Founded in 1991 | A division of the American Counseling Association

Pre-Conference Workshops

Pre-Conference workshops will be offered on Thursday, February 27, 2020 and are at an additional cost to the 2020 ACCA Annual Conference Sessions.  ACCA is pleased to offer a diverse variety of pre-conference sessions that will offer continuing education for session attendees.

Full Day Pre-Conference Options

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.  Each session is worth 1.5 CE Hours.

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

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

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

    10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

    Leadership in Higher Education

    Topic: 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

    1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

    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

    3:30 PM - 5:00 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

    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)

    Applying Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to the College Counseling Setting


    Nick Joyce
    University of South Florida


    • Counseling Theory/Practice
    • Wellness and Prevention

    Abstract: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is an empirically validated treatment which is quickly garnering national attention for its ability to treat a wide array of mental health issues ( Its core premise, how to be okay when one is not okay, is a powerful aspect of resilience and a developmental need for young adults. This session will instruct participants in the basics of ACT, how its six core foundations can increase psychological flexibility and how such flexibility allows us to manage pain and not suffer. Participants will engage in experiential ACT interventions and learn how to conceptualize and treat clients from an ACT standpoint. This session will discuss how these concepts can be applied to day-to-day counseling center work in individual sessions, wellness/prevention outreach efforts, and group interventions. This session will detail Dr. Joyce's unique "Learning to Let Go" packaging of these ACT concepts as well as the "MOVE Forward" group intervention offered at USF. Data from these offering at USF will be presented.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Identify the 6 core foundations of ACT and how they lead to psychological flexibility
    • Understand the role of the human mind in creating and enhancing psychological distress from ACT theory
    • Learn specific ACT interventions to target the six foundations.
    • Learn how to apply ACT in group interventions.

    Ethical and legal clinical practice in a world of fake news and fear mongering 


    Christopher Corbett

    Abstract: Everyone has an opinion about privacy and confidentiality, especially when they think we have something they “need.”  While legal and ethical guidelines pay particular attention to these matters, it does not always feel cut and dry in practical application.  This session will review the relevant standards and work to clarify both the theoretical and practical application for clinical practice, clinical supervision, and cross campus collaborations.  Lastly, case studies will be reviewed for discussion and critique.

    Learning Objectives: 

    • Discuss the legal and ethical codes related to privacy/confidentiality for college mental health, including FERPA, HIPAA, TITLE IX, ACA, APA, NASW and state-based laws
    • Analyze and revise, if needed, their clinical policies regarding sharing of information
    • Apply standards for productive and sound clinical supervision practice
    • Utilize this knowledge to communicate and collaborate with campus stakeholders

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

      Many Paths, One Goal: College Student Mental Health, We've Got it Covered


      Sharon Mitchell
      University at Buffalo

      Teresa Michaelson-Chmelir
      Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

      Lindsey Mortensen
      University of Michigan

      Cecilia Sun
      University of Houston

      Andrew Lee
      Monmouth University


      • Counseling Theory/Practice
      • Administrative

      Abstract: In a recent survey of college and university presidents, 81% indicated that compared to three years ago, student mental health has become more of a priority on their campus (American Council on Education, 2019).  As the utilization rate of college counseling centers has  grown 5 times the rate of the overall student enrollment (CCMH, 2016), college campuses have been pressed to re-examine resources, strategies, and mission as they grapple with what their counseling center and the larger campus community can do to take a more comprehensive, inclusive, and effective approach to promoting the emotional well-being of students.  A panel of experts from college student mental health organizations will discuss the trends, challenges, and practices being used to address this issue from administrative (American College Counseling Association – ACCA and Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors – AUCCCD), clinical services (Association for the Coordination of Counseling Center Clinical Services – ACCCCS), psychiatric services (American College Health Association), outreach (Association for University and College Counseling Center Outreach – AUCCCO), and training (Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies – ACCTA) perspectives.

      Learning Objectives:

      • Describe 3 trends in college student mental health in the areas of clinical services including psychiatry, outreach, training, and administration
      • Describe 3 programs or services that address today's college student mental health needs in an innovative way
      • Problem-solve challenges counseling centers  face in responding to college student mental health needs.
      • Identify one college student mental health strategy, program, or service that can be implemented on their campus.

      Integrating Single-Session Principles Into Every Session


      Josh Gunn
      Kennesaw State University


      • Counseling Theory/Practice

      Abstract: This workshop will help clinicians learn to make the most of every session. The median number of counseling appointments attended in college and university counseling centers is one. This has been the case for a long time, and it is also true in almost every mental health treatment setting. Nevertheless, the vast majority of mental health training programs ignore this statistic and provide very little training or applied experience in how to use this single contact. The traditional model focuses on using the initial contact almost exclusively to collect information to determine diagnosis and/or formulate a treatment plan. This workshop will focus on helping mental health clinicians conceptualize the initial and follow-up contacts as standalone interventions that may or may not result in additional contacts. Participants will learn strategies for focusing the time, assessing readiness to change, facilitating insight, and helping clients take the next best steps that could lead to the changes they are seeking.

      Learning Objectives:

      • Describe the rationale for treating each contact as an independent intervention that may or may not lead to additional sessions.
      • Determine readiness to change and an appropriate focus for single-contact interventions.
      • Develop realistic goals and action oriented steps that clients can take to meet their goals.

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          ACCA joins the 4th edition of Health and Well being in Higher Education: A Commitment to Student Success

          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

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