Founded in 1991 | A division of the American Counseling Association


The 2021 Virtual Conference will offer the following breakout sessions.  All sessions will take place on either February 18th or 19th - a finalized schedule of sessions will be added to the site in the near future.

Enhancing Cultural Competence: How Counselors can better Support Black Women in STEM

Presenter(s):

Chelsea Scoffone
University of Georgia

Abstract: College counselors are on the frontlines of student mental health and have the ability to impact the trajectory of students through outreach and support. With the increase in the percentages of Black women within higher education, it is crucial for college counselors to develop a strong multicultural and social justice awareness. The current session will focus on how college counselors can better support Black women who are often placed at the margins due to their intersecting identities. Research has shown that Black women face higher rates of discrimination and unique forms of racism and sexism which significantly impact their mental health and persistence in STEM. This session with discuss research related to racial battle fatigue, intersectional oppression, and other systemic barriers Black college women face in pursuit to STEM. Additionally, the second half of the presentation will cover recommendations for college counselors in how they can provide more equitable support of Black women utilizing strategies such as the MSJCC, ACA Advocacy Competencies, critical consciousness, and other culturally responsive, strengths-based approaches.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify and describe  academic and non-academic barriers which impact the success and well-being of Black college women
  • Develop and apply strategies for employing inclusive, strengths-based counseling interventions for Black college women
  • Apply the MSJCC and ACA competencies to counseling interventions with Black women who are pursuing a degree in STEM

Distance Counseling in the COVID Era: Lessons Learned and Forging Ahead

Presenter(s):

Kathryn Alessandria
West Chester University

Christopher Corbett
Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

Topic(s):

  • Counseling Theory/Practice
  • Counselor Professional Identity and Practice Issues

Abstract: This session will introduce the interdisciplinary Higher Education Mental Health Alliance (HEMHA), which includes 9 organizations that focus on higher education policy and university/college mental health.  This collaboration has resulted in several free white papers useful to practitioners. We will revisit the Distance Counseling Guide and solicit input on Guide updates that may be needed in light of the widespread use of telemental health during the pandemic. This interactive presentation will review some of the ethical and legal issues that arose from the quick shift to online counseling in March and the unique issues for college counselors related to practicing across state lines.  We will highlight key content on this topic, including the recent legislation, competing ethical standards, balancing the current higher education landscape (last minute decisions about health precautions and in-person activities, and discuss the long-term impact of the pandemic on the practice of college counseling. The presentations will be delivered by visual slides, didactics, and interactive discussion.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain awareness of what the Higher Education Mental Health Alliance is and how to access the free resources it provides;
  • Identify logistical and ethical dilemmas related to distance counseling during a pandemic
  • Discuss their own experiences with distance counseling and the quick shift from choice to sole service modality option

Zooming Through 2020: The Transformation of Counseling Center Outreach

Presenter(s):

Christopher Edwards
Western Washington University

Topic(s):

  • Wellness and Prevention

Abstract: Drawing from the collective wisdom of colleagues, listservs, behavioral health forecasts, and guidance from local and state agencies, the Counseling Center at Western Washington University set out to go boldly where we had never gone before – virtual delivery of care. Like most centers across the country, we were faced with the challenge of not only pivoting to telehealth at lightning speed but also finding creative, innovative, and engaging ways to offer outreach programming. Programming that met the demands of 2020: Prioritizing support for BIPOC students, combating Zoom fatigue, and fostering human connection through a screen (all while living amidst a global pandemic and national unrest related to racial injustice). Starting before the fall quarter officially began, we developed campaigns intended to remind students of our presence (e.g. "We're Here for You" workshops and social media marketing), pushed our creative limits by developing a series of virtual care packages, and outlined an expansive array of workshops. To augment services even further, we joined with campus partners to offer a series of community check-ins focused on support to specific groups (e.g. student veterans, LGBTQ+ students, BIPOC students, and students residing on-campus).

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will describe novel approaches to engage students through virtual outreach and programming.
  • Participants will discuss an organizing framework for outreach within college mental health.

Developing a Culturally Humble Supervisor: Implications for Personal Development, the Supervisory Alliance, and Client Care

Presenter(s):

Ashlyn Jones
Cairn University

Topic(s):    

  • Clinical Supervision and Training

Abstract: Humility has often been neglected in character development research due to measurement and definition issues. Its most recent application focuses on "cultural humility" in supervision and positions it as essential to professional functioning, cultural sensitivity, and the provision of competent care to diverse populations. A focus on the development of humility in training of supervisors elicits intrapersonal growth through self-reflection, openness to others, and respectful engagement between members of different cultures.   In supervision, the supervisor endeavors to assist the supervisee in forming an enduring personal and professional character. Humility supports best practices through strengthening the supervisory alliance, enhancing multicultural competence, enhancing receptivity to feedback, and encouraging a growth mindset. Additionally, different forms of humility are needed at various points in supervision. Supervisors will vary by degree of cultural humility, type of humility most naturally expressed, and the display of humility in a given situation.   This session aims to bridge that gap at a critical juncture in professional growth by providing the opportunity to identify humility-based approaches to self-of-the-supervisor development, actively engage with the concept and components of cultural humility, and apply culturally humble prompts within supervision and clinical sessions to enhance client care.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to summarize the core components of humility and assess the presence or absence of humility in their personal work as supervisors.
  • Participants will be able to explain the relevance of cultural humility in the training of clinical supervisors and the maintenance of the supervisory alliance.
  • Participants will assess supervision vignettes for evidence of cultural humility and practice culturally humble supervisory responses in dyads.

