was
initiating with the Transforming
School Counseling Initiative.
Influenced to become a social
advocate, I found embracing this
identity daunting and often ...
frightening. Appreciating systemic conflict, enduring personal and professional criticism, and
prevailing when the boat you set
sail in is left empty and aground
have been interesting to say the
very least, and more often than
not enlightening. I often remembered House's words: "You are
not truly an advocate until you
have been fired at least once."
Spoken like a true warrior of
social justice.
In preparation for House's
retirement, I contacted him several months ago to arrange an
interview. I was curious about
his development as a social
advocate and his dreams for the
field of counseling. I was also
hoping, as his last doctoral student and mentee, for guidance
on my own continued growth as
an advocate and counselor educator - a final advising session,
if you will. The following is an
overview of that conversation. It
demonstrates the honesty and
integrity House brought to his
work as a school counselor,
counselor educator and advocate for justice and human
rights. I believe the interview
also embodies the hopes of
counselors in becoming agents
of social change and of intervening in the lives of their
clients and within the world
around them.
Q: What would you describe
as key events ia your development as 'an agent of social
change (advocate)?
A: I was taught by Mother to
question' what was going on.
Questioning became a learned
way of being in the world in
which I interacted. I quickly
learned that by questioning,
some people tended not to like
me. They would rather I accept
the status quo rather than challenge it.
I found that others who questioned were appealing people to
me and discovered allies in
ied passions brought into the
looking at what could be differgroup by each of us. The diffient rather than what was. Also,
culty was to translate this diverMartin Luther King reaffirmed
sity into a common force of
this questioning stance and that
energy. Effective advocacy canoutside
not occur in isolation, and countraditional
role. My early training in counselors need to find pockets of
seling emphasized the counselor
people interested in similar isI
sues. Change happens when a
found the role to be a natural fit.
group of committed individuals
At that time, the counseling proreflects on what they believe and
fession adopted the organizauses the energy and resources of
tional ideas of social change
the group to initiate change.
from the race and gender equity
Q: What is the currentclimate
with regardto advocacy and the
As counselor- educators, this
present role of school countask translates to helping trainees'
selors? What gaps and issues
understand how an organization
still need to be addressed?
can empower people to act on
There still exists a gap beissues of access and equity.
tween counselor education and
Many students are being systemwhat school counselors actually
ically denied access and equity
do. Schools are changing, and
to services based on color, genthe battlegrounds for change are
der, etc., where prganizations
schools. Every staff member
(for example, schools) view the
needs to know how to underindividual as more important
stand and improve student
than the system. This is the priachievement for all students.
mary intent of systemic change
This is the new challenge for
- to shift from purely an indischool counselors. Within the
vidual intervention model of
ASCA (American School Counchange to that of a systemic
selor Association) Model, advomodel.
cacy, leadership and outreach
Q: What do counselors need are emphasized. If school counto know when incorporatingthe
selors could take on this mantle,
role of advocate into their practhey would be the leaders needtice and training and whenfinded in schools to advocate for all
ing his orhervoice inpromoting
students. However, they are
social change?
overwhelmed with the personal
A: Being an advocate is not
and social issues presented by
only an obligation to the professtudents and the demands
sion and the population we serve
placed on them by others.
but needs to be demonstrated in
We need to develop models
our personal lives as well. My
that instruct and guide school
identity as an advocate is
counselors. We need to increase
grounded in a personal commita dialogue between school
ment in how best to live the princounselors and counselor educaciples of social change in my
tors to develop a mutual lanown life. What am I passionate
guage on how the practice and
about and how do I get involved
of all counselors needs
in changing the status quo?
We also need to use
We need to empower the proresearch
inform school counfession and counseling professelors
counselor edusionals to find a voice that is first
better achieve
and foremost personal. Embracchange
ing your identity as an advocate
is to view this voice as a prioriSome counselor educators
ty, to see the value in it and to
continue to resist this idea and
understand that advocating not
hesitate in shifting the focus
only serves the profession and
away from a purely mental
those we serve but also us. It is
health model. They have not
important that this personal
infused the training curriculum
advocacy stems from a place of
with the passion and skills necpassion and a genuine belief in
essary for empowering counthe issue. Counselors will be
selors to become social advounable to fully accept themcates of change. A message.
selves as advocates unless the
needs to be sent to counselor
change they are advocating for
educators that what they are
is deeply personal. Often, the
doing in the overall training of
first step is developing a relacounselors no longer fits the
tionship with the idea of being,
needs of schools in the 21st
an advocate.
Q: What obstacles were pre- century.
Q: What ivere your discoversent in seeing yourselfand other
ies in relation to your own procounselors become a force in
fessional growth as well as to
promoting social action and
the field of counseling?
I discovered at Oregon State
A: Seeing students get excited
that my colleagues and I had our
about their learning and to
own kind of advocacy ... unique
become advocates themselves
versions and outlets for the var... generalizing into a lifestyle
of interacting with others, both
professionally and personally.
Also, in being part of shifting
counselor education programs to
match the purpose of the Education Trust initiative (Transforming School Counseling). This
has been a mushrooming movement and can be best viewed in
the lives of our students and the
impact they make in the lives of
their students.
When you are out there working on "making a difference,"
you don't realize all of what you
are doing. Understanding the
bigger picture often occurs well
after change has occurred, and
even then it can be difficult to
fully appreciate, much like seeing the forest through the trees.
What I have discovered from
this is to focus only on what I
am doing right now and where I
am going and not waiver from
the vision.
Q: What is your hope for
counselors and counselor educators/supervisors in reference
to social advocacy?
A: That counselor education
programs do better at screening
for people disposed toward the
ideas of advocacy from a variety
of backgrounds and to take the
call for programmatic change
seriously ... to reflect on what
they are and how they can shift
to better train and prepare counselors for the social issues
addressing the populations that
future counselors will be serving. People can be taught to
become and embrace themselves as counselor advocates.
Most people have advocated for
something in their lives, and we
can and must assist them with
developing this sense of self,
empowering them with the passion, faith and skills to promote
systemic change.
We cannot get comfortable
with how things are. Learn not
only to expect change but to also
question "why not?" Be involved in the process of change
rather than (only acting) as an
observer. It will have a ripple
effect. Finally, advocacy is hot
only what we stand for as counselors but also who we are. If
you believe in the future and a
better reality, then you can do it!
In 1816, Thomas Jefferson
wrote, "If a nation expects to be
ignorant and free, in a state of
civilization, it expects what
never was and never will be:'
The counseling profession lacks
a unified definition and a common focus, which undermines
any major efforts 'at advocacy.
This interview with Reese House
provides a window for professional counselors to glimpse
what can be and suggests a unifying voice through an identity
of social change. This begins by
becoming acquainted with the
"idea of being an advocate." It is
an idea House has demonstrated
in both his personal commitment
to AIDS research and international education and to professional action for challenging
counselor educators to shift their
training practices. Embracing
this idea also requires having a
willingness to question the status
quo, identifying a group of com-
mitted allies, having faith that
systemic change is inevitable
and compassionately committing to an identity as social
action and economic justice advocates. Translating the diverse
nature of the counseling field
into a common force of energy
needs such an idea.
A friend retired last month.
The field of counseling and his
last advisee will never be the
same. f'
Colin C.Ward is an associate professor at Winona Stath University. He has more than 20 years' experience as an educator and
counselor vitli an interest inschool counselor training, strengthbased approaches tocounseling and public policy for promoting
the counseling profession and'social thental health. He is actively
involved in state and national counselor organizations as well
as with the'Education Trust Transforming School Counseling
E-niall coinnients about this article to ct
December 7-11, 2005 (Wednesday-Sunday)
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State of the Art Faculty: Barlow, Beck, Black, Cummings, Dilts, Hendrix, Lerner
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Dignity, Development & Diversity - BY MICHAEL D'ANDREA AND JUDY DANIELS
portant social, moral and political issues counselors need to
address to more effectively foster the psychological development, mental health and personal well being of larger numbers
of persons who come from
diverse groups and backgrounds
in our contemporary society.
