VISTAS Counselor Education and Supervision

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Developing Advocacy Skills: A Program Model

Le’Ann L. Solmonson


A review of the history of the counseling profession reveals a strong professional history of advocacy (Toporek, Lewis, & Crethar, 2009). Although numerous significant individuals have engaged in advocacy work, it has only been embraced as an essential element of the profession in recent years. An increased emphasis on advocacy is evident through professional literature and program offerings at conferences. With this increased emphasis came the acknowledgement of American Counseling Association (ACA) leaders that many counselors do not possess the skills necessary to engage effectively in the work (Goodman, 2009). This acknowledgement resulted in a task force charged with developing the ACA Advocacy Competencies to identify the specific knowledge and skills necessary to equip professionals to serve in the role of advocates (Lewis, Arnold, House, & Toporek, 2002).

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