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MCA's Annual Conference - Celebrating the Unbreakable Profession

Breakout Session Topics

Breakout Session 1

Topic:  What is Going Well?  Shifting Perspective to Cope During Challenging Times

Presenter: Dr. Camille Humes, EdD, LPC(MI), LCPC(IL), NCC, I/ECMH-C, IMH-E

Abstract: The year 2020 will be documented as one that impacted the world in unprecedented ways.  The challenges of COVID-19, racism and discrimination, and the political divide have left many clients struggling to focus on positive experiences.  However, shifting one's perspective about traumatic experiences can help improve coping and overall functioning.

Description: This presentation will help participants think about how recent world events (COVID-19, racism and discrimination, and the political divide) have impacted their clients' ability to cope. Using both a lecture and discussion format, participants will explore how clients' perspectives about their experiences could affect their overall functioning. A shift in perspective could help clients effectively manage traumatic experiences. Essentially, supporting clients and their focus on wellness begins with the counselor's focus on what is going well- those strengths and resources critical to client functioning. As we celebrate the unbreakable counseling profession, we will discuss the increasing need for services and the importance of counselor advocacy. This is a momentous time in our nation's history and an opportunity to change the narrative about seeking professional help, mitigating unexpected challenges, and the capacity for human resilience.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will learn how recent world events have impacted clients' ability to cope.
  2. Participants will learn how clients' perspectives impact their ability to manage experiences.
  3. Participants will learn how to help clients shift their perspective about experiences as a coping mechanism.

    Presenter Information:

    The presenter is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Michigan, a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Illinois, a credentialed Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist (I/ECMH-C), and has the MIAIMH IMH Endorsement ®. For twenty years, she has presented on topics related to wellness, development, and counselor education.

    Topic:  Resiliency over Survivorship

    Presenter: Jessica Ross, MA, LPC, CCTP, CST

    Abstract: There is a gap between surviving sexual violence and how we guide our clients through what happens next. This is a conversation about thriving as a whole being after trauma: mentally, emotionally, sexually, and physiologically. Our clients deserve to have their entire being acknowledged. We should be prepared to help.

    Description: Sexual health is a natural part of each person. It is essential to understand how other aspects of our life impact our ability to accept ourselves as healthy sexual beings. This is most certainly true for many survivors of domestic and sexual violence. This training will provide participants with a more nuanced and detailed understanding of the ways sexual health is impacted by relational trauma and how providers can best support survivors and learn to return and again engage in a full active life. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships and the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence (WHO,2002).

    As counselors and providers, it is vital to be aware of the difference between surviving and resiliency. Celebrating our unbreakable profession means that we continue to gain insight and fill the gaps in care. This is a 60-minute experiential discussion that allows for active participation. The goal is to help participants explore what it means to be unbreakable as a professional. For me, that means continuing to grow and adapt as social norms and constructs, language, and people continue to evolve.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Apply trauma-informed sexual health aware treatment to survivors of intimate partner violence, familial violence, sexual assault, or abuse.
    2. Describe how the sexual response cycle is disrupted by trauma.
    3. Employ mindfulness methods in the treatment of clients experiencing somatic physiological dysfunction as a result of trauma.

      Presenter Information:

      The presenter is a trained psychotherapist specializing in sexual functioning and trauma. The presenter has over fifteen years of experience in the field of human services. The presenter has direct clinical experience, is a trained supervisor, a certified clinical trauma professional, a certified sex therapist, and a sex educator.

      Topic:  Counseling Tools for Teens - Addressing Anxiety and Depression

      Presenter: Alena Grieser, MA, LPC

      Abstract: This training will allow clinicians to walk away with 10 tangible tools. These tools will focus on assisting teens in their struggle with anxiety and depression.  Together we will learn new skills for clinicians practicing virtually and in person.

      Description: As we celebrate the unbreakable profession, we must reflect on teenage anxiety and depression. There have been changes in their thoughts, behaviors, and understanding of the world today. Through a practical/experiential presentation, the goals are to break down some of these trends we've noticed all together, understand how toxic thoughts factor into most mental illnesses, and our teenagers aren't exempt. Together, we will talk about 10 practical tools I have found helpful during this season in talking to pre-teens and teenagers about anxiety and depression. We will talk about how these tools can be used while online or in person.

