ACAeNews | Volume X | Number 25

Happy Holidays!
The ACA offices in Alexandria, Virginia will be closed December 24th thru December 26th and will reopen at 8:00 am on Monday, December 29th. We will close again on Thursday January 1st and Friday January 2nd and will reopen on Monday, January 5th. The staff of ACA wishes you and your family a Happy Holiday season. This is the last issue of ACAeNews in 2008. The next issue will be published Tuesday, January 13.

Happiness is Contagious

In this edition readers will find:

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Research Finding of Seasonal Importance: Happiness is Contagious

Since this is the season "to be jolly," a report published earlier this month in the British Medical Journal is timely. Scientists from Harvard University and UC San Diego have found the presence of happiness spreads readily through all of our social networks, including family members, friends, work associates, and neighbors.

The beneficial effects of happiness are also noted by the World Health Organization, which identified this human trait as an essential component in healthy people. What did this recent study add to the literature regarding our understanding of happiness?

  • Happiness is a network phenomenon, clustering in groups of people that extend up to three degrees of separation (for example, to one's friends' friends' friends).
  • Happiness spreads across a diverse array of social ties.
  • Network characteristics independently predict which individuals will be happy years into the future.

Ho....ho....ho... and happy holidays!


Special Holiday Offer: 50% off New Carl Rogers Biography

The Life and Work of Carl RogersThe new, 722-page ACA book The Life and Work of Carl Rogers by Howard Kirschenbaum was just published this month. This definitive biography of Carl Rogers, written by the internationally recognized leading expert on Rogers' life and work, contains information only found in private documents released after Rogers' death including his personal relationships, involvement with the CIA, alcohol, the paranormal, and spirituality. Dr. Kirschenbaum, a respected and trusted colleague of Rogers, truly provides a comprehensive understanding of this complex man and his unparalleled contributions.

ACA is offering this exceptional book at half off the regular price thru January 9. Regular ACA Member price: $49.95. Holiday Discount Price for members and nonmembers: $24.95. Give a gift of this incredible story of the founder of the person-centered approach to counseling.

Order online now... (Order #72882)

Combined FERPA and HIPAA Guidance Follows Virginia Tech Tragedy

New guidance in the aftermath of the 2007 Virginia Tech tragedy has just been issued by the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services in a joint paper, "Joint Guidance on the Application of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) to Student Health Records."

This guidance addresses the interplay between FERPA and the HIPAA Privacy Rule at elementary and secondary levels, as well as at the postsecondary level, and addresses many of the questions raised by school officials, health care professionals, and others regarding the applicability of these laws to records maintained on students. It also addresses certain disclosures that are allowed without consent or authorization under both laws, especially those related to health and safety emergency situations.


ACA Needs Your First-Hand Medicare Stories

ACA is working hard to gain the enactment of legislation to establish Medicare coverage of counselors, and is collaborating with the American Mental Health Counselors Association to lay the groundwork for success in 2009. In order to help convince Congress that counselor coverage is needed, however, we need to be able to tell them why.

ACA and AMHCA public policy staff need to be able to give Capitol Hill staff members concrete examples of how lack of coverage forces counselors to turn away Medicare beneficiaries who need help, or ask them to pay out of pocket. We need examples of counselors who are working with a client, but then have to terminate the relationship because the client became covered under Medicare. We need examples of beneficiaries being forced to drive more than an hour to find a Medicare participating mental health professional, when a qualified, experienced counselor is right around the corner.

If you have any anecdotes illustrating why Medicare should cover counselors, please share them with ACA's public policy staff by sending a short e-mail to Peter Atlee, at Each story will put a face on the accessibility issue and help us as we talk about the issue with congressional offices. ACA will not share any information which could be used to identify you or your clients unless we check with you first.

ACEG Professional Development InstituteóRegister Now!

The Association for Counselors and Educators in Government is holding a Professional Development Institute (PDI) in conjunction with the ACA Conference & Exposition in Charlotte, NC.

Supporting and Advocating for Our Service Members: Pre, In, and Post Service will be presented Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20, 2009. The PDI will update counselors and educators on the various support services including education, mental and physical health, legal, and career developments. Counselors of all specialties are encouraged to attend.†

1 Day Ė Either Day: ACEG member advanced registration $180/ nonmember & on-site registration $195; Fulltime Graduate Students: $150 advanced registration ($160 on-site)
2 Days: ACEG member advanced registration $310.00/ nonmember & on-site registration $335; Fulltime Graduate Students: $260 advanced registration ($275 on-site).

The ACEG Awards Luncheon will be held on the 19th and is included in the registration fee.

Special ACEG Workshop Invitation Open to All
Using the MBTI and STRONG for Career Development. Advanced registration $75/on-site registration $85. This workshop is included in the 2-day registration fee or the 1-day fee on the 20th.

For more information visit the ACEG website at CEUs are available. Address all PDI programming questions to Dr. Janet Wall at

Worth Reading: Foundation Magazine Tackles Preparedness for Higher Education

Worth ReadingCiting the concern that increasing numbers of unprepared students are enrolling in the nation's colleges and universities, the online, December edition of the Lumina Foundation Focus magazine examines why more than a half million students must complete developmental studies in order to survive the academic challenges of college. The "Remediation Redux" feature showcases efforts to improve the effectiveness and increase the scope of developmental education on our campuses.


Counseling LGBT Youth: Recent Suicides Prompt Reminder About ACA Podcast

Due to recent inquiries directed to ACA staff by members regarding strategies for counseling LGBT youth, we wanted to remind readers that the recent ACA podcast may be extremely helpful to counselors working with teens. The program "Counseling Queer (LGBT) Youth," featuring Anneliese Singh, President of the Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Counseling and Assistant Professor of Counseling and Human Development at the University of Georgia, is a free, 35 minute program. Dr. Singh is an expert on queer youth, queer people of color, and bullying toward LGBTQ youth.