Maximizing Growth-Fostering Relationships in the Virtual Setting

Presenter(s):

Angela Kaloudis
The Renfrew Center & Boston University School of Medicine

Topic(s):

  • Counseling Theory/Practice 

Abstract: Due to the pandemic, college counselors were challenged to adapt quickly in order to meet the needs of their clients. Now, many months into the pandemic with no immediate end in sight, college counselors are tasked with engaging their clients virtually in an ongoing way.  This workshop will explore relational resilience, the movement towards growth-fostering connections, and how to effectively have family involved in therapy within a virtual format. An emphasis will be placed on staying relational while attending to the unique needs of the college students we serve. It will provide skills to virtually address treatment-interfering behaviors and enhance opportunities for recovery.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to apply growth fostering skills to connect with clients virtually.
  • Participants will be able to list two ways to engage family within a virtual setting.

Radical Healing: Resources to Restore Oppressed Bodies and Minds

Presenter(s):

Sarah Godoy
Western Washington University

Chris Edwards
Western Washington University

Kelsey Johnson
Western Washington University

Daniel Mai
Western Washington University

Topic(s):   

  • Wellness and Prevention

Abstract: In a time when students are having to endure prolonged stress, both from a pandemic and the perpetuation of racism, they need to heal, not just be treated. The shift to remote services created an opportunity to rethink what mental health support truly is and how we as university counseling center professionals deliver those services. This session will explore how to support student healing by stepping away from individual interventions based in a tradition of Whiteness and towards a collective, culturally-responsive way of care (French et al., 2020). We will describe how to create services that soothe bodies exhausted from generations of trauma (Macy et al., 2018), give breathing space in a time when the breath is an act of resistance (Junker, 2020), and forge communities despite the physical distance between us.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify two ways that usual mental health interventions have centered individualism and Whiteness.
  • Identify three ways to provide culturally-responsive healing services to university students.

Antiracist Approaches for Understanding Body Image and Wellness of Black Student Athletes

Presenter(s):

JESSENIA GARCIA
Texas Woman's University

Brittany Collins
University of Cincinnati

Abstract: This presentation will describe ways college counselors can work with Black student athletes using an antiracist lens. The impact of intersectionality of multiple identities(race, gender, sex, social economic status, body size, culture) are considered as core aspects of client conceptualization and healing. Black student athletes navigate conflicting worlds and expectations and are often an underserved population in mental health services. The presenters provide discussion on the impact of historical trauma, anti-Blackness, and current systems of oppression on body image and mental health outcomes. Implications for individual and group counseling procedures will be provided.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will discuss considerations for effective multiculturally competent services to Black student athletes
  • Participants will be able to conceptualize clients experiencing an antiracist lens and articulate culturally appropriate interventions
  • Participants will analyze historical contexts of culturally diverse groups to understand unique experiences of Black student athletes
  • Participants will apply how antiracist practice can be applied to their work as counselors or group counseling leaders

Racial Trauma and the Dyadic Counseling Relationship: Cross Racial Counseling During Racial Unrest

Presenter(s):

Alexis Crump
North Carolina Central University

Kyla Kurian
North Carolina Central University

Topic(s):

  • Counseling Theory/Practice

Abstract: Research indicates that people can experience race-based trauma, which can have profound effects on psychological and physical well-being, and can also impact communities as a whole.  For some African Americans, the threat and experience of police brutality and discrimination can be experienced individually or vicariously, and can cause anxiety and trauma1.Latinx immigrants living in the USA often experience the negative effects of systemic oppression, which may lead to psychological distress, including ethno-racial trauma2 Further, the coronavirus pandemic has caused an increase of hostility in the USA toward Asian Americans3. Seeking counseling may be particularly difficult for students of color attending institutions with predominantly White counselors. The purpose of this presentation is to present research regarding minority students and their experiences with racial trauma while seeking counseling services in colleges and universities. A case study example will be used to demonstrate step-by-step techniques and skills to help college counselors a) create greater awareness of how race may impact the therapeutic alliance, b) create a "safe" environment to process racial trauma, c) understand the cultural and historical context of the lives of students of color and d) employ best practices when working with diverse clients in a time of racial unrest.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn best practices when the race and ethnicity of a counselor can't be chosen and the implications for college counselors and students.
  • Participants will learn the definition of Race-Based Traumatic Stress.
  • Participants will discuss how college students of color experience racial trauma and the difficulty of working with racialized defense.
  • Participants will understand the role of intergenerational trauma as an important consideration when seeking to understand the experiences of people of color within the United States.