A socially responsible
approach to counseling,
mental health care
By exploring the relevance of
King's philosophy and teachings
for the counseling profession,
we hope new and untapped
aspects of your own multicultural competence will be stimulated
as you gain a greater awareness
and knowledge of the vital interconnections that exist between
human development, professional counseling and a socially
responsible approach to mental
health care. This month's column is designed to:
E Increase your awareness of
King's evolution as a multicultural-social justice advocate.
a Underscore the importance
of embracing a broad definition
of multiculturalism.
* Highlight some of the im-
In the April Dignity, Development & Diversity column, we
presented the first in a series of
articles examining the relevance
of Martin Luther King Jr.'s philosophy and teachings for the
counseling profession. The column directed attention to King's
call to "remain awake during a
great revolution." We noted that
this message has particular relevance for multicultural-feminist-social justice counseling
advocates who continue to promote new paradigms that are
revolutionizing our thinking
about the way helping professionals can more effectively,
respectfully and ethically operate in our culturally diverse,
21st-century society.
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Many people primarily identify King as a champion of civil
rights for African-Americans.
However, a closer examination
of his personal and professional
evolution indicates that he
became increasingly aware of
the unique interconnections,
strengths and needs of persons
in other marginalized groups as
well. This growing understanding is explicitly reflected in
King's later writings and
speeches. He frequently referred to the unique strengths
and plight of poor white persons, women, Jews, Muslims,
farmers in rural America and
the large number of youths who
experienced a heightened sense
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King's perspective of the
mental health professions
of alienation and hopelessness
during the 1960s.
As King expanded his understanding of the unique strengths
and common challenges that
people in these diverse groups
experienced, he gained new insights about human development, mental health and psychological distress. These insights
led him to articulate a number of
things he believed counselors
and psychologists had to do to
more effectively promote the
psychological and spiritual well
being of persons from devalued
cultural groups in our nation.
Among the specific recommendations that King stressed
for mental health professionals:
* Not remaining silent in the
face of social scientific evidence
pointing to the various ways that
individuals' mental health is
negatively affected by the various forms of social injustice and
cultural oppression rooted in our
societal institutions.
* Actively working to eradicate
the complex problems of racism
and classism that continue to be
perpetuated in our nation.
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E Developing and implementing psychological, counseling
and advocacy programs intentionally aimed at fostering the
empowerment of millions of
poor persons living in the United
* Eradicating all forms of violence, including such government-sanctioned violence as
capital punishment and war.
King described the important
roles that mental health professionals can play in addressing all
these issues during his keynote
address at the American Psychological Association's annual convention in Washington, D.C., in
September 1967. In doing so, he
presented his vision of the need
for counselors and psychologists
to take a more socially responsible and politically active stance
in promoting the mental health
needs of our entire nation. This
vision challenged mental health
practitioners to embrace new
roles and responsibilities as helping professionals. The new roles
and responsibilities King urged
mental health practitioners to
incorporate into their work
would lead them to implement
professional services that went
beyond helping individuals to
learn better ways of adjusting to
the existing status quo. The
socially responsible vision that
King advocated included counselors and psychologists becoming positive social change agents
who would intentionally strive to
transform the organizations and
institutions that constitute our
societal infrastructure as they
helped to build a more just and
sane society.
Many mental health professionals, both then and now,
resist the wisdom of King's call
for a socially responsible approach to mental health care.
They commonly argue that the
fields of counseling and psychology should avoid addressing social-political issues and
instead maintain a position of
"value neutrality" when providing services to clients.
But their position continues to
be challenged by numerous
other persons in the profession.
Many multicultural, social construction and postmodem counseling experts point out that
everything we say and do reflects various values that are
consciously and unconsciously
embedded in our individual and
collective constructions of reality. These experts also assert that
"value neutrality" is a modern
myth that is impossible to
implement in anything we do
personally or professionally.
Growing recognition that it is
impossible for any of us to operate from a position of "value
neutrality" has led an increasing
number of counselors to become
more cognizant of the values
that they implicitly promote in
their work. Increasing awareness of the myth of value neutrality not only complements
King's vision of a socially
responsible approach to mental
health care, but it is also implicit in many of the multicultural
counseling competencies that
the American Counseling Association has formally endorsed.
Acquiring the competencies
that enable us to attain awareness of how and when we are
imposing our personal and professional values on others is no
easy task. The difficulty in doing
so becomes even more challenging when we embrace a broad
and inclusive definition of multicultural counseling.
Embracing an expanded,
inclusive definition of
It is interesting to note that
King's own evolution in becoming a more inclusive social justice advocate paralleled the
development of the multicultural counseling movement. It is
well-known that the genesis of
the multicultural counseling
movement can be traced to certain African-American theorists
and researchers. They described
the many ways in which traditional counseling and psychotherapeutic interventions were
not only ineffective but even
harmful when used among
Black clients. These ineffective
and harmful outcomes typically
occurred when Black persons
received counseling services
primarily focused on promoting
intrapsychic changes for problems that frequently could be
traced to toxic environmental
conditions. Among the environmental conditions identified as
having particularly adverse psychological effects on AfricanAmericans were the various
forms of racial injustice, discrimination and oppression perpetuated where many Black
clients lived and worked.
The revolutionary and liberating spirit that characterized the
onset of the multicultural movement was reinforced shortly
thereafter by the work of other
counseling theorists, researchers
"It is well-known that the genesis of the multicultural counseling movement can be traced
to certain African-American theorists anid
researchers. They described the many ways in
which traditional counseling and.psychot herapeuticr interventions were not only ineffective but
even harmful when used among Black clients."
and social justice advocates
from Asian, Latino/Latina and
American Indian decent. Their
work led to a tremendous expansion in our understanding of
group differences, strengths and
needs that characterize persons
from a broader range of ethnicracial groups and backgrounds.
The evolution of the multicultural-social justice counseling
movement did not however, stop
here. During the 1970s and
1980s, we witnessed increasing
demands for a more inclusive
definition of multiculturalism
among persons in other devalued
"cultural" groups in our society.
Such demands were most
notably made by women's and
dered counseling advocates.
Even more recent calls have been
made for the inclusion of older
adults, individuals with disabilities and persons from Jewish,
Muslim and other religious/spiritual groups in an expanded definition of multiculturalism.
We have endorsed the importance of embracing a broad defimtion of multiculturalism on
several occasions in the past in
this column. In doing so, we
have outlined an expansive multicultural framework that we
call the RESPECTFUL Counseling Model.
RESPECTFUL Counseling is
an acronym that highlights 10
factors counselors are encouraged to keep in mind as they
strive to implement culturally
competent helping strategies
that reflect an expanded and
inclusive definition of multiculturalism. The factors in this theoretical framework emphasize
the importance of attending to
counselors' and clients':
R - Religious/spiritual identity
E -Economic class background
S - Sexual identity
P - Psychological development
important role that counselors
can play in addressing those
factors known to adversely
impact the psychological development and mental health of millions of people who identify with
the model's framework.
