ACA Blog

  • Does Unionizing Help Mental Health Counselors or not?

    • Robbin Miller
    Jan 13, 2014
    I found out that a statewide union is recruiting mental health professionals to join their organization. Their purpose is to advocate and to lobby for increased reimbursements from insurance companies and from the state’s Medicaid system. Though it sounds like a great idea to unionize us for increased pay, I disagree with the yearly fee to join. I have ambivalent feelings about unions in general. I understand how they can help workers get better pay and benefits and reasonable work hours but I don’t agree with some of their tactics in getting them.
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  • The Most Over-the-top, Extreme, Legalistic, Unforgiving No-Show Policy Procedure that your Practice Must Use!

    • Anthony Centore
    Apr 16, 2013
    You are a counselor in private practice. You work 5 days a week, booking yourself 6 clients a day. You could schedule more, but you feel that 30 sessions is a good full-time caseload. However, at the end of each week you review your caseload and notice that, again, you had only 25 sessions. What gives?
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  • Kristen Eckhardt

    From the Stylist’s Chair, An Important Lesson on Self-Disclosure

    • Kristen Eckhardt
    Nov 05, 2012
    Back when I started my degree last January, one of my teachers spoke about what happens when she gets on an airplane and ends up telling her seat partner what she does for a living--either the person has no idea what a counselor does, or the person wants her to solve all of their problems. Either way, this can be a fairly irritating situation for her, and probably most counselors. She told us she finally decided to say something vague, like she works with kids. Other teachers have shared what they do to avoid certain types of self-disclosure in addition to dodging tricky questions, like putting away family pictures before seeing certain clients.
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  • Kimberly Beck

    Licensed Independent Social Workers vs. Professional Clinical Mental Health Counselors

    • Kimberly Beck
    Oct 25, 2012
    This topic has been on my mind lately. The fact that ONLY LISW can treat Medicare clients while PCCs cannot. We are trained to treat many issues; in fact we may have more knowledge than LISW’s on some issues. I have my PhD in counseling yet am not allowed to work with Medicare clients. I had a few of my clients go to Medicare and I could no longer treat them because I’m not an LISW. I am an LSW (Licensed social worker) and a PCC-S. Why do I not qualify?
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  • Ray McKinnis

    ‘Evidence-Based’ Again

    • Ray McKinnis
    Sep 10, 2012
    The September 2012 issue of Counseling Today has a comprehensive article called ‘Should counseling practice be evidence based?’ The answer of course is Yes. I have never met a counselor who does not want to be effective and to be effective each of us uses the best evidence we can get given who we are and who our client is. However, those who use this phrase usually mean something more narrowly defined—should results from randomized clinical trials (RCT) be the gold standard for discerning information about what works and what does not in a counseling situation.
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  • Guest Posters

    Business Rating Sites Pose a Serious Threat to Counselors and Other Behavioral Health Clinicians

    • Guest Posters
    Aug 23, 2012
    You’re a professional counselor in private practice. You’ve worked hard to build a solid reputation as a caring, ethical provider of top-notch behavioral health services. Then one day you notice a drop in new client calls and referrals. You do a name search on yourself on the Internet, and...low and behold!...someone has posted a nasty review about you that has wormed its way onto a number of “business rating sites.”
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  • Judy Belmont

    Quick Social Media Tips for Counselors Using Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Blogs

    • Judy Belmont
    Aug 13, 2012
    Hayley Wilson wrote a timely ACA blog post this past week on the questionable merits of counselors using Facebook. After going through a huge social media learning curve this past year, originally spurred on by trying to promote my latest book, I have come to appreciate the power of social media to promote positive messages of emotional wellness. As a graduate student back in the 70s, I never could have envisioned that mental health could be promoted in such an extraordinary way to reach people in every corner of the globe! In this age of increasing use of social media, Hayley’s post was just the impetus I needed to outline some ethical ways to promote mental health and wellness using social media.
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  • Haylee Wilson

    Facebook and Counselors

    • Haylee Wilson
    Aug 06, 2012
    I will be the first one to admit that I am an avid Facebook user. Not a day goes by where I don’t log in and check status updates or photo uploads, or simply flit from page to page, like an overeager butterfly. While most of my friends say they don’t use Facebook nearly as much as I do, their hourly comments tell another story. And I should know, I’m commenting too.
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  • Christian Billington

    An Insatiable Hunger

    • Christian Billington
    Jun 04, 2012
    It was going to be a tough case. During intake, the client had been particularly resistant to any sort of disclosure. To be honest, given his tight-lipped demeanor, I was not really sure why he sought therapy. His unwillingness to do more than moan and just sit there expressionless, near-catatonic, dead to the world, made me believe something was not as it seemed and there were deeper issues at play.
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  • Doc Warren

    Looking Behind the Curtain

    • Doc Warren
    Aug 29, 2011
    I know we have all been taught about boundaries in therapy and keeping a professional detachment to our clients in which we are warm, compassionate, empathetic but do not get too close to our clients; they are not our friends and they are not our children. We know that such an attachment can interfere with judgment and open us up to litigation. I get that. I also get that there are different levels of boundaries based on treatment setting. For instance, in a not for profit community based program model it is not uncommon to have volunteers help with many non clinical projects. Most of us have come into such programs on our days off, or have been asked to cancel clinical appointments for a day to assist with community projects that find us elbows deep working with clients. To me, once you have broken bread with or built a room with volunteers there is a certain bond that may develop that you would not see otherwise. You are still professional and keep your boundaries but it is akin to Dorothy peeking behind the curtain in OZ, after she saw the bells and whistles she realized that behind the façade was just another person.
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