Virtual Group Therapy Essentials

Presenter(s):

Rebecca Smith
Georgia  Southern University

Topic(s):

  • Counseling Theory/Practice 

Abstract: This presentation will introduce an overview of how to provide effective group therapy online.  An introduction to group therapy will be provided.  Participants will focus on the unique opportunities and challenges in building a healthy group alliance with members at a distance. Multicultural concerns will also be addressed to build a healthy alliance between group members. The presentation will conclude with participants being able to identify and discuss the obstacles in providing group therapy via technology and how to overcome them.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to describe various methods of providing effective group therapy.
  • Participants will be able to identify how online group therapy impacts the relationship and create a healthy group alliance with members.
  • Participants will be able to discuss how multicultural concerns can affect the group dynamics and how to address it effectively in an online format.
  • Participants will recognize the barriers in online group therapy and review how to overcome them.

Screaming in Silence: Recognizing & Coping with Race-Related Trauma and Stress

Presenter(s):

Yannick Ladson
Mercer County Community College

Topic(s):

  • Wellness and Prevention

Abstract: We wear the mask that grins and lies..." Students and colleagues wear masks yet suffer in silence. Due to institutional and scientific racism in addition to stigma, people of color are the least likely to seek mental health treatment. Symptoms of race based trauma include depression, anger, and low self-esteem and it can cause psychological impairment (Carter, 2007). This session will focus on how to identify race-related and multigenerational trauma, triggers, effects, and coping strategies. We will discuss self-care for those who are feeling fatigued as advocates, allies, and activists.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the differences between race-based trauma and stress, race-related post-traumatic stress disorder, and racial battle fatigue.
  • Learn coping strategies and techniques through demonstration; such as healing circle, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation.
  • Learn ways to support the college community in a virtual environment.

Belongingness on Campus: Programming to Enhance Connectivity and Increase Student Mental Health

Presenter(s):

Diana Bull
San Diego State University

Todd Carson
San Diego State University

Topic(s):

  • Counseling Theory/Practice    

Abstract: The presentation will discuss a novel approach to prevention that applies psychological principles to increase connection, decrease loneliness, and improve resiliency of college students. This interactive and experiential presentation will discuss relevant data about the needs and strengths of the current generation, program events (virtually and in person) and social media strategies for overall campus and at-risk student groups. Participants will also have the opportunity to discuss the applicability at their institution.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will understand the changing social practices and related mental health concerns of GenerationZ/iGen college students.
  • Participants will be able to apply the  programmatic concepts and learnings of SDSU's Aztecs Reaching Aztecs to increase the reach and efficiency of their Counseling Center's programing and resources.

Hope and healing: Promoting mental health and wellness for student athletes of color

Presenter(s):

Na'imah (she, her, hers) Sedegah
North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University

Topic(s):    

  • Wellness and Prevention

Abstract: Maintaining hope during tough times can be difficult, but it can be even more difficult for student-athletes during the height of a global pandemic and social justice movement. Unlike other college students, student-athletes may face an additional set of complex demands, stresses, and challenges arising from their involvement in a competitive sport. This will highlight several factors that contribute to personal and psychological problems of college student-athletes, particularly student-athletes of color.  This session will explore current mental health trends and offer ways for American counseling centers and other campus partners to engage, instill hope and promote healing for student-athletes during unprecedented times.

Learning Objectives:

  • Summarize mental health trends and barriers to care among collegiate student-athletes of color.
  • Identify signs of distress in student-athletes of color with potential mental health concerns.
  • Provide strategies to reduce barriers, instill hope and assist student-athletes of color with the healing process.
  • Review and support of on-campus and community resources for addressing student-athlete mental health and wellness.

Motivational Interviewing and COVID-19: Keeping students safe on campus.

Presenter(s):

Kevin Doyle
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Ren Brown
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Lindsay Webster
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Elizabeth O'Brien
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Topic(s):

  • Counseling Theory/Practice   
  • Wellness and Prevention

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed life on campus.  As students return to campus the 2020-2021 academic year, they have had to consider their responsibility how best to ensure their safety and reduce the spread of the disease. This can be particularly difficult for individuals who are comparably at low risk for the negative outcomes associated with COVID-19, seeing as many of the policies set in place to stem the spread of disease (i.e. social distancing, mask wearing, etc) have been linked to increases in stress and anxiety.  Motivational interviewing can provide a framework to guide these conversations with our students and help them develop motivation and insight into their decisions regarding public health measures and the steps that they can take to mitigate the potential harm to self and others. In this interactive session, the presenters will highlight the importance of the counselor's role in reducing risk on campus, review the processes of motivational interviewing and demonstrate how MI can be applied to students struggling to adhere to public health guidelines.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize the importance of the counselor's role in reducing risk on campus
  • Understand the processes of Motivational Interviewing
  • Apply MI to situations where to students struggling to adhere to public health guidelines

Using Community Partnerships and Innovation in Telemental Health to Remove Barriers for Students and Counselors-in-Training

Presenter(s):

