Friday Sessions
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Registration Deadlines and Fees: Early registrations


Friday, November 6, 2015, 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM


Morning Mindfulness Practice Group

Mindfulness - Stratford Room

AlanForrest, TedEdlich

Mindfulness is the art of conscious living and being in the present moment; that is, the intentional attending to what is happening  right now without judgment or reactivity.   The purpose of the morning practice group is to provide an opportunity for participants to have a place to begin their day in stillness and silence. The structure of the 30-45 minute practice group will consist of a welcome, lightly guided period, and silent sitting practice. We are all each others' teachers; therefore we will conclude with an optional open discussion. Beginners are welcome. This is a gentle way to begin your day.



Friday, November 6, 2015, 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

1 Hour Sessions


Keeping Up With The Counseling Profession: Current Issues On The National Level


Ethics & Professional Issues - Crystal Ballroom


ACA wants to help VCA members stay current with issues on the national level. ACA's Chief Professional Officer will discuss major challenges that would allow counselors to discriminate against LGBTQ clients, advances in licensure portability, the coalescence of professional identity, new employment opportunities, changes in the upcoming 2016 CACREP standards, and other current seminal issues.


Involuntary Mental Health Procedures in Virginia: What Counselors Need to Know


More Potpourri - Lexington Room

KurtisHooks, YvonneLynn

The purpose of this presentation is to provide a critical analysis of Emergency Custody Orders (ECO), Temporary Detaining Orders (TDO) and Involuntary Commitments in the state of Virginia. The presenters will begin by providing and "insider's view" to what actually happens during the ECO and TDO processes. The presenters will provide a historical context for current code and procedures, provide an overview of the specifics of the current Virginia code related to these processes, and discuss the impacts on clients and their families in addition to implications for providers. Specifically, the presenters will discuss the aftermath of involuntary mental health actions especially related to therapeutic alliance. Practical scenarios will be presented to illustrate challenging involuntary scenarios and audience feedback will be solicited.


Classroom Management Strategies for the Professional School Counselor

Potpourri - Chesapeake Room

AndaWeaver, LauraJones

Working with and managing a large group of students on a time crunch can be quite challenging at times. The goal of this presentation is to increase comfort and skill level with classroom discipline and management techniques.  Both presenters are former teachers and will use their knowledge of teaching and counseling to tackle the issue by explaining what classroom management is and why it is necessary.   Basic techniques will be covered that may prove beneficial for school counselors as they engage in teaching classroom guidance lessons, leading groups, and consulting with classroom teachers.


Mindset Matters-Encouraging a Growth Mindset

School Tools - Mount Vernon Room

DeniseSchmitter, StacieSexton

The mind and what one believes is very powerful. A person's beliefs can help or hinder student success. Participants will understand the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. The topic will be explored in greater depth with individuals taking a look at his/her own mindset and self-evaluating which mindset he/she most often uses when working with students. This session will include suggestions on ways to incorporate self-efficacy and growth mind-set into classroom lessons, counseling sessions, parent conferences, and general conversations with students. Recommendations will be provided on how to give feedback to students in a manner that encourages a growth mindset. Participants will be provided with resources designed to assist in changing mindsets.


The Essence of Self-Injury

Specialized Techniques & Populations - Blue Ridge Room

Megan Hines, M.S., LPC

Join us for an examination and discussion of the most current facts and leading therapeutic strategies for working with individuals who engage in self-injury.



Friday, November 6, 2015, 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM

2 hour sessions


"Stressed Out": Engagement and Strategies for Anxiety Management in College Populations

Career & College Counseling - Piedmont Room

CharlotteChapman, CatherineErickson

The popular song "Stressed Out" by Twenty One Pilots speaks to the fears and insecurities faced by young adults.  As the demands of competitive college curriculums and social pressures stretch the available resources of today's college students, counselors are seeing an increase in the demand for anxiety and stress management in clinical settings.  Social comparison, peer feedback, and self-evaluation are all factors that influence identity and can make college students particularly vulnerable to anxiety.  Therapeutic engagement with this population can be difficult as students seek autonomy and individuation from other adults.  In addition, student's over scheduled lifestyles, achievement oriented approach and preoccupation with social relationships can make retention difficult while also complicating efforts to manage stress.  How do clinicians establish engagement while respecting the student's autonomy and personal goals?  How do counselors collaborate with the student to help move them toward their goals in ways that foster expedient results and do not overwhelm them?

