ACAeNews | Volume XII | Number 19

In this issue readers will find:


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ACA blogs, written by counselors, for counselors:

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Counseling Positions To Begin Opening at Veterans Administration

In a huge step forward for the counseling profession, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued qualification standards formally recognizing counselors as mental health specialists within the Veterans Health Administration in late September. The standards are available online. The VA released qualification standards for marriage and family therapists at the same time, under separate criteria.

The new standards establish mental health counselor positions at the same GS levels as are used for clinical social worker positions, starting at an entry level GS-9 position (for individuals with a graduate degree in counseling but who are not yet licensed), a GS-11 position (for licensed counselors), and advanced positions at the GS-12, GS-13, and GS-14 levels. Note that the 'licensed professional mental health counselor' position title is simply the one that will be used by the VA; counselors licensed under their state's titles will be eligible for the positions.

The regulations require counselors to have a master's degree in counseling from a CACREP-accredited program. ACA will work with the VA and with congressional offices to attempt to establish eligibility criteria, such as grandparenting language, to allow qualified professional counselors to compete for these new positions.

The occupational standards have just been adopted; it will take time for counseling positions to be posted on or Counselors interested in working for the VA in one of these new positions are encouraged to contact their local VA facility to communicate their interest. In some cases, mental health therapist jobs may be posted as open to multiple disciplines, and VA staff should be asked to consider licensed professional mental health counselors as eligible to apply, if they are not doing so already.

For more information, contact Scott Barstow with ACA at 800-347-6647 x234, or by email at

National Bullying Prevention Month Opens on a Somber Note

BullyingRecent high profile suicides by students who took their own lives because they were bullied and harassed for being openly gay or believed to be gay caused the National Bullying Prevention Month to open in October on a somber note. Richard Yep, ACA Executive Director, has called upon counseling professionals to accept a more proactive role in bringing awareness to the tragedy of children, youth, and young adults who are the victims of bullying. ACA, along with the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), participated in a recent summit conducted by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools at which professional and public organizations were asked to play a stronger advocacy role in calling attention to the problem, providing assistance to victims, and intervening in constructive ways with perpetrators.

According to Yep, the summit provided a forum for ACA and ASCA to join with other student service, educational, and community organizations to "recommit ourselves to addressing the epidemic of bullying and learn more about what the federal government is doing about the situation." For example, the U.S. Department of Education has launched a pilot program that provides $27 million for a Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) grant program (See related story in this issue). In addition, the department has joined 11 other federal agencies in developing a "one-stop" resource website, including a subscription newsletter, on the topic.

Watch for a new ACA podcast to be posted at in the near future that will feature Sherri Bauman, author of the new ACA book, Cyberbullying: What Counselors Need to Know.

Cyberbullying Book...

Federal Agency Bullying Prevention Website...

Safe States Alliance Anti-Bullying Webcast to be Held Tomorrow–October 13

The Safe States Alliance is co-hosting a free webcast on state anti-bullying policies on October 13 from 2:30 pm – 4 pm EST. During the program, speakers will discuss their experiences in developing policies, the process needed to get such policies enacted, and the roles of different stakeholders (state and local schools and agencies) in implementing the legislation. The webcast is free and open to school and community counselors; a full description of the program and registration link can be found at:

Ten Career Fields with High Rates of Worker Depression

Workplace DepressionThe news has been filled with stories recently about how job loss and unemployment can lead to depression. Now a website story has addressed stress from within the job or workplace, listing ten "high stress" occupations in the U.S. and the circumstances that make them that way.

Quoted in the story is ACA member Deborah Legge, a licensed clinical mental health counselor in Buffalo, NY who offered: "There are certain aspects of any job than can contribute to or exacerbate depression. Folks with high stress jobs have a greater chance of managing it if they get the help they need." Some jobs are more depression-prone than others.

Following are 10 fields (out of 21 major job categories) in which full-time workers are most likely to report an episode of major depression in a given year.

  1. Nursing home/child care workers
  2. Food service staff
  3. Social workers
  4. Health care workers
  5. Artists, entertainers and writers
  6. Teachers
  7. Administrative support staff
  8. Maintenance and grounds workers
  9. Financial advisors and accountants
  10. Salespeople

The story builds a strong case for counselor attention to self-care and begs a visit to resources developed by ACA's Taskforce on Counselor Wellness and Impairment. Story...