Nicholaus Erber-LaPierre
Central Michigan University

Michael Verona
Central Michigan University

Amy Goeth
Mid-Michigan College

Ellen Armbruster
Central Michigan University

Reuben Mwangi
Central Michigan University

Topic(s):

  • Clinical Supervision and Training
  • Community College Focus

Abstract: The landscape of college counseling has been forever impacted by COVID-19. The sudden onset of a pandemic and resulting public health measures created an immediate and urgent need to address two issues: 1) the continued education of students in masters-level counseling programs; and 2) the increased mental health needs of neighboring community colleges that lack sufficient resources to provide mental health services to their students. Telemental health services are both desirable by college students (Toscos, et al., 2018) and a viable alternative to in-person sessions by increasing accessibility to students who cannot meet in person (Nobleza, et al., 2018). To address these issues, the Central Michigan University (CMU) Counseling Program and Mid-Michigan College (Mid) formed a community partnership that provided Mid students access to telemental health (TMH) services and removed the barrier CMU Counselors-in-Training (CITs) experienced in accumulating direct practicum hours. Both institutions were able to navigate the challenges of physical distancing and, with minimal disruption, maintain clinical services, and the education of CITs. The collaborative model that the CMU continues to develop is a transferable model for other college counseling clinics that continue to struggle in the new environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learners will describe the steps taken to implement telemental health certification among faculty and staff in college counseling clinics.
  • Learners will discuss the legal and ethical requirements of maintaining clinical services through telemental health procedures.
  • Learners will explain the supervision requirements of providing triadic and individual supervision to CITs and clinical staff in college counseling clinics.

The Power of Connection and Community: Supporting College Student Recovery in the Time of COVID-19

Presenter(s):

Eran Hanke
University of Northern Iowa

Becki Elkins
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Topic(s):

  • Counseling Theory/Practice     
  • Wellness and Prevention

Abstract: While institutions often focus on prevention to help students make responsible choices related to alcohol and drug use, a number of students attend college already addressing or struggling to address substance use disorders. The presenters conducted a phenomenological qualitative research study to better understand the experiences of college students attempting to maintain sobriety without the support of a collegiate recovery program. Thirteen college students attending three different non-recovery-program institutions shared their stories of substance use, sobriety, and recovery. Participants' stories included polysubstance use, multiple attempts at college, loss and trauma, and co-occurring mental health concerns.  Among the key themes that emerged, students described the significance of belonging (i.e., feeling respected, valued, accepted, and needed) and the significance of community (i.e., building new connections, developing sober relationships, creating and using support networks). The presenters will share implications for counseling practice drawn from these results and the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will describe challenges to college student sobriety.
  • Participants will describe models of collegiate recovery and counselors' role in supporting students in recovery.
  • Participants will discuss implications of COVID-19 for maintaining sobriety.
  • Participants will identify (individual, group, and psychoeducational) strategies to assist students in recovery.

ACCA Diversity and Inclusion Mentorship Networking

Presenter(s):

Jessenia Garcia
Texas Woman's University

Brittany Collins
University of Cincinnati
  

Abstract: The ACCA Diversity and Inclusion Committee welcomes members with a shared passion for social justice and antiracist practices in college counseling to meet and network. The year 2020 has evolved and brought to light many injustices from health disparities, class differences, environmental justice, to the Black Lives Matter movement. As clinicians, we value connection and collaboration. The D&I committee will create a space for those with shared values to break out into rooms, meet one another, and establish peer to peer mentoring. Those who are interested in the session will be asked to fill out a questionnaire to help facilitate pairings.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participant will create meaningful connections with others in pursuit of equity and equality.
  • Participants will prepare a questionnaire for follow-up mentorship meetings
  • Participants will engage in critique of conformative clinic practice and reflect on social justice frameworks.

Telemental Health (TMH) with BIPOC amid COVID-19:  Implications for clinical practice

Presenter(s):

Danielle LaSure-Bryant
Prince George's Community College

Topic(s):

  • Counseling Theory/Practice

Abstract: The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic highlighted social, racial and health disparities already faced by BIPOC.  Disparities in issues related to healthcare, economic gain, personal safety and racial discrimination may have a disproportionately adverse impact on the mental health of BIPOC (Purtle 2020).  Despite these dynamics, BIPOC have been said to underutilize and have more barriers to healthcare, including mental health (Novacek et al. 2020).    The pandemic also ushered in telemental health (TMH) as a standard method for delivering mental health services.  Researchers López, Qanungo, Jenkins, and Acierno (2018) suggest that TMH can be an effective means of engaging BIOPC in the therapeutic process.    In the aftermath of the pivot to TMH, practitioners continue to need information, training and support.  This training is for individuals who use TMH to provide therapy for BIPOC adversely affected by COVID-19.  Strategies for engagement, assessment and intervention will be presented.

Learning Objectives:

  • Assess how COVID-19 exacerbated the differences in mental health care for BIPOC.
  • Identify direct repercussions COVID-19 had on the delivery of telemental health (TMH) services.
  • Discuss Clinical strategies for engagement and intervention with BIPOC using TMH.

