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Since this is the season "to be jolly," a report published earlier this month in the British Medical Journal is timely. Scientists from Harvard University and UC San Diego have found the presence of happiness spreads readily through all of our social networks, including family members, friends, work associates, and neighbors.
The beneficial effects of happiness are also noted by the World Health Organization, which identified this human trait as an essential component in healthy people. What did this recent study add to the literature regarding our understanding of happiness?
Ho....ho....ho... and happy holidays!
The new, 722-page ACA book The Life and Work of Carl Rogers by Howard Kirschenbaum was just published this month. This definitive biography of Carl Rogers, written by the internationally recognized leading expert on Rogers' life and work, contains information only found in private documents released after Rogers' death including his personal relationships, involvement with the CIA, alcohol, the paranormal, and spirituality. Dr. Kirschenbaum, a respected and trusted colleague of Rogers, truly provides a comprehensive understanding of this complex man and his unparalleled contributions.
ACA is offering this exceptional book at half off the regular price thru January 9. Regular ACA Member price: $49.95. Holiday Discount Price for members and nonmembers: $24.95. Give a gift of this incredible story of the founder of the person-centered approach to counseling.
Order online now... (Order #72882)
New guidance in the aftermath of the 2007 Virginia Tech tragedy has just been issued by the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services in a joint paper, "Joint Guidance on the Application of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) to Student Health Records."
This guidance addresses the interplay between FERPA and the HIPAA Privacy Rule at elementary and secondary levels, as well as at the postsecondary level, and addresses many of the questions raised by school officials, health care professionals, and others regarding the applicability of these laws to records maintained on students. It also addresses certain disclosures that are allowed without consent or authorization under both laws, especially those related to health and safety emergency situations.
ACA is working hard to gain the enactment of legislation to establish Medicare coverage of counselors, and is collaborating with the American Mental Health Counselors Association to lay the groundwork for success in 2009. In order to help convince Congress that counselor coverage is needed, however, we need to be able to tell them why.
ACA and AMHCA public policy staff need to be able to give Capitol Hill staff members concrete examples of how lack of coverage forces counselors to turn away Medicare beneficiaries who need help, or ask them to pay out of pocket. We need examples of counselors who are working with a client, but then have to terminate the relationship because the client became covered under Medicare. We need examples of beneficiaries being forced to drive more than an hour to find a Medicare participating mental health professional, when a qualified, experienced counselor is right around the corner.
If you have any anecdotes illustrating why Medicare should cover counselors, please share them with ACA's public policy staff by sending a short e-mail to Peter Atlee, at firstname.lastname@example.org Each story will put a face on the accessibility issue and help us as we talk about the issue with congressional offices. ACA will not share any information which could be used to identify you or your clients unless we check with you first.
The Association for Counselors and Educators in Government is holding a Professional Development Institute (PDI) in conjunction with the ACA Conference & Exposition in Charlotte, NC.
Supporting and Advocating for Our Service Members: Pre, In, and Post Service will be presented Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20, 2009. The PDI will update counselors and educators on the various support services including education, mental and physical health, legal, and career developments. Counselors of all specialties are encouraged to attend.†
1 Day Ė Either Day: ACEG member advanced registration $180/ nonmember & on-site registration $195; Fulltime Graduate Students: $150 advanced registration ($160 on-site)
The ACEG Awards Luncheon will be held on the 19th and is included in the registration fee.
Special ACEG Workshop Invitation Open to All
For more information visit the ACEG website at http://www.dantes.doded.mil/dantes_web/organizations/aceg/PDI.htm. CEUs are available. Address all PDI programming questions to Dr. Janet Wall at email@example.com.
Citing the concern that increasing numbers of unprepared students are enrolling in the nation's colleges and universities, the online, December edition of the Lumina Foundation Focus magazine examines why more than a half million students must complete developmental studies in order to survive the academic challenges of college. The "Remediation Redux" feature showcases efforts to improve the effectiveness and increase the scope of developmental education on our campuses.
Due to recent inquiries directed to ACA staff by members regarding strategies for counseling LGBT youth, we wanted to remind readers that the recent ACA podcast may be extremely helpful to counselors working with teens. The program "Counseling Queer (LGBT) Youth," featuring Anneliese Singh, President of the Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Counseling and Assistant Professor of Counseling and Human Development at the University of Georgia, is a free, 35 minute program. Dr. Singh is an expert on queer youth, queer people of color, and bullying toward LGBTQ youth.
