Hannah Coyt (email@example.com) and Jose “Joey” Tapia-Fuselier (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Welcome to the first of many installments of the SACES Blogs! We are the SACES Blog Work Group, a part of the Graduate Student Committee, and we as a team are pleased to bring you a platform to browse developing ideas and contemporary topics of Counselor Education and Supervision. Here, you can read up on materials focused on Counselor Educators, Counseling Professionals, Counselor Supervisors, and Counselors-in-Training within our region!
Crafting a Conference Proposal
By Leo Balseiro
Conference Presentations as a Scholarly Contribution
Have you ever attended a conference and considered applying for a presentation on your own? One of the ideas I conceived as a direct result of attending conferences answered this question and generated a lot of intrigue toward the specific definition of conference presentations: in other words, what do conference presentations mean for the advancement of our profession? Seemingly, there are a handful of professional events throughout the year, with dozens of presenters at each and hundreds more in applications. To consider the value and, perhaps, why you should consider presenting at a conference is critical to your direction as a leader in the counseling profession.
What is a conference contribution?
A conference contribution is a scholarly activity, where professionals apply their prose and content to the masses to share and discuss a diverse array of ideas. The idea behind conference contributions, whether it be papers, presentations, or panel discussions alike, is that they are intentional in advancing the dialogue of discussion and stimulating to the broader significance of the profession. With this in mind, seeking to contribute in the form of a conference presentation for the sole means of “just doing it” warrants further consideration behind the intentionality of the contribution (Ali, 2009).
All persons applying for a conference presentation should adhere to the evaluation rubrics used by evaluators. Hundreds of presentation applications are evaluated similarly to an academic assignment, and the rubric is specific to the information included, the relevance of the information, and how the delivery of the information. For instance, evaluators use the rubric provided by the American Counseling Association to assess numerous areas. Such areas include the content relevance with the needs of the counseling profession, organization of ideas in the literature review, clearly stated learning objectives, qualification and expertise of the presenter, and a well-developed presentation woven with a clear pedagogical approach (ACA, 2020). Thus, to consider one’s position and goal-directedness in these areas will significantly increase the chances of becoming accepted!
Finally, ensuring that your topic coincides with the themes of the conference you are applying for is also optimal for your chances of getting accepted. For example, scholarly contributions toward the advancement of multicultural counseling competencies may suit either conferences and seminars structured around multicultural competencies or for a general counseling conference. Or, for scholarly contributions toward the advancement of multicultural sensitivity within pedagogical applications, potential presenters may explore counselor education and supervision conferences.
No matter the person, at some point throughout their academic career, everyone has developed a hand for creating presentations. Presentations alike have various designs, with unique backgrounds, bullet points, pictures, videos, and the like that which presenters implement to stand out against the masses. However, as you prepare a presentation recalling the intention behind your scholarly activity is key. Thus there are several evidence-based considerations to designing your presentation in a manner that optimizes the conference experience.
For example, presenters strongly recommend the rule of six in devising your presentation outline. The rule of six is as follows: your presentation must have an image every six slides, each slide must have at most six bullet points and have a minimum of six words per bullet. Potential presenters should pay additional consideration to diversification and instructional methods, curtailing them to address each learning objective. Finally, another consideration lends itself to the legibility of each slide. For instance, you should test the readability of your slides through the use of a projector or a large monitor. Such practices are not only for your audience but also to guide you in expecting the unexpected (Garner & Alley, 2016; Tapia-Fuselier, 2019). Also, consider the format of what you would like to contribute as well. Presenters who are not interested in presenting at a conference for the first time and feel like the task of presenting for the duration of a 60 to 90-minute presentation is daunting, might consider a poster presentation to get their feet wet. Also, presenters who do not want to venture into this endeavor for their first time alone are welcome to collaborate with other professionals for one presentation!