Introduction to CAS Standards for Counseling Services: Uses for the College Counseling Centers

Presenter(s):

Lisa Adams
University of West Georgia

Perry Francis
Eastern Michigan University

Topic(s):

  • Administrative
  • Research and Program Evaluation
  • Accreditation

Abstract: The Council for the Advancement for Standards in Higher Education has well developed specialty standards for college counseling centers that can be used in numerous ways including advocating for support for the center, self-assessment, program evaluation, outcome research, and staff development. This presentation will provide the participants with the necessary information to begin the process of planning a CAS self-study including tailoring it to meet the diverse needs of the profession.

Learning Objectives:

  • To increase the knowledge of CAS standards and guidelines, particularly as related to Counseling Services, and to develop familiarity with their uses.
  • To develop awareness of CAS and of the functional area standards
  • To develop awareness of CAS and of the functional area standards
  • To develop comfort with using learning and development outcomes in counseling practice

Moving Beyond Yalom: Integrating Multiple Group Theory Trainings in University Counseling Center Training Programs.

Presenter(s):

Vincent Dehili
University of South Florida

Topic(s):

  • Counseling Theory/Practice        
  • Clinical Supervision and Training

Abstract: No one could argue about the positive influence Irvin Yalom has contributed to the field of group therapy with his seminal texts by streamlining the diverse breadth of literature into distilled common therapeutic factors that can be applied to as guiding principles across a variety of types of groups and settings. For a large majority of doctoral psychology training programs, Yalom has become synonymous with group therapy with approximately ~79% of group counseling courses utilizing his book as their primary text and watching his clinical vignettes as a model of how to be an effective group leader. Primary theoretical orientations taught in group therapy classes was surveyed to be 61% eclectic and 29% existential/relational. Increased value is given to teaching common factors and integrative models of understanding rather than exploring the depths of mastering specific theoretical orientations. This presentation will outline and demonstrate the Summer 2020 Group Theory Internal Rotation piloted at the University of South Florida's Counseling Center Internship program. In addition to structural and information regarding the process, I will provide a brief demonstration group to illustrate some of the principles/skills in a manner to highlight and deepen understanding of the traits and gifts of unique group theories.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe at least three benefits of teaching multiple specific theoretical models of group therapy compared to common factors.
  • Compare aspects of theory, interventions and leadership styles between multiple group theories to the traditional interpersonal process style (Yalom).

Helping College Students Navigate the "New Normal": Counselor and Counselor Educator Perspectives

Presenter(s):

Jody Vernam
Grove City College

Veronica Conley
Liberty University

Samuel Lima
Praxis Wellness, LLC

Spellman Kimberly

Joy Mwendwa
Liberty University

Topic(s):

  • Counseling Theory/Practice    
  • Wellness and Prevention

Abstract: The disruption brought about by the ongoing pandemic has precipitated a rapid change of focus for undergraduate and graduate students, resulting in a "new normal" of multiple academic, financial, and social challenges.  In response to the stressors of the pandemic and the cultural tensions associated with systemic disparities for minority populations, college students have embraced different coping behaviors such as seeking social support or escape-avoidance.  Counselors can help college students identify effective coping strategies to counter reactions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and to initiate normal patterns of activity that are aligned with the client's core values.   The presenters, who include licensed counselors, a counselor educator, and counselor educators in training—all who have experiences in teaching and/or counseling college students, will identify the challenges of the "new normal" and will use case studies to conceptualize college student's coping patterns.  Presenters will also share strategies and tools that college counselors can use such as therapy related apps, online programs, and telehealth.  Further, college counseling best practices, and counselor and counseling educator implications will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize challenges for college students created and exacerbated by both the pandemic and the cultural tensions associated with systemic disparities for minority populations.
  • Describe and apply the eight coping behavior areas from coping process theory to conceptualize college student coping in response to the "new normal."
  • Identify the effect that internalized alarm reactions have on intra and interpersonal dynamics and implement effective coping strategies.
  • Discuss strategies for delivery of mental health services to college students in the "new normal."
  • Highlight college counseling best practices, and counselor and counselor educator implications.

Deconstructing Negative Stereotypes about Black women: Implications for Clinical Treatment.

Presenter(s):

Portia Allie-Turco
SUNY Plattsburgh

Topic(s):

  • Counseling Theory/Practice        

Abstract: In the aftermath of slavery and the socio-political effects, Black women have become the victims of destructive stereotyping in mainstream American culture.  The "Mammy," the "Jezebel," and the "Sapphire" (Angry Black woman) are three psychologically harmful stereotypes of Black womanhood.  They  characterize Black women as aggressive, overbearing, self-sacrificing or sexually depraved.  These stereotypes and the lack of knowledge about trauma survival mechanisms has significant implications for how Black women are understood, engaged, and treated in a therapeutic context.  Furthermore anti-Black microaggressions, misogynoir, and racial battle fatigue are important determinants for understanding how the "Angry Black Woman" and the "Strong Black woman" stereotypes affect the professional, personal and educational experiences of Black women.  Successful mental health intervention requires cultural competence and trauma informed skills to directly address the complexities of providing psychotherapy for Black women.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the socio-political history contributing to the negative stereotypes about Black womanhood
  • Explain the intrapsychic and interpersonal effects of these stereotypes on health and wellbeing
  • Apply culturally sustaining interventions and trauma-informed models in conceptualizing and proving treatment to Black women

