Founded in 1991 | A division of the American Counseling Association

Pre-Conference Workshops

Pre-Conference workshops will be offered on Thursday, February 7, 2019 and are at an additional cost to the 2019 ACCA Annual Conference Sessions.  ACCA is pleased to offer a diverse variety of pre-conference sessions that will offer continuing education for session attendees.

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Full Day Pre-Conference Options

Each session is $70 if purchased individually, if you sign up for all 4 sessions the price is discounted to $170.

Advanced Topics of College Counseling
The Advanced Topics of College Counseling offers (4) 90 minute sessions covering the following topics: Triage and Clinic Flow, Clinical Supervision, Leadership in Higher Education, and Group Therapy.  

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Triage and Clinic Flow

Topic: Clinical Issues

AbstractTriage and Clinic Flow will explore different administrative and clinical structures to help avoid therapist burn out and wait lists as well as maximize clinic efficiency.  (was previous ly ‘avoid therapist burn out, wait lists and maximize clinic efficiency.’

Learning Objective(s):

  • Participants will discuss different triage models
  • Participants will review key items essential to decision making during triage model selection
  • Participants will identify the importance of assessing triage competency

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Clinical Supervision
: Supervision in College Counseling

Abstract: The purpose of this workshop is to explore the theory and practice of clinical supervision within a college counseling context. Historically, college counseling centers have been popular placements for clinicians-in-training due to the diversity of experience and quality of supervision.  With that said, even in the college setting many counselors are being asked to take on the role of clinical supervisor with little formal training. In this workshop we will review the practice of existing theories of supervision and supervision models.  We will discuss structuring the supervision process to include components important to providing a comprehensive supervision experience for professionals and interns.  Evaluation and assessment of supervisees will also be addressed.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to identify critical theory in clinical supervision
  • Participants will be able to describe how to structure the supervision process
  • Participants will be able to assess the developmental level of counselors in training

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Group Therapy
Topic: Group Counseling

Abstract: Group Therapy will explore how to effectively utilize group as a primary modality in college and university settings. While the majority of counseling centers report using groups as a treatment modality, it is often seen as a second class treatment by both therapists and clients. Running a successful group program in the college setting requires special considerations and surprisingly little attention has been given to this specialized type of group practice. This workshop will review the components of an effective group program. We will discuss the most common types of groups used in counseling centers, barriers to getting group started, and best practices in starting and maintaining the most frequent types of group offerings. Issues such as member selection and preparation, conjoint and concurrent therapies, and the use of group activities to facilitate group development will be also addressed.

Learning Objective(s):
  • Participants will be able to explain the efficacy of groups in treating a wide range of presenting concerns to students and staff
  • Participants will be able to design a group counseling program for their counseling center

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Leadership in Higher Education
: Administration/Leadership

This workshop offers participants an opportunity to broaden their awareness and leadership potential in the college counseling profession and to introduce or further develop their leadership skills.

Learning Objective(s):

  • Participants will briefly examine theories of leadership, current leadership trends, and how to apply them to the college counseling center
  • Participants will develop and practice leadership skills for effectively running a higher education department
  • Participants will discuss challenges involving working with subordinates and administration

Half Day Pre-Conference Options

All half day pre-conference workshops are $79 and are worth 3.0 continuing education credits

Morning Pr-Conference Options
8:30 AM - 12:00 PM (with a 30 minute break)

Clinical Competency in Trauma


  Rebecca Smith - Georgia Southern University

Abstract: This presentation will introduce an overview of trauma, the overall effects of trauma and how trauma impacts the body.  An introduction to trauma and its effects will be provided in the beginning of the workshop.  An overview of how trauma impacts the body will be provided before the end of the first half of the presentation.  The second half of the presentation will be focused on helpful techniques and practical tools when working with clients who have had trauma.  Practical tools and proper clinical techniques will be introduced.  These tools and techniques can be used within the counseling session to help a client better understand trauma and begin the healing process.  The presentation will also help participants learn how to prioritize appropriate challenges for their clients in order to minimize risk and increase client cooperation.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to recognize and describe the concepts of trauma.
  • Participants will be able to describe and explain to a client how trauma affects the body.
  • Participants will be able to analyze and select what resources and tools are appropriate to help regulate their client's emotions.
  • Participants will be able to use and apply the practical tools provided in a counseling session with a client who has had trauma.

