Pre-Conference Learning Institutes

ACA 2020 Pre-Conference Learning Institutes offer attendees an opportunity to come early and earn up to 8 additional CE credits. Learning Institutes are organized in 5-hour daytime sessions and 3-hour evening sessions. Attendees can learn with well-qualified, highly rated presenters. We host both introductory level and advanced level courses. Class sizes are limited and some fill up fast, so plan to register early to avoid disappointment.

If you are not already registered for the ACA 2020 Conference & Expo, you can sign up for the full conference and/or the pre-conference learning institutes here

Already registered? Here's how to add pre-conference sessions to your current schedule:
1. Login here
2. Select My ACA
3. Select Event Registrations
4. Select the 2020 Conference
5. Use add/remove functions and select the desired Learning Institute

Daytime Pre-Conference Learning Institutes

Thursday, April 16, 2020

9:00 am – 3:30 pm


Program ID #2001

To Tell the Truth: Navigating Court Involvement From Start to Finish

Ann M. Ordway, PhD, Donna S. Sheperis, PhD, Ruth O. Moore, PhD 

Counselors are often called upon to testify in court proceedings involving their clients.  Through this Learning Institute, attendees will have an opportunity to explore intended and unintended court involvement, while becoming more familiar with process and terminology. Attendees will participate in a highly experiential workshop regarding best practices and have an opportunity to practice court skills and increase preparedness through court exercises.


Program ID #2002

The Many Facets of Grief

David Capuzzi, PhD

Because loss is connected with a variety of life experiences, there are many circumstances in which counselors and therapists are called upon to assist clients. Participants will be presented with guidelines and techniques related to working through loss issues. A varied, sometimes experiential, format will be used.


Program ID #2003

Dealing with Clients Suffering from the Effects of Trauma, Rejection, and Other Painful Experiences

Robert E. Wubbolding, EdD   

The WDEP system summarizes reality therapy and is an immediately usable set of skills rooted in five human motivators as described in Glasser’s choice theory. Simulated counseling sessions will illustrate the utility of reality therapy and its seamless integration into cognitive therapy, Adlerian therapy, and brief therapy. Large and small group discussion and plans for implementation facilitate the involvement of attendees.


Program ID #2004

Counseling Theory in Practice

Gerald Corey, EdD, Jamie Bludworth, PhD  

An overview of key concepts and techniques based on psychodynamic, experiential and relationship-oriented, cognitive behavior, postmodern, and integrative approaches to counseling practice will be presented. Emphasis will be on developing a systematic way of drawing on various techniques applicable to counseling diverse client populations. The presenters will interact with the attendees with the aim of making the workshop practical and lively.


Program ID #2005, Advanced

Psychopharmacology for All Counselors: Understanding It from a Neurobiological Foundation

Edward Franc Hudspeth, PhD, Justina Wong

As advocates for clients, counselors should have a foundational understanding of neurobiology and psychopharmacology. The intent of this Learning Institute is to simplify advanced neurobiology and psychopharmacology and provide a foundation for counselor advocacy for the medicated clients. 


Program ID #2006

Tele-Assisted Supervision: Considerations for Supervisees and Supervisors

LoriAnn Stretch, PhD, Susan Foster, PhD

New professionals and supervisors in private practice will examine the use of technology in the delivery of supervision. Presenters will provide an in-depth exploration of the selection, implementation, and evaluation of technology in the delivery of clinical supervision. Presenters will review guidelines for screening supervisors and supervisees and demonstrate was to create an effective technology-assisted supervisory relationship. Attendees will use ethical and legal guidelines to identify potential concerns and develop solutions regarding the use of technology in clinical supervision. Attendees will examine resources for staying current with this rapidly emerging modality. 


Program ID #2007

ACA Code of Ethics: New Perspectives for Practitioners, Educators and Students

John P. Duggan, EdD, Jazmone Wilkerson, JD

This LI will update attendees on the ethical standards of counselors. This LI will explore emerging ethical issues faced by practitioners who counsel unaccompanied minors in detention centers. Discussion about professional values, social media, the imposition of counselor personal values, fee splitting, and other issues will be explored. The ethical concepts of competence, monitoring effectiveness of treatment and the imperative for ongoing consultation by professional counselors will be emphasized. 



