American Counseling Association 2016 Conference – Breakout Session Recap
April 18, 2016
The American Counseling Association (ACA), the world’s largest association representing professional counselors in multiple practice settings, held its annual conference from March 31-April 3 in Montreal, Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Counseling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA).
More than 2,500 professional counselors, graduate students, and others attended this year’s conference. The conference offered attendees hundreds of sessions and poster presentations to choose from in more than 30 topics related to all aspects of the counseling field.
Read our recap of the sessions we attended while in Montreal.
Breakout Session: Counseling Men on Health Related Concerns
Speakers: Ed Neukrug, EdD, LPC Bruce Britton, MD Mike Kalkbrenner, MS, NCC Sandy Griffith, MA, NCC
Dr. Ed Neukrug and Dr. Bruce Britton led a session looking at the reasons why men attend counseling and seek health care services at significantly lower rates than women. Due to this, men die five years younger than women, with their early demise being attributable to stress, mental health concerns, and disease. Dr. Neukrug and Dr. Britton looked at 10 common health-related concerns of men, their counseling concerns, and how to attract more men to counseling. In addition, the team presented strategies for cross-collaboration between medical and mental health providers to increase care for men.
“50% of men that just had a heart attack will have depression afterwards.” Dr. Britton #ACAMontreal2016
Breakout Session: Becoming a Professional Counselor
Speakers: Jamie Bludworth, PhD Gerald Corey, EdD
Colleagues, friends, and counselors Dr. Gerald Corey and Dr. Jamie Bludworth discussed a variety of topics related to becoming a professional counselor with graduate students and new professionals. Discussions centered on creating a meaningful professional life, managing your personal values, and common concerns of beginning counselors; managing personal and professional boundaries; and the importance of self-care.
Breakout Session: Emotional Behavior and the Therapeutic Alliance
Speakers: Paul R. Peluso Robert R. Freund Ashley J. Luedke Patricia M. Diaz
The therapeutic relationship is the cornerstone of any effective therapeutic encounter. However, little is known about the effects of specific emotional behaviors of therapists and clients on this important therapeutic factor, or how they can be modified to improve the quality of the relationship. Fifty percent of people who seek counseling never return after the first session — because clients aren’t able to connect with their counselor on a basic human level. Applying John Gottman’s Specific Affect (SPAFF) coding system to the therapeutic relationship, the speakers looked at whether or not they could evaluate the success of a therapeutic alliance based on emotional cues to improve the therapeutic relationship.
#ACAMontreal2016 exciting to see an emerging science starting to make predictions about the quality and development of therapeutic alliance