Multicultural and social justice counseling researchers have
been particularly helpful in
expanding our understaiding of
the adverse impact that specific
types of toxic social-politicalenvironmental conditions have
on pedple's lives. These researchers have described how
racism, sexism, classism, ableism, heterosexism and other
types of cultural oppression
result in negative physical and
psychological outcomes for millions of persons in marginalized
and devalued groups in our
A growing body of empirical
Ethnic/racial identity
C - Chronological disposition
T - Trauma and other threats to
their personal well-being
F - Family history
U - Unique physical characteristics
L -
Language aid location of
residence, which may affect the
helping process
In addition to promoting a
broad and inclusive definition of
multiculturalism, the RESPECTFUL Counseling framework is
also grounded in a social justice
perspective closely aligned to
King's philosophy and teachings. The RESPECTFUL Counseling model emphasizes the
Continued on page 38
Promoting intellectual
honesty, socially
responsible practices
tLI-aelvd L
Dignity, Development & Diversity
evidence in the social sciences
suggests that King was indeed
accurate when he pointed out
that social injustices and cultural
oppression represent unique
forms of psychological, economic, structural and spiritual
violence that undermine people's mental health. Given the
abundant evidence of the many
ways in which social injustice
and violence undermine healthy
human development, it is difficult to understand why some
persons in the counseling profession continue to argue against
the need to implement the sort of
socially responsible counseling
strategies that King called for
during his lifetime.
In light of the growing empirical evidence that supports many
of King's claims about the vital
interconnections between a just
society and the psychological
health of its inhabitants, we suggest the time has come for open
and honest discussion about the
need for counselors to incorporate more socially responsible
approaches into their professional practices, We have outlined a
number of resolutions we believe
are consistent with King's phi-
Continued from page 37
losophy and teaching about mental health. These resolutions also
conplement the spirit and principles of the multicultural-feminist-social justice counseling
movement -
a movement that
continues to have a tremendous
impact in transforming the counseling profession.
We hope the following resolutions will stimulate open and
honest discussion about the
need for the counseling profession to become more socially
responsible in its practices. We
also hope members of the ACA
Governing Council will consider the possibility of formally
endorsing these resolutions in
our professional organization.
In doing so, they would not
only help to realize King's
vision of a socially responsible
mental health profession but
also stimulate new ways of
thinking about the counselor's
role in promoting human development and dignity by fostering
a greater level of justice, peace
and sanity in our culturally'
diverse society.
Resolution #1: Given the
substantial body of empirical
knowledge that describes the
negative effect that religious
bigotry, violence and discrimination have on human development, it is resolved that the
socially responsible approach to
mental health care that Martin
Luther King Jr. advocated is
necessary to eradicate these
toxic social-environental conditions in our society.
Resolution #2: Given the
substantial body of empirical
knowledge that describes the
negative impact that racism
continues to have on human
development, it is resolved that
the socially responsible approach to mental health care
that Dr. King advocated is necessary to eradicate this complex, toxic, iocial-environmental condition in our society.
Resolution #3: Given the
substantial body of empirical
knowledge that describes the
negative impact that sexism and
sexual violence continue to have
on human development, it is
resolved that the socially responsible approach to mental
health care that Dr. King advocated is necessary to eradicate
these toxic social-environmental
conditions in our society.
Resolution #4: Given the
substantial body of empirical
knowledge that describes the
negative impact that ableism
continues to have on human
development, it is resolved that
the socially responsible approach to mental health care that
Dr. King advocated is necessary
to eradicate this toxic socialenvironmental condition in our
Resolution #5: Given the
substantial body of empirical
knowledge that describes the
negative impact-that heterosexism and violence against
gayllesbian/bisexual/transgendered persons continue to have
on human development, it is
resolved that the socially responsible approach to mental
health care that Dr. King advocated is necessary to eradicate
these toxic social-environmental
conditions in our society.
Resolution #6: Given the
substantial body of empirical
knowledge that describes the
negative impact that ageism
continues to have on human
development, it is resolved that
the socially responsible approach to mental health care that
Dr. King advocated is necessary
to eradicate this toxic socialenvironmental condition in our
Resolution #7: Given the
substantial body of empirical
knowledge that describes the
negative effect that poverty has
on human development, it is
resolved that the socially responsible approach to mental
health care that Dr. King advocated is necessary to eradicate
these toxic social-environmental
conditions in our society.
Resolution #8: Given the
substantial body of empirical
knowledge that describes the
negative effect that war has on
human development, it is resolved that the socially responsible approach to mental health
care that Dr. King advocated is
necessary to promote peace and
to end all wars in our world. E
Michael D'Andrea (e-mail:
Judy Daniels (daniels@ are faculty
members in the Department
of Counselor Education at
the University of Hdwail.
m ±,RE34N DIk FOR1 IT!
Now you. can earn CE Credit reading
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Journal of Counseling & Development
l-Starting with the Spring 2004 issue, one article from each quarterly issue of
JCD will be posted online
ACA. Books
Chapters from selected new titles published by ACA will be posted regularly.
Convenient, fast, affordable way to earn CE Credit:
* Earn 1 CE credit per chapter or article
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* Cost per credit: $18 (nonmembers: $25)
Simply go to:
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Questions? E-mail: dpeales@counsllg.og
Division, Region & Branch News
ACC to assess scope of
membership interests
Submitted by Thelma Duffey
Greetings! The Executive
Board of the Association for
Creativity in Counseling met in
May and discussed plans to
begin a rigorous assessment of
the research and clinical interests of our membership. We
hope to help members with likeminded interests collaborate and
support one another in their projects. Indeed, the diversity with
which creativity can be ex-
pressed and experienced in our
counseling practices is farreaching. ACC's commitment is
to provide a forum for coungelors, counselors in training
and counselor educators to
speak to the immeasurable ways
we access both our creativity
and that of our clients. No
doubt, such access brings vigor,
excitement and wonderful pos-
sibilities to our work.
Please let us hear from you by
contacting Dana Comstock at
dcomstock@satx.rr com. We
areas of counseling and counselor education. We are currently
accepting manuscript submissions for upcoming issues of
JCMH. Visit our website at
wwwaca-acc.orgfor more information. We are especially seeking submissions that describe
how creative interventions can be
used in the service of facilitating
growth-fostering connections
and productive, mutually supportive relationships. In addition,
we are seeking movie and book
reviews for our cinema and bibliotherapy columns.
Again, I offer my sincere
appreciation to our membership
for helping make our launch as a
division a success. You have
been amazing. Thank you for
helping us lift our vision to a
place of action and for helping
create a collaborative culture
where relationships, diversity
and innovative ideas are valued.
I look forward to being in touch.
Please let us hear from you. Creativity at its best comes in the
connections we share and in the
collaboration we enjoy.
will also be sending an electronic survey to the membership
with respect to research and
ACCA highlights its
achievements, activities
clinical practices, and will publish our findings by fall. Our
Submitted by June Williams
hope is to explore the creative
interests of our membership and
The American College Counseling Association has had an
extremely productive year and is
looking forward to the future for
even more activities that benefit
college counselors throughout
the country. First, I would like to
recap some of the major developments that occurred in the past
months and highlight some of
the major activities and areas of
focus for the upcoming months.
Among the major accomplishments in 2004-2005 are the
* Last fall, we launched two
online courses for college counselors: "A Creative and Collaborative Approach to Test Anxiety
Counseling" by Joyce R.
Thomas and "Ethical and Policy
Issues When Dealing With Suicidal Behavior on the College
Campus" by Perry C. Francis
and Mary Jeanne Raleigh.
* In addition, we arranged to
provide continuing education
credit for reading the Journalof
College Counseling.
* ACCA agreed to co-sponsor
Robert Gallagher's 2004 National Survey of Counseling
Center Directors, which can be
accessed from our website at
to identify the scope and practice of our membership. This
project is in keeping with ACC's
stated mission to provide an
opportunity for counselors and
counselor educators to work
together on the diverse ways
that creativity can be used in
Additionally, the ACC Board
will be creating grant opportunities for members interested
in researching the varied
-counseling. Heather Trepal
( will
organize this effort.
