ACA Blog

  • Marianela Medrano-Marra

    The Current Era of Counseling and Psychotherapy: Upheaval and the Pleasure of Practice

    • Marianela Medrano-Marra
    Aug 06, 2012
    After a few sessions, a client I’ll call “Paul” looks at me with tears in his eyes and says, “I wish I had known this years before. I can help myself if I learn to watch my mind—it’s so simple that it’s almost silly, but what a difference it makes for me.”
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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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  • Deb Del Vecchio-Scully

    When Bad Things Happen: Aurora, Penn State

    • Deb Del Vecchio-Scully
    Aug 06, 2012
    When tragedy strikes we often look for answers to make sense of it. The newspapers have been filled with 'why' in response to the Aurora, CO shootings and the Penn State sexual abuse scandals. As counselors, we recognize this as the initial state of grief and despair fueled by painful shock and disbelief. In situations like these, the media often turns to the mental health field for insight into unspeakable acts. As a trauma specialist, I understand the long-term impact of the tragic acts that occurred at Penn State, Columbine High School, Virginia Tech and now Aurora. I cannot profess to understand the perpetuator’s acts, nor in my opinion, can any other mental health professional. We can speculate that perhaps a psychotic break occurred in the psyche of the shooter, or childhood abuses in the case of the Penn State perpetuator were factors. It is however speculation which is risky at best. A mentor of mine commented to me shortly following the Columbine shootings, 'no one wants to lose control'. This universal truth resonates with me but does little to explain the unexplainable.
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  • Debbie Carter

    Don’t Be Afraid

    • Debbie Carter
    Jul 31, 2012
    In the last week, I saw an interesting pattern emerge in two of the families with whom I work. I found that during the play therapy sessions with the children, things were quite status quo. The children played with no signs of anxiety, depression, or any significant content. Yet, when checking in with the parents, they described their children as ‘out of control’, ‘argumentative’ and ‘manipulative’ to say the least. I found this to be far from the truth when compared to how the play sessions went with each. However, I know that parents can evoke very different responses from their children and I have no doubt that what they were seeing in their children was indeed present. So, I asked these parents to give me examples of what they meant by these behaviors. And, sure enough…their descriptive words were in line with their examples!
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  • Pam Ebert

    Diverse Heritages of Appalachian Peoples

    • Pam Ebert
    Jul 30, 2012
    Last week I had an off-line comment that made me realize that it is important to discuss stereotypes. Thank you Phil, for keeping me on track! There is much stigma associated with being an Appalachian person, and the tag line of last week’s blog inadvertently may have contributed to the continuation of the old stereotypes. For this, my readers, I apologize.
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  • Brooke Collison

    A Counselor Educator in Kenya

    • Brooke Collison
    Jul 30, 2012
    In a few weeks, my wife and I will travel from our Oregon home to Meru, Kenya, where I will be a visiting faculty member at Kenya Methodist University (KeMU) during the September trimester. A clergy friend who has been taking volunteer groups to Kenya for several years made a suggestion to my spouse, Joan, that, “Brooke ought to volunteer at the Methodist University in Meru.”
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  • Ray McKinnis

    Multicultural Awareness Could Inhibit Your Effectiveness

    • Ray McKinnis
    Jul 30, 2012
    The more I read and study and think about it, the more convinced I become that studying other cultures, other religions, other ways of thinking and being in the world more often than not compromises my effectiveness as a counselor. I realize that that multicultural awareness is intimately woven into the ACA code of ethics and CACREP requirements and I can get CEU’s for studying such topics. However, since I have never come across anyone else who has questioned this trend, in part I am writing this blog asking for help. What am I missing here?
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  • Nicole Michaud

    Finding the balance between caring and “caring too much”

    • Nicole Michaud
    Jul 25, 2012
    It is a really strange concept for me to think there is such a thing as being too invested or caring too much. In my life there has always been an internal need to give of myself to those around me. This is not to say that it has always been a rosy jaunt through a garden of appreciation. I have often given to people who could not care less or were blatantly ungrateful. There were also those who just came to expect it. This has led me at times to feel saddened, disappointed, angry or just plain foolish.
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  • Andrea Holyfield

    The Reality of Authenticity

    • Andrea Holyfield
    Jul 24, 2012
    So lately I’ve been wrestling with my thoughts on authenticity. It is a concept that is all over the self-help and Positive Psychology arenas (areas that I find myself most comfortable). To me practicing activities that have led to my own personal connection with my authentic self has been a liberating and empowering experience, one that I’ve wanted to incorporate in my work with my clients. This idea of taking off layers and layers of externally imposed masks and becoming aware of our truest thoughts, impulses and desires is something not too far from spiritual to me. Who wouldn’t want to connect with themselves on that level?
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  • Haylee Wilson

    Advice and Alice in Wonderland

    • Haylee Wilson
    Jul 24, 2012
    “I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.” – Alice in Wonderland. As a counselor-in-training I often find myself applying the lessons learned in my most recent class to my life. I will sit and listen to my friends bemoan their troubles for hours and when all has been said my initial response is usually, “Well, did you talk to him/her about it?” More often than not the answer is a flat, “No.” The excuses for why we can never approach one another and simply communicate our issues are endless but the end result is always the same. Nothing is said, nothing is done, and nothing changes.
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