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President Bush Vetoes Broad Legislation Affecting TRICARE Program

For many years, the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) have been working collaboratively to remove the physician referral requirements under which mental health counselors must practice for TRICARE, the Department of Defense (DOD) managed health care program for active duty service members and their families, retirees and their families, and survivors.

ACA and AMHCA have made some progress. The conference report for the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes language instructing the Department of Defense (DOD) to contract with the Institute of Medicine or a similar organization to carry out a study of the training and licensing of mental health counselors. The report also requires DOD to issue regulations outlining training credentials that would allow mental health counselors to practice independently under TRICARE.

The House of Representatives passed the conference report for the NDAA by a vote of 370 to 49 on December 12, 2007. On December 14, 2007, the Senate followed suit by voting 90 to 3 to adopt the conference report. Unfortunately, due to an unrelated provision, President Bush used a "pocket-veto" to kill the legislation. When Congress is in session, any unsigned bills become law after seven days. However, if Congress is out of session, any bills that are not signed after seven days expire (this is referred to as a "pocket-veto"). A decades-long dispute between the Legislative and Executive branches has led some to question the President's constitutional right to use "pocket-veto" in this particular situation, and Congress may act to override the action.

Should the veto be upheld, ACA and AMHCA will have an opportunity to lobby for stronger provisions affecting the work of mental health counselors operating in the TRICARE program before the revised bill is drafted. Details: Peter Atlee. Telephone: 800/347-6647, Ext. 242 or Email:

State-by-State Counselor Licensure Requirements - 2008 Edition Available

Professional counselors are licensed in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. How do these laws compare? Which states require a jurisprudence exam? How many continuing education credits does each state require for licensure renewal? Which states have reciprocity? These and many more licensure questions are answered in the newly revised, Licensure Requirements for Professional Counselors: A State-By-State Report.

The 2008 edition covers the new Nevada law, includes a new section that details the requirements to be a clinical supervisor in each state, and provides updates to all contact information, fees, renewal requirements, scope of practice information and more.

Order #: 72877
$17.95 - ACA members
$28.95 - nonmembers

Order online at or call 800/422-2648, Ext. 222.

A New Year Resolution for Counselors - Discover

ACA is making great strides in building to be the Internet address of choice for the counseling profession. Web visitors will find a fountain of information designed to improve day-to-day work, assist in renewal and professional development and connect with ACA programs and services. Take 15 minutes in this first month of 2008 and "surf" the ACA site to discover all the resources there for you. Then come back often to check out the new and innovative changes that will be unveiled in the months ahead.

Advocacy Matters - Shaping the Public Images of People with Disabilities

Counselors, human service providers and educators are in a unique position to shape the public image of people with disabilities. Words used and images created can result in a variety of perceptions, myths and misunderstandings.

Using input from over 100 national disability organizations, the Life Span Institute at the University of Kansas created Guidelines, a reference directory containing preferred terminology and suggestions. Details:

ACAeNews Grows by Four - Sign On to Receive Special Focus Editions

The popularity of ACAeNews, this biweekly e-newsletter for ACA members and the counseling profession, has spawned four additional special focus newsletters that ACA will start rolling out in early 2008. These "members only" e-newsletters are:

  • ACAeNews for Mental Health, Private Practice and Community Agency Counselors (January, May, September)
  • ACAeNews for School Counselors (February, June, October)
  • ACAeNews for Counselor Educators (March, July, November)
  • ACAeNews for Counseling Students and New Professionals (April, August, December)

Each newsletter will be distributed three times per year and will delve deeper into practice issues and identify resources and tools that will help readers become more effective with their client audience. (ACAeNews, this biweekly, generic, electronic newsletter, will continue to be published.)

To introduce the e-newsletters, ACA will send an email to all members with instructions on how to opt-in to subscribe. To ensure that you receive important announcements of member benefits such as this, please remember to update your email address and other contact information that we have on file for you. (See "New Year Excellent Time to Refresh Member Profile" below.

Fast Fact - Inflated High School Graduation Rates?

Addressing a number of biases that they believe have contaminated previous calculations, James J. Heckman of the University of Chicago and an IZA Research Fellow and Paul A. LaFontaine of the American Bar Association are suggesting that US high school graduation rates aren't what they have been cracked up to be. A major culprit in recent reporting by the federal government, for example, seems to be how GED achievers have been counted.

The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels," is being distributed by IZA, a private, independent research institute specializing in internationally oriented labor market research. The paper relates the findings to skill attainment of US workers, college attendance levels and other demographic trends. Details: Click here

Featured Freebie #1 - ACT Newsletter on College and Careers Issues

ACT's monthly News You Can Use e-newsletter provides short articles to inform students and parents about college and career planning. Schools may use these articles in emails, handouts, newsletters, school newspapers, and on school websites. The newsletter is delivered during the school year as a text email message for reformatting and dissemination. Copies can be downloaded, printed and use as a handout. A parent edition is also available. Details:

ACA Researchers and Authors - Up Close and Personal

A special series of content sessions will be held March 28-29 during the Annual Conference & Exposition in Hawaii, featuring several highly regarded authors discussing their new ACA books. See the Conference Program Guide for dates and times of sessions.

