Candidate Information - Brian Stephen Canfield

The five candidates vying to become the American Counseling Association’s next president-elect were asked to provide their answers addressing several issues of importance to the association and the counseling profession. Additional information for each candidate, including biographical information, qualifications and reasons for seeking office, is published online here. Online voting for all ACA, division and region elections will begin Dec. 1.

Editor’s note: The following answers are published as the candidates submitted them. They have not been edited.

Photo of Brian Stephen Canfield


Counseling (M.A.) and Psychology (B.A.) – Louisiana Tech University
Counseling (Doctor of Education) – Texas A&M University at Commerce

Certification and licenses

Licensed Professional Counselor, LA Board-Approved LPC Supervisor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Psychologist, Master Addiction Counselor

Current position

Private Practice
Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Florida Atlantic University

Professional experience

Thirty years experience as a practicing counselor and counselor educator. Active as a speaker and workshop presenter throughout the USA and internationally in the area of “intercultural counseling”, “systemic family counseling” and “professional practice issues. Organized and led counseling delegations to Cuba, Turkey, Israel, and Rwanda.

Association experience

Service to ACA includes two terms as ACA Treasurer, five years as a member of the ACA Governing Council, seven years on the ACA Executive Committee, service on ACA national committees – including chair of the ACA Financial committee, and previous presidential service in 2007-2008.

ACA/Divison/Branch membership

ACA life member, member of the Florida Counseling Association, Texas Counseling Association, and Louisiana Counseling Association. President of the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors, and member in several ACA national divisions

Awards and honors

FCA Advocate of the Year – Florida Counseling Association (2016), Exceptional Service Award – International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (2014), Fellow of the American Counseling Association (2013), Distinguished Service Award – IAMFC (2013), Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award – Louisiana Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (2012), Leadership, Vision, and Professional Excellence Award – Australian First Nations Cultural Family Therapy and Counseling Association (2007), IAMFC Distinguished Leadership Award (2005). Inducted into Chi Sigma Iota in 1987 (national member certificate #100)


Author or co-author on more fifty scholarly and professional publications including books, book chapters, journal articles, and monographs.


Served as a “keynote” speaker at professional conferences throughout the USA and internationally.

Community service

Board service on several not-for-profit organizations, including service as a founding board member of “Salt World” an NGO addressing poverty alleviation in developing countries.

Qualifications and reasons for seeking office

I am seeking the office of ACA President, at the encouragement of many friends and colleague within the Association who believe I am uniquely qualified to bring effective leadership to our Association at this critical time. In recent years, ACA has experienced a decline in membership. The pay of professional counselors lags behind that of sibling professions and is particularly low for new counseling professionals. We face increased competition from other organizations, with whom we compete for members, conference attendance, and influence.

Having served two terms as ACA Treasurer, and previously served effectively in presidential roles, I would bring to the role of ACA President a depth of experience and insight and a concrete plan for addressing the vital issues which challenge our profession. ACA exists to advance the counseling profession, our members, and the clients we serve. ACA is also a business with an annual budget of over 13 million dollars. As a corporation, we must “do well, in order to “do good.” In my former presidential role, I advocated on behalf of ACA to dissolve the existing insurance structure in order to directly negotiate an insurance contract with HPSO. This action has resulted in an increase in revenue to ACA of more than ten million dollars over the past decade through increased royalties and other financial benefits.

This is a critical time for our Association and our profession. As President, I will advocate for the interests of counselors engaged in private practice and agency work, and build more collaborative relationships between ACA State Branches, Divisions, and ACA. While it would be an honor to serve as ACA President, more importantly it is my hope that my service as President would make a meaningful contribution in shaping future of our profession