Evening Pre-Conference Learning Institutes

Thursday, April 16, 2020

5:00 pm – 8:15 pm


Program ID #2013

Trauma, Addiction, and Treatments that Work

Shannon Karl, PhD   

This Learning Institute addresses the connection between traumatic experiences and the substance-related and addictive disorders enumerated in the DSM-5 and beyond. Best practices in clinical diagnosis and treatment are explored with an emphasis on integrated care teams and evidence-based treatment interventions. The combination of seminar, case study, and discussion will make the training valuable for clinicians, educators, and counselor trainees.


Program ID #2014

Motion Engages Emotion: Bypassing Client Resistance with Experiential Activities

W. Bryce Hagedorn, PhD   

Clients struggle with change—be it grappling with an addiction, navigating a mandatory lifestyle change, or changing a maladaptive behavior pattern. As such, traditional talk therapy aimed at challenging thoughts and behaviors can prove ineffective. Research demonstrates that motion (i.e., through experiential activities) can engage clients’ emotions and help them explore new ways to approach change. Attendees will leave with a bevy of creative exercises. 


Program ID #2016

Ethical Cross-Cultural Supervision

David J. Ford, Jr, PhD, Jason Branch, PhD, Samuel Sanabria, PhD, Matthew Tirrell, MS

The counseling profession is becoming more diverse and, as such, there will be more instances of cross-cultural matching in supervision. This presentation addresses our ethical duty to be culturally-sensitive and provides a framework for being ethical in cross-cultural supervision. The interventions will integrate the Multicultural and Social Justice and Counseling Competencies, cultural broaching, and the multicultural orientation model.


Program ID #2017, Advanced

Ethical, Clinical, and Practical Considerations for Counselor Supervision in a Modern World

Jennifer Nivin Williamson, PhD, Daniel G. Williamson, PhD  

This Learning Institute will focus on the clinical, practical, and ethical considerations involved in providing strong counselor supervision. Special attention will be given to the issues involved in the modern world and professional relationships. Technology, distance counseling, distance supervision, boundaries, and dual relationships will be addressed.


Program ID #2018

Addressing Anxiety: A Primer for Counselors Who Work in Schools

Eunice Humphrey, PhD, Eva M. Gibson, EdD, Carleton Brown, PhD, Maureen Quiles Ponce, PhD, Nancy Carlson, PhD

Anxiety in the schools has myriad causes and presents itself in many ways, especially in this age of social media scrutiny, school shootings, and the prevalence of social injustices experienced by immigrant student populations. Traditional school stressors, including academic grades, college choices, peer relationships, and family issues also continue to be prevalent in schools. This Learning Institute will provide participants with evidence-based strategies and resources, including tools for assessment, to help counselors support students experiencing anxiety.


Program ID #2019

Counselor Educators and Supervisors: Risk Management, Ethics, Gatekeeping and Professional Considerations

Alicia M. Homrich, PhD, Anne "Nancy" M. Wheeler, JD

State and national standards are changing regarding responsibilities of counselor educators and supervisors. This Learning Institute guides both seasoned professionals and those aspiring to these roles, to the changing legal, risk management, regulatory, and ethical landscape. This Learning Institute will provide concrete de-identified case studies, as well as current legal and ethical standards regarding gatekeeping, which are designed to protect the public and safeguard clients. 


Program ID #2020

The Impact of Work-Life Balance on Career Management

Sharon Givens, MS   

Mastering work-life balance is necessary for one to unleash their ultimate career potential. Many people feel like they are constantly juggling and not often fully engaged in their career. Work-life balance is important for good health, and to enable productivity and overall work satisfaction. The presenter will explore and identify the facets of work-life balance that influence career management and describe interventions that cultivate and sustain a high level of career self-actualization.