Maximizing Your Data to Better Serve Diverse Students in a COVID World

Presenter(s):

Christina Cendejas
University of Oregon Counseling Services

Yahaira Garcia
University of Oregon Counseling Services

Alisia Caban
University of Oregon Counseling Services

Topic(s):

  • Administrative
  • Research and Program Evaluation

Abstract: Rapid changes in counseling services due to the COVID-19 pandemic have created uncertainty regarding access and utilization of teletherapy. Further, while satisfaction with teletherapy is generally comparable to in-person services (Jenkins-Guarnieri et al., 2015), research has yet to explore how a pandemic impacts client satisfaction. University of Oregon's Counseling Services (UCS) surveyed students who attended in-person services just prior to the pandemic. After the campus transitioned to remote services, we conducted a modified survey for students who accessed teletherapy. Students were surveyed about satisfaction with services, barriers to services, and impacts of sociopolitical events (e.g. COVID-19, Black Lives Matter movement, immigration policy changes) on mental health. Survey results will be presented to better understand how in-person and teletherapy services influence client satisfaction. We will also compare access and utilization of services between Fall 2019 and Fall 2020, highlighting client demographics. We will share how data informed changes to UCS clinical and outreach services to better serve and support our diverse students, and how you can use your data to do the same. In the midst of so much uncertainty, data-driven decision-making can be the key to approaching chaotic times in a proactive rather than reactive manner.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe how satisfaction with pre-COVID in-person services compares to satisfaction with teletherapy services during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the experience of marginalized students.
  • Identify potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the utilization of counseling services among specific demographic groups.
  • Assess how data can be utilized to inform changes to counseling center clinical and education and prevention outreach services.

U Good F.A.M?

Presenter(s):

Kha' Sadler
Rowan University

Denzel Moore
Rowan University

Topic(s):

  • Wellness and Prevention

Abstract: In recent years, there has been an increasing uptick of mental health issues amongst college students. Life stressors coupled with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, trauma, and suicidal ideation, plague at least 3 out of 5 of this nation's college student population (Henriques, 2018; Healthy Minds Survey, 2019).  In a recent Harris Poll conducted by The Steve Fund and The Jed Foundation (2017), with equal samples of African American, Latinx, White, and Asian American college students, found that in comparison to White students, students of color were less likely to describe their campus as inclusive and typically taking a "one size fits all approach" to student engagement. When pairing these numbers and research with the disparaging concerns that impact the mental wellness of students of color, many of which are only counted within a general population, prove a need for specialized programs that focus with more intentionality on supporting students of color.  U Good F.A.M?â„¢, LLC leans on research that supports students' needs and the structures that encourage unique problem solving, normalize help-seeking behaviors and attitudes, identify specific nuances to mental health barriers, and encourage an overall positive view of their racial-ethnic identity.

Learning Objectives:

  • Enhance participants knowledge about cultural determinants that contribute, influence, and impact the emotional and mental health of students of color
  • Increase participants understanding about how to promote and support the mental health of students of color and the positive role they can play in their overall well-being on college campuses
  • Discuss how the U Good F.A.M.? model has been implemented at Rowan University and the necessary steps in offering the program at other colleges and universities.

"Healing Spaces" as a Means of Responding to Health and Human Rights Crises, during a Global Pandemic

Presenter(s):

Sunil Obediah
California State University, Northridge

Patricia Alford-Keating
California State University, Northridge

Paulette Theresa-Schectel
California State University, Northridge

Freddie Sanchez
California State University, Northridge

Topic(s):

  • Counseling Theory/Practice

Abstract: This program will explicate one campus' response to the overwhelming needs of college students, amidst the global pandemic, racial injustice, human rights concerns, and economic and sociopolitical distress. Presenters will discuss an innovative "Healing Space" model using a large group conducted virtually over Zoom.    This program will include a panel discussion followed by a demonstration group. The panel will describe the "Healing Space" approach, discuss the need for "Healing Spaces," explain how they are carried out, and discuss the role of campus partners, as well as technology management. During the "Healing Space" demonstration, participant volunteers will create their own "Healing Space," facilitated by the presenters. Participants will discuss the impact of continuously helping others, while contending with personal duress, especially given their own life circumstances and identities. Through this experiential component, attendees will gain first-hand knowledge of how to carry out a "Healing Space," enabling them to replicate this unique format on their own campuses. Time will be set aside for debriefing and questions.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will obtain knowledge of a large group format outreach model within a remote experience context.
  • Participants will learn how to facilitate a large group healing space designed to address the needs of marginalized communities.

Encouraging Counselor Wellness: Navigating through the Challenges of Working Remotely during a Pandemic!