Sessions are: More Than a Job! Helping Teenagers Find Success and Satisfaction in Their Future Careers presented by Richard Lapan; Ten Top Techniques for Counseling Difficult Youth by John Sommers-Flanagan and Rita Sommers-Flanagan; Solution-Focused Counseling in Schools: Practical Strategies for Doing What Works by John Murphy; Critical Incidents in Clinical Supervision: A View From the School, Community, and Addictions Perspectives by Lawrence Tyson and John Culbreth; Assessment of Client Core Issues by Richard Halstead; Counseling International Students in the United States by Hemla Singaravelu and Mark Pope; The Counselor and the Law: Top Ten Steps to Reduce the Risk of Lawsuits and Licensure Board Complaints by Anne Marie "Nancy" Wheeler; and Case Incidents in Counseling for International Transitions by Nancy Arthur and Paul Pedersen

Worth Reading - NSBF Promotes Safe and Smart Internet Use by Youth

At a time when Internet use by all Americans is rising dramatically, parents and families are being challenged to craft uses that result in positive experiences and keep kids safe. A new report resulting from a major survey sponsored by the National School Boards Foundation presents statistics on Internet usage by children while addressing some of the major challenges (e.g., online isolation, violence, pornography, predators and commercialism) that have led to questions about safety and usefulness.

The full NSBF report, Safe & Smart: Research and Guidelines on Children's Use of the Internet, states that parents see the Internet as a powerful learning tool, one that will also help children and families better communicate in a digital age. It suggests strategies that will help parents and educators serves as "guides" to positive Internet experiences. Details:

Reliable Resource - Graying, Diverse Work Force Growth Today Through 2016

The Department of Labor's Monthly Labor Review Online reported in its November 2007 edition a trend that has already been seen in career and related counseling settings. The next decade will find the workforce to be generally older because that portion of the population is projected to grow five times faster than the overall labor force. In addition to the "graying" of baby-boomers, other trends will include a more racially and ethnically mixed group of labor force entrants and a peaking of women participants in the workplace. Details:

New Year Excellent Time to "Refresh" Member Profiles

ACA wants to provide you with the best member service possible and one way is to ensure that we have accurate information in your member record. Please take a few moments to update your personal member profile. First log in at via the orange box on the right side of the homepage. Then select the "manage your membership" and "update your profile" links and proceed to update your information.

If you don't know your username and password, please contact Member Services at 800/347-6647, Ext. 222 (M-F, 8 am - 7 pm, ET) or email them:

Featured Freebie #2 - Guide Aimed at Counseling Offenders Abusing Substances

Alcohol and Drug Treatment: How It Works, and How It Can Help You is a four page brochure, from the US Department of Health and Human Services that informs people involved in the criminal justice system about substance abuse treatment resources, including how to work with a counselor. The brochure describes what can be gained through substance abuse treatment before trial or while a person is incarcerated, on probation, or on parole. Details:

Events and Important Dates - New Year Presents Conference Opportunities

January 24-26, 2008
Event: Idaho Counseling Association "Back to Basics" Conference
Location: Owyhee Plaza Hotel, Boise, ID

January 31, 2208
Postmark deadline for voting by mail in ACA Elections.

February 6-9, 2008
Event: American College Counseling Association 4th National Conference
Location: Savannah, GA

February 8-10, 2008
Event: South Carolina Counseling Association 43rd Annual Conference
Location: Marriott Resort, Myrtle Beach, SC

February 10-12, 2008
Event: North Dakota Counseling Association Annual Conference
Location: Best Western - Ramkota, Bismarck, ND

February 15-18, 2008
Event: California Counseling Association
Location: Conference cruise from Long Beach, CA to Ensenada, Mexico

February 23-26, 2008
ACA Legislative Institute
Location: Alexandria, VA
Register by January 15

March 26-30, 2008
ACA 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition
Location: Honolulu, HI
Conference Related Deadlines:
January 31, 2008: Deadline for pre-registration for Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Training course
February 15, 2008: Last discounted registration opportunity
February 22, 2008: Deadline for discounted rates on hotels

ACA divisions, branches, and regions are valuable sources of learning and professional development. Information on events will be posted approximately 8-10 weeks prior. This information is made available to ACAeNews via the ACA master calendar and the various organization web sites. Send calendar items to Please provide the sponsor, dates, site and contact person information. Information posted here is restricted to that sponsored by ACA divisions, branches, regions and related organizations.

Tell a Professional Colleague or Counseling Student about ACAeNews

ACAeNews is disseminated by subscription only. If you believe a colleague would like to receive this electronic newsletter, they can send an email to and leave the subject blank. In the body of the email, type the following: Subscribe aca-enews First Name Last Name. Counseling students can also keep abreast of important professional information by reading ACAeNews regularly and grow more knowledgeable about the important worked being performed by ACA.

About ACAeNews

ACAeNews is published biweekly by the American Counseling Association for the benefit of members and the counseling profession. Any reference to a product, service or activity or listing of a web site in ACAeNews does not imply endorsement by ACA. Any views and opinions are those of the sponsoring organization and may or may not be shared by ACA.

Direct comments, questions and submissions to All submissions will be subject to review by ACA for accuracy, timeliness and relevance to the readership and may be edited to meet space parameters.

Brian Canfield, President

Richard Yep, Executive Director

Debra Bass, Interim Director of Marketing

Frank Burtnett, ACAeNews Editor

ACA Web site:

2008 American Counseling Association, 5999 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone: 703/823-9800. Email: Permission is hereby granted to reproduce anything contained in this newsletter as long as the American Counseling Association is identified as the original source of the information.

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