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a collaborative conversation style that works for' and with the client to move them toward change.  MI is client centered and has proven effective with anxiety in college students.  During this workshop, Catherine Erickson and Charlotte Chapman will discuss how to use MI to engage college students and identify change language.  In addition, we will discuss a brief, solution focused CBT based model to address symptoms of anxiety and stress within this population. Anxiety manifests in a variety of ways for college students including perfectionism, body image concerns and social anxiety.  There are therapeutic techniques that support increased self-awareness and autonomy, which align with student's values and often reduce perceived stress levels.  Some of the strategies that we will discuss include mindfulness, acceptance, establishing choices, exposure and self-care.  During the workshop, we will present a role-play that models this approach.  We will also play the song "Stressed Out" and pass out the lyrics to attendees.


The Secure Child: Translating Attachment Theory into Practice

Child, Marriage & Family - Dominion Room

SomerGeorge, GregCzyszczon, KelleyHunt

What is the significance of a healthy attachments and how can they be used to bring about


healing? This session describes innovative practices for families whose children are dealing with emotional regulation and relationship difficulties. During this presentation, participants will explore ideas about attachment, and will be encouraged to think about ways to incorporate these ideas into their practice. They will learn how the Secure Child In-Home Program uses effective assessment and intervention strategies to bring about relational and behavioral change. The session includes a case study from a family who has participated in this therapy.


The Use of Metaphor and Story-Telling to Work with Codependent Behaviors

Clinical Tools - Regency Ballroom East


The value of using metaphor and story-telling in counseling sessions is gaining increasing recognition and incorporation into the therapy process. Clients come to understand new things through various techniques and experiences, and the use of metaphor and story-telling provides the counselor with additional resources to help with learning and change.

This session will offer an opportunity to look at several codependent behaviors from both a clinical perspective as well as through metaphor and story-telling. In September, 2012, my book, "My Life as a Border Collie: Freedom from Codependency," was published by Central Recovery Press. This session will work with material from that book including a careful look at the core features of codependency found through research, an application of those core features to specific behaviors associated with codependency, and time with Tales and Lessons about my Border Collie, Daisy, and me that demonstrate and teach about selected codependent behaviors: Serving, Herding, and Being Tenacious. In Border Collie/codependent language, these behaviors can be expressed in these ways: Serving - “Is there anything I can do for you?"; Herding - “What's everyone doing? Are you all okay?"; Being Tenacious - "I know you want me to stop, but I don't want to.


Creative Exposure Treatment: Using Art Focusing to promote emotional development, emotion regulation, and self-compassion. - Creative Interventions - Regency Ballroom West


Focusing is an evidence-based counseling skill developed by Eugene Gendlin (1996). Focusing is taught and practiced across the world to promote mental health, peace, conflict resolution, creativity, and educational effectiveness (Rappaport, 2009). In this workshop attendees will learn to assess and conceptualize their own and their client's (of all ages and diverse backgrounds) emotional development to promote attunement with self and others, emotional development, mind organization, affect regulation, and self-compassion in a creative, powerful, and, what I consider, a delightful manner (its fun and profoundly effective!).


White Southerners Remember When Segregation Seemed Normal {to Them) - Diversity & Social Justice - Empire Room

Walter (Andy)Anderson, DerickWilliams

Counselors and counselor educators contribute to the national dialogue on race every time they help anyone understand relationships between current and past racial attitudes. For example, counselor educators teach multicultural courses to pre-service counselors, courses that rightly highlight the relationship between current racial attitudes and those behind acts of violent white racists during the Jim Crow and Civil Rights Eras. However, many of these courses are largely silent about an aspect of segregation that is less well known but was much more pervasive.