We also look forward to the
upcoming launch of ACC's
Journal of Creativity in Mental
Health, published
Haworth Press Inc. As the editor
of JCMH, I am very excited
with our progress in bringing
this new journal to you. Given
that a myriad of steps come into
play in establishing such an
effort, the logistical process of
establishing the journal is, in
fact, a creative one! I will keep
you posted on bur progress.
The journal is sure to include
informative, innovative and practical sources of information for
students and professionals in the
* In conjunction with the
Louisiana Counseling Association, we co-sponsored the first
regional drive-in workshop.
This very successful venture
featured ACCA's own Keren
Humphrey, who volunteered to
present two workshops, "The
T-F-D Model for Counseling"
and "Adaptive Grieving Styles."
* The ACCA Executive Council voted to allot $5,000 to support research in the area of
counseling and college student
* In response to suggestions
and requests by numerous
ACCA members, a bylaws
change was approved at our annual business meeting to allow
ACCA-only members (those
who do not also belong to the
American Counseling Association) to be voting members.
1 As we look to the future,
some of our immediate goals
and projects include the following:
N Planning for our third ACCA
national conference to be held in
Reno, Nev., from October 3-6,
2006, at John Ascuaga's Nugget
Casino Resort. A call for programs has recently been sent
out, and we are actively seeking
quality proposals. Visit our website for more information.
* Providing additional online
CEU opportunities. Please contact us if you have ideas for possible workshops.
ACES to debut expanded
conference format
cussions will spark even more
main conference. Two half-day
workshops will be offered on
Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 1-5
p.m. "The Rewards of Mentorship: Keys to Success" will provide students and counselor educators alike insights into how to
create and enhance mentorship
relationships. "The Education
Trust: Transforming School
Counselor Preparation" will
explore changes in the preparation of school counselors.
A Women's Retreat will be
held from 4 p.m. on Tuesday,
Oct. 18, until 1 p.m., Thursday,
Oct. 20. This will be held offsite
at the Gilmary Diocesan Center,
a retreat center nestled in the
woods three miles west of the
Pittsburgh airport. More information on this retreat and the
half-day workshops is available
online at
The 2005 ACES conference
will be held from Oct. 20-23 in
Pittsburgh. "Super Saver" discounts are available through
Aug. 30. ACES members can
save as much as $75 off the
onsite registration fee. Special
hotel rates have been guaranteed
through the Pittsburgh Marriott
City Center and -the Ramada
Plaza Suites ' Pittsburgh (to
become a Doubletree Hotel after
Aug. 1). More information afnd
registration forms are available
discussion and creative thinking
online at
about where the profession is
going - and can go;' Benshoff
said. "Because of the variety of
AMCD makes plans
for leadership summit
Submitted by Paige Bentley
The heart of counseling is creativity and change in response
to changing needs. The 2005
Association for Counselor Edu-
cation and Supervision National
Conference reflects this truth
not only in its theme, "Creativi-
ty and Change in Counselor
Education and Supervision' but
also in its format.
Earlier this year, ACES leadership recognized a need for an
expansion of the traditional conference format to include more
opportunities for interaction and
exchange of ideas. "We are see-
ing so many great ideas among
counselor educators and super-
visors for how to move the profession forward," said ACES
President James Benshoff. "We
wanted to provide a forum that
would promote both the sharing
of these ideas and the generation
of new ones."
With that goal in mind, this
year's conference will include
roundtable discussions and
poster sessions in addition to the
traditional 50-minute workshops.
In all, almost 600 programs will
be offered. "We hope that the
addition of the roundtable dis-
* Continuing to forge collaborative relationships with related
professional organizations.
Offering idditional regional
drive-in workshops in conjunction with state divisions.
program topics on the schedule,
* Providing more information
and networking opportunities to
connect ACCA members who
are job searching with organizations and institutions that are
seeking college counselors.
Some of the topics that will be
offered include technology in
* Continuing to update our
website with information for
and about college counseling.
In addition to these areas of
specific focus, rest Issured that
the ACCA leadership is committed to continuing to provide quality services, activities and products for the membership. There
are many, many ACCA members
who volunteer their time and talents to support our mission. If
you are one of those people,
thank you for your contributions.
If you are not, thank you in
advance for your future contributions. Now is 'the time to get
involved. Accept the challenge!
we anticipate that participants
will come away with a wealth of
new ideas, models and techniques to incorporate into their
counselor education, experiential approaches to training counselors, counselor development
and multicultural issues in counselor education and supervision.
Because conferences also are a
time to network and enjoy the
company of other counselor
educators and supervisors, participants can look forward to a
number of informal activities
throughout the main conference.
'Two featured events include a
reception on Thursday night at
Duquesne University and a President's Reception on Saturday
night. In addition to other events,
time will be available for explor-
ing Pittsburgh with friends and
planned for more intensive
learning and growth prior to the
Submitted by Marie A. Wakefield
Mark your calendar now for
the Association of Multicultural
Counseling and Development
Leadership Summit, an opportunity for collegial envisioning.
The summit is open to the Executive Board, committee chairpersons, members of the Strategic Planning Committee and the
Multicultural Task Force, or any
AMCD member interested in a
leadership role. The conference
fee is $15.
The leadership summit will be
held Aug. 26-27 at the Clarion
Hotel & Suites Emerald Springs
in Las Vegas. This hotel is located approximately 10 minutes
from the airport and two blocks
from the "Strip," There is complimentary transportation service
for the airport and the Strip. The
room reservation rate is $69 and
must be made by July 26. For
reservations, call 800.732.889.
For more information, contact
President-Elect Larry Johnson
Continued on page 41
Governing Council
Members of the Ethics Committee presented the proposed
revision to the ACA Code of
Ethics and responded to questions from the Governing Council. In turn, a number of minor
changes were proposed and considered. As a result of this discussion, the Governing Council
Continued from page 33
voted to refer action on the Code
of Ethics to the'ACA Executive'
Committee meeting in May
2005. The Ethics Committee will
incorporate any agreed upon
changes from the discussion at
this meeting into the Code of
Ethics prior to that Executive
Committee meeting.
Task Force on
Impaired Counselors
The task force requested that
it be continued for an additional
year. In addition, it recommended a change in language in the
ACA Code of Ethics regarding
counselor impairment. It was
moved by A. Michael Hutchins
and seconded by Colleen Logan
that: The report from the Task
Force on Impaired Counselors
regarding the ACA Code of
Ethics be referred to the ACA
Ethics Committee for consideration for appropriate language
relative to shared community
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The motion passed, and the
task force was granted a continuation.
Financial Affairs
The Governing Council approv&d the adoption of the Fiscal
Year 2006 proposed budget reflecting $8,894,539 in revenues,
$8,774,071 in expenses and
$120,468 as projected revenues
over expenses.
Duty to Warn, Protect'
The Governing Council discussed the proposal for legislation regarding the establishment
of statutory laws on the responsibility of mental health professionals to warn about or protect
violent acts threatened by clients.
The Governing Council agreed
to direct the Public Policy and
Legislation Committee to:
N Advocate for the establishment of statutory laws regulating
the responsibility of mental health
professionals to warn about or
protect violent acts threatened by
their clients in states where a
counselor's Tarasoff duty is riot
defined by statutory law;
E Advocate for the adoption of
directives regulating a mental
health professional's Tarasoff
duty in jurisdictions (e.g., military bases) outside state control;
* Provide assistance to ACA
branch efforts to advocate for the
establishment of statutory law
regulating a mental health professional's Tarasoffduty within their
branch jurisdictions (through
awarding grants, using the Talent
Bank formed by the committee,
issuing a Briefing Paper regarding the need for Tarasoffstatutes,
and providing technical assistance from committee and professional staff);
* Submit a report of progress
at the autumn ACA Governing
Council meeting; and '
* Include advocacy for the
enactment of 'Duty to Warn" legislation in its advocacy agenda
for FY 2006. In addition, the
Public Policy and Legislation
Committee will investigate the
feasibility of such advocacy and
develop an advocacy plan (including the possibility of partnering with other affected professional groups) to be delivered to
the ACA Governing Council by
its spring 2006 meeting. 0
Angela Kennedy is a serijor
staff writer at Counseling
Today. E-miail gmmtent
abot this article t9_,
y '"1
Division, Region &Branch News
at 858.571.7223, Western Region Representative Dione Taylor at 619.563.2817 or Las
Vegas contact Marie Wakefield
at 702.271.1126.
ARCA introduces
new website, listsbrv
Submitted by Betty Hedgeman
The American Rehabilitation
Counseling Association's regional program, co-sponsored
with Cornell University, took
place June 2-3 in Ithaca, N.Y
The programs and presenters
were given very positive evaluations. ARCA thanks the presenters and all those who attended.
Sessions on ethics, expert testimony, caseload supervision,
work incentives, technology and
the Americans with Disabilities
Act addressed the needs identifled by counselors. In addition,
the high-tech environment, the
Cornell campus and the pleasant
weather all contributed to the
participants' well-being.
ARCA has developed a new
website ( to
address members' needs and
concerns. It is now ready for
member use, so please take a
look. It includes a directory of
leadership and governance documents such as minutes. The
website is also linked to ACA so
Continued from page 39
prospective members can access
applications and learn about
programs and services, as well
as the 2006 ACA Convention in
As another member service,
ARCA has a new listserv that
can be used to contact membership for information and action
items. Send us your e-mail
address so you can be included.
Virginia Thielsen is the contact
for this. She can be contacted at
Beginning July 1, Jan
LaForge becomes president of
ARCA and Irmo Marini becomes the president-elect. Jodi
Saunders continues as secretary, and Richard Coelho is the
treasurer. Council chairs remain
the same except that Virginia
Thielsen replaces Mark Stebnicki as chair of public awareness. Betty Hedgeman is the
past president as Tim Janikowski completes his term. Thanks
to Tim and Mark for all their
hard work on behalf of ARCA
and rehabilitation counseling. A
full roster of leadership is available on the website and will be
published in the next newsletter.
Anyone interested in serving as
newsletter editor should contact
Betty Hedgeman.
Also, the responses to the
ARCA membership survey are
being reviewed. A report is
expected in the near future.
Thanks to all ARCA members
who participated.
Members interested in participating in any of ARCA's councils should contact Jan LaForge.
EB-ACA to hold
conference inGermany
Submitted by Rebecca Brickwedde
The European Branch of the
American Counseling Association is pleased to announce its
46th Annual Fall Conference,
"The Professional Conselor:
Promoting Wellness Throughout the Life Span,' featuring
Samuel T. Gladding, ACA
2004-2005 president, as the
keynote speaker. The conference will take place at the
Steigenberger Mannheimer Hof
Hotel in Mannheim, Germany.
Fall Conference mini-sessions
will be held Nov. 3-4, and
Learning Institutes will be held
Nov. 5-6.
The elegant four-star Steigenberger Mannheimer Hof Hotel
is located in the historic city
center of Mannheim and is a
very short walking distance
from the art museum and main
pedestrian shopping zone..It is
just five minutes from the main
train station, with direct train
connections to and from Frankfurt Airport. EB-ACA has negotiated special conference prices
for this event. More information
about the hotel is available at
We continue to welcome
proposals for two-hour minisession presentatidns. The deadline for proposal submissions
is Aug. 1. Proposal forms, as
well as continuously updated
information about the conference, including the program,
prices and registration, are
available online at'
For more information regarding EB-ACA's 2005 Annual
Conference, contact Jan Keller
We hope to see you in
Mannheim, Germany!
NECA issues call for
workshop programs
Submitted by Kay Brawley
All counselors and workforce
and human service professionals
are invited to participate in the
National Employment Counseling Association's annual professional development workshop
in Montreal, Canada, March 31April 1, 2006, just prior to the
ACA Convention. The intema-
tional theme is "Facing the Challenges of Workforce Issues in the
Global Economy." NECA Professional Development Chair
Kay Brawley will be coordinating the programs for the annual
World-renowned Phil Jarvis
of the Life Work Centre, an
international firm headquartered
in Canada, has agreed to open
the workshop with his latest cutting-edge research, "From Vocational Choice to Career Management: Shifting Paradigms?'
Put the NECA annual professional workshop date on your
calendar now and take advantage
of the "early bird" registration
rates. Visit www.employment
counseling.orgfor details.
You're also invited to submit a
45-minute skill-building content
session proposal related to the
theme. The call for program format is available on the NECA
website at www.enployment Send your proposal to Workshop Chair Kay
e-mail I at
pnor to July 31.
Additional questions and concerns regarding the 2006 annual
workshop may be addressed to
NECA President Cheryl West at N
From page 4
boundaries of professional
ethics and gave a platform to
views that were completely
inappropriate for a professional
journal. Currently, my response
to that article is under editorial
review by the JCD.
Some have argued that antiChristianity,- and in particular,
anti-Catholicism - is the last
acceptable prejudice. It would
appear that in the publications
and perhaps even the pervading
culture of the otherwise radically inclusive ACA, this unfortunate sentiment is alive and well.
Perhaps counselors of various
faith traditions would do well to
question whether their membership dollars should continue to
support an organization with so
little regard for their beliefs.
Gregory K. Popcak
Executive Director
PastoralSolutions Institute
Steubenville, Ohio
Resource Reviews
Diversity and Development:
Critical Contexts That Shape
Our Lives and Relationships
Edited by Dana L. Comstock, 2005,
Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole,
368 pages, $66.56, ISBN 0-534-57406-8.
This text uses the diverse individual
journeys of its contributors to explore human development in the sociocultural context of privilege and oppression, largely
through the lens of Relational Cultural
Theory (RCT). The editor uses comparisons with traditional theories early on,
providing a foundation from which to
judge the validity of arguments presented
throughout the text. In this way the editor
organizes the topics and chapters toward
the reflective capacity of the reader.
The text fulfills the promise of personal
courage through vulnerability and courageously shared stories of raciallethnic
development and relational growth across
the life span. The authors provide compelling arguments and, more importantly,
hope to individuals seeking their own personal and professional development as
well as a greater voice and alliance with
others. Readers are offered multiple opportunities, through introspection, to
accept and challenge their own relational
and cultural insensitivities. Readers cannot
help but be moved from the position of
political correctness to the stance of personal compassion, which, in the words of
one author, becomes the foundation of
social justice and professional advocacy.
The editor has presented a text that is
very accessible even if one is not trained in
RCT. The text's style and structure are
informative, conversational-and engaging.
As offered by Dana Comstock in her preface, "Our value systems regarding what
constitutes mental health and 'normal'
development are made up of prejudices,
assumptions and ideologies that have been
taught to us, both overtly and covertly ...
racist and sexist ideologies permeate the
social structure to such a degree that they
have become hegemonic, namely seen as
natural and normal and inevitable." The
editor does an exceptional job of developing transitions that centralize the guiding
point: that encouraging a blanket adoption
of mainstream values ends up promoting
mainstream prejudices. Thus, the intent of
the text is to shift one's thinking away
from traditional models of human development toward growth-fostering relationships. This is done to bring the reader to an
awareness that considering multiple idena tity convergence is essential in the concepo tualization of -inclusive and culture-centered counseling practice.