These are general ideas to consider for those who are interested in presenting at a conference. Hopefully, these ideas will jump-start you in the direction of fruitful scholarly contributions down the road! When in doubt, always seek the consultation of your academic mentor for more advanced critiques and ideas, and also check out ACA’s and ACES’ available resources. Finally, of course, please feel free to add on to these ideas through your academic work. Best of luck to you in your academic endeavors!
Ali, K. (2009). Writing a successful annual meeting paper proposal. Retrieved from: https://www.aarweb.org/annual-meeting/writing-successful-annual-meeting-paper-proposal
American Counseling Association (2020). Call for Proposals: ACA 2020 Conference & Expo. Retrieved from https://www.counseling.org/conference/about/call-for-proposals.
Garner, J. K., & Alley, M. P. (2016). Slide structure can influence the presenter’s understanding of the presentation’s content. International Journal of Engineering Education, 32(1a), 39-54.
Tapia-Fuselier, J. (2019). Want to present at a conference? Here are some tips and tricks! Retrieved from: https://www.counseling.org/news/aca-blogs/aca-member-blogs/aca-member-blogs/2019/05/28/want-to-present-at-a-conference-here-are-some-tips-and-tricks
By Keshia Ross-Williams, LPC, LSATP, CAADC, CCS, CPCS
With February, the month of love, coming to a close, I can imagine many of you have spent countless days focusing on loved ones and may be overdue for some self-care. Self-care is something that I teach, preach, and live by daily. Self-care is the foundational premise that governs my life. However, I have not always been as diligent about focusing on my well-being as I am now. I am what many refer to as a “Type A” personality. Such a description has led to me staying busy every second of the day and avoiding down-time like the plague! Now, I long for down-time and not having anything to do but relax and have fun. Because, contrary to popular belief, doing “nothing” is critical to the way I approach much of the “somethings” in my life.
The most important components of any self-care plan is making sure that we eat right (properly balanced meals throughout the day), exercise, and get adequate rest. These three things are at the core of any good self-care plan, treatment plan, or medical health plan. Specific to counselor educators and students, self-compassion and mindfulness help to prevent burnout, vicarious trauma, and a lack of school-life balance (Dye, Burke, & Wolf, 2019; Nelson, Hall, Anderson, Birtles, & Hemming, 2018). Such practices follow the guidelines set forth by the American Counseling Associations’ (2014) and the National Board for Certified Counselors’ (2016) Code of Ethics. If we do not manage our nutrition, sleep, and activity, many often find themselves in a disadvantaged state, which affects our overall mental health. A well-respected author Prockyk (2018), stated there is no separation from mind and body, for they are forever connected and affect one another, meaning not taking care of the mind affects the body and losing sight of the body will most certainly affect the mind. For many, self-care is the key to maintaining work-life and school-life schedules, and as counselors and counselor educators, self-care prepares us to present our best selves in the work we do.
When most people hear the term self-care, they may think of activities that cost money like getting a massage or going on vacation. Though I like engaging in those types of activities as well, there are many no-cost activities that we all can do to practice self-care. In addition to those mentioned above, taking time to ourselves to self-reflect, engaging in a good book, making sure we take our breaks at work, and spending time with loved ones are just some of the ways to practice mindfulness and self-compassion.
During my search online for self-care inventories, I came across two good ones that helped me examine other aspects of my self-care that I generally do not consider. The inventory published by the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI; 2008) separated self-care into five different categories, including physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and workplace/ professional self-care categories. Using this tool may help you see how you are currently practicing healthy boundaries in various areas of your life.
The second tool is a self-care assessment developed by Irvine (2016). The Self-Care Inventory by Irvine (2016) includes an additional component focusing on supporting relationships, which often play a role in how we perceive and engage in self-care. Moreover, this self-care tool includes a care plan to address deficits uncovered after taking the assessment. Completing this tool helped me to confirm some of the adjustments that I was putting in place to address insufficiencies in the area of supportive relationships and other deficits.