Presenter(s):

SNEHA NAYAR-BHALERAO
University of Houston - Victoria

Topic(s):        

  • ·         Wellness and Prevention

Abstract: Professional counselors are often exposed to demanding life situations and overwhelming emotions that may result in burnout. While counselors often promote self-care, they struggle to practice regular wellness. The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), had a substantive impact on individual's mental health, thereby increasing the needs for mental health services. Counselors experienced a heightened level of work-pressure and distress as they adapted to providing telehealth counseling to an increasing number of people. Overall counselor wellness was impacted as they navigated through the varied challenges of working remotely such as limited face-to-face interaction, poor network, multiple tele-health trainings, social isolation, emotional exhaustion, and fulfilling personal commitments. This interactive presentation, will shed light on the many challenges of providing therapeutic services remotely and its impact on counselor wellness. Participants will learn varied strategies to maintain counselor self-care and create a wellness plan as they continue to adapt to a new normal.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn about the many challenges of working remotely as a counselor.
  • Participants will learn about the importance of counselor wellness during a pandemic.
  • Participants will learn about different strategies for healing and promoting wellness for counselors as they help others heal during COVID- 19.

Mass Trauma, Vicarious Grief, Anticipatory Grief, and Ambiguous Loss: Reflections on the Unprecedented Impact of Grief and Loss Reactions to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Racial Conflicts, Job Loss, Political Unrest, and Uncertain Times

Presenter(s):

Kristin Erickson
Bellevue University

Topic(s):

  • Counseling Theory/Practice        
  • Wellness and Prevention

Abstract: We are living in a rapidly changing world of traumatic, painful mass scale loss looms in the air. Hearts are heavy and many feel helpless and overwhelmed as they watch in anticipation, wondering what is store for them and their future as they adjust to a new "normal," which feels anything but normal.  Social distancing and Isolation add to the complexity. Individuals are dying in high numbers around the globe on a daily basis, and sadly, many individuals are dying alone. Add other tangible and intangible losses on top of that such as loss of jobs, conflicts and riots related to race, fears associated with political unrest, high stress of being back on campus with rising COVID-19 numbers, and it is understandable that many individuals are in crisis, and feeling extremely overwhelmed, fearful, and anxious.  In the presentation we will discuss the complexities of the unique, unprecedented aspects to coping with grief and loss that impact us all. We will explore various therapeutic interventions and other ways to help give voice to honor and mourning the myriad of unique losses and explore self-care strategies to help stay centered amidst the chaos around us.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define and describe vicarious grief, mass trauma, anticipatory grief, ambiguous grief and other complexities in relation to unprecedented situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic, racial trauma and discord, political unrest, job loss, and uncertain times
  • Explain therapeutic interventions and other ways to help students give voice to these grief and loss experiences.
  • Describe various self-care strategies for helpers assisting and providing support to those mourning such unique losses.

Reimagining Allyship Through Storytelling

Presenter(s):

Sean Moundas
University of Pittsburgh

Ahmed Ghuman
University of Pittsburgh

Abstract: This session will reimagine allyship through storytelling. Participants will have an opportunity to share their personal stories of allyship and how they impact their intersecting identities and life experiences.  Further reflecting on these stories, Facilitators will guide a discussion to identify barriers that impede allyship and explore factors that facilitate their role as an ally.  Lastly, Facilitators will provide participants with an ally toolkit to guide their development.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will recognize their personal stories of allyship and explore how they impact their intersecting identities and life experiences.
  • Participants will identify barriers that impede allyship while exploring factors that facilitate participants' roles as allies.
  • Participants will create a toolkit to facilitate their development as an ally.

Developing a Culture of Resilience

Presenter(s):

Billy Palmer
Ringling College of Art & Design

Lauren Levine
Ringling College of Art & Design

Terry Brown
Ringling College of Art & Design

Topic(s):   

  • Wellness and Prevention

Abstract: Developing a counseling center's culture can be difficult, even without a pandemic. This breakout session will include a discussion about the creative ways through which the Peterson Counseling Center at Ringling College of Art & Design has continued to build a community, on and off campus, that has a focus on campus-wide resilience. We will discuss our Artist-in-Wellness program, which is a resilience ambassadorship, our Resilience book club, and our multiple and varied efforts at fostering that sense of connection and support on campus. We will discuss the extant brain and psychological science regarding resilience and how understanding that science empowers us to have a cogent rationale behind our clinical and outreach interventions with students. Finally, we will discuss a future of resilience programming that is both informed by science and by compassion.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe major themes in the psychological and neuroscientific research regarding resilience.
  • Create plans to implement resilience science in counseling and outreach.
  • Discuss resilience programming that is itself resilient, even during difficult times.