      Learning Objectives:

      1. Describe trends in teenage depression and anxiety.
      2. Understand how a toxic thought life affects mental health.
      3. Utilize a list of 10 tools counselors can use in their practice, whether online or in person.

        Presenter Information:

        Alena Grieser is a licensed professional counselor who received her master's degree from Western Michigan University. She has extensive experience working with children and adolescents and their families in various settings, including office, school, and home. While she feels confident with any topic a student may encounter, she has significant experience working with grief, loss, anxiety, divorce, difficult family relationships, school issues, depression, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm. Alena has presented and trained individuals in the Grand Rapids area on mandated reporting and counseling skills.

        Topic:  Healing Trauma through Language, Lamenting, and Reframing

        Presenters: LaShonda Fuller, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, Melissa Ruby Johnson, B.A., & Zane Kathryne Schwaiger, B.A.

        Abstract: Trauma is a life-threatening social issue (Davis & McEarney, 2003). Living through the Corona Virus pandemic warrants opportunities to process uncertainties regarding suffering and healing (Dorman, 2017). Trauma experienced because of the pandemic is not only a psychological marker of adjustment for humanity but an entryway for expressive therapies to develop healing narratives (Sciaraffa, Zeanah & Zeanah, 2018; Perryman, Blissard, Moss, 2019).

        Description: During this practical and experiential presentation, for the sake of reframing the literature's language of trauma, participants will be able to identify the influences of perception toward trauma that impact one's post trauma experiences. Participants will understand a different use of language regarding trauma for informing health care professionals on the best terminology to use as a method of changing perceptions of trauma. Practical strategies for reducing or eliminating highly intensified post trauma experiences supporting loss of control will be presented. Throughout the presentation, participants will explore what trauma cultural language sounds like, the experience of lamenting, and identify supportive cultural language and activities for addressing perceptions of post trauma experiences that lend to mental health wellness. Counselor education and supervision programs prepare mental health professionals to face crises with sensitivity, awareness, and hope. Therefore, as Michigan Counseling Association celebrates the unbreakable profession, highlighting the traumatic experiences that have appeared as an opportunity for the profession to show up as unbreakable amid grief and loss, is worth highlighting and moving through the post effects of experienced trauma.

        Learning Objectives:

        1. Indicate the influence behind perceived trauma pre-Corona Virus pandemic.
        2. Illustrate a self-reflective experience of lamenting.
        3. Identify supportive language for healing trauma.

        Presenter Information:

        The primary presenter is a Nationally Certified Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor, and School Counselor. The presenter has mentored students, consulted with other health professionals within varying communities while maintaining active membership in several professional counseling organizations. The research includes topics such as identity development, group counseling, workplace bullying, and reframing trauma.

        The second presenter worked as a backpacking guide at a camp for youth discipleship in sales and marketing and as the director of kid's ministry for a local church. The presenter volunteers with their local alternative school and is completing a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling while working as an intern for a private counseling practice.

        Breakout Session 2

        Topic:  Creating Resilient Clients: Black Women and Sexual Violence

        Presenter: LaShonda Miller, LLPC, NCC, CTP-C

        Abstract: This presentation brings to light the experiences of black women when they have been sexually assaulted. Participants will explore the aspects such as historical context, barriers to reporting, and cultural considerations that contribute to the perpetuation of sexual assault against black women.

        Description: One in five women will be sexually assaulted over their lifetime (RAINN.org). Out of those women, women of color are disproportionately affected by sexual assault. The numbers of black women who experience sexual assault range from 18% to 22%; however, this only accounts for reported cases (www.blackburncenter.org). Out of every 15 black women who are assaulted, only one reports her case (www.blackburncenter.org). The impact of sexual assault on black women often is dismissed and ignored. Black women are less likely to be believed when they report their assault (now.org). These facts compound the trauma that black women experience and make healing a difficult process. Counselors must understand the dynamics of sexual assault on black women as the prevalence of sexual assault guarantees many counselors encounter a survivor.