"I truly believe the information in this podcast can help to save lives," said ACA's Rebecca Daniel-Burke following several conversations with members who each reported that they were in the midst of coping with the suicide of their gay teenage clients. The program addresses what counselors need to know about working with queer youth and points to research on the importance of individual counseling and the creation of safe and supportive environments. The ACA Podcast Series is a members-only service that can be accessed after signing in at

Fast Fact: One of Every Four Youth 12-19 Drank Last Month

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), about 10.8 million underage persons aged 12 to 20 years (almost 30 percent) reported drinking alcohol in the past month. That's more than the total population of Michigan, the 8th largest state. Or think of it this way--that's about one of every four children between the ages of 14 and 19. Where do underage youth gain access to the alcohol they are consuming? A new SAMSHA short report has the answers.


Conference Clipping: Make your Hotel Reservations Now!

ACA ConferenceHere are a few important reminders for those who have already registered for the ACA 2009 Conference & Exposition, March 19-23 in Charlotte, North Carolina:

At this time, rooms are still available at all four conference hotels. If you haven't yet made your hotel reservation, please do so as soon as possible to ensure that you get the accommodations you prefer. The reduced ACA rate is only good thru February 16!

Housing reservations can only be made through the ACA Housing Bureau, and not the individual hotels.

To reserve your room now, complete the Housing Form (PDF) and follow directions to submit the form via fax, mail or online. The lowest room rate available is $153; it likely will sell out early in the New Year.

If you already have a reservation and you have a question or need to make a change to your existing reservation, contact the Housing Bureau by email: After February 22, you may contact the hotel directly if necessary.

Questions? Call Member Services today at 800-347-6647, ext. 222.

ACA Conference Registration...

Reliable Resource: SIECUS Offers Information on Variety of Issues

The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) has made significant strides in making knowledge, tools, and skills information available to counselors and educators. Each year, SIECUS distributes countless print and electronic resources to interested individuals and organizations and offers assistance to help individuals locate local research, write accurate new articles, create curriculum, and build high quality community based programs. At the SIECUS website, counselors will find fact sheets, resources, lesson plans, Internet links, and other tools.


ACA Ethics Competition Entries Under Review

The 2008 ACA Graduate Student Ethics Competition closed recently with 29 masters level teams and 9 doctoral level teams submitting the required responses to compete in this year's competition. Readers who would like to review the case studies the student teams were asked to deliberate can go to: and click on Masters or Doctoral.

Over the coming month, each team essay response will be reviewed by three different members of the ACA Ethics Committee, who will score them according to a set of standard criteria. Once the scores are tabulated, a winner on each level will be announced in late January.

Self-Injury Becoming Larger Adolescent Problem

Self-injury is known by many names, including self-abuse, self-mutilation, deliberate self-harm, parasuicidal behavior, and non-suicidal self-injury. Practiced often by teens, the behaviors include cutting, marking, embedding, and other acts of physical harm.

Counselors in mental health and educational settings can find a bibliography on self-injury at:

The collection includes journal articles and books put together by S.A.F.E (Self Abuse Finally Ends) Alternatives on the subject. At the S.A.F.E. Alternatives website (, a list of researchers actively addressing self-injury is also available.

Counselor Alert: National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Information Available

The Department of Health and Human Services has published its 2009 National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program information bulletin. The National Health Service Corps is a competitive program that recruits health professionals to serve in areas with inadequate access to health care (referred to as Health Professional Shortage Areas -- HPSAs).

In return for their service, the corps assists clinicians in their payment of qualifying education loans. To be eligible, counselors must be fully trained, licensed, and working at (or in the final stages of employment negotiations with) an NHSC-eligible facility. For more information, or to apply online, go to

The "opportunities list" of facilities seeking a NHSC provider is available online at

For Graduate Students and New Professionals Programs Set for Charlotte

The For Graduate Students and New Professionals Only program series will be offered again at the ACA 2009 Conference & Exposition, March 19-23 in Charlotte, NC. This series brings highly regarded professionals in counseling to speak on topics that graduate students and new professionals have identified as critical to their success.

This year, the series includes:

  • Gerald Corey: Finding a Meaningful Life After Graduate School
  • Jane Myers: Wellness and Self-Care for Graduate Students and New Professionals
  • Courtland Lee: Let Your Degree Be Your Passport: International Opportunities for Graduate Students and New Professionals
  • Chris Moll: From Backpacks to Briefcases: Making the Transition from Graduate Student to Professional Counselor

Four regular education sessions developed for students, including one Advanced Level session, are also on the program:

  • Changing More than Diapers: How Counselor Training Changes Student Parents
  • Relationship between Wellness and Age, Matriculation and Relationship Status of Counselor Education Doctoral Students
  • Student Counselors and Community Engagement: Collaboration through Service Learning

The Advanced Level program is:

  • You, Me and Your Degree Make 3: An In-Depth Analysis of the Relational Challenge Women Face in Pursuit of an Advanced Degree

The registration rate for students/New Professionals/Retirees is $240 (nonmembers: $440).

Conference program and registration details...

Calendar: New Year Finds ACA Branch Conferences in ID, ND and CA

January 29-31, 2009
Idaho Counseling Association
Coeur d'Alene Resort, Coeur d'Alene, ID

February 1-3, 2009
North Dakota Counseling Association
Best Western Ramkota, Bismarck, ND

February 13-15, 2009
California Counseling Association
Santa Clara Marriott, Santa Clara, CA

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 bimonthly 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.

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Richard Yep, CAE, Executive Director

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Copyright 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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