Laurie Meyers, Counseling Today
With January now behind us, the annual barrage of diet and fitness commercials has started to fade. Many people who made New Year's resolutions to lose weight or "get fit" have already labeled themselves failures for indulging on leftover holiday chocolate and not making it to the gym more than twice per week. Other determined warriors in the fight to attain the perfect size and shape may stick to their resolutions and lose the desired amount of weight, only to find that they've gained it all back (and then some) within six months. This cycle of dieting and weight loss, followed by weight gain, is a process that many Americans go through over and over again, often in search of an unattainable or unsustainable ideal.
"The primary message we get from popular culture is that our worth is based on our appearance and the ability to achieve a thin and beautiful cultural ideal," says Laura H. Choate, editor of the book Eating Disorders and Obesity: A Counselor's Guide to Treatment and Prevention, published by the American Counseling Association. "When individuals internalize this message — that they are only worthwhile or acceptable if they are able to achieve this ideal — they develop a negative body image, which can lead to dieting and disordered eating behaviors." Continue reading.
Counselors are increasingly being called on to deliver disaster mental health (DMH) services, whether in response to an unfolding community crisis or to provide counseling post-event. When disaster strikes, those affected frequently react with increased anxiety, worry and anger. They often need assistance outside of their usual support systems to cope with the destruction of catastrophic events and the loss of loved ones and irreplaceable belongings. Natural disasters, personal trauma and mass violence may also cause a wide range of reactions over time. As a result, the types of support that individuals, families and communities require can change over time from psychological first aid immediately after an event to more long-term resiliency and recovery work. Therefore, it has become critical for all counselors to have the competencies and skills necessary to assist affected individuals and communities in the immediate, intermediate and long-term aftermath of traumatic events.
In response to the need to help counselors, educators, students and DMH responders in agencies, schools, universities and private practice develop key preparedness and response tools and resources, the American Counseling Association Foundation has just published a fourth edition of Disaster Mental Health Counseling: A Guide to Preparing and Responding. This edition meets 2016 CACREP Standards for disaster and trauma competencies and presents real-world responses to violence and tragedies among diverse populations in a variety of settings. Responders share lessons learned through poignant and highly personal stories that reflect their journeys in disaster and trauma work.
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ACA Brand and Engagement
As we look ahead to success in 2018, we'd like to take a quick look back at our impact during the past year. So how did ACA help counselors help others in 2017?
Last year, ACA worked hard to help counselors help those in need. We supported the professional development of counselors through new tools and educational resources, and worked to advance the field by advocating for issues vital to counselors and their clients.
In the past year alone, ACA:
• Educated 4,358 counselors who earned more than 12,000 (12,031) CEs through in-person and virtual programs.
• Spent more than 8,000 hours advocating on policy issues vital to the profession, including Medicare reimbursement and licensure portability. Through our work, we activated thousands of counselors who sent nearly 44,000 messages to state and federal legislators (43,517).
• Supported counselor career growth with 545 career consultations by our staff experts — a complimentary service to our members.
• Shared the latest in the field in the 183 articles published in Counseling Today, including 61 in-depth features and 122 columns, plus 74 online exclusives.
• Provided ethical guidance to counselors through more than 1,800 ethical consultations with staff experts — a complimentary service to our members.
• Published nearly 200 hot research articles on 2,780 pages in 32 issues of our research journals, including the Journal of Counseling Development and our division journals.
In the year ahead, we look forward to continuing to provide our members, and the counseling field, with the education, support, and information they count on. Stay apprised of our latest work, and find out how you can get more involved, right here in Counseling Insider — your resource to all that is happening in the counseling profession. Find out more about our success in 2017 in this video message from ACA's President and CEO.
ACA Counseling Corner Blog, John Lough, Contributor
When it comes to assigning our kids family chores to do around the house, virtually all parents think it's a great idea. But many of us also find it can be a big hassle when we try to get the kids to actually do the assigned work.
Yes, it may sometimes seem easier to just take out that bag of trash yourself than to get into a big argument with the kids over whose turn it is, or why that simple job can't be done now. But what the experts advise is not to let such household responsibilities slide.