Specifically, results of recent qualitative research suggest that many white Southerners accepted segregation as normal during the Jim Crow Era, but without actively supporting it or hating African Americans. We believe this attitude helps explain why legal segregation lasted so long and why people continue to tolerate injustice today. We believe our presentation will help all of us (counselors and counselor educators) to contribute even more to the national dialogue and to increase our awareness of contemporary injustices.


Brief yoga clinical interventions for pediatric populations experiencing anxiety.

Mindfulness - Stratford Room


It is estimated that up to 13 percent of children will experience anxiety, making anxiety disorders among children more common than other mood disorders or attention deficit

disorders. Often, children and families are looking for brief interventions to carry outside of the treatment room and into their lives at home and school. This session examines yoga, yogic breathing, and mindfulness interventions developmentally tailored to pediatric populations experiencing anxiety. Participants will be given foundational knowledge about yoga and mindfulness, guidelines for incorporating these interventions into brief therapy and integration, ethical considerations, follow up strategies, and specific interventions to try. Participants will have an opportunity to practice the interventions.


Neuroscience and Narrative in Trauma Treatment - Narrative Therapy - Georgian Room

William "Wally"Scott

New developments in the trauma treatment field continue to dramatically expand and inform our work.  While verbal processing in trauma treatment remains an important aspect of this work, advances in neuroscience point to the need for a "bottom-up" approach that addresses traumatic experiences in the body, and affect regulation.


Meditation on the cushion and off: How meditation and mindfulness affect therapeutic relationships

Professional Development & Supervision - Appalachian Room

MichaelHorst, ChereeHammond

Come to this session to gain insights into how mindfulness and meditation on the part of the therapist can influence experiences of openness, compassion, empathy, attunement, and trust. You will explore how mindfulness and meditation help to facilitate shifts in identity and presence within the context of the therapeutic relationship. The presenters will also provide you with an opportunity to engage a brief mindfulness or meditation activity and a structure will be provided for developing your own mindfulness and meditation practice to support greater therapeutic alliances with your clients. The presenters will share findings from their spring, 2015 research.


Working with trauma: Neuroscience, multicultural issues, and evidence-based practices that facilitate a therapeutic alliance and post-traumatic growth - Understanding & Treating Trauma - Theatre Room

AimeeBrickner, JamieRice, DariaWhite

The experience of trauma has a complex impact on the neural networks and different areas of the brain (Cozolino, 2002).  It can become the unspeakable terror that alienates the sufferer and fractures their worldview, relationships and meaning-making abilities. In this workshop we will discuss the neuroscience of trauma, explore various developmental, multicultural, and ethical considerations in regards to trauma, provide information that helps explain the challenges trauma presents to the counselor-client working relationship, and illustrate the efficacy of several evidence-based interventions. We will offer case-studies from our integration of brain and narrative work with victims of violence, traumatized children, and Middle-Eastern refugees.




Friday, November 6, 2015, 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM



Counselors and Attorneys: Working Together on Behalf of our Clients


Ethics & Professional Issues - Crystal Ballroom

KevinDoyle, JonHuddleston

Working collaboratively with attorneys is an important skill for counselors to master. This presentation will feature contributions from both a counselor in private practice and an attorney who frequently refers clients to counseling. Suggestions about how to work most effectively on our clients' behalf will be presented and discussed.


Role of a counselor in prevention of child sexual abuse

More Potpourri – Lexington Room


This proposed presentation is based on a recently published book titled "Father Figure – my mission to prevent child sexual abuse", by Sumi Mukherjee. The workshop focuses on prevention by intervention and how counselors can have a major role in this. Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a silent epidemic that takes place throughout the United States, creating social havoc for the children, adult survivors, and society. Even one single episode of child sexual abuse can scar the person for the rest of his/her life. Through a captivating story the presenter demonstrates how a timely intervention can dismantle a possibly abusive setup and thereby prevent possible child sexual abuse. The presentation elaborates on the numerous challenges involved in dealing with several inconsistencies in trying to work effectively with the various "systems". The workshop emphasizes the fact that prevention means doing something "before it actually happens" and how our systems such as child protective services and law enforcement services aren't always as effective in a preventive situation. Counselors can have a significant role in prevention of CSA because, (1) children often feel more comfortable discussing this with trusted adults such as counselors rather than family members, (2) many of our systems are more likely to respond to a concern brought in by a counselor.


