The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) recently celebrated its 40th anniversary at its annual conference in New Orleans. As the only national professional organization representing clinical mental health counselors, AMHCA presented a conference featuring innovative strategies to enhance the profession and the lives of clients. The conference theme was “Building Professional Resilience in Challenging Times” and featured keynote addresses by Drs. Thomas Joiner, Maureen Duffy, and Juliana Ekong as well as Major General Margaret Wilmoth.
More than 450 clinical mental health counselors, counselor educators, and students attended the conference, and Counseling@Northwestern was well represented by Drs. Fran Giordano and Eric Beeson. Dr. Beeson presented two breakout sessions: “Enhancing Resilience Through Biologically Based Counseling” and “Neuroscience-Informed Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Adolescents.” Along with his colleagues, Dr. Beeson focused on building strategies to increase the understanding and application of biologically based counseling. Additionally, Dr. Beeson discussed adolescent counseling applications of neuroscience-informed cognitive-behavior therapy (n-CBT), an innovative model that he created along with his colleagues Drs. Thom Field and Laura Jones.
Additionally, Dr. Beeson’s state AMHCA chapter, the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of North Carolina, received two awards: the 2016 Membership Award and Service to Members Award. When asked about his time at the conference, Dr. Beeson said, “This is my favorite conference and professional organization because we focus directly on strengthening clinical mental health counseling for the benefit of all those we serve.”
Dr. Giordano added, “Every year I am amazed at how much the AMHCA conference offers to those who attend, and this year was no exception. I connected with some old friends and colleagues and made some new ones. I returned with many great ideas and was able to implement several of them directly into both my lectures and my work with clients as soon as I returned home.”