Creating Safer Spaces - Broaching Race, Ethnicity, and Culture in College Counseling

Presenter(s):

Ashley VanBemmelen
Spring Arbor University

Topic(s):

  • Counseling Theory/Practice      

Abstract: With the continued movement to increase our multicultural competence and responsiveness, this session will focus on building broaching skills. Broaching is the active work of addressing race, ethnicity, and culture with our clients. Broaching encourages us to acknowledge the sociopolitical factors that impact our clients' lives and include those factors in our assessment and treatment plan. Day-Vines and colleagues (2007) coined the term broaching and have provided a framework for counselors to assess and increase their broaching skills. This session will present content related to broaching with practical next steps for college counselors. The session will also address the reasons we often fail to broach well and the steps we can take to overcome those challenges. Together, we will engage in topics related to our self-consciousness, awareness of privilege and oppression, and the salience of our racial identity attitudes.

Learning Objectives:

  • Conference session attendees will leave the session able to list and discuss the four most common broaching styles.
  • Conference session attendees will leave the session able to implement a model for broaching race, ethnicity, and culture with their clients.
  • Conference session attendees will leave the session able to critique their own awareness of privilege and oppression.
  • Conference session attendees will leave the session able to acknowledge their own racial identity development and assess how it impacts their ability to broach race, ethnicity, and culture with their clients.

An Advocacy Oriented Approach for Trauma Counseling

Presenter(s):

Ashley VanBemmelen
Spring Arbor University

Ashlyn Jones
Cairn University

Topic(s):

  • Counseling Theory/Practice·        

Abstract: Trauma impacts the emotions and behaviors of our students and the college community. This workshop will discuss those impacts and offer participants valuable tools to engage in trauma advocacy and discuss the challenges and benefits of doing so in your setting. Exposure to traumatic events can impact the level of functioning across a lifespan. College counselors need a trauma-informed lens to assess and treat students. However, we often fail to conceptualize the depth of a client's pain when we miss the social, cultural, political, historical, and economic systems that impact our client's experience of and healing from trauma. Together, we will focus on the benefits and importance of engaging in advocacy, increasing mental health literacy, and increasing protective factors.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe several types of individual and social advocacy with which clients could participate.
  • Summarize the benefits and importance of empowering individual and social advocacy when counseling clients with trauma.
  • Conceptualize two methods of individual or social advocacy for current college students.

Counseling South Asian College Students: A South Asian Graduate Counseling Student’s Perspective

Presenter(s):

Sheetal Jani     

Abstract: South Asian people culturally ascribe to high levels of academic success (Shea & Yeh, 2017). This success places great stress on South Asian college students matriculating at U.S. universities (Poyrazli, 2015; Chandras et al., 2013). Incidents of suicide, stress, anxiety, and trauma have been reported amongst South Asian students. Currently, South Asians are going through race-based violence due to Covid-19 (Dhanani & Franz, 2020). Studies show that South Asian college students have higher rates of suicidal ideation than their peers and are the least likely to seek mental healthcare on campus (Pennamon, 2018).  In a case study format, this presentation will address South Asian students’ understanding of self-perception; self-esteem and empowerment; racial identity; reverse culture shock of international students; Asian American masculinity; and advocacy for LGBTQI individuals in the community (Park et al., 2017). The leading factors contributing to this reality include coming from shame/honor-based cultures that suppress negative experiences; lack of mental health literacy; barriers to help-seeking; and concerns with finding a therapist who can offer culturally-relevant treatment (Vogel et al., 2007). Mental health professionals and educators who recognize these distinctions as well as the unique needs of each student are essential for providing quality care and support.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn more about help seeking intentions and behaviors of South Asian American students.
  • Participants will learn about internalizing and externalizing psychopathologies
  • Participants will learn counseling strategies and implications for working with this population.
  • Participants will gain an understanding of the cultural worldview of South Asian American clients.
  • Participants will learn how to approach this population as well as create a therapeutic environment tailored to this population

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ACCA Members in the News

Andrew Lee is quoted in the Inside Higher Ed article on Suicidal Ideation

Steffanie Grrossman is quoted in Online Counseling article College Students Diet and Mental Health

Janelle Johnson comments on the state of mental services at community colleges.

Janelle Johnson on College Counseling” Psychotherapy.net Interview. Follow the link to read the full interview.

Janelle Johnson is quoted in the Inside Higher Ed article Colleges Use Technology to Help Students Manage Mental Health, October 5, 2018.


Lisa Adams is quoted in the Washington Post article College Students are forming mental-health clubs - and they're making a difference.
June 28, 2018

Lisa Adams is quoted in the Inside Higher Ed article Flawed Judgement in Use of Force Against Students.
April 19, 2018

Lisa Adams is quoted in the Inside Higher Ed article A World Without Depression.
April 3, 2018

Lisa Adams is quoted in the Time article Record Numbers of College Students Are Seeking Treatment for Depression and Anxiety - But Schools Can't Keep Up.
March 19, 2018

Lisa Adams is quoted in the Inside Higher Ed article Moving Away from Charging for Counseling
February 7, 2018

Lisa Adams is quoted in the Inside Higher Ed article Suicide Data
January 11, 2018

Lisa Adams is quoted in the Inside Higher Ed article All by Myself
October 26, 2017

Lisa Adams is quoted in the Inside Higher Ed article Suicide Victims as Art Subjects
October 10, 2017

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