Mental Health Recovery in Community Counseling

Potpourri - ChesapeakeRoom

ChristinaDormstetter-O'Keefe, CherylThompson

The Mental Health Recovery in Community Counseling session presents information from the literature related to the recovery movement in mental health treatment. It presents the audience with ways to integrate current treatment modalities into the recovery movement for maximum benefit for individuals who have mental health diagnoses including severe mental illnesses such as major affective disorders and psychotic disorders. This information is valuable in


working with adolescents and adults in empowering individuals and providing hope for a healthy, active lifestyle integrated in the community in which the individual chooses to live.


The New IQ?: Understanding and Teaching Executive Function Skills in and Out of the Classroom

School Tools - Mount Vernon Room

AmyFortney Parks

Teaching young minds to think clearly and efficiently is a universal goal of parents and teachers alike. Thinking skills such as planning, goal setting, organizing, prioritizing, self-monitoring, accessing working memory, inhibitory (impulse) control and sustaining focused attention are critical to academic, vocational and relationship success at every age. Most important, the development of these skills allows youth to mature into independent, healthy and functional adults.

Despite the importance of these "executive function" skills, these thinking processes are not systemically taught at home or in schools and are not the focus of mainstream school curriculums. Rather, emphasis is on the content or the "what" of learning. Executive function skills are the "how" of learning. When a young person has poor or underdeveloped executive function skills, they can appear disorganized, unprepared and unmotivated. This is valuable to the target audience because by providing explicit instruction in executive function processes, parents and teachers can significantly elevate the thinking abilities in their children and students.


Ancient Perspectives on Healing after Death: Relieving the Pain of Complicated Grief in our Clients

Specialized Techniques & Populations - Blue Ridge Room

RadhaHorton-Parker, SkipHorton-Parker

Every counselor will at some time encounter clients who wrestle with the deaths of loved ones or their own impending deaths. A majority of these clients will be Christians, as the religious population of the US is 88% Christian. Some of these individuals may experience complicated grief that can be caused or exacerbated by certain root theological assumptions common to western conservative Christianity, such as fear of damnation, belief in God as angry and wrathful, or unforgivable sin. To restore hope, this presentation will explore the possibility of healing and personal growth after death, based upon the Eastern Orthodox Christian notion of salvation as "therapeia". This theological approach is quite unlike that of modern Western Catholic and Protestant thought, yet was unquestionably present in the orthodox theology of the ancient church, and is finding increasing acceptance in western theology



Friday, November 6, 2015, 12:45 PM – 1:45 PM

1 Hour Sessions



Helping Counselors Support First-Generation College Students in Multi-culturally Sensitive Ways: Career Exploration and Decision-Making

Career & College Counseling - Piedmont Room

Pierre Durant, Hannah Hall

While there are many resources available to first-generation students on actually getting into college, but with regard to career development, there is little available for counselors. Since a high percentage of first-generation college students are from underrepresented populations it is important that counselors are multi-culturally competent in their interventions. First generation students are characterized by having no immediate family members having obtained a college degree. These students often include but are not limited to immigrants, international students, and U.S. born minorities. We want to support counselors in furthering the career exploration options for first-generation students through building bridges to family members, utilizing effective and valid career assessments, and by helping students obtain resources to be successful in their given career fields.   We will present findings from a recent survey  about what career counseling methods have been most helpful to this population in their vocational exploration and thereby make recommendations for counselors in the field. We will also facilitate a career exploration activity within our presentation that helps organize an individual's preferences in discovering their ideal job.


