ACAeNews | Volume XI | Number 10

In this edition readers will find:

Unemployment University - New Options for Job Seekers

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Free to ACA Members!
Free CE of the Month

Featured CE of the Month (May)
Therapeutic Implications of Psychopharmacology

Capella University

Unemployment University - New Option for Job Seekers

President Obama has pointed to postsecondary education, especially the nation's community and technical colleges as solutions for those displaced and out of work. In early May, the president said; "...if we want to help people not only get back on their feet today but prosper tomorrow, we need to take a rigorous new approach to higher education and technical training. And that starts by changing senseless rules that discourage displaced workers from getting the education and training they need to find and fill the jobs of the future."

The president remarked that access rules and protocols, including admission and financial aid, will need to be made more flexible and charged Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Education Secretary Arne Duncan with working with institutions and agencies to eliminate barriers to the unemployed during this recession. Most notable among the changes will be increased access to federal financial aid by not allowing the receipt of unemployment benefits to deny eligibility.

Inside Higher Education...

Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act: Washington Seeks Comment

The U.S. Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services are jointly requesting information to assist in developing regulations to implement the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA). Enacted on October 3, 2008, the law prohibits health plans covering more than 50 employees from using treatment limits or financial requirements on coverage of mental health and addictive disorder services that aren't also used for substantially all other medical/surgical benefits. The law will pertain to health plans beginning with plan years starting after October 3, 2009.

In a notice published in the Federal Register on April 28th, the agencies asked for information on health plan practices potentially affected by the law, including the extent to which health plans currently impose financial requirements or treatment limitations, what information regarding medical necessity criteria plans make available, what information plans provide for explaining coverage denials, and the extent to which plans cover out-of-network providers for mental health and substance abuse benefits.

Counselors interested in commenting are encouraged to visit the Department of Labor's website. This website includes the text of the Federal Register notice regarding the MHPAEA regulations, the agency's e-mail address, and other information. The Department of Labor's press release announcing the request for public comment can be found here. Comments must be submitted on or before May 28th, 2009.

Relevant Research: Life after Dropping Out

A survey conducted with teens ages 13-18 earlier this year by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Taco Bell Foundation revealed what happens to students who leave school before earning their diploma. The 74% of respondents who said they knew someone who dropped out of school reported they were doing the following:

What are high school dropouts doing now?
Life after Dropping Out

Raising a child: 54%
Unemployed: 48%
Working in a low-paying job: 39%
In a gang: 29%
In a successful career: 12%

Note: Multiple responses were permitted.

Worth Reading and Sharing: Information on Bullying

As reported in previous issues, bullying appears very often in the health and safety concerns expressed by students, parents, and educators. From the school to the playground to the community mall, aggressive, violence-prone youth are causing anguish for many of their peers. Seen as a precursor for more serious violence, bullying is a behavior that requires immediate and appropriate intervention. The Center for the Study of Violence and Prevention projects that those who bully are four times more likely than non-bullies to be convicted of a serious crime by the age 24.

PDF Details...

Two Ways Members Can Contribute to Counseling Today

Counseling TodayOn a monthly basis, Counseling Today attempts to publish articles that cover a wide variety of issues in the profession and that speak to ACA's diverse membership. But there's no better method for choosing useful content than asking our members -- practitioners, new professionals, students, counselor educators and others -- what topics they would like (or need) to know more about. Let the Counseling Today staff know what articles you would find particularly useful by e-mailing Please put "CT Story Idea" in the subject line.

An upcoming cover story in Counseling Today is going to take a look at the impact that people's experiences in nature can have on mental health. CT is currently looking for ACA members to interview for this article, so if you have expertise in incorporating the natural world into counseling with clients, e-mail and tell us a little about what you do. Please put "Nature and Mental Health" in the subject line.

Did You Know? Most Popular Book at the ACA Conference Bookstore

The sale of publications was very brisk at the bookstore during the ACA Conference & Exposition in Charlotte, NC. The top-selling title was a brand new release: Counseling Strategies for Loss and Grief by Keren M. Humphrey.


