Candidate Information - Heather Trepal

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 Heather Trepal


Ph.D., Kent State University, Counseling and Human Development (2003)
M.Ed., Community Counseling, Cleveland State University (1998)
B.A., English, The Ohio State University (1994)

Certification and/or Licenses

Licensed Professional Counselor and Board Approved Supervisor (LPC-S, Texas)

Current position

Professor, Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Coordinator, Department of Counseling, University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA)

Professional experience

Professor, UTSA, Department of Counseling, 2004-Present Counselor in a variety of settings including a college counseling center, rape crisis center, and private practice.

Association experience

President, Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES; 2016-2017)
President, Association for Creativity in Counseling (ACC; 2012-2014)
Governing Council Representative (ACC; 2006-2007)
Chair, ACA Graduate Student and Mentoring Taskforce (2010-2011)
Chair, ACA Professional Advocacy Taskforce (2015-2016)
Member, ACA Division/Region Partnership Targeted Task Group on Leader Development (2016-2017)
Member, ACA Professional Standards Committee (2017-2020)
President, Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES; 2013-2014)
President, Texas Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (TACES; 2010-2011)
Co-Chair, Graduate Student Involvement Committee (Texas Counseling Association; 2009-2011)

ACA/Divison/Branch membership

American Counseling Association (ACA)
Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES)
Association for Creativity in Counseling (ACC)
Texas Counseling Association (TCA)
Texas Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (TACES)

Awards and honors

ACA Presidential Award (2016)
Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling/CORE Outstanding Outcome Research Award (2016)
Texas Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Advocacy Award (2015)
Thelma Duffey Vision and Innovation Award – Association for Creativity in Counseling (ACC)(2015)
Adultspan Journal Award (2015)
Dr. Dwight D. Arnold Outstanding Alumnus Award– Kent State University, Department of Counseling and Human Development Service Program (2014)
Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) – Outstanding Article in Counselor Education and Supervision (2012)
Texas Counseling Association (TCA) Distinguished Service Award (2011)
Texas Counseling Association (TCA) Research Award (2010)
Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) Professional Leadership Award (2009)
Association for Creativity in Counseling (ACC) Professional Leadership Award (2006)
Chi Sigma Iota (CSI) International Outstanding Research Award (2005)


Peer-reviewed publications in the areas of non-suicidal self-injury, gender issues, bilingual counselor training, relational development, and counselor education and supervision. 

(Partial list) 1 Book, 48 Journal Articles, 18 Book Chapters

Wester, K., & Trepal, H. (2017). Non-suicidal self-injury: A wellness and developmental approach. Taylor & Francis Press. 
Duffey, T., & Trepal, H. (2016). Introduction to the special section on relational-cultural theory. Journal of Counseling & Development.
Trepal, H., Ivers, N., & Lopez, A. (2014). Students' experiences with bilingual counseling. The Journal for Counselor Preparation and Supervision.
Stark, M., La Guardia, A., & Trepal, H. (2014). Continuing education in supervision: Recommendations from Texas supervisors. Journal of Professional Counseling: Practice, Theory, and Research.
Trepal, H., & Stinchfield, T. (2012). Experiences of motherhood in counselor education. Counselor Education and Supervision.
Trepal, H., Boie, I., & Kress, V. (2012). A relational cultural approach to working with clients with eating disorders. Journal of Counseling & Development.
Trepal, H. (2010). Exploring self-injury through a relational-cultural lens. Journal of Counseling & Development.


Over 50 presentations at the international, national, state, and local levels.

Qualifications and reasons for seeking office

It is an honor to have been nominated to run for the office of President of the American Counseling Association. I have been a member of ACA for over 17 years. I have served the organization and it’s divisions in various capacities. I have served as President of two divisions (ACES, ACC), also serving as the Governing Council representative for ACC. I have chaired two taskforces (Graduate Student and Mentoring; Professional Advocacy) on behalf of ACA and I am currently a member of ACA’s Professional Standards Committee. I have also been active in my state ACA branch, the Texas Counseling Association (TCA), including Co-Chairing the Graduate Student Involvement Committee. 
Great and continued opportunities await the counseling profession. As a passionate advocate for the counseling profession, I would like to bring my vision and tenacity to our organization in this capacity. I have a belief that we need to train our next generation of advocates to support our clients and our profession. The increased need for both licensure portability and parity, defending practice rights, increasing prospects for employment and reimbursement for services are all advocacy opportunities. Most importantly, I am proud to be a professional counselor. It is my hope that we can continue to demonstrate to the public the wonderful work that counselors do across all professional settings.
My professional association experiences have prepared me well to serve in the office of President. In particular, serving as the President of Association for Counselor Education and Supervision, and the President of the Association for Creativity in Counseling allowed me to see the impact that our volunteers have on a professional membership organization. It is an honor to have the opportunity to work alongside dedicated students, volunteer members, and professional staff to advance the counseling profession.