        There is a considerable gap in the education of counselors when it comes to sexual assault. Many masters programs in counseling tend to leave out how to work with survivors of sexual assault, let alone address the intersections of sexual assault that identify as black women. Most counselors receive minimal education on multicultural counseling. Without continuing their education, counselors can perpetuate beliefs that contribute to systems of oppression and violence. Counselors who are not educated on the dynamics of sexual assault are at risk of re-traumatizing survivors and committing microaggressions that create barriers for survivors.
        This lecture-style presentation brings to light the experiences of black women when they have been sexually assaulted. Participants will explore the aspects such as historical context, barriers to reporting, and cultural considerations that contribute to the perpetuation of sexual assault against black women. Attendees will gain an understanding of how they can avoid re-traumatizing survivors of sexual assault.
        Given the events of 2020, people of color's experiences have been brought to light in a new way. This presentation contributes to the conference theme of the Unbreakable Profession because counselors ethics are committed to social justice issues and understanding the cultural context of their clients. We are committed to building unbreakable clients through education and professional development.

        Learning Objectives:

        1. Understand how sexual assault impacts Black/African American women differently than white women.
        2. Discuss the historical impact of sexual assault on black women and use this perspective in their clinical practice.
        3. Address the trauma of black women who have been sexually assaulted.

        Presenter Information:

        I hold my Masters in Mental Health Counseling through Capella University, and I am a Limited Licensed Professional Counselor in Detroit, MI. I currently work as a Sexual Assault Advocate at Avalon Healing Center (formerly Wayne County SAFE), providing advocacy and counseling to survivors of sexual assault. I hold a certification in trauma-informed care, and I am a nationally certified counselor.

        Topic:  Who is counseling the counselor? Mediation stress and burnout in counselors

        Presenter: Mary Thomas, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, ACS

        Abstract: This session will focus on stress and burnout in counseling. Participants will explore models of stress and burnout and identify factors that contribute to each. Participants will be asked to reflect on their stressors and ways to mediate these. 

        Description: This session will focus on stress and burnout in counseling. Helpers have always been at an increased risk for stress and burnout, but even more in response to COVID -19. Participants will explore models of stress and burnout and identify factors that contribute to each. Participants will be asked to reflect on their stressors and ways to mediate these. The session aims to increase participants' awareness of stress, burnout, and coping mechanisms daily and in their practice.

        Learning Objectives:

        1. Identify models of stress.
        2. Identify models of burnout.
        3. Identify and implement strategies to address stress in your own life.

        Presenter Information:

        Dr. Mary Thomas is a counselor and counselor educator. She obtained her Ph.D. in Counseling Education from Oakland University in 2010. She is a licensed professional counselor and approved clinical supervisor.

        Topic:  Surviving Subpoenas, Depositions, and Courtroom Testimony as a Counselor

        Presenters: Stephanie T. Burns, Ph.D., LPC, NCC & Daniel R. Cruikshanks, Ph.D., LPC

        Abstract: Good LPCs are involved in legal proceedings for many reasons. Most often, LPCs are involved as part of advocating for their client.  Testifying when unprepared for courtroom dynamics can lead LPCs to feel anxiety, make mistakes that harm clients and themselves. We will help prepare LPCs for these encounters.

        Description: Good licensed professional counselors are involved in legal proceedings for various reasons, not just for malpractice cases against their clinical counseling skills. Most often, licensed professional counselors are involved in legal proceedings as part of advocating for their clients. In this way, licensed professional counselors help their clients build bridges and connections during the counselor's collaboration with various professionals in the legal system to assist the client in meeting their goals.

        Being called to appear in court can be an anxiety-provoking experience for licensed professional counselors. Licensed professional counselors often feel most comfortable when they can help their clients and may feel ill-equipped to handle the adversarial courtroom environment. Testifying when unprepared for courtroom dynamics can lead licensed professional counselors to feel humiliation, make mistakes that harm clients, and find themselves with harmful sanctions on their license. "When someone from the helping professions enters the courtroom, they are entering a different culture. They don't understand why the questions they would like to answer have not been asked or why the questions that have been asked are not the ones they'd like to answer. It can be very frustrating." ~ Betsy Neely, J.D

        Attendees at this session will learn that courtrooms follow a special set of social rules that will seem alien to most counselors, what subpoenas are and what to do after receiving a subpoena, and the difference between being a Witness of Fact versus an Expert Witness and what to do in each role. Learning this critical information is part of creating an unbreakable profession.

        The presenters will provide critical information, discuss their personal experiences, present scenarios for the audience to answer, and take audience questions.

