ACAeNews for Mental Health, Private Practice and Community Agency Counselors | Volume III | Number 2


In this edition readers will find:

Visit our website:

ACA blogs, written by
counselors, for counselors:

Winter Blues: Time to Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Many parts of America have been victim to an extremely harsh winter–natural conditions that often result in increased incidence of depression in the population at this time of year.

The health term for what clients often call "cabin fever" or the "winter blahs" is seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and the subject is the focus of an information sheet on a website sponsored by the U.S. National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. The site offers insights into causes, incidence, and risk factors, as well as symptoms and treatment suggestions. Talk therapy is advanced as one of those treatments.

NLM Website...

Call for Programs: "City by the Bay" to Welcome Counselors to California in 2012

San FranciscoThe online Call for Proposals for the ACA 2012 Conference & Exposition, March 21-25, in San Francisco, California, will go live on April 4. The submission deadline is June 8, 2011 at 5 pm ET.

Topics are sought in all areas of counseling but ACA has specific interest in these topics for 2012: disaster mental health, social media, military members and their families. Advanced programs in all topics are also being sought.

The Call is for Pre-conference Learning Institutes and regular conference Education Sessions.

Pre-Conference Learning Institutes

  • Focus on advanced skills, techniques and approaches that counselors can utilize in their day-to-day work
  • Are presented by highly-qualified experts in the field
  • Offer a smaller class size, which gives attendees a more intense learning experience
  • Take place the two days prior to the start of the conference (March 21-22, 2012)
  • Are offered in two formats: Daytime Sessions, 6 contact hours and Evening Sessions, 3 contact hours

Education Sessions

  • Make up the core conference (March 23-25, 2012)
  • Are offered in three different formats: 90-Minute Program, 60-Minute Program, 30-Minute Project/Research Poster Session (takes place in Convention Center Exhibit Hall)

Note: Class sizes for 90- and 60-minute programs are based on room capacity. Complete details will be available on the website along with submission instructions.

Registration for the 2012 ACA Conference & Exposition itself opens late March with the Summer Rate of $320 ($220, Students/New Professionals/Retirees). This low registration rate will be available through August 15, 2011. Online registration will be available online in late March. Or call 800-347-6647, x222 (M-F, 8 am to 7 pm ET).

Most Americans Unaware of Mental Health Parity Law

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, the federal law requiring coverage for mental health and addiction treatment by insurers, remains unknown to most Americans, according to a study released earlier this year by the American Psychological Association. When asked if they knew such benefits were now mandated, 87% of the respondents said no. The same survey cited the cost of treatment as a factor influencing whether or not respondents would seek treatment.

APA News Release...

ACA Blogger Cites 17 Reasons Insurance Claims Are Not Paid

my.counseling.orgACA members will find a mix of postings on the association blog site,, some philosophical...others practical. An example of the latter can be found in a recent offering by Anthony Centore. His "17 Reasons Why Your Insurance Claims are Being Denied," offers sound guidance to both new and experienced private practitioners on the do's and don'ts of filing insurance claims.

Read the Blog...

Mental Health Services Faces Budget Challenges Even After Growing Less

During the 20-year period (1886-2005) leading up to the recent recession and economic downturn, mental health and substance use support grew at a slower pace than spending for healthcare overall. A Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report, appearing in the journal Health Affairs, found spending grew 4.8% for substance abuse and 6.9% for mental health, as compared to 7.9% for all healthcare services during the two decades under study.

This contained growth has not, however, kept mental health and substance abuse treatment off the "chopping block" as federal, state, and local policy and decision makers are taking dead aim at public service budgets to eliminate or reduce costs.

Bloomberg Website...

New ACA Books Focus on Children and Multiple Heritage Individuals and Families

Two new titles from the ACA professional library are certain to be of interest to mental health, private practice, and community agency counselors.