Online Voting: A New Feature of ACA Elections

CheckboxResponding to technological advances and a desire to "go green," ACA is pleased to announce that members can participate in online voting for the first time in the upcoming election. Online voting for all ACA offices will begin on Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 12:01 am, and will close Monday, January 31, 2011 at 11:59 pm ET.

Members unable to vote online, or preferring a paper ballot, can contact ACA Member Services at 1-800-347-6647 x222 to request a paper ballot. Paper ballots must be received at ACA Headquarters by the same date as online ballots–Monday, January 31, 2011.

Watch for more news in upcoming issues.

Poll Indicates College Is #2 Saving Goal of Families

A new poll conducted by Sallie Mae and the Gallup Organization has found that 21% of Americans placed saving for college for children as their second savings priority, trailing just behind retirement (22%). Despite difficult economic circumstances, a majority of the respondents (60%) have saved for college at a rate similar to that of the previous year.

Family Savings Priorities

Retirement: 22%
College for child/children: 21%
Home/house: 11%
Emergency/rainy day: 8%
General savings: 5%
Other: 11%
None/not saving: 14%

Saving Goals

Sallie Mae/Gallup Survey...

Register for ACA Conference by November 30 and You May Win Free Lodging!

ACA 2011 Conference Proposal Deadline: June 2Want to win a free 3-night hotel stay in New Orleans? Register for the ACA Conference & Exposition, March 23-27 by November 30 and you will automatically be entered into a drawing for a free 3-night stay during the conference.

Already registered? Then you are in the drawing. Click here for details/eligibility.

Nominate an International Grad Student for ACA Conference Panel by December 15

The ACA International Committee is seeking nominations for the International Student Panel, "Internationalizing Mental Health Counseling," which will be held during the ACA Conference & Exposition in New Orleans, March 23-27, 2011.

Five international students will be selected to share their perspectives pertaining to education, training, services, and mental health needs in their respective countries. Students will also be asked to highlight their experiences of studying in the United States. To be considered for selection, the applicant's home country must be other than the U.S. (i.e., international) and the applicant must be currently enrolled in a graduate program that focuses on counseling. Selection will be based on the quality of the nomination packet and a telephone interview. Each student selected will receive a complimentary registration for the 2011 conference.

Nomination and additional information is available at or by clicking here for more details. The deadline for nominations is December 15, 2010.

ACA Expands CE Options: Podcasts, CT Articles Now Available for Credit

In recent months, ACA has developed or improved three venues for members to use in earning continuing education credits online to apply toward their certification and/or licensure maintenance requirements. These options include:

Free CE of the Month

Although the majority of online continuing education courses have a registration and processing charge, ACA offers members one free continuing education opportunity each month. A FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) sheet about the free program can be accessed at

ACA Podcast Series

Podcast SeriesSince ACA launched online podcasts in 2008, 23 prerecorded interviews with counseling experts and authorities have been created and posted for member review. Podcast programs that are 45 minutes or longer in length are now eligible for continuing education credit. Visit our Podcast section to review the podcast directory and the link below to register for the continuing education examination.

CT Learning Credit

Beginning with the October, 2010 edition of Counseling Today, readers can earn continuing education credit directly from ACA for reading feature stories, interviews, and other selected content. Examinations are now offered online as well as in each issue of Counseling Today.

These new and improved continuing education opportunities compliment existing options of reading articles in the Journal of Counseling & Development and selected ACA book chapters for credit. Visit the link below to learn more. If you took advantage of all 12 free credits in one year, it would more than cover the cost of your ACA dues!

ACA Online Learning Continuing Education Options...

Comprehensive Sex Study Looks at Attitudes, Behaviors, and Concerns of Americans

The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB) was released in September by the Indiana University Center for Sexual Health Promotion and published in a special issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine. The new report, cited as the most comprehensive since the National Health and Social Life Survey was published 16 years ago, found a straightforward population, one willing to express itself with regard to broad range of sexual attitudes, behavior, and the concerns.

Since the last comparable study, the American sexual scene has witnessed the introduction of new forms of sex education in the nation's schools, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, the emergence of same-sex marriage, and the evolution of social networking tools on the Internet to bring people together. Surveyed were nearly 6,000 women and men, ranging in age from 14 to 94. Once people were selected to participate, they were interviewed online; participants without Internet access were provided it for free.

University of Indiana Media Release...

Download Access to NSSHB Reports and Complete Findings...

U.S. Department of Education Awards $38.8 Million in 3S Grants

GrantsThe U.S. Department of Education has awarded $38.8 million in Safe and Supportive School (3S) grants to 11 states to measure school safety at the building level and to provide federal funds for interventions in those schools with the greatest needs. The ultimate goal of the grants is to create and support drug-free learning environments and increase academic success for students in these high-risk schools. The 11 states winning FY 2010 grants include Arizona, California, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

To learn more about the 3S initiative, contact Dominic Holt, at 800-347-6647 x234 or by email at

JCD Seeks Articles for Prevention and Treatment of Eating Disorders Edition

JCDThe Journal of Counseling & Development, the official journal of ACA, invites submissions for a special section focusing on the prevention and treatment of eating disorders. The purpose of this special section is to provide a format for disseminating research, theory, and practice related to effective prevention models and best practices in the treatment of eating disorders. This section will include guidelines not only for working with European American women but also for diverse client groups, including men, GLBTQ clients, ethnic minority groups, and international populations.

Interested scholars and practitioners are invited to send proposals of original manuscripts appropriate for the journal. Areas of scholarship include but are not limited to:

(a) Manuscripts that describe and provide support for effective primary prevention programs in schools and communities or for secondary prevention programs for groups at highest risk for the development of eating disorders.
(b) Manuscripts that describe and provide support for best practices in the treatment of eating disorders (e.g., Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Maudsley Family Therapy Approach, Feminist Therapy). Manuscripts that address the unique treatment needs of diverse client groups are strongly encouraged.

The following information should be included in the proposals:

  1. Title
  2. Abstract (one-to-two page summary of the proposed manuscript).
  3. Conceptual Manuscripts: Detailed outline of the manuscript.
  4. In one page, indicate specifically how the author(s) will (a) contribute to the professional counseling knowledge base, (b) address one or more of the identified goals for the special issue, and (c) address implications for practice for professional counselors.
  5. Indicate which section under which the manuscript should be considered: Theory, Practice, Assessment and Diagnosis, Best Practices.

Proposals will be initially reviewed by Laura Choate, guest editor of the special section, and the JCD associate editor for the journal section for which the manuscript is being considered. If the proposal is accepted, authors must follow the Guidelines for Authors of the Journal of Counseling & Development. Completed manuscripts will be peer-reviewed by the JCD editorial board, and final acceptance of manuscripts will be determined by the JCD editor.

Submit your proposal (and any questions) electronically to Laura Choate ( no later than December 15, 2010.

Reliable Resource: Grant Wrangler Lists Funding Information for Education and Health Projects

The Grant Wrangler Bulletin is a bi-weekly, electronic newsletter delivering information about the latest grants and awards to prospective applicants, including funding sources of interest to those working in schools and community agencies. Grant Wrangler is a double opt-in newsletter. After you complete a general form, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with a link to complete the subscription process. See a sample newsletter and subscribe at the following link:

Calendar: PA, KY, MS, MN, WI, TX, VA, IL, MI, AL, AR & TN Conferences in Fall Lineup

Baseball and football aren't the only events on the fall calendar. Check out the following ACA state branch conferences and register today!

Pennsylvania Counseling Association
October 15-17, 2010
Penn State Conference Center Hotel, State College, PA

Kentucky Counseling Association
October 20-22, 2010
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Louisville, KY

Mississippi Counseling Association
November 3-5, 2010
Jackson Convention Complex, Jackson, MS

Minnesota Counseling Association
November 5, 2010
Shoreview Community College, Shoreview, MN

Wisconsin Counseling Association
November 6, 2010
Mid-State Technical College, Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Texas Counseling Association
November 10-13
Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX

Virginia Counselors Association
November 11-13
Williamsburg Marriott, Williamsburg, VA

Illinois Counseling Association
November 12-13, 2010
Lisle Hilton, Lisle, IL

Michigan Counseling Association
November 12-14, 2010
Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Grand Rapids, MI

Alabama Counseling Association
November 17-19, 2010
Mobile Renaissance Plaza Hotel and Mobile Convention Center, Mobile, AL

Arkansas Counseling Association
November 17-19, 2010
Hot Springs Convention Center, Hot Springs, AR

Tennessee Counseling Association
November 21-23
Marriott Cool Springs Conference Center, Nashville, TN

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.

About ACAeNews

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 to meet space parameters.

Marcheta P. Evans, Ph.D., President

Richard Yep, CAE, Executive Director

Debra Bass, Director of Marketing and Communications

Frank Burtnett, NCC, NCCC, ACAeNews Editor

Don Kenneally, Internet Development / Production

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Copyright 2010, 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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