        Learning Objectives:

        1. Attendees will learn that courtrooms follow a special set of social rules that will seem alien to most counselors.
        2. Attendees will learn about subpoenas and what to do after receiving a subpoena.
        3. Attendees will learn the difference between being a Witness of Fact versus an Expert Witness and what to do in each role.

        Presenter Information:

        The primary presenter has been involved in many legal proceedings on behalf of clients. In addition, the presenter has been teaching this information to counselor education students for over 10 years.

        The second presenter has been involved in many legal proceedings on behalf of clients. In addition, the presenter has been teaching this information to counselor education students for over 18 years.

        Topic:  Applications of Buddhist-derived mindfulness-based interventions to counseling practice and counselor self-care.

        Presenters: Varinder Kaur, Ph.D., LPC, & Sylvia Lindinger-Sternart, Ph.D.

        Abstract: Buddhist-derived mindfulness-based interventions (BDMIs) pervade the counseling and psychology literature. The emerging theoretical and empirical scholarship supports greater inclusion of and faithfulness to traditional Buddhist tenets of compassion and wisdom into BDMIs. This presentation will explore the use of such BDMIs in counseling practice and counselor self-care.

        Description: The literature on BDMIs in counseling and psychology is extensive, with over 3000 articles published in English-speaking peer-reviewed journals over the span of four decades (Manocha, 2011). Interventions such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) (Kabat Zinn, 1994) and Loving-Kindness Meditation (LKM) (Kristeller & Johnson, 2005; Salzberg, 1995) have consistently shown to promote physical, emotional, psychological, and relational well-being in clinical populations (Baer, 2003; Fredrickson, Cohn, Coffey, Pek, & Finkel, 2008; Kabat-Zinn, 2003; Shapiro & Carlson, 2009).
        However, some view these interventions as the embodiment of Buddhist reductionism (McWilliams, 2011) and caution they may lead to watered-down effectiveness (Neale, 2011; Shonin, Van Gordon, Slade, & Griffiths, 2013). Furthermore, Buddhist reductionism may help explain adverse effects of MBSR, such as relaxation-induced anxiety, perceived stress, and depression (Dobkin, Irving, and Amar, 2012; Lee & Oh, 2018). Interventions that claim to remain faithful to Buddhist meditations on compassion and wisdom, such as Compassionate View Intervention (CVI) and Meditation Awareness Training (MAT), have only recently emerged with promising results (Lee & Oh, 2018; Shonin et al., 2016). These practices focus on gaining experiential knowledge of Buddhist concepts such as non-self, impermanence, interconnectedness, and non-attachment (Shonin, Van Gordon & Griffiths, 2015; Van Gordon et al., 2013; Van Gordon & Shonin, 2020).
        In light of recent developments in mindfulness research, adopting secular and culturally appropriate interventions presents an important challenge because clients come from different religious backgrounds and worldviews. If counseling practice were to move towards using BDMIs, knowledge, and understanding of traditional Buddhist concepts such as compassion and wisdom are essential. Counselors need to think critically and creatively about infusing Buddhist concepts into secular interventions in both conceptually sound and culturally inclusive ways. Finally, gaining a direct experience of BDMIs may empower counselors to incorporate these practices into their self-care routine to promote wellness and prevent burnout.
        This presentation accords with the conference theme because it hopes to deliver a comprehensive review of cutting-edge developments in BDMI research and provide practical applications to counseling practice and counselor professional development.

        Learning Objectives:

        1. Know and understand the benefits and limitations of the most widely used mindfulness-based interventions in counseling to date.
        2. Learn about compassion and wisdom mindfulness practices and their applications to counseling and counselor self-care.
        3. Gain personal experience through live, guided Buddhist-derived meditation practices.

        Presenter Information:

        The first presenter has taught and supervised counseling students at the master and Ph.D. levels. The first presenter has worked in various clinical settings serving a broad range of populations, including children, adolescents, adults, couples, and older people with various emotional and mental health issues. The first presenter strongly believes that counselor educators and mental health professionals should spend enough time on self-care to prevent impairment and provide quality services to their students and clients. The first presenter's research interests include holistic wellness approaches, mindfulness-based approaches, counselors' professional identity, and advocating for the counseling profession. 