Preparing Couples for the Happily Ever After: Premarital Counseling Tools for the Trade

Child, Marriage & Family - Dominion Room

Grace Viere

Marriage can be one of the most rewarding decisions made in a lifetime but oftentimes people enter in to this union ill-equipped for the challenges that lie ahead. Premarital counseling helps couples develop strong, healthy relationships while addressing topics that could lead to future problems. 

This session provides counselors and future counselors the opportunity to increase their understanding of the needs of the premarital couple and offers practical strategies and techniques to utilize in their practices. 

The session  introduces key elements of strong relationships and provides a framework for counselors to use when working with couples. Topics addressed  include: How to talk about money, expectations, family of origin issues and their impact on current relationships, how to disagree without ending the relationship, and healthy communication.



Creative Cool Counseling Techniques for Children (that can be adapted for children of all ages)

Creative Interventions - Regency Ballroom West

Susan Gum Catlett

Come, Share, & have some Fun! Bring an idea or two to share as we explore creative, cool counseling tools.  We will look at games that work and those that really don't.  We will review books with fun activities skits, role plays, stories, songs, activities with movement and creative expressive arts that can be used with children (from 5 to 80) in the counseling setting.  Activities that address different sensory needs and modes of learning will be explored.  This will be a fun, participant shared presentation on ways   connecting with our clients and creating "Joy".


Mindfulness Across the Ages

Mindfulness - Stratford Room

Michele Kielty, Tammy Gilligan, A. Renee Staton

The practice of mindfulness is age-old. Ever since its introduction to modern culture, beginning with the medical community, there has been a growing body of evidence the therapeutic effectiveness of mindfulness practices with a variety of populations. This presentation will cover the following: basic principles and practices of mindfulness; how to integrate realistic and helpful mindfulness practices into the life of a counseling practitioner; and specific ways of being with clients in a mindful way as well as appropriate therapeutic tools for clients across the lifespan. The practice-base component of this presentation will be primarily focused on individual interventions.


Why Can't We Be Friends?  Creating successful collaborations between community mental health providers within schools

More Potpourri - Lexington Room

Linda Grubba, Gary Wardlaw

Bringing community mental health providers into schools is not a new concept. Some Virginia school began this practice in the 1980s with Safe and Drug Free Schools money. Unfortunately, the integration has not always been smooth, well planned, or well supported. The end results are systems within systems that do not collaborate or connect effectively. There can be feelings of resentment or misunderstanding amongst the professionals. Our goal is to expose the audience to a system that works. A school where the counselor and Day Treatment clinicians work as part of the total team; assisting and supporting one another with the ever-challenging job of helping students be successful. The presenters will share their experiences in creating a healthy and successful program that cultivated student growth beyond the need of support services.


The Brain Likes To Get Sweaty

Potpourri - Chesapeake Room

Mark Jones

A recently growing body of scientific research is demonstrating that exercise increases the size of the brain, increases the number of neuron branches and fosters production of a neurotransmitter (BDNF) that enhances brain electrical activity. Researchers studying the impact of exercise on the brain are showing that it benefits students in multiple ways. There is evidence that physical exercise helps improve school attendance, self esteem, concentration, executive function, grades and achievement scores. There are also studies that support the conclusion that the benefits are dose dependent (the more the better). Other studies have shown that when exercise is increased at the sacrifice of teaching time in core subjects, academic scores in core areas still go up. Some schools and school districts have embraced the evidence, but most have not.  The CDC recommends 60 minutes of daily exercise for children. In this presentation, practical examples will be given for counselors who work in schools on how to help schools reach the 60 minute daily goal without necessarily increasing the school budget or length of school day. We will learn science and learn by doing.


Investigating the Implications of a Structured Peer Group Supervision Model


Professional Development & Supervision - Appalachian Room

Michael Kalkbrenner, Marina Kuzmina

This presentation will review various training models and best practices for teaching the Introduction to Counseling Skills and Supervision courses. A structured Peer Group Supervision Model will be discussed as an avenue for giving students direct practice through role plays and other experiential learning activities. Presenters will provide first-hand knowledge of this experience and provide tips for implementation.