Conference Clipping: Call for Programs Deadline June 3

Call for Programs Deadline June 3Want to present at the ACA 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition in Pittsburgh, March 18-22? Submit your proposal by Wednesday, June 3 at 5pm (ET). Planning to attend? Save a bundle by registering now at summer rates!

Register or Submit Proposal...

Advocacy Matters: President Obama Releases First Budget Proposal

Advocacy MattersOn May 7, President Obama released the first installment of his budget proposal for the fiscal year (FY) 2010, spelling out his fiscal priorities and recommendations. The roughly $3.7 trillion plan contains the nitty-gritty details the House and Senate Appropriations committees will need to put together their annual spending bills later this year. The President used a summarized version of his budget proposal in February to highlight his main priorities for the year: overhauling health care, addressing climate change, and making college more affordable. Although Democratic appropriators largely share Obama's priorities, some differences over spending, major and minor, are bound to emerge.

Department of Education Budget

The President spending plan includes $46.7 billion for the U.S. Department of Education. At a briefing for Washington-based advocacy and policy groups, including ACA, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stated: "This budget makes tough decisions, investing in the programs that will deliver results in student learning while ending ones that aren't working," It will give educators the resources they need to turn around the schools in the most trouble, and it will build a foundation for success in school for our youngest citizens."

The proposed budget would abolish funding for 12 programs that ED research has found to be ineffective, saving $550 million.

The Department's FY 2010 proposed budget would:

  • Provide $1.5 billion for Title I School Improvement Grants to give states and school districts resources to create and implement comprehensive, research-based plans for the growing numbers of schools identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring. The money in the FY 2010 budget proposal will be in addition to the $3 billion available for the program in FY 2009 and FY 2010 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
  • Allocate $517 million to the Teacher Incentive Fund, which stimulates state and local work to improve the education workforce, with an emphasis on rewarding principals, teachers, and other school personnel, including school counselors, who raise student achievement, close achievement gaps, and work in hard-to-staff schools. The program received $200 million in the ARRA and $97 million in FY 2009.
  • Create new programs that ensure students are prepared to enter school, including $500 million for Title I Early Childhood Grants, which will encourage districts to spend money under the ARRA to start or expand preschool programs, and the $300 million for the Early Learning Challenge Fund, which will help states create or refine systems for rating and improving the quality of preschool education.
  • Increase the federal government's investment in higher education to $129 billion through grants, loans, and work-study assistance.
  • Increase the maximum award under the federal Pell Grant program to $5,550 for FY 2010 and would guarantee that the grant would increase by the rate of inflation plus one percent in future years.
  • Eliminate the Federal Family Education Loan Program and make all new loans through the Federal Direct Loan program. According to ED, the changes would produce $21 billion in savings over 5 years by reducing entitlement subsidies currently paid to banks and private companies.

Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program

The Department's budget would level-fund the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program (ESSCP) at $52.0 million for FY 2010. ( A side note: This is the first time in 8 years that the Department has not proposed eliminating this vital program; a sign that the new administration recognizes the importance of school counseling services in helping to improve students' academic achievement and school safety.)

Last month, 23 members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed and sent a letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education in support of the ESSCP. The bipartisan letter, authored by Representatives James Langevin (D-RI) and Vern Ehlers (R-MI), urges appropriators to provide $61.5 million ESSCP in the fiscal year 2010 education funding bill to be considered by Congress this year. This would be a $9.5 million increase over the current year funding level of $52 million. A similar letter in the Senate is being promoted by Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI). The ESSCP is the only federal program focused on supporting comprehensive school counseling services.

For more information, visit, or contact Scott Barstow (800-347-6647 x234) with ACA's public policy staff.

Fast Fact: 12 Percent of American Youth Live With an Addicted Parent

Remember when parents worried about the drug and alcohol use and abuse of their children? A new Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report, "Findings for Children Living with Substance-Dependent and Substance-Abusing Parents 2002-2007," suggests that concern is a two-way street.