        Dr. Sylvia Lindinger-Sternart has earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education & Supervision at the University of Toledo in the United States. In addition, she holds a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from University of Salzburg, Austria and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Bowling Green State University. Dr. Sylvia Lindinger-Sternart served as the program director (2016-2019) and is Associate Professor and core faculty for the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MSC) program at the University of Providence (UP). She successfully shepherded the program through the accreditation process for Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) in her first year of service. Dr. Lindinger-Sternart came to the university in 2015 from Penn State University. She is licensed as a Professional Counselor in Montana and has earned a Nationwide Certificate in Rehabilitation Counseling. Dr. Lindinger-Sternart has gained clinical experience in individual and group counseling at various settings in different countries. She worked in a Psychosomatic Clinic, Psychiatric Clinics, and Inpatient Clinic for Women with Substance Use Disorders, a College Counseling Center, Community Mental Health agencies and in a Private Practice. Her particular passion is to work with diverse populations across the globe on trauma and how to develop resiliency. She is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Recently, she has started working with Native American populations to address their historical trauma and assist to improve their resilience. Dr. Sylvia Lindinger-Sternart has presented and published on mindfulness, trauma, addiction, suicide prevention, and online counseling services in the counseling field. She brings experience from her previous profession as an engineering project manager in her native country of Austria. Dr. Lindinger-Sternart enjoys painting, embraces activities in nature, and engages in community service to prevent suicide. Website UP: https://www.uprovidence.edu/bio/sylvia-lindinger-sternart/

        Topic:  Acculturative Stress, Loneliness, and Depressive Symptoms in International Students: A Moderation Analysis of Sense of Meaning

        Presenter: Heyde Marques Luz, Ph.D., LPC-R

        Abstract: This study explores the challenges international students face when attending higher education institutions in the U.S The findings indicated a significant relationship between acculturative stress, loneliness, and depressive symptoms. It was found that a sense of meaning moderated the relationship between acculturative stress and depressive symptoms.

        Description: With the growing diversity in higher education institutions, Future Professional Counselors and Counselor Educators need to prepare to attend to International Students (IS) needs who attend American colleges and universities. Transitioning to the US may pose numerous challenges for IS, with potential detriments to their mental health. While they have high expectations for their academic experience in America, IS may undergo psychological distress associated with social dysfunctions, such as interpersonal distress, low self-esteem, racial or ethnic discrimination, sadness, and other symptoms. Therefore, the IS population is more vulnerable to experiencing loneliness and depressive symptoms due to adjustment difficulties related to acculturation. Acculturative stress refers to a specific type that finds its source in the acculturation process and is connected to adjusting to the new environment's adaptive behaviors. It is often accompanied by emotional suffering, such as hopelessness, feelings of inferiority, loneliness, and perceived discrimination. Sense of meaning is defined as the understanding of order, coherence, purpose in one's life, the pursuit and achievement of meaningful goals accompanied by a sense of fulfillment. The central construct of meaning is a connection, where two different components belong to the same category, even if they are physically two different entities. In other words, meaning connects one's experience. This presentation will explore how a sense of meaning moderates the relationship between acculturative stress, loneliness, and depressive symptoms in International Students. Moreover, this presentation will provide information that will enable counselors, educators, and clinicians to meet the needs when working with this population.

        Learning Objectives:

        1. Explore how acculturative stress impacts international student's mental health and well-being.
        2. Describe the interrelationship between depression, loneliness, and acculturative stress, and sense of meaning.
        3. Apply this knowledge when counseling the international student population.

        Presenter Information:

        The presenters have over eight years of experience working with the student population. Additionally, presenters have over years combined experience teaching undergraduate psychology & master's counseling student, including multicultural counseling.

        Breakout Session 3

        Topic:  Utilizing Principles of Posttraumatic Growth to Assist Clients Coping with Significant Loss

        Presenter: Beth Bolthouse, MA, MS, LPC

        Abstract: This breakout session reviews the five posttraumatic growth measures developed by Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun: appreciation for life, relationship with self and others, personal strength, new possibilities, and spiritual development.  Practical tools will be offered to facilitate adaptation, transformation, and increased resilience with clients who have experienced significant loss.