Counseling Children: A Core Issues Approach
by Richard W. Halstead, Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, and Jodi Ann Mullen

Counseling ChildrenThis innovative book offers a means for practitioners in community, mental health, and school settings to better assess, treat, and monitor children's underlying issues. The diagnostic framework presented condenses what is known about best practices in counseling children, helps uncover the nature of children's core concerns and how to address the issues they are struggling with, and challenges counselors to move beyond the DSM. Part I provides an orientation to the core issues approach and how to conceptualize the nature of clients' presenting concerns. Part II describes intervention strategies for work with children, including narrative approaches, play therapy, sand tray therapy, and expressive arts therapy. The final chapter gives suggestions for bringing parents, teachers, and other professionals together as a collaborative team.

2011 | 192 pgs
Order #72901
ISBN 978-1-55620-283-4
List Price: $29.95
ACA Member Price: $24.95

Order Today...

Counseling Multiple Heritage Individuals, Couples, and Families
by Richard C. Henriksen Jr. and Derrick A. Paladino

Counseling Multiple Heritage Individuals, Couples, and FamiliesThis book examines the strengths of and the challenges facing multiple heritage individuals, couples, and families and offers a framework for best practice counseling services and interventions specifically designed to meet their needs. Topics covered include identity development; transracial adoptions; and counseling strategies for children, adolescents, college students, adults, couples and families, and GLBT individuals. Poignant case studies and chapter review questions illustrate important concepts and techniques throughout the book.

2009 | 235 pgs
Order #72883
ISBN 978-1-55620-279-7
List Price: $44.95
ACA Member Price: $33.95

Order Today...

Recession's Silver Lining: Positive Impact on Marriages

MarriageIn an examination of the impact the recent recession has had on the quality and stability of marriage, the National Marriage Project of the University of Virginia has found double-edged results. It is a certainty that the recession has brought increased levels of stress to many marriages, especially those in which employment and income has been interrupted or lost by one or both of the marriage partners.

On the other hand, the times offer what the study authors call their "silver lining" finding, namely that many couples credit the recession as strengthening their commitment to marriage and for those considering divorce—a postponement or setting aside of that action. The release of the report was timed to coincide with National Marriage Week USA, which was celebrated during the seven days leading up to Valentine's Day.

National Marriage Project Press Release and Report...

In the News: Obama Details Mental Health Support for Military Families

President Barack Obama has announced a government-wide series of 50 programs and proposals to increase support for U.S. military families. The federal government will focus on four need areas: improving mental health resources for military families, including suicide prevention; ensuring excellence in education for children of service members; developing career and education opportunities for military spouses; and increasing the availability of childcare.

Under the new operational plan, the Department Health and Human Services Department will work with the Defense Department and the Veteran's Administration on programs addressing mental health services and suicide prevention. In a separate but related event in January, the President signed into law the Post/911 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements legislation.

Bloomberg/BusinessWeek Website...

Consults Available for Private Practice Counselors at Conference

Consults AvailableBob Walsh and Norm Dasenbrook, authors of a Counseling Today column on private practice concerns and contributors to the ACA Private Practice Pointers area on, still have consultation slots open at the ACA Conference & Exposition in New Orleans. Whether you are an aspiring or experienced private practice counselor, let Bob and Norm share their wisdom and knowledge about private practice topics and answer your organizational and business development questions. Sign up for a time slot at: or contact Rebecca Daniel-Burke at 800-347-6647, x230 or

Meanwhile, check out our Private Practice Pointers Section...

Register for the ACA Conference & Exposition, March 23-27...

Study Documents High Prevalence of Serious Mental Illness in Nation's Jails

The Justice Center, in partnership with Policy Research Associates, has conducted a five-site study, with funding from the National Institute of Justice, and is reporting new information about the mental health status of men and women entering prison. Their key findings include:

  • 14.5% of men and 31% of women entering the jails studied were found to have serious mental illnesses. These rates are three to six times higher than those found in the general population.
  • The gender difference is particularly important given the rising number of women in U.S. jails.
  • If applied to the 13 million jail admissions reported in 2007, the findings suggest that more than 2 million bookings of a person with a serious mental illness may occur annually.

