In Memoriam written by Dr. Howard B. Smith
Dr. William Krieger, a past president of the American Mental Health Counselors Association, died Feb. 10 at age 78. He was one of the individuals instrumental in developing and organizing the National Academy for Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselors, one of the first national certifications for counselors back in the late 1970s. Bill was convinced that a competency-based certification process was essential for the good of the consumers. The administration of that certification has since been moved under the National Board for Certified Counselors as one of its specialty certifications.
Bill also developed what he called “enhancement workshops” for professional counselors to both teach and learn from one another to enhance the skills necessary for a growing profession. He stressed that this necessitated both continuous personal and professional growth for all counselors throughout their respective careers.
As a person, Bill was known for his infectious laugh. He loved the art of making a pun and was just as well known for his feisty personality. Dr. Krieger worked tirelessly throughout the 1990s for counselor licensure, visiting many state legislative bodies to encourage them to pass this vital legislation. Today, that licensure is the only practice credential for counselors that is recognized nationwide across all states and several U.S. territories.
He was concerned about the future of the counseling profession and was often heard saying, “The three most important goals for counselors and the counseling profession are recognition, recognition and recognition.” He was strongly dedicated to the profession and extremely passionate about the quality of its practice.
Dr. Krieger, you will be missed! May you rest in peace.
Dr. Howard B. Smith is a national certified counselor and certified clinical mental health counselor (retired). He is a past president of AMHCA, a former associate executive director for professional affairs for the American Counseling Association and a past chair of the ACA Foundation.