        Description: As we celebrate the unbreakable profession, it is important to recognize that those things that tend to break us are losses. Loss affects every area of our lives, whether we lose a loved one to death or divorce or experience other life challenges (financial, physical, emotional, and spiritual). Clients who have experienced significant loss may find themselves struggling, questioning, feeling confused, even like they are "going crazy." In reality, they are grieving, yet without adequate tools, they may get stuck or become caught in a negative cycle of disenfranchisement and hopelessness. This program will discuss grief elements, the negative ways it affects a person's well-being, and teach meaningful ways to help clients adapt to those challenges.

        We will identify the five posttraumatic growth principles researched by Tedeschi and Calhoun (appreciation for life, relationship with self and others, personal strength, new possibilities, and spiritual development). Utilizing these principles, we will discuss practical help that can be applied in individual client sessions or group settings to facilitate clients' well-being and assist them with adaptation and increased resilience.

        As professional counselors, it is vital to understand how grief significantly impacts our clients' lives and health and wellness. This program will help clinicians find meaningful ways to work through their wounds and become more effective in guiding clients to increased healing.

        Presented in lecture format with PowerPoint, participants will be encouraged to ask questions and engage in discussion.

        Learning Objectives:

        1. Discuss the five areas of posttraumatic growth: appreciation for life, relationship with self and others, personal strength, new possibilities, spiritual development.
        2. Demonstrate ways traumatic grief impacts a person's identity and purpose.
        3. Utilize at least three practical tools that positively increase a client's sense of purpose and identity following a significant loss.

          Presenter Information:

          The presenter has worked in grief counseling for 14 out of 18 years as LPC;  has a Master of Arts in Counseling and a Master of Science in Thanatology; is a published author of articles related to grief and loss issues and a posttraumatic growth workbook for clients and groups.

          Topic:  Social Justice Advocacy in Education: Hearing the Voices of female African American Faculty

          Presenters: Tezonia Morgan, Ph.D., NCC, ACS & Saudia L. Twine, Ph.D., NCC, LPC, LLMFT

          Abstract: Researchers identified a centralized issue that Universities have difficulty retaining female African American faculty. Racial microaggression is a common theme in the experiences of African American women professors. The Critical Race Theory helps address racial microaggression while providing a safe place for African American female faculty voices to be heard.

          Description: Researchers identified a centralized issue that Universities have difficulty retaining female African American faculty. Racial microaggression is the common theme in the experiences of African American women in academia (Morales, 2020; Pittman, 2012). Although they have terminal degrees, African American female faculties experiences and education are often questioned inside and outside the classroom. Their experiences tend to be minimized to avoid addressing racism and bias in the classroom, which leads to the African American female faculty feeling unsupported and vulnerable. The Critical Race Theory (CRT) helps address racial microaggression while providing a safe place for African American female faculty voices to be heard (Lee, 2018; Haskins & Singh, 2015). Counselor social justice advocacy is an essential and integrated part of counseling practice (Singh, Appling, & Trepal, 2020). Social justice and advocacy must first start with faculty, staff, and the administrative body of Universities. Critical consciousness is necessary to awaken the African American female faculty voice in advocating for the interruption of narratives based on implicit bias and begin actively decolonizing counseling beliefs and practices which limit social justice advocacy work. CRT provides a framework to increase one's cultural competence, address racism, identify racial microaggression, white hegemonic societal practices that silence the voice of marginalized racial and ethnic groups. CRT provides language and space for self-reflection, which is necessary for exploring the way racialized experiences affect one's voice in the world, the workplace, and work with students (Lee, 2018; Haskins & Singh, 2015). It provides African American female faculty a voice by revealing personal narratives of oppression, liberation, and resilience, exploring collegiate experiences of students of color, and providing a space to combat the deficit language and thinking associated with historically marginalized populations. (Lee, 2018; Haskins & Singh, 2015; Ford & Airhihenbuwa, 2010). CRT provides an opportunity for the gap in education and experience to be closed (Leibowitz-Nelson, Baker, & Nassar 2020). To address this need, this education session will address the following learning objectives: (1) It will provide an opportunity for continued multicultural competency development in collegiate education within faculty and students, (2) Stimulate reflection and introspection to galvanize counselor efforts; to further interrupt social injustice on behalf of African American female faculty, (3) Provide participants strategies and resources to incorporate into their counselor voice when engaging in social justice advocacy with and on behalf of their African American female colleagues and students they serve, (4) Participants will explore the importance of social justice advocacy to faculty, and (5) Increase awareness of trends and gaps in addressing counseling social justice advocacy in the collegiate setting.