According to the Department of Justice, the study represents the most reliable estimate in the last 20 years of rates of serious mental illness among adults entering jail.

Department of Justice Website...

Quotable Quotes of Notable People: Winston Churchill on Courage

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."

Winston Churchill, British politician and statesman (1874-1965)

Relevant Research: ADHD Children Likely to Experience Other Conditions

A national survey conducted by researchers based at the University of California, Los Angeles has found that two-thirds of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) possess learning disabilities or other mental health conditions. Overall 67% of the ADHD children studied had one comorbid disorder, 16% had two, and 18% had three or more.

The study, reported in the journal Pediatrics, tied ADHD to an elevated prevalence of the following:

  • Learning disabilities (46%)
  • Conduct disorder (27%)
  • Anxiety (18%)
  • Depression (14%)
  • Speech problems (12%)

MedPage Website...

SAMHSA Sponsors National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day May 3, 2011

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) has identified May 3, 2011 as National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day and is urging professional and public organizations and agencies to engage in outreach activities that day that lead to a better understanding of the mental health issues facing children and youth and how counselors and other caregivers are prepared to address these concerns. The link below offers strategies for how to get involved locally.

SAMHSA Observance Site...

Inside JCD: Spring Reading of Interest

JCDMental health, private practice, and community agency counselors may find the following articles in the spring edition of the ACA's Journal of Counseling and Development (Volume 89, Number 2) of particular interest:

  • Counselor Professional Identity: Findings and Implications for Counseling and Interprofessional Collaboration by Elizabeth A. Mellin, Brandon B. Hunt, & Lindsey M. Nichols
  • Content Analysis of 32 Years of American Counseling Association Convention Programs by Andrew A. Helwig & Lisa L. L. Schmidt
  • Growing Up Perfect: Perfectionism, Problematic Internet Use, and Career Indecision in Emerging Adults by Hana S. Lehmann & Varda Konstam
  • Wellness, Professional Quality of Life, and Career Sustaining Behaviors: What Keeps Us Well? by Gerard Lawson & Jane E. Myers
  • An Investigation of Counselors', Rehabilitation Providers', and Teachers' Perceptions of Mental and Physical Disabilities by Chippewa M. Thomas, Rebecca Curtis & Margaret Shippen
  • Constructivism and Career Decision Self-Efficacy for Asian Americans and African Americans by Tabitha Grier-Reed and Zoila Ganuza
  • Counselors' Perceptions of Ethical Behaviors by Edward S. Neukrug & Tammy Milliken
  • A Content Analysis of LGBTQ Qualitative Research in Counseling: A Ten Year Review by Anneliese A. Singh & Kimber Shelton
  • Models of Sexual and Relational Orientation: A Critical Review and Synthesis by Jeffry L. Moe, Stacee Reicherzer, & Paula J. Dupuy
  • The Voice of the Voiceless: An Interview With Thelma Daley by Angela D. Coker

Note: The above is a partial list of the articles contained in the JCD Spring Edition.

About ACAeNews for Mental Health, Private Practice, and Community Agency Counselors

ACAeNews for Mental Health, Private Practice, and Community Agency Counselors is one of four electronic newsletters that are published three times per year each by the American Counseling Association for the benefit of members working in these unique settings. It is disseminated as an opt-in subscription enewsletter and is a free benefit of ACA membership.

The other three special focus enewsletters are:

  • ACAeNews for School Counselors
  • ACAeNews for Counselor Educators
  • ACAeNews for Counseling Students and New Professionals

Past editions can be found at here.

Any reference to a product, service or activity or listing of a website in this publication 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 Frank Burtnett. All submissions will be subject to review by ACA for accuracy, timeliness, and relevance to the readership and may be edited.

Marcheta P. Evans, 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 2011, 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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