Overall, I would say that my self-care grade is a solid “A,” and I take pride in that now because before, I am convinced I was failing. I want to challenge you to evaluate your self-care score and take some time to make some adjustments. As helpers, counselors, supervisors, and educators, we must take care of ourselves to be effective and prepared to help our supervisees, clients, and students. We must also lead by example and teach the importance of self-care so that we all can be around for a long time to witness the fruit of our labor.
Dye, L., Burke, M. G., & Wolf, C. (2019). Teaching mindfulness for the self-care and well-being of counselors-in-training. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 1-14. doi:10.1080/15401383.2019.1642171
National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI). (2008). Self-care inventory. Retrieved from https://www.nami.org/getattachment/Extranet/Education,-Training-and-Outreach-Programs/Signature-Classes/NAMI-Homefront/HF-Additional-Resources/HF15AR6SelfCare.pdf
Nelson, J. R., Hall, B. S., Anderson, J. L., Birtles, C., & Hemming, L. (2018). Self–compassion as self-care: A simple and effective tool for counselor educators and counseling students. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 13(1), 121-133.
Prockyk, A. (2018). Nutritional treatment to improve mental health disorders: Non-Pharmaceutical interventions for depression, anxiety, bipolar & ADHD. Eau Claire, WI: PESI Publishing & Media.
Irvine, D. (2016). Self-Care inventory. Retrieved from https://www.davidirvine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/selfcareassessment2016.pdf
Lethal Means Restriction and Advocacy: How Counselors and Counselor Educators Can Save Lives
This holiday season, friends and families gather to experience warmth, tradition, and renewal. It is not a joyous experience for all, as many consider or attempt suicide. As counselors, we are trained to assess and treat individuals who have suicidal ideation or behavior. This season, let us consider how we can use our role as counselors and counselor educators to advocate in our communities for lethal means restriction.
Lethal means restriction (LMR) is the intentional securing of potentially lethal items to prevent or delay a suicide attempt (Harvard, 2018). LMR creates a barrier to items that can be used for suicide, thereby creating delay between a suicidal thought and action. In a study wherein 153 survivors of near-fatal suicide attempts were asked about their experience, 48% of the participants indicated that the time between the thought of suicide and the attempt was 10 minutes or less (Simon, 2005). 71% reported less than an hour between thought and action. By securing potentially lethal items, community and family members can support those who struggle with suicidal thoughts.
Lethal means restriction is one of only a handful of suicide prevention interventions supported by research (Betz et al, 2013). LMR is backed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), and Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) to name a few. Parents of children and teens who have suicidal ideation can feel empowered to know that there is something they can do to help their child be safe. The same is true for relatives, neighbors, and community members whose homes are visited by this vulnerable population.
Potentially lethal items that could be secured behind a lock include: firearms and other weapons, “sharps” (including knives, scissors, razor blades, box cutters), medication (including over the counter and prescribed), household cleaners, and other items (e.g., scarves, ropes, extension cords, belts, plastic bags).
As counselors and educators, we have knowledge that can help to save lives. We already use this knowledge with clients and in training future counselors. But how can we better advocate for lethal means restriction within our communities and towns? Below are several links that you can use with schools, community members, and local and state governments to provide education to the public and members of the profession about the importance of lethal means restriction as a suicide prevention strategy. Harvard has a comprehensive site dedicated to education about suicide and lethal means restriction filled with resources, presentation and brochure material, and trainings for free! (see https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/means-matter/)
“While some suicidal crises last a long time, others are short-lived. Reducing access to lethal means during periods of crisis can make it more likely that the person will delay or survive a suicide attempt. In either case, the person’s odds of long-term survival are improved” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2012). This holiday season, let us give the gift of life through advocacy and education about this important issue.
Betz, M. E., Miller, M., Barber, C., Miller, I., Sullivan, A. F., Camargo, C. A., Boudreaux, E. D., ED-SAFE Investigators (2013). Lethal means restriction for suicide prevention: beliefs and behaviors of emergency department providers. Depression and anxiety, 30(10), 1013-20.
Harvard Injury Control Research Center. (2018). Means matter. Retrieved fromwww.meansmatter.org.