          Learning Objectives:

          1. Learn the importance of using the multicultural and social justice competencies as a lens to evaluate the current events impacting the social climate in the United States.
          2. Learn the importance of social justice advocacy to faculty.
          3. Gain awareness of trends and gaps in addressing counseling social justice advocacy in the collegiate setting.

          Presenter Information:

          Dr. Tezonia Morgan is passionate about the mental health field, the concept of forgiveness, and mental freedom in the African American community. She completed her doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision with a Leadership and Program Development specialization at Walden University in 2017. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the states of Michigan and Colorado. She also holds the national credentials of Board-Certified Counselor and Approved Clinical Supervisor. She is enthusiastic about education and changing the mindset of today's society. Outside of teaching, she has a private practice, Wings of Virtue, where she counsels, conducts clinical supervision, consultation, and develops research. Dr. Morgan, also known as "The Forgiveness Doctor," has studied and developed the concept of forgiveness. People worldwide seek her out to walk through the forgiveness process and receive healing from past hurts. Outside of forgiveness, her research interests include racial microaggression, the breakdown of the African American home, and the deaf and hard of hearing culture. She travels across the country and presents her research findings at conferences, symposiums, and webinars.

          Dr. Saudia L. Twine's passion and purpose are to help couples build emotional connection and intimacy within their marriages. She believes every person, couple, and family can find the path to their own personal and relational success if given the proper guidance. Her goal is to help restore the marital covenant's sanctity and help couples develop healthy emotional expression through vulnerability, thereby promoting close connection and overcoming relational challenges. Dr. Twine is dual-licensed in counseling and marriage and family therapy.

          Topic:  Building Shame Resilience in Clients

          Presenters: Chrisfa Pierrant, B.S. & Christina Bitson, B.A.

          Abstract: Shame is a universal emotion that contributes to internal messages of not being enough.  When shame is recognized, individuals gain power over their emotional experience of shame and are better able to re-story their experiences. Re-storying shame contributes to shame resiliency which translates to healthier socioemotional functioning.

          Description: This program's learning goal is to inform participants of the universal nature of shame, precipitating factors that contribute to the presentation of shame, and fostering shame resiliency within clients. During this time of COVID-19, clients are more isolated than ever, contributing to increased feelings of shame. Helping clients learn to manage feelings by recognizing the impact of shame and building shame resilience are helpful tools.

          This presentation is an educational project presented as a lecture. This program fits with the conference theme as shame resilience is a critical component in fostering the counseling profession's unbreakable spirit. As the counseling profession continues to stand strong against environmental challenges such as Covid-19 and the past licensing scare (which attempted to eliminate counselor's ability to diagnose and treat clients), counselors must exercise their resiliency.

          Learning Objectives:

          1. List at least three factors that precipitate shame.
          2. List at least one difference between shame and guilt and at least one difference between internalized shame and externalized shame.
          3. Identify at least two components of shame resiliency.

          Presenter Information:

          Chrisfa works at Aquinas college, focused on helping students find and maintain wellness. She graduated from GVSU with a bachelor's degree in Allied Health Sciences. She is currently working on her master's degree in Counseling from Spring Arbor University and will complete her degree in May 2021. Her goal is to help college students thrive on campus and integrate into campus life successfully.

          Christina is a counselor in training, completing her Master of Arts in Counseling Degree from Spring Arbor University. Christina is currently interning at Newaygo County Community Mental Health, where she bears witness to her own client's struggles with shame. It is from these experiences that her interest in shame-informed therapeutic approaches was fostered. Christina hopes to practice Equine Therapy in the future.

          Topic:  Navigating the Slippery Slopes of Telehealth: Ethical Considerations for Counselors

          Presenters: Kendra L. Jackson, Ph.D., LPC, NCC & Jenny L. Chien, Ph.D., LPC (MI), LMHC (FL), Qualified Supervisor (FL)

          Abstract: The usage of telehealth services has increased during COVID. Although telehealth provides various benefits, this approach also includes a mountain of considerations for counselors to examine. Therefore, this presentation will provide effective strategies for counselors to successfully navigate the slippery slopes of telehealth ethically.  

