ACA Podcast Series


Since 2008, ACA has provided a series of podcasts aimed to help you save time and money as you strive to stay well-informed on professional issues.

These podcasts—prerecorded interviews posted on the ACA website—can be downloaded to your computer so that you can listen to them at your convenience while at home or work. They also can be added to your iPod for use while taking a walk, on the treadmill, in the car, or whenever you have time.

Most podcasts offer opportunities to earn Continuing Education credits. If you are interested in earning CE credits click here.  

The podcasts can also be accessed by visiting our Professional Development Center

Transcripts for select podcasts can be found here.

Member Price: $22.00
Non-Member Price: $32.00

HT059 - Counseling Alaska

Shawnie Olson, MA, LPC

Podcast transcript available by clicking here.

Shawnie Olson, MA, LPC combines her years in school counseling with her knowledge of Alaska to  bring strength to her private practice.  She sees a wide variety of presenting problems.  Although she is steeped in the tradition of Glaser and Reality Therapy, she meets her clients where they are and adjusts her treatment strategies accordingly. She discusses the need for a knowledge of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)  is this land that can have long bouts of dark cold.  She describes counseling in a small town in Alaska, counseling in the wilds of “the bush”, and counseling in the metropolitan atmosphere of Anchorage. She warns new counselors that they really need to visit Alaska and find out about this unusual place before they commit to a job in Alaska.

Presenter: Shawnie Olson, MA, LPC lives in Homer, Alaska. She was recently presented with the President’s Award by Dr. Susan Hammonds-White, president of the American Association of State Counseling Boards. Olson was recognized for her time and energy on behalf of AASCB where she has been involved since her appointment as chair of the Board of Professional Counselors in Alaska, 2005-2013. Olson is the owner of Shawnie Olson Counseling Services, is a licensed professional counselor and has served on the Alaska Board of Professional Counselors, acting as the chair, for eight years. She also has served as president, secretary, consultant and educator for the Alaska School Counselor Association and continues to serve as the group’s marketing liaison.

Among others, Rebecca Daniel-Burke answers the following questions:

  • We, in the lower 48, think of Alaskans as rugged.  Is it hard for these rugged people to admit that they might need counseling?
  • What are the requirements to obtain an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) license in the state of Alaska?
  • Describe the cultural diversity of Alaska.
  • What are the geographical challenges of being an LPC in the state of Alaska?
  • You have a private practice in a small town in Alaska. How is that different than being an LPC in a larger city like Anchorage?
  • You have a counseling 'assistant' in your practice.  Tell me about Skipper and his role in your counseling business.
  • You served on the Alaska Board of Professional Counselors.  How does one become a member of this Board?
  • What kinds of disciplinary issues arose among your licensed counselors in Alaska while you served on the Board?
  • What do you believe LPC's in Alaska need to know or have in place before they begin counseling?
  • I understand that LPCs in Alaska need to have 40 CEUs every two years in order to renew their license.  What are some of the opportunities for CEUs in a state as isolated as Alaska?
  • ACA now has over 55,000 members, most of whom are clinicians, is there anything I have not asked you that you want our members to know?

Running Time: 58:50

Shawnie Olson welcomes any questions about counseling in "The Great Land." Her email address is

MP3, 40.40 MB

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