I am sitting In the lobby of the Cherry Valley lodge where our OCA meeting was held waiting for my ride home… I thought I should blog but wasn’t sure what to write about. I do know that I get energized from these types of meetings… just like at ACA… I think it is important to remain connected to others in the field and get involved in committees and such. I encourage anyone who hasn’t gone to an ACA event to definitely attend the one in Cincinnati next March. The time is well spent, attending workshops and networking. But more than that it maintains your professional identity as a counselor and you can walk away with new tools and techniques to use in your practice. If you have something to share you can present at the conference, it’s quite an experience. I presented at the New Orleans conference. It was good experience even though I feel I needed some improvement on my own presenting abilities, at least I conquered my fear of public speaking and can say I did it, put that one on my resume.
I am involved in a lot of committees and try to contribute as much time as I can to the field and incorporate all I learn from others into my own practice with my clients. One workshop I attended at one of the conferences was about LGBTQIA clients. Very timely for me because a colleague of mine and I did a presentation at PFLAG (Parents and friends of lesbian and gays) in order to expand our practice as allies for this minority group. I learned some very good quality advice for working with this population and hope to use it in my practice.
I would like to hear about other experiences of those who have attended ACA conventions and what you have learned. I am already planning for next year in Cincinnati, Ohio. I may even try to present again, it was fun, I have a lot of room for improvement, but I can’t get any better if I don’t continue to try!!
Kimberly Beck is a counselor with a special interest in Self-injury. Other interests are PTSD, trauma, and Borderline personality disorder