Having your kids do assigned chores can be an important factor in helping them develop in positive ways. Chores are a way for a child to feel part of the family, and to gain a sense of contributing toward the family good. These early life lessons make it easier for a person to feel like an active, contributing member of society later in life. Continue reading.
ACA Conference & Professional Education
You won't want to miss this chance to update your skills, enhance your knowledge and broaden your horizons — all in one very special place. Join us in Atlanta, GA, April 25-29, 2018, to experience the future of counseling. Registered attendees are looking forward to:
• 500 sessions, organized into 36 tracks
• Access to up to 33.5 hours of CE, during both core and pre-conference sessions
• Inspiring keynotes and bold demonstration sessions
• Intimate group discussions and lively networking events
• A one-of-a-kind exhibit hall featuring products & services from more than 100 exhibitors
There is still time to save up to $75. Register before February 15 for the advance registration discount.
ACA Center for Counseling Practice, Policy & Research
In this third webinar of the Private Practice series, Dr. Legge will help you keep your business running smoothly. Get best practices in billing, coding, note keeping and HIPAA requirements in this online training session. Learn how to set professional fees, work with third-party payers and successfully transition from an insurance model to a self-pay model.
Private practice experts will walk you through the specifics:
• John Duggan, M.A., LCPC, LPC, has owned and operated a private practice for more than a decade, and has experience managing clinical services in agency settings, collaborating on county-wide clinical initiatives, supervising counselors and other professionals and providing crisis services for a hospital emergency services department.
• Deb Legge, PhD, is nationally recognized as "The Private Practice Mentor." She has been helping mental health professionals build successful private practices for more than 20 years.
CE Credits are available for: 1.00 — Clock Hour; 1.00 — NBCC; 1.00 — CRCC; 1.00 — New York; 1.00 — Ohio. Register online and mark your calendar for Feb. 21, 2018 from noon — 1:00 pm EST.
Hip hop artist Jay-Z addressed the issue of mental health recently, telling CNN's Van Jones that he was open about seeing a therapist himself, and that the stigma attached to mental health issues was "ridiculous."
"Mental health, PTSD and trauma is so rampant in our community," Jones remarked to Jay-Z on the premiere of The Van Jones Show.
A growing national conversation about football, its viability, its safety and its future is becoming difficult to ignore. Counselors at various levels and in various settings have a responsibility not only to be aware of this conversation, but also to consider its significance in relation to their work with clients.
American Counseling Association Member Blog
Wyoming has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation. The United States overall has a high suicide rate, when compared with other countries, and so in 2010 the nation's Department of Health and Human Services launched the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. Through this initiative, suicide as a significant health problem began receiving increased national attention.
Police officers, paramedics and social workers will team up to better respond to mental health emergencies as part of a pilot program starting in southern Dallas.
The initiative will pair psychiatric social workers from Parkland Memorial Hospital with paramedics from Dallas Fire-Rescue and South Central patrol officers dispatched to 911 calls involving behavioral health issues.
Teens are more stressed and anxious than in the past, yet their parents will send many off to college with little thought about the mental health issues they might face while there, according to a new WebMD/Medscape survey in collaboration with JED. The survey, "Preparing for College: The Mental Health Gap," includes more than 500 health care professionals, along with 700 parents and guardians of high school students planning to attend college or other post-secondary school, and of students already in their first year.
Let's be honest: Few of us are willing to give up binge-watching. It can eat up precious time (seriously, where did the last four hours go?) but fortunately there may be a way to work it to our advantage.
Tchiki Davis is a psychologist who's interested in how we use our behavior to manage our emotions. As someone who lives and works in Silicon Valley, it was natural for Davis to turn her attention towards our technological behaviors — specifically, binge-watching.
Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic
We know about the power of diet and exercise in our effort to train and maintain our immune systems. But there's something I consider an even more powerful modifier of immunologic health: Achieving optimal mental and spiritual health.
The basis of this belief lies in the fact that the brain is intimately connected to every organ in the body, especially the immune system. It may seem a bit counterintuitive that our brain is directly connected to our vital organs, but think about it for a moment: Have you ever had a gut feeling about something?
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