          Description: Amid COVID-19, counselors are pursuing alternatives to provide counseling and support services while maintaining social distancing guidelines and promoting safety. Counselors have been adjusting their counseling approaches to utilize telehealth platforms to create a meaningful therapeutic experience that fosters healing, hope, and growth. However, many counselors lack formal training in telehealth practices and may not be aware of the considerations for ethical distance counseling practice. As counselors navigate the new territory of telehealth, they must continue to uphold the ethical standards of the profession. This includes the integration of the distance counseling standards outlined in the ACA Code of Ethics (2014) and the ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors (2016). Counselors will need to recognize and consider telehealth's challenges and limitations to successfully navigate the slippery slopes of telehealth services to avoid plummeting into major ethical snowbanks that can compromise client care, competent services, and hinder the therapeutic process.

          Participants in this session will gain knowledge of the current ethical considerations for the use of telehealth counseling. The current standards regarding distance counseling in the ACA Code of Ethics (2014) and the ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors (2016) will be reviewed. Effective strategies and procedures to mitigate potential ethical dilemmas will be explored. This session aims to increase knowledge on ethical compliance to decrease potential client harm while also mitigating issues that could lead to litigation and malpractice. Counselors will have the opportunity to engage this topic through case studies highlighting realistic telehealth challenges. They will have the opportunity to practice implementing effective modalities that will help counselors successfully navigate the slippery slopes of telehealth with clients in clinical practice.

          Learning Objectives:

          1. Discuss the evolution of telehealth, including the advantages and limitations for clinical practice and client care.
          2. Review current standards regarding distance counseling in both the ACA Code of Ethics (2014) and the ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors (2016) to guide ethical telehealth practice.
          3. Discuss and explore effective strategies to mitigate potential ethical dilemmas surrounding telehealth counseling.

            Presenter Information:

            The primary presenter is an Assistant Professor of Counseling who teaches Internship, Multicultural Counseling, and other clinical courses. As an LPC and LSC, she has worked with clients and students in various settings and has supervised post-graduates to cultivate their clinical skills to help augment treatment for clients.

            The second presenter has a Ph.D. in Counseling and is an Assistant Professor of Counseling, teaching Counseling Ethics, Practicum, and Internship. She is licensed as an LPC (MI), LMHC, and Qualified Supervisor (FL) and has 15 years of counseling experience in university counseling centers, outpatient clinics, and faith-based organizations.

            Topic:  Building Self Care and Resilience with Mindfulness and Mindful Self Compassion

            Presenter: Cheryl Blackington, M.Ed., CMT

            Abstract: In this session, the presenter will share how mindfulness and mindful self-compassion can provide the tools and skills to maintain balance as counselors meet the many demands of students, parents, and staff. The presentation will be a blend of lecture, discussion, and experiential practices.

            Description: This presentation will give an overview of mindfulness and mindful self-compassion to help support ourselves and others. This year it has become even more important to prioritize social-emotional skills to meet the long-term stress and trauma we have experienced. The counseling profession is indeed a tribute to the hardworking, caring, and passionate people who help so many. But at the same time, we must take the time to care for ourselves to avoid extreme stress and burnout so we may truly maintain an "Unbreakable" Profession! 

            Learning Objectives:

            1. Identify the parts of the brain that stress affects.
            2. Use stress reduction practices and self-compassion practices.
            3. Identify the differences between Mindfulness and Mindful Self Compassion.
            Presenter Information:

              Cheryl has been teaching mindfulness, mindful self-compassion, and mindful parenting for the past eight years. She has completed training and is certified for numerous programs: Mindful Schools, Mindful Self Compassion for Youth, KORU for the college-age, and Mindful Parenting. She is a retired public school teacher and became affiliated with The Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness five years ago.

              Cheryl has been teaching mindful Stress Reduction and Mindful Self Compassion to area youth for eight years. In addition, she leads mindful parenting workshops, conducts mindfulness workshops for the public at large, and speaks about the power of mindfulness in bringing about change in individuals and communities.

              Michigan Counseling Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 

              Address: P.O. Box 930422 | Wixom, MI 48393

              Email: michigancounselingassociation@gmail.com

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