The Power of Peers: Utilizing Students in Classroom Guidance Delivery

School Tools - Mount Vernon Room

Lauren Wynne

The impact of information shared by peers often carries more weight than when the same message is shared by adults. Student delivery of classroom guidance content in collaboration with the school counselor makes use of a dynamic human resource and offers opportunities for student leadership development. Please come hear about two student led programs focused on the academic, social/emotional, and college/career development of students and share ideas for how this has worked in your K-12 setting.


Addressing Privilege, Oppression and Counselor Pedagogy with Counselors in Training


Professional Development & Supervision – Crystal Room

Monica Band, Christian Chan, Maya Georgieva, Lillian Walker-Shelton

Multicultural counseling competencies and standards provide a foundation for culturally appropriate ethical practice. These standards are reflective of attitudes, knowledge, and skills that counselors should possess when working within an increasingly diverse society. According to Sue (2012), culturally skilled counselors will posses the knowledge and ability to understand how oppression, racism, discrimination, and stereotyping affect them personally and professionally. Thus, having knowledge about sociopolitical influences that impinge on the life of racial and ethnic minorities is essential to counselor practice. Although counselor preparation programs have increasingly focused on multiculturalism in counseling, there is a continued need to explore trainees' self-awareness to facilitate multicultural competency (Hill, 2003). Research findings suggest that exploring privilege and oppression within course work facilitates multicultural counseling competency and provides educators with insight into the differential levels of counselor awareness of these constructs (Ancis & Szymanski, 2001; Hays et al., 2004). Previous research also highlights the consequences of not addressing privilege and oppression in counselor education and practice. Exploration of these constructs fosters introspection and significant personal and professional growth (Kiselica, 1998). Because counselors and clients bring to the session their personal experiences of privilege and oppression, it is imperative for counselors to address these issues to avoid unethical practice (Arredondo, 1999).


Enhancing Positive Emotions to Promote Posttraumatic Growth

Understanding & Treating Trauma - Theatre Room

Lennis Echterling, Daria White, Aimee Brickner, Jamie Rice

People facing traumas and crises struggle with intense feelings of anguish, turmoil, and distress.  However, at times most survivors also are experiencing some positive emotions, however slight.  These feelings include gratitude, compassion, relief, courage, awe, and hope.  In this session, we describe and demonstrate innovative crisis intervention techniques counselors can use to identify and enhance these positive emotions that are so essential not only for surviving crises, but also for thriving in life.




Friday, November 6, 2015, 12:45 PM – 2:45 PM

2 hour sessions


Transforming Counselors: Embrace the Rainbow of Gender Diversity

Diversity & Social Justice - Empire Room

Laura Farmer, Dolly Davis

Binary concepts of gender are no more. This presentation is designed to increase counselors' knowledge, awareness, and skill related to working with clients who identify along the gender spectrum.  The presenters will address terminology, pronouns, and appropriate language to affirm and empower clients who identify as trans, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, or who have had a transgender experience in the past.  The presenters will facilitate an open and safe environment for questions and discussion.


To Market, To Market:  Growing a Private Counseling Practice in a Small Community

Clinical Tools - Regency Ballroom East

Jennifer Behm, Jennifer Cline

Utilizing personal knowledge and experience, the presenters demystify the requirements of initiating and maintaining an independent private counseling practice.  The presenters discuss the personal skills, competencies, and perspectives required to build a thriving private practice.  They provide a detailed plan that includes the "who, what, when, where, why, and how" of a successful counseling business.  The presenters describe the daily tasks required in maintaining a private practice and a detailed discussion of the ethical and financial aspects of the counseling business. In addition to detailing general private practice requirements, the presenters address specific needs of a counseling practice in a small community.  Small communities have unique needs around issues such as confidentiality and affordability.  Using a gardening metaphor to organize the material, the presenters provide a clear picture of the pros and cons of a private counseling practice endeavor.  While private practice is not without risks or potential difficulties, it is a viable option for clinicians who are motivated, creative, and ambitious.