The early chapters take issue with the
E limitations of traditional lifespan development theories while providing a credible
foundation for material presented in subseap quent sections. Each chapter that follows
delves deeper into the myths, stereotypes
and stigmas associated with established
0 theories of "normal" development and
beckons readers toward critical thought
with broad
42 and reason. The text continues
and integrative chapters on the critical
developmental contexts of both women
and men. The book centers not so much on
the knowledge gained from the individual
chapters and stories of others but rather on
the personal integration and development
of the reader, who is challenged to better
understand her or his own life.
Comstock brings into balance the personal and professional voices of her contributors and creates an impressive instructional tool to help others establish and
maintain growth-fostering relationships
necessary for psychological well-being
and emotional resilience over the life span.
Reviewed by Thomas R. Scofield, associate professor in the Departmentof Counselor Education at the Uniof
client in relation to wider contexts in terms
of past, present and future goals. The community genogram may also be applied as
an intervention strategy. By broadening
the focus to include contexts of community and culture, clients can uncover blocks
to personal goals, reframe their personal
stories and find empowerment to explore
new avenues for change. Finally, the community genogram' can be used to document client progress over time.
The book illustrates several ways of
graphically organizing and interpreting
community genograms using case examples. Suggestions for graphic organization
are presented, but the authors stress the
genograms should be designed in ways
that are meaningful for each client.
To assist practitioners7 in
developing personal experience, insight and familiarity in working with this
tool, the authors encourage
readers to create their own
through a series of practice
questions and exercises.
Stop Arguing With Your Kids:
How to Win the Baffle of Wills by
Making Your Children Feel Heard
By Michael P.Nichols, 2004, New York,
NY Guilford Press, $15.95, 229 pages,
ISBN 1-57230-284-4.
Few parents would say they enjoy argu-
ing with their children, yet they would
likely concede it is a far too common
occurrence in their households. Michael
Nichols walks parents through an easy-tofollow approach to stop those arguments
by using responsive listening.
Nichols introduces parents to the concept early in the book and sprinkles examples throughout to show parents how the
approach can be used. From ways to stop
arguments before they begin to methods to
inspire cooperation in children, the author
uses plain language to get his point across.
Understanding that what works with a 3year-old may not pass muster with a 16year-old, the author relates the use of
responsive-listening to children who are at
different developmental levels. Explaining
how to look for the message behind the
whining and complaints, Nichols encourages parents to listen in a manner they
have likely underutilized.
Nichols acknowledges that all children
are different, and parents must learn that
what has worked with one child may not
work with another. Encouraging parents to
take into account their children's unique
personal style, he reminds them that the
parents' job is not to mold their children
into what the adults think their children
should be but rather to support them on
their journey to who they will become.
Being a parent is not easy, and few other
Community Genograms:
Using Individual, Family and
Cultural Narratives With Clients
By Sandra A. Rigazio-DiGilio, Allen E.
Ivey, Kara R Kunkler-Peckand Lois T
Grady, 2005, New York, NY Teachers College Press, 140 pages, $50 (clothbound),
$26.96 (paperback), ISBN: 0-8077-4553-7.
This book illustrates how to use the
community genogram to help clients and
counselors discover ways in which individuals and families fit into wider contexts
of community and culture. The authors
developed the community genogram by
building on the concept of family
genograms, adding the contexts of community and culture to the traditional application of systems theory. Their goal is to
help clients recognize positive assets
across all contexts and apply these in ways
that enhance their lives. By co-creating
their community genograms, clients are
moved to identify theirgoals as well as the
specific components that contribute to
their experiences in the world.
The authors present three applications of
the community genogram. First, as an
assessment tool, the genogram helps
clients and their counselors identify which
influences and interactions with family,
neighborhood, community agencies and
sociopolitical forces are contributing to
one's current experience. The objective is
to understand the individual or family
responsibilities come without training or a
Chapters outline the different types of
information that can be generated by
using community genograms. Examples
of the different uses discussed in the book
include exploring the client-in-relation,
identifying strengths and cultural influences, exploring boundaries and power,
identifying themes across the life span,
and creating interactive assessments and
treatment plans.
In summary, this book presents a practical tool for exploring the complex
nature of human relationships across the
broader spectrum of community and cultural interactions. The authors offer an
expanded view of empathy, which encompasses not only a genuine understanding of the individual perspective but
of family, community and cultural perspectives as well. This resource would be
of interest to individual, family and
school counselors who wish to add an
effective, culturally responsive tool to
their repertoire. Most importantly, this
tool can benefit clients' understanding of
themselves in relation to wider contexts.
It offers clients a way to develop insight,
hope and empowerment.
Reviewed by Mary V Telep, a graduate
student in the community counseliig prograin atAdans State College.
manual to which one can refer. Nichols
does not pass responsive listening off as
something that parents can easily master.
He acknowledges that the process is a
change in thinking and actions that takes
time and dedication. He explains a sys-
temic perspective of family interactions so
that readers can grasp how change in any
one part of the system - notably, how
they react to their children - encourages
change in the total system.
This book is written for parents but
would make an excellent resource ,for
counselors who teach parenting courses or
who work with parents to enhance their
communication and relationships with
their children. School counselors might
also use the information to assist teachers
who struggle with classroom management
issues. Finally, all readers can benefit from
the reminder that the way we listen to and
show respect for the speaker can be the
first step in improving our relationships
with others, including our children.
Reviewed by Kelly Duncan, a Licensed
Professional Counselor and assistant
professorat Northern State University.f
James Koiaska, an assistant professor
at the University of South Dakota, is
the column coordinator for iesource
Reviews. Submit reviews f6r consideration to jkorcusk@asd.edd
Bulletin Board
cles is 24 pages (typed, double-spaced,
non-sexist language). Style should conform to the Publication Manual of the
American Psychological Association
(fifth edition). All articles must be original
material and nbt previously published or
soon to be published elsewhere. Manuscripts will be returned when a selfaddressed stamped envelope is provided.
Submit an original and two copies of your
manuscript to: Nicholas Mazza, Editor,
Journalof Poetry Therapy, Florida State
University, College of Social Work, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2570, or e-mail
Autism Society of America Conference
Nashville, Tenn.
July 13-16
The 36thAnnualASANational Conference theme is "In 'llme With the Future?'
The mission of the Autism Society of
America is to promote lifelong access and
opportunities for persons within the
autism spectrum and their families to be
fully included, participating members of
their communities through advocacy, public awareness, educatioh, and research
related to autism. For more information,
visit or . call
Proposals are being sought for the 22nd
Annual International Career Development
Conference to be held Nov. 7-11 at the
Hyatt Regency Orange County (Calif.).
ICDC speakers and attendees will choose
from more than 40 concurrent workshops
covering cutting-edge career topics and
see the latest incareer books, assessments
and other tools needed to work with
today's client. Speakers chosen will
receive an additional $100 discount when
registering for ICDC.
ICDC is sponsored by the California
Career Information System (EUREKA),
the California Career Development Association and the Career Planning and
Adult Development Network. For more
information, go to or
call 877.716.1794. .
NARMH 31st Annual Conference
Aug. 4-7
For the first time since its inception, the
National Association for Rural Mental
Health will be traveling to Hawaii for its
annual conference. Hawaii is truly a land
of enchantment in both its natural beauty
and in the extent and richness of its great
diversity of cultures. This year's theme
will be, "Kukulu kumuhana - Pooling
Thoughts and Hopes to Solve Common
The goal of NARMH is to enhance the
delivery of mental health services to rural
areas. It promotes this goal and informs
the field of the unique needs of rural mental health programs. Established in 1977,
NARMH attempts to foster communication among rural mental health professionals through dissemination of information and development of education resources. For more information visit the
NARMH website at
Call for manuscripts/papers/proposals
The Journal of Poetry Therapy
5.asp) is an interdisciplinary journal seeking manuscripts on the use of the language arts in therapeutic capacities. The
journal purview includes bibliotherapy,
journal therapy and narrative therapy. The
journal welcomes a wide variety of scholarly articles including theoretical, historical, literary, clinical and evaluative studies. Areas of special interest include family and group therapy, ethnic and gendersensitive practice, trauma and creative
,writing, literary exemplars for the helping
professions, the strategic use of
symbol/story/metaphor in therapy, reading for guidance and poetic approaches to
clinical practice. Poetry and brief reports
(four to seven pages in length) are also
All manuscripts will be submitted for
blind review to the JPT'editorial board.