Simon, T.R., Swann, A.C., Powell, K.E., Potter, L.B., Kresnow, M., and O’Carroll, P.W. (2001). Characteristics of impulsive suicide attempts and attempters. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 32, 49-59.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, & National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. (2012). 2012 National strategy for suicide prevention: Goals and objectives for action. Washington, DC: Author.
This past month myself and other SACES Grad committee members had the pleasure of attending the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) conference in Seattle, WA. If you have never been to the conference, I would highly recommend you attend. It was packed full of CES celebrities from the current president, Dr. Kristopher Goodrich to our very own past SACES Grad Student Rep., Joey Tapia-Fuselier! For those of you that do not know, the ACES conference is the bi-annual gathering of former, present, and future counselor educators from across the nation and even those from around the world. The conference is designed to honor those who have enhanced the field of counselor education, as well as provide a forum for up and coming approaches to counseling, education, and supervision. Additionally, future counselor educators get the opportunity to meet and network with employers and colleagues.
One of the most rewarding experiences for me as an online doctoral student was meeting my colleagues and professors face-to-face. Moreover, I seized each opportunity to meet new people and share my interests in counselor education, as well as the work I do in the field. After taking some time to reflect on my experiences at my first ACES conference, I have discovered three significant decisions that made my experience productive and enjoyable. I would like to offer them as suggestions to first-time conference attendees for the future.
The first is to consider signing-up as a volunteer. I thought about this decision long and hard because I had heard stories about the exhaustion of volunteering at conferences as large as the ACES conference. However, because I was traveling alone, I wanted to set myself up for peer engagement and networking. I must say, my decision paid off in an amazingly unexpected way. I spent hours working the registration floor, directing people to and from classes and getting to know my fellow volunteers. On my first day of volunteering and engaging in conversation about my work and my interests I was offered a teaching position for the Spring term! While I recognize this may not happen to everyone, if you have never attended the conference, are traveling alone, and want to get connected, VOLUNTEER!
The second piece of advice is to remember CES celebrities are people too, so be prepared to engage. I remember attending my first Southern Association of Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES) conference in New Orleans, LA. I ran into Dr. Courtland Lee and was basically speechless! Mind you, I had spent the entire past quarter writing about him, but I was not prepared for him to be so friendly, inviting, and, so, REAL! I wished, in that moment, I had prepared myself to run into CES celebs, because, I realized later, many of the seasoned CES educators and authors get their inspiration from talking with new and future CES educators. If approached, the leaders in the field will gladly engage in scholarly and sometimes casual conversations with you. With that said, this year, I had a similar encounter with Dr. Kristopher Goodrich. I happened to be volunteering on the floor where his room was located and he sat next to me and we began chatting. I was prepared this time and it turned out to be an experience of a lifetime!
Finally, put your best foot forward. First impressions are everything and genuine friendliness goes a long way. Because I made a conscious decision to be courteous and offer a smile to everyone I encountered, the universe rewarded me with interactions and experiences that will change my life forever. Also remember, if you are not yet a counselor educator, these conferences are informal job interviews and it is important to remember that in your presentation of yourself to others. On that note, I’d like to give special recognition to my colleague and fellow blog committee member, Leo Balseiro who wore a suit each day of the conference! It is those types of efforts that let employers, professors, and other colleagues know that you not only take pride in presenting your best self but you respect the work and the prestige of counseling, education, and supervision.
I am looking forward to the next ACES conference in Atlanta, GA in 2021. Whether this will be your first conference or your 12th I hope you consider the three takeaways presented here. Happy holidays to everyone!
What Counselors Need to Know about Immigration
For the September blog, Raven and Marcella interviewed Jose “Joey” Tapia-Fuselier, Jr., about the issue of immigration and how it may show up in therapy for clients. Joey is a licensed professional counselor and current ACES Graduate Student Representative.
Question: What are some potential barriers that folks may experience as a result of the country’s current immigration policies and practices?
Joey:In considering the impact and results of our country’s immigration policies and practices, we must consider children and their role in the immigration system. As we have seen, many families have been separated, which results in traumatic experiences for children and the families. Additionally, many children are too young to understand what’s happening and are unaware of when (or if) they will be reunited with their loved ones. For families dealing with the immigration system, we must be mindful of feelings of amplified fear as a result of recent events. Further, the clinician’s own understanding of immigration policies may present another barrier for clients. As clinicians, it is our duty to do our part and research how our clients may be impacted by their legal status. From a mental health standpoint, symptoms of increased anxiety, depression, and fears of leaving their home, are important to put into context. Without an understanding of the client’s experience, we can create more barriers to treatment when their symptomology may reflect their daily experience of not having a legal status or being in a mixed status family.
Question: What can counselors do to better understand the lived experiences of folks who may be impacted by the country’s immigration policies?
Joey:As mentioned above, we must do our homework! Even if you don’t identify with the cultural identity of the clients you serve, this does not excuse you from doing your research. Many of us hold privileges as folks who were born in this country, which requires further thought and critical reflection. It is imperative that counselors explore the impact of our own privileged identities, especially when in the room with an undocumented client. As clinicians, we must consider exploring these issues within the therapeutic relationship, as we may provide the only space where clients feel safe enough to explore these issues. Broaching conversations about diversity further allows clients to explore themselves and their fears.
Question: What can counselor educators do to better equip counselors-in-training to deal with these important issues?
Joey:Love this question! Educate, educate, and educate! Counselor educators hold the unique privilege of being able to help shape the minds of counselors-in-training, in viewing political issues as a human issue for clients. Counselor educators can create experiences in the classroom to explore students’ beliefs and attitudes towards undocumented people, people of Color, and linguistically diverse clients. Creating these intentional experiences provides students with multiple methods to reflect and explore their own understanding of how policies can impact the clients we will serve. Counselor educators should also be knowledgeable about organizations and other advocacy efforts (e.g., RAICES; Undocumedia; ACLU), to encourage students to challenge the systems that oppress clients. Building these conversations and activities in every classroom further enriches students’ abilities to explore with a felt confidence that they CAN do this work. Lastly, hosting workshops or specific sessions for students with community members to learn about the immigration system and barriers faced by individuals trying to navigate a complex system and what services may benefit the clients they may serve.
We sincerely appreciate Joey sharing his knowledge with us related to this very important issue in our society.
Meet the Team!
Marcella Rolle, M.Ed., LAPC, NCC
Counselor and Doctoral Student
Walden University, Ashburn, Georgia
Research/Clinical Focus: Trauma-informed care and communities in the rural Southern United States; Microaggressions among Women of Color in Online CES Programs; Trauma-focused counseling; Family Systems Counseling.
Fun Fact: “I played the clarinet from 6th through 12th grade and loved every minute!”
Ashlei Rabess, MA, APC, NCC
Associate Counselor and Doctoral Student
Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Research/Clinical Focus: Multiculturalism and Social Justice in Counseling; Intergenerational Trauma in African American Women; Gender and Sexual Minorities; Couple and Family counseling; group work.
Fun Fact: “I jumped out of a plane at 15,000 feet in the air. (I’ve gone skydiving!)”
Keshia D. Ross-Williams, LPC, LSATP, CAADC, CCS
Sr. Therapist and Doctoral Student
Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Research/Clinical Focus: Clinical Supervision: Effective versus Ineffective Supervision; Trauma: “What characteristics or traits aids in someone’s ability to be resilient to trauma, specifically sexual trauma?”
Fun Fact: “I played the violin 6th through 10th grade and artistic abilities run in my family so I can draw a little bit.”
Leo Balseiro, MS, LMHC, NCC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Doctoral Student
Barry University, Miami Shores, FL
Research/Clinical Focus: Depressive Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Trauma, Family Therapy, Resilience Theory, Leadership, Social Justice and Advocacy.
Fun Fact: “My favorite avenues for self-care involves strength training, playing the guitar, video games, and going for a run while playing Pokemon GO. I also achieved 1st place in a bowling tournament when I was 12 years old (in the 6th division).”
Tameeka Hunter, M.S., LPC, CRC, NCC
Licensed Professional Counselor and Doctoral Student
Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Research/Clinical Focus: Resiliency, Social Justice, Advocacy, and Multicultural Issues, with a focus on persons with disabilities, LGBTQI+ populations, people of color, and multiple marginalized populations.
Fun Fact: “I am an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and a self-proclaimed foodie”
V. Paige Zeiger, M.S., NCC, LPC, BC-TMH, CCFP, CCTP
Licensed Professional Counselor and Doctoral Student
Walden University, Trussville, Alabama
Research/Clinical Focus: Compassion Fatigue, Trauma and Crisis, Trauma-Informed Care, Forward-Facing Therapy, Resiliency, Military Families and Culture, Online/Distance Counselor Education, Counselor Professional Development, Clinical Supervision, Authentic Leadership, Constructivism, and Existentialism.
Fun Fact: “I am a US Navy Veteran with a love for my boxer dog, Shayla (7-years-old), and my 5-year-old daughter named Lilly who is my love and my life and the reason that I push myself to overcome adversity and persevere. I enjoy traveling, going on cruises, playing games, and cooking with my daughter.”
Rebecca Mathews, M.A., LPC-Supervisor, LPA, CBGT
Clinical Therapist and Doctoral Student
Texas A&M University - Commerce, Dallas, Texas
Research/Clinical Focus: Helping counselors to resolve value-based conflicts, the therapeutic relationship, child & adolescent suicidality, strengthening family bonds for LGBTQ+ youth
Fun Fact: “I hope to graduate next year (YAY!) and once auditioned to be an entertainer on a Disney cruise ship. (SPOILER: I didn’t get it.) :)"
Research/Clinical Focus: Experiences of giftedness among Black girls and women; the social, emotional, and academic concerns of high-achieving Black girls and women; learning and achievement within a Ghanaian learning environment; the role of counselors and counselor educators in the Movement for Black Lives; and experiences of Black first-generation doctoral students. Clinically, I identify most as a group counselor and enjoy providing culturally-responsive group services to girls and women of Color.
Fun Fact: “In December 2017, I studied abroad in Ghana, West Africa, and I returned to collect data for my dissertation in Summer 2019!”
We welcome and encourage entries from Counselors, Counseling Students, Counselor Educators, and Supervisors! If you would like to feature your work on the SACES Blogs, please refer to the online form for submissions! All you need is:
● A catchy title!
● 500-800 word blog entry
● Minimum 3 references to support ideas
● Your Name, Credentials, and professional bio (150 words), and
● A professional photo
Here are our upcoming topics to help you get started!
August 2019 “A Day in the Life of…”
1. Counselor Educators
September 2019 Preparing for Conferences
1. Finding funding options for conferences
2. Crafting a catchy proposal
3. Poster Presentation Development
4. Experiential Ideas for Conferences
October 2019 Where to find licensure information by state
November 2019 Employment
December 2019 Resources for graduate students with the career search
January 2020 “Recently graduated... Now what?”
February 2020 Taking on the role of advocate as counseling student
March 2020 Networking Experiences and Strategies
April 2020 The ‘hidden curriculum’ for graduate students
May 2020 Mental Health Awareness/Suicide Prevention
June 2020 Turning passion into purpose (in research)
Please be sure to submit all blog ideas by the second week of the previous month. For instance, if you want to submit a blog entry for the month of August, you will need to submit proposed entry by the end of the second week of July. Once received, you will get an email from our team letting you know your entry has been received. If your post is accepted or declined, we will contact you within one week of the entry deadline.
Thank you for reading and contributing to our blog. The advancement of graduate students into the field of Counselor Education and Supervision is our utmost priority, and your contribution and time toward our blog is invaluable!