Lead Like Lincoln: Mastering a Leader's Storytelling Skills

Narrative Therapy - Georgian Room

Leslie Schaffer

Leadership and leader behavior is important for any professional discipline. However, this issue has mainly been ignored or neglected throughout the history of counseling and the training of counselors.  One lesson we can draw from Abraham Lincoln is that an effective leader is a master storyteller. Lincoln worked for years to master his skills. In this workshop, you will develop your storytelling and story-listening skills with purpose and a plan. You will learn basic steps and skills, and as Lincoln discovered, you'll get better by telling in front of an audience.  There are no shortcuts to becoming a good storyteller, but there is a process to enhance and power-up what you may already be doing. This workshop will demonstrate how building leadership storytelling skills enhances a counselor's impact on clients and students, and on their own personal career development goals.


Contemplative Psychotherapy with Adolescents Struggling with Anxiety

Specialized Techniques & Populations - Blue Ridge Room

Cheree Hammond

This session will introduce school and community counselors to the theory and techniques of Contemplative Psychotherapy, an approach based in Tibetan Buddhist Psychology, and its uses in addressing teen anxiety. This session will also include an integration of Mindful Self-Compassion. Participants will have an opportunity to engage mindfulness & meditation activities suitable for both the clinical and school settings and will leave the session with resources for their work with teens.




Friday, November 6, 2015, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM



Opportunities, Obstacles, and Options: Career Planning with Collegiate & Professional Athletes

Career & College Counseling - Piedmont Room

Kelley Old,. Jennifer Gerlach

Research indicates that many athletes enter professional sports with a one-dimensional lens with limited interest and exposure to career exploration and career decision making. Limited job security in professional sports often forces athletes to seek alternate career paths. Former professional athletes often face significant career problems when transitioning to the world outside of sports. Through current research on best practices, this presentation will address strategies appropriate for working with former student-athletes and retired professional athletes on life after sports. Information will include approaches to teaching transferable skills, career exploration and development, and personal counseling techniques specific for this population.


Relationship Rescue 101

Child, Marriage & Family - Dominion Room

Angie Anderson

In this session, we will explore a proactive plan on enhancing modern couples counseling by getting back to the basics.  Clinicians will refocus on ways to introduce a more effective treatment plan with couples to help them stay focused on creating growth in self while establishing a healthier foundation as a unit.  This treatment plan prepares couples to deal with issues that bring them into counseling by enhancing assertiveness, eliminating communication blocks, setting limits with effective conflict resolution skills, and exploring ways to enhance mutual respect through a review of Chapman's Five Love Languages.  This session will help you revive your desire to schedule sessions with couples.


Presto-Chango: The Magic and Neuroscience of Play Therapy

Creative Interventions - Regency Ballroom West

Lennis Echterling, Anne Stewart, Somer George

Magicians take advantage of neurological processes to mystify audiences, but play therapists can use the same principles to empower their clients without trickery. In this session, we summarize neuroscience findings, engage participants in experiential activities involving magic, and demonstrate clinical skills, such as framing and tracking changes, that enhance awareness and promote therapeutic change.


Self-Care for Counselors: What the Ethical Counselor Needs to Know


Ethics & Professional Issues - Crystal Ballroom

Susanne Preston-Josey

In this ethics session, best care practices for the self-care of counselors will be examined.  Specifically, the ACA ethics code will be explored as it pertains to self-care. The ACA Code of Ethics requires counselors to "engage in self-care activities to maintain and promote their emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual well-being to best meet their professional responsibilities."  In this session, the following will be discussed: how to identify impairment in ourselves; how to suspend or terminate services when impairment is identifie;    how to seek assistance for problems causing impairment;how to assist others in recognizing their own impairment; how to intervene when you note impairment in others in order to prevent client harm. Implications for students in fieldwork settings, residents in counseling, practicing counselors, as well as for licensed supervisors will be explored.  Specific self-care activities will be demonstrated and case examples will be provided.