The maximum length of full-length arti-
The Journalfor Specialists in Group
Work is publishing a special issue on
"Group Work in the K-12 Schools." The
special issue editors, Don Nims, Nina
Brown, Kevin Fall and Susan Seem, invite
proposals for articles on the topic. Proposals are due via e-mail to Don Nims no
later than Aug. 1.
Especially welcome are piroposals that
describe actual group work practice in the
schools by practicing school counselors or
in collaboration -with practicing school
counselors that clearly delineate why
group work is effective in the context of
the group described and/or that describe
research on group work effectiveness in
schools. All proposals and manuscripts
should describe major group processes
and dynamics as they relate to the
group(s) described, such as member characteristics, leadership theory, style and
techniques, the role of member interaction
and patterns of interaction, and gioup
stage development, as appropriate. All
proposals and manuscripts should describe implications for group work practice.
If interested, submit a three- to fivepage, double-spaced proposal that specifically addresses the chosen topic as a
Microsoft Word e-mail attachment or as
hard copies. Proposals will be reviewed,
subject to an acceptance/rejection decision. Proposals received by Aug. 1 will
receive precedence. First drafts of manuscripts for those proposals accepted will
be due no later than Dec. 1. Submit all
proposals 'to: Donald R. Nims, Western
Kentucky University, Tate Page Hall
417C, 1 Big Red Way, Bowling Green,
KY 42101-3576. For questions or clarification, call Nims at 270.745.6316 or
The Association for Gay, Lesbian &
Bisexual Issues in Counseling invites submissions for its new publication, The
Journalof GLBT Issues in Counseling.
The journal seeks submissions that
reflect issues pertinent to the health of
sexual minority individuals and communities. Articles should focus on one of the
following areas: new research in the field
of counseling; a review of the literature
that critically integrates previous work
around a specific topic; introduction of
new techniques or innovations in service
delivery .within the counseling field; or
theoretical or conceptual pieces that reflect new ideas or new ways of integrating
previously held ideas.
Submissions should be prepared according to the guidelines of the most
recent PublicationManual of the American PsychologicalAssociation, including
the use of citations and references, and the
inclusion of nondiscriminatory language.
Submissions should be no longer than 1620 pages. Manuscripts may be sent electronically as attachments via the e-mail
address below. If submitting in paper
form, include four copies. All work
should be done in Microsoft Word. Tables
and figures should be used only when
essential, and illustrations or graphs
should be embedded at the appropriate
place within the manuscript. It is the
author's responsibility to secure permission to use any copyrighted materials in
the manuscript. Please indicate in your
cover letter which of the journal's four
focus areas (see above) is the most relevant for your article. Authors are expected
to follow the most current ACA Code of
Ethics and Standards of Practice, and
they bear full responsibility for the accuracy of all references, quotations, tables,
figures and overall content of submitted
Submit articles to editor Ned Farley at
nfarley@antiochsea.eduor mail to: Ned
Farley, The Center for Programs in Psychology, Antioch University Seattle, 2326
Sixth Ave., Seattle, WA, 98121-1814.
Include all appropriate signed copies of
the Manuscript Submission and Limited
'Copyright Transfer Form required by
Haworth Press Inc. The form is available
online at www.haworthpress.comweb
The Journalfor the Professional Counselor invites submissions of manuscripts
to address the interests of counselors in
school, college, agency and private practice settings. Scholarly research on a
broad range of counseling-related topics
is welcome. Submissions may address
varied domains such as disability, spiritual awareness, advocacy, diagnosis and
treatment, but practical implications
should be explicit. JPC is a refereed jour-
nal based in current professionaf issues,
theory, scientific research, innovative programs and effective practices.
Manuscripts may be sent to Paul M.
Parsons, Editor, The Journalfor the Professional Counselor, Medaille College, 18
Agassiz Circle, Buffalo, NY 14214-9985.
Guidelines for authors are listed in each
issue, including the use of the reference
style of the Publication Manual of the
American PsychologicalAssociation,fifth
Board members sought
A. Scott McGowan, editor of the Journal of Counseling & Development, is
seeking applicants for three-year appointients to the JCD Editorial Board. Ad hoc
reviewers are needed. Counselors with
editorial experience and a record of scholarship relevant to the domain of JCD are
encouraged to apply. Publications in refereed journals are required. Given the broad
scope of thejournal, we are seeking applications from people who represent all the
various specialty areas of counseling. We
are also looking to increase ethnic and
racial diversity and to achieve a geograph'ic balance on the board. Although not
required in the letter of application, sharing iuch information relative to these
characteristics is appreciated.
Applicants must be ACA members and
must agree to provide high-quality reviews on a timely basis. Applicants interested in reviewing quantitative research
manuscripts should identify their areas of
expertise in terms of research design and
4tatistics. Reviewers for qualitative research aie also needed.
To apply, send the following materials
electronically as attachments to amc a letter of applicatiod
describing qualifications and areas of
expertise, a vita and a list of publications.
Incomplete applications will not be considered. In additioi, send hard copies,
along with a recent representative publication of an article the applicant has successfully published in a refereed journal,
via regular mail, to A. Scott McGowan,
Editor, JCD, Department of Counseling &
Development, Long Island University/
C.W. Post Campus, 720 Northern Blvd.,
Brookville, NY 11548.
Tell your story of Finding Your Way
If you are interested in writing a personal story about your struggles to find your'
way as a counselor, send your submission
to column editor Jeffrey Kottler.
Submissions should be no more than
2,000 words, on double-spaced pages and
written in a personal style in which you
tell the story of some theme that perplexes you or some challenge you are struggling to understand or overcome. Send
submissions electronically to jkottler@ E
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Display Classified Ads: For ads
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a position you may place a 45-word
ad for $10. This is a one-time
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O Deadlines: Vary per issue. Contact Kathy Maguire at 317.873.1800
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not quarantee their value or authentipi, The publication of an advertisement in Counseling Todayis in
no way an endorsement by ACA of
the advertiser or the
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Advertisers may not incorporate in
subsequent advertising or
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employment classified ads.
for Counselors, Aug 15-19,
2005 with Jim Morningstar,
HOME STUDY spiritual Psychology, Bio-spiritual Energetics, techniques for client/counselor well being. Transforma5770
"Hot Topics and Controversial Approaches: Challenging a
New Generation", September
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Department Chair
-The Department of Psychology, Counseling and Foundations of Education at Troy University, Troy, Alabama seeks
applicants for Department
Chair at the level of associate
Department Chair supervises a
department that contains an
undergraduate psychology program, CACREP accredited
school and community counseling master's level programs,
CORE accredited rehabilitation
counseling master's level program, and a postsecondary
master's level program. Super-
responsibilities include management of the departmental.
student/faculty issues; and
maintaining CACREP, CORE
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related to departmental programs. Faculty responsibilities
include teaching counseling
courses, supervision of counseling practicalinternships, and
advisement of counseling program graduate students. Potential candidates must have a
proven record of 'scholarship
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earned doctorate in Counselor
Education or related field from
a CACREP or CORE accredited program. Preference will be
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experience; school counseling
and administrative experience.
Applicants should submit a letter of application, current curriculum vitae, all transcripts,
and the names and telephone
numbers of three references to
Human Resources, Troy University, Troy, AL 36082.