Meeting Increased Clinical Demand with a 3 Session Wellness Workshop Series


  Elizabeth Poloskov - California State University, Northridge

Abstract: Research indicates that college and university counseling centers encounter numerous concurrent issues including: 1) increased mental health severity and symptoms, 2) increased overall demand for services, 3) students and families who look primarily to universities to provide mental health and other supportive services, and 4) budgetary cutbacks that make growth in mental health staffing difficult. Over the past 5 years, there has been an increase in student report of depression, generalized anxiety, social anxiety and overall distress.    The Emotional Wellness Workshops (Recognition Insight Openness- RIO, Anxiety Toolbox and Getting Unstuck) were created  to address these concurrent concerns by increasing mental health service provision, reducing student wait times and managing large caseloads at college counseling centers. Over the course of 3 sessions, the wellness workshops provide psychoeducation and experiential exercises to a large number of students presenting for services at university counseling centers with a range of mental health concerns, including anxiety and depression. Collectively, the workshops include mindfulness, ACT, CBT and Schema based interventions all of which are well established empirically supported interventions that effectively treat a range of concerns. This presentation will review the components of the 3 separate workshops series and provide in vivo experiences of each workshop.

Learning Objectives:

  • List 3 interventions in the workshops that are useful for students presenting with anxiety-related symptoms.
  • List 3 interventions in the workshops that are useful for students presenting with depressive symptoms.
  • Describe the role of referring clinician.
  • List potential obstacles in facilitating a workshop and identify potential solutions to those challenges.
  • Describe basic components of Acceptance Commitment Therapy

Afternoon Pr-Conference Options
1:30 PM - 5:00 PM (with a 30 minute break)

Developing an Animal-Assisted Therapy Program on a College-Campus


  Trent Davis - Virginia Tech University

Abstract: Through an exploration of the clinical and practical concerns associated with the development and implementation of an Animal-Assisted Therapy program, the presenter will share their experiences of successfully developing an AAT program in a college counseling center. This presentation will include recommendations for application as well as a live role-play of a therapy dog working with a client.

Learning Objectives:

  • Attendees will gain knowledge of relevant research on AAT and how to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions.
  • Attendees will learn ethical, safe and effective AAT interventions and how adapt interventions to specific clinical populations and areas of interest.
  • Attendees will gain an awareness of the potential barriers and solutions involved in the therapeutic application and inclusion of animals in clinical settings.

Elements of a Successful Training Program in College Counseling Centers


  Richard Tyler-Walker - NC State University

Abstract: This half-day pre-conference program will highlight the essential elements of a strong training program.  Clinical training is an essential part of every graduate program and College Counseling Centers are well positioned to offer comprehensive training to graduate students and young professionals.  In addition, solid training programs are mutually beneficial in that they help College Counseling Centers meet their clinical demands while the center contributes to promoting the growth of the next generation of professionals. This interactive program will provide a comprehensive discussion around an interdisciplinary and interprofessional approach to training within the college counseling environment.  This program will foster a conversation around the types of training programs and different disciplines, resources needed and resource allocation, practical tools for assessment, supervision, and training manuals, ethical considerations, multicultural considerations, supervision approaches and gatekeeping.  The training program model discussed has cohorts at the master's level, pre-doctoral level, post masters level, and post-doctoral level from the disciplines of Counseling, Psychology and Social Work.  It is essential to meet trainees where they are developmentally and have the resources available to meet their needs and the return on this investment of time, space and supervision for Counseling Centers can be significant.

Learning Objectives:

  • Draw from current research and professional experience to identify the key elements of a comprehensive and successful training program within the college counseling center environment.
  • Identify supervision approaches, resources and tools available to centers and staff to facilitate building on or improving their training programs.
  • Explore the factors present and strategies to approach in an interdisciplinary training model.

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    Through a collaboration of the PAPA Committee and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee a new paper on the Increased Need for Counseling Services has been added to the Resources Page

    The HEMHA Distance Counseling Guide has been added to the resources page.

    2018-2019 Research Grant Applications are now being accepted.  Follow the link to learn more about ACCA Research Grant Awards

    Please note the addition of the College Counseling & Psychological Services Knowledge Base to the resources page.

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