Mindful Transformation Through The Four Agreements

Mindfulness - Stratford Room

Alan Forrest

Mindfulness is a "waking up" and awareness of what is in the present moment without judgment.  It has the potential of being a transformative process.  "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz is grounded in the wisdom of Toltec knowledge that describes living with the brain fully awake.  This session will describe the "four agreements," how they can be integrated into mindfulness practice, and used as a way to cultivate change in ourselves - thereby making us more accessible to our clients.


Design Thinking for Counselors: Radical Collaboration and Deep Empathy

More Potpourri - Lexington Room

Jonathan Wiley

William "Wally" Scott

This presentation will provide an introduction to design thinking, a collaborative, optimistic, and experiential approach to knowledge and solution generation. Design thinking is being used in analogous disciplines to transform organizations, services, and individual lives through empathic innovation. Attendees will be guided through an experiential group process to highlight design thinking principles and identify ways in which this approach can be implemented into their contexts of practice.


Social Justice in Counselor Education

Potpourri - Chesapeake Room

Madeline Clark

This presentation will discuss the results of a qualitative study which explored counselor educators' implementation of social justice into their pedagogy. 12 counselor educators were interviewed and 24 syllabi were coded. Relevant literature, methodology, and results will be discussed. This presentation shares how counselor educators are using socially just practices in their teaching and includes strategies for counselor educators who are interested in increasing the use of social justice pedagogy in their classrooms.


Building a Collaborative Counselor Educator/District School Counseling Supervisor Leadership Team


Professional Development& Supervision - Appalachian Rm

Donna Dockery

Creating a collaborative partnership between counselor educators and district school counseling supervisors is highly beneficial to increase the congruence of school counseling program standards and practice. Presenters will share initial steps, goals, and strategies used to develop their university/district partnership, as well as accomplishments to date.  Participants will be provided with numerous tips and resources for replication of the leadership partnership.


All Aboard! Bringing STEAM to Your School

School Tools - Mount Vernon Room

Emily Fielder

“All Aboard! Bringing STEAM to Your School” explores how Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics share important skill sets necessary for career success. Through short discussion and group work, session participants will take home planning resources to design a STEAM-focused career week!


The Origins of Mindfulness: Eastern Spirituality - Western Mental Health

Mindfulness – Theatre Room

Eric Cowan

Over the past few years the concept of "Mindfulness" has become integrated into the vocabulary and modes of practice of many counselors. From DBT to "mindfulness meditation" techniques, many counselors recognize that helping clients to become more mindful enhances client's self-reflective awareness. This presentation explores the origins of mindfulness concepts in Eastern spiritual traditions and gives counselors a greater understanding of the goals of mindfulness practice.



Homestead Afternoon Tea, Finger Sandwiches& Cookies


Afternoon tea at The Omni Homestead Resort is one of their most cherished, and historic traditions. Join this tradition from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Great Hall and enjoy this favorite pastime.





Friday, November 6, 2015, 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM



Career Development - Enhance Your Brand and Skills through Credentialing

Career & College Counseling - Piedmont Room

Celeste Hall

The Career Development Facilitator Program leads to the Global Career Development Facilitator Certification which enhances school counselors' ability to deliver services to students in the career domain and strengthens their professional credentials.  This session will provide information about the program content, delivery formats and how the certification will support your professional development.


Giving a Fish a Bath: The Untold Story of the Adolescent Mind

Child, Marriage & Family - Dominion Room

Amy Fortney Parks

Ever think the adolescent mind was impossible to understand? Recent discoveries in neuroscience offer exciting insights into how the brains of our teens really work and the special "brain-based" challenges facing adolescents as they mature.This workshop reveals why teens are especially vulnerable to drug use, high-risk peer influences and depression as well as the proactive measures adults can take to minimize a teen's exposure to these dangers. This seminar also addresses the often mystifying role of hormones on adolescent development and focuses on the key roles that stress and sleep have on teen learning processes. In addition, the workshop offers strategies compatible with the many strengths and opportunities available during this miