independent lens season 21 episode 20

One significant example is ACA’s role in developing Counseling Awareness Month activities. Although advocacy as a whole has become increasingly relevant over the past two decades, efforts related to professional advocacy have received less attention and therefore made little headway in comparison with client and social issues advocacy. However, training on leadership is not often visible in master’s-level curricula, nor is it prominent in doctoral curricula. Professional counseling organization advocacy is just one piece of the puzzle. For example, CSI currently publishes “Heroes and Heroines” interviews on its website, highlighting the lifetime work of highly established counselors who possess a depth of advocacy experience. Administrative Law says you are guilty and must prove your innocence. When mental illness is destigmatized, people who need counseling and support are more likely to seek that help in pursuit of living more fulfilling lives. Currently you have JavaScript disabled. 0 Advocacy activities serve to expand counselors’ presence at the community, state and national levels, and counselors should not underestimate the importance of supporting the growth of the profession through actions taken in their local communities. When others understand that 1 in 4 people are living with a mental illness and that our work as professional counselors aids in creating positive change, we can more effectively decrease stigma in our communities. Collaboration between or within counseling organizations may also provide opportunities for expanding existing advocacy efforts. The advisory board for the compact brings together lawmakers, licensing board members, counseling professionals and others to work on advocating for licensure portability. ACA, CSI, NBCC, CACREP and other professional counseling organizations have helped to steer counselors toward a shared professional identity. For example, this may include establishing and maintaining an ACA committee, with multiorganizational representation, that focuses solely on the advocacy needs of the profession. Generally speaking, legislators care most about what their constituents think. %PDF-1.5 %���� The importance of a strong counselor identity. Jointly, the organizations could also expand the audience of such efforts through social media, where they could also collaboratively broadcast important advocacy issues, needs and required action. All counselors have felt called to be agents of change. CACREP requires counseling programs to address leadership development. Do we have an obligation to advocate? In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. All of these efforts are vital to our profession and ultimately make a positive impact on the wellness of our clients and communities. ACA staff, leadership, task forces and committee members work to raise awareness about the profession and support legislation that helps counselors serve myriad communities. As an organization dedicated to the counseling profession, ACA has advocacy at the core of its mission. Counselors should also engage in interprofessional advocacy. According to the toolkit, “As an outward symbol of advocacy and hope for counselors and the profession, ACA created Teal Day: an enthusiastic social initiative designed to build strong support, recognition and appreciation for professional counselors.”. Larger-scale advocacy actions could be conceptualized as capital “A” advocacy actions, whereas smaller-scale advocacy efforts could be called lowercase “a” advocacy actions. For example, if an older adult whose primary insurance is Medicare cannot access the services of a licensed professional counselor, then their options to receive services become limited. h�b```���,�B ���'2p4�����[���� �2���ɜ>}�� �zٝ�9o[�����vFX����B�)@��k�BC�$��FSE[ZEGCZzG�8�fK�h`R��������S``3��@�r/�2?����珜|0$LK�c�ݴ�Mj���Oj�&Aj�~n����@�{�R�8� ���� Q�( ` G� For example, CSI currently publishes “Heroes and Heroines” interviews on its website, highlighting the lifetime work of highly established counselors who possess a depth of advocacy experience. In addition, ACA promoted Teal Day on April 10. Individual counselors who connect with this frustration can use it as momentum to courageously enter unfamiliar territory, including the legislative world. One means of ensuring that counselors are well armed to engage in advocacy is by making existing leadership and advocacy resources readily accessible. One way we can further develop our advocacy efforts is by institutionalizing advocacy supports and structures within counseling organizations. ADVOCATING FOR THE COUNSELING PROFESSION 3 every state seems to indicate that licensure is a benefit to the public and the counseling profession, which provides safeguards to client welfare, accountability standards and increased accessibility. These relationships can be crucial, sometimes in unexpected ways, when you need to advocate for the counseling profession or for the students or clients you serve. Examples of “a” advocacy actions include those continuous, in-the-moment efforts that positively promote the counseling profession. Inadequate funding of counseling services means that counselors are not compensated appropriately and that clients cannot access services critical to their well-being. Advocating for the counseling profession: A five year review (2006-2010) ... counseling profession (e.g., wellness, developmental model, prevention, and empowerment) and the value of professional advocacy. ACA Advocacy Task Force members who contributed to the development of this article were (in alphabetical order) Angie Cartwright, Madelyn Duffey, Louisa Foss, Cheryl Fulton, Denise Hooks, Victoria Kress, Christine McAllister and Jordan Westcott. Helping others understand the impact of our work and the ripple effect that counselors have on their communities ultimately influences the profession in various ways. Being an advocate for counseling means being able to promote the field of counseling and the profession as a whole. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Seek appointment to serve on the board. {�8�����Џ�1���G�q�B����SP���qp�6��_ �� � By advocating for recognition, compensation and resources, ACA helps counselors continue to perform integral work. Instead, we must double down on our efforts to fortify the health and wellness of the profession moving forward. That being said, when we consider advocacy, we do not often think about our mission for our profession. Speaking out about what you or your clients need, either as an individual or, ideally, with your ACA branch or division, and establishing a place at the decision-making table can lead to changes that positively affect the lives of individual clients. In this article, we discuss professional advocacy and its importance; ways that counselors can advocate; how ACA has advocated for the profession; what all counseling associations can do to support an advocacy agenda; what individual counselors can do to be advocates; and the important role that a clear, unified counselor identity plays in furthering a professional advocacy agenda. That one lawmaker may determine whether a great idea eventually becomes a law. Developing a positive relationship with admin is vital in advocating for the role of counselor. By harnessing the passion, vision and energy of its members, ACA is invested in training counselors to advocate for the profession, educate the public and promote the needs of counselors and those they serve. Although advocacy both for clients and for the profession is essential for the future of counseling and counselors, advocacy for the profession has received little systematic attention. Inadequate student-to-school counselor ratios harm both students and school counselors. Find reasons to contact a member of your board of education, your religious leaders, a state legislator or your public health administrator. The counseling profession never would have evolved if not for the work of individual counselors, and nowhere is that as obvious as with regard to legislative advocacy. Counselors continue to experience many barriers that get in the way of our ability to practice. Even potential and current clients may be unaware of the unique professional identities of counselors and thus misunderstand or undervalue our services. Who are the power brokers you may already know who can serve as cheerleaders for your cause? Then encourage others to do the same. A natural response to these injustices and barriers to people getting access to care is to become angry or frustrated. Ensure that students understand how the CACREP standards function to define the profession. When it matters most and when efficiency is essential, those lines of communication will already be open. In sum, individual relationships and networking count. A foundational element of effective professional advocacy is a clear professional identity. Generally speaking, legislators care most about what their constituents think. Similarly, school counselors can forge connections with their state board of education members. Inadequate funding of counseling services means that counselors are not compensated appropriately and that clients cannot access services critical to their well-being. These staff members’ efforts, along with those of other counseling organizations and individuals, helped counselors become eligible to provide services through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Nevertheless, our profession continues to face threats, so we must never take these successes for granted. All counselors, and all of our professional associations and organizations, have an obligation to commit to and work toward advocacy efforts that will grow our profession. Advocating for the Counseling Profession. Counseling Connoisseur: Counselors, pets and COVID-19, Voice of Experience: Caution for second-language speakers. They could also create toolkits for counselor educators so that leadership and advocacy training are better represented in master’s and doctoral education. 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