"I truly believe the information in this podcast can help to save lives," said ACA's Rebecca Daniel-Burke following several conversations with members who each reported that they were in the midst of coping with the suicide of their gay teenage clients. The program addresses what counselors need to know about working with queer youth and points to research on the importance of individual counseling and the creation of safe and supportive environments. The ACA Podcast Series is a members-only service that can be accessed after signing in at www.counseling.org
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), about 10.8 million underage persons aged 12 to 20 years (almost 30 percent) reported drinking alcohol in the past month. That's more than the total population of Michigan, the 8th largest state. Or think of it this way--that's about one of every four children between the ages of 14 and 19. Where do underage youth gain access to the alcohol they are consuming? A new SAMSHA short report has the answers.
Here are a few important reminders for those who have already registered for the ACA 2009 Conference & Exposition, March 19-23 in Charlotte, North Carolina:
At this time, rooms are still available at all four conference hotels. If you haven't yet made your hotel reservation, please do so as soon as possible to ensure that you get the accommodations you prefer. The reduced ACA rate is only good thru February 16!
Housing reservations can only be made through the ACA Housing Bureau, and not the individual hotels.
To reserve your room now, complete the Housing Form (PDF) and follow directions to submit the form via fax, mail or online. The lowest room rate available is $153; it likely will sell out early in the New Year.
If you already have a reservation and you have a question or need to make a change to your existing reservation, contact the Housing Bureau by email: ACA@visitcharlotte.com. After February 22, you may contact the hotel directly if necessary.
Questions? Call Member Services today at 800-347-6647, ext. 222.
The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) has made significant strides in making knowledge, tools, and skills information available to counselors and educators. Each year, SIECUS distributes countless print and electronic resources to interested individuals and organizations and offers assistance to help individuals locate local research, write accurate new articles, create curriculum, and build high quality community based programs. At the SIECUS website, counselors will find fact sheets, resources, lesson plans, Internet links, and other tools.
The 2008 ACA Graduate Student Ethics Competition closed recently with 29 masters level teams and 9 doctoral level teams submitting the required responses to compete in this year's competition. Readers who would like to review the case studies the student teams were asked to deliberate can go to: www.counseling.org/competition/scenarios.htm and click on Masters or Doctoral.
Over the coming month, each team essay response will be reviewed by three different members of the ACA Ethics Committee, who will score them according to a set of standard criteria. Once the scores are tabulated, a winner on each level will be announced in late January.
Self-injury is known by many names, including self-abuse, self-mutilation, deliberate self-harm, parasuicidal behavior, and non-suicidal self-injury. Practiced often by teens, the behaviors include cutting, marking, embedding, and other acts of physical harm.
Counselors in mental health and educational settings can find a bibliography on self-injury at: http://www.selfinjury.com/resources_journalsbooks.html.
The collection includes journal articles and books put together by S.A.F.E (Self Abuse Finally Ends) Alternatives on the subject. At the S.A.F.E. Alternatives website (www.selfinjury.com), a list of researchers actively addressing self-injury is also available.
The Department of Health and Human Services has published its 2009 National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program information bulletin. The National Health Service Corps is a competitive program that recruits health professionals to serve in areas with inadequate access to health care (referred to as Health Professional Shortage Areas -- HPSAs).
In return for their service, the corps assists clinicians in their payment of qualifying education loans. To be eligible, counselors must be fully trained, licensed, and working at (or in the final stages of employment negotiations with) an NHSC-eligible facility. For more information, or to apply online, go to http://nhsc.bhpr.hrsa.gov/applications/lrp.
The "opportunities list" of facilities seeking a NHSC provider is available online at http://nhsc.bhpr.hrsa.gov/jobs.
The For Graduate Students and New Professionals Only program series will be offered again at the ACA 2009 Conference & Exposition, March 19-23 in Charlotte, NC. This series brings highly regarded professionals in counseling to speak on topics that graduate students and new professionals have identified as critical to their success.
This year, the series includes:
Four regular education sessions developed for students, including one Advanced Level session, are also on the program:
The Advanced Level program is:
The registration rate for students/New Professionals/Retirees is $240 (nonmembers: $440).
January 29-31, 2009
February 1-3, 2009
February 13-15, 2009
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