Review of applicants will begin
on July 1, 2005 and continue
until the position is filled. Troy
University is an AA/EEO
employer and encourages
applications from individuals
with disabilities, females,
African Americans and other
minorities. Visit our website at
www. troy. 6du/human
Assistant/Associate Professor
The Department of Psychology, Counseling and Foundations of Education at Troy University, Troy, Alabama seeks
applicants for an assistant/associate professor, tenure track
position in rehabilitation counseling. Preference will be
given to graduates of CORE
accredited programs. Applicants must have the CRC credential and experience in the
field of rehabilitation counseling. State LPC licensure is
desirable. The rehabilitation
counseling program is CORE
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Assistant Professor Coun-
The Counseling Psychology
Program in the School of Professional Studies at Regis University invites applications for
an Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology beginning
Sept. 1, 2005. The School of
Professional Studies is a nontraditional institution that operates with renewable, nontenurable 12 month faculty letters of appointment. The ideal
candidate will have a Doctoral
degree in Counselor Education
or Counseling Psychology and
experience both as a licensed
counselor/marriage and family
therapist and teaching in higher
include teaching a *variety of
courses'in community counseling curricular specialties,
supervising practicum and
internship students, providing
advisement, participating in
program governance, engaging
in scholarly activities, and providing service to the university
and community. Excellence in
teaching, an understanding of
adult learning would be an
asset. More information about
the Regis Counseling Psychology program can be found at . In accordance
with its Jesuit Catholic niission, Regis University is committed to maintaining a humane
atmosphere in which the civil
rights of every individual are
recognized and respected.
Regis does not unlawfully discriminate in either the provision of educational services or
in employment practices on the
basis of race, color, religion,
national origin, creed, ancestry,
gender, age, marital status, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, physical or mental
disability, or any other characteristic protected by local, state,
or federal law. Within this con-,
text, Regis University does
reserve the right to give
employment preference who
demonstrate by word or practice a commitment to the University's riiission and educational goals. Salary is commensurate with experience and
qualifications. Review of applicants will begin immediately
and continue until finalists are
selected. Please send a one or
two-page cover letter, list of
references '(letters only upon
request), and a vita to Regis
University, Department of
Human Resources K-4, 3333
,Regis Boulevard, Denver, CO
80221-1099. Electronic subhissions
Licensed Psychologist:
Well established private practice in Warren County has
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Qualifications: Ph.D. in Counselor Education and strong
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in Counseling & Human
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Degree in Human Services, one
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We need your help! Letters and phone calls from constituentsare the most effective way to persuademembers of Congress to take action. Following are afew of the current high-priorityfederalpolicy issues on which the American CounselingAssociation is working, and contacts by counselors
can make a big difference in level of succegs.
If you are unsure who your Representativesand Senators are, then visit the ACA Legislative Action Center on the Internet at http://capwiz.con/
counseling, or contact Chris Campbell with ACA's Office of Public Policy and Legislation at 800.347.6647 ext. 241 or via e-mail at Remember in any communication with your elected representatives- whether by letter post card,phone, fax or e-mail
- be sure to leave your name and postal address.
of Defense Recogntion of Lcensed rofessional Counselors
The number of soldiers returning from Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental and emotional health problems is staggering. Yet the Department of Defense
(DOD) does not allow Licensed Professional Counselors to practice independently in TRICARE, the military health care system, or in DODfacilities. LPCs are the only mental health professionals required to practice under physician referral and supervision. The House of Representatives has passed language establishing independent practice
authority for counselors as part of the Fiscal Year 2006 bill authorizing defense spending.
At press time, the Senate Armed Services Committees had yet to approve this provision. Congress is aiming to put the finishing touches on the FY 2006 "National Defense
Authorization Ace' by midsummer, so it is vital that counselors contact their senators to urge adoption of the House-passed provision for independent reimbursement of counselors. Although every counselor should weigh in on this issue, it is especially vital for counselors to call if they are constituents of members of the Senate Armed Services
Committees. To see if your lawmakers are on the committees, visit
Who to Contact
Your Senators
Capitol Switchboard
"As a constituent, Pim calling to ask you to support Senate passage of a House-passed provision in the defense
authorization bill to give soldiers easier access to mental health services provided by Licensed Mental Health Coun-'
selors. The House defense authorization bill will allow independent practice authority for mental health counselors
instead of requiring soldiers to see their doctor before they can see a counselor. The current physician referral and
supervision requirement for Licensed Professional Counselors is inconsistent and outdated; the other master's level
mental health professionals were granted independent practice authority 15 or more years ago. Increasing access to
services is especially important considering that as many as one in three soldiers will return from Iraq with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Many Guard and Reserve members don't live near a military base, making
access to mental health providers in their own community vital to their decision to seek treatment. I'd like to hear
back on what the Senator will do on this issue. Can I give you my contact information?"
ACA Resource
Scott Barstow
800.347.6647 ext. 234
Internet briefing paper:
Capwiz "contact Congress!" site:
Appropriations for the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program
For the fourth year in a row, President.George W. Bush has proposed a budget that would eliminate funding for the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program.
ESSCP is the only federal program focused solely on supporting counseling programs in our nation's schools, and its elimination would mark the end of counseling and mental health services to thousands of students in the 99 school districts in 32 states and the District of Columbia currently receiving funds.
While in years' past Congress has continued to fund ESSCP despite the president's lack of interest, the Fiscal Year 2006 battle to fund the program may be our hardest yet,
given the unprecedented spendiiig cuts in domestic non-defense programs being considered. Therefore, it is imperative that concerned counselors take action now. Call or write
your members of Congress to lexpress your concern about President Bush's proposal to eliminate funding for the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program in his
FY 2006 budget.
Who to Contact
Your Senators and
Capitol Switchboard
"I'dlike the Senator/Representative to reject President Bush's proposal to eliminate funding for the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program in Fiscal Year 2006. In addition, I strongly urge the
Senator/Representative to support sufficient funding to allow middle and high schools, as well as elementary
schools, to benefit from this program. ESSCP is the only federal program devoted to supporting counseling programs in our nation's schools. The school counseling program is important to me and to hundreds of thousands
of students across the country."
ACA Resource
Chris Campbell
800.347.6647 ext. 241
Internet briefing paper:
Capwiz "contact Congress!" site:
Medicare Reimbursement of Licensed Professional Counselors
Although it is unclear if orswhen the 109th Congress will consider Medicare legislation, we need to build momentum and interest within the House of Representatives now
for establishing coverage of state-licensed professional counselors. Although the Senate passed counselor coverage legislation in 2003, the House has not. We need Representatives to know that Medicare beneficiaries need better access to mental health services and that Licensed Professional Counselors stand ready to help them. Seniors deserve the
same choice of provider under Medicare as is enjoyed by private-sector beneficiaries. In many communities, LPCs are the only accessible mental health providers. Sadly, older
Americans remain the demographic group most at risk of committing suicide.
Your Representatives
"I'm calling to ask the Representative to sponsor and support legislation to establish Medicare coverage of Scott Barstow
800.347.6647 ext. 234
mental health services provided by Licensed Professional Counselors. Legislation accomplishing this - the
'Seniors Mental Health Access Improvement Act' - was passed by
duced this year by Sen. Craig Thomas as S. 784. There is not yet a House bill to establish coverage of
Internet briefing paper:
Licensed Professional Counselors, and I urge you to consider sponsoring such a bill. Licensed Professional
Counselors meet the same level of education and training standards as other mental health professionals long
Capwiz "contact Congress!" site:
covered by Medicare, and covering counselors is a cost-effective way to address the devastating problem of
mental illness among the elderly, which contributes to older Americans being the demographic group most at http://capwiz.corn/counseling
risk of committing suicide?'
Capitol Switchboard
ACA Resource
Who to Contact
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