Released earlier this month, the report indicates that 12 percent of American youth between the ages of 12 and 18 lived with one parent who was dependent on or abused alcohol or an illicit substance. Researchers found that approximately 7.3 million children lived with a parent who was dependent on or abused alcohol, and 2.1 million children lived with a parent who was dependent on or abused illicit drugs.

Full Report...

ACA Publishes New Book on the How-To's of Substance Abuse Counseling

A Contemporary Approach to Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling: A Counselor's Guide to Application and Understanding
by Ford Brooks and Bill McHenry

A Contemporary Approach to Substance Abuse and Addiction CounselingStraightforward and reader-friendly, A Contemporary Approach to Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling provides a basic understanding of the nature of substance abuse and addiction, its progression, and clinical interventions for college/university, school, and community/mental health agency settings. Focusing on clinical applications and how-to's, this book will help counselors and counselors-in-training more fully engage in the helping process, find creative approaches for working with struggling clients, and embrace a holistic approach to assisting clients on their journey toward healing and recovery.

Topics covered include drug classifications; assessment; working with ethnically diverse clients, the GLBT population, and women; the continuum from nonuse to addiction; developmental approaches in treating addiction; relapse prevention; grief and loss in addiction; group counseling; working with families; spirituality; addictions training and ethical issues; understanding and applying the 2009 CACREP Standards for Addiction Counseling; and counselor self-care. Real-life case examples throughout the text and exploration questions at the end of each chapter will captivate students and facilitate discussion.

2009 | 280 pages
Order #72888
ISBN 978-1-55620-282-7
List Price: $46.95
ACA Member Price: $33.95

Order Today...

A Notice for New Grads on Liability Insurance

Did you graduate within the previous twelve months? If so, you're eligible for a 50% discount off the full-time rate for professional liability insurance coverage, through Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO).

Take advantage of this New Graduate discount when you apply on-line -- just indicate your graduation date in the appropriate field on the application form.

Help keep your practice safe with the professional liability insurance coverage endorsed by ACA for all its members - visit

Free CE Credit of the Month Program Extremely Popular

Free CE Credit of the Month Program Extremely PopularIn April, ACA introduced the new member benefit of 1 free CE credit per month through our Online Learning programs. We are pleased to report that 1,131 members took advantage of the April CE offering! The May CE offering, which will be available May 1 through May 31 at no cost to ACA members, is a Journal of Counseling & Development article: Therapeutic Implications of Psychopharmacology by Jason H. King and Shannon M. Anderson. Click here for details. Watch your Inbox at the first of each month for the email announcing that month's offering.

Illinois Branch Wins Award

Congratulations to the winners of the 2009 Branch Awards of Excellence honored in Charlotte, NC at the ACA Annual Conference & Exposition. The ACA Branch Awards competition recognizes those ACA state branches that significantly advance and enhance the counseling profession through excellent programs, increased membership, quality communications, and community involvement. The Awards recognize excellence in six categories: four relating to programs and services and two in publications.

The Illinois Counseling Association, representing the Midwest Region, was awarded $500 for Best Community Outreach Project/Program, formerly "Best Consumer/Client Service/Program/Project."

View the Complete List of Winners...

Calendar: ASCA, NCDA and AMHCA Summer Professional Development Experiences

June 28 - July 1
American School Counselor Association
Dallas Convention Center
Dallas, TX
Theme: Making a Difference

July 1-3
National Career Development Association
Marriott - St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
Theme: Inspiring Career Development Practitioners

July 23-25
American Mental Health Counselors Association
Washington Court Hotel
Washington, DC
Theme: Strengthening Individual, Families & Communities Through Mental Health Counseling & Advocacy

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.


ACAeNews is published 24 times annually by the American Counseling Association for the benefit of members across the counseling profession. Any reference to a product, service, activity, or listing of a website 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.

Colleen Logan, President

Richard Yep, CAE, Executive Director

Debra Bass, Director of Marketing and Communications

Frank Burtnett, NCC, NCCC, ACAeNews Editor

Don Kenneally, Internet Development / Production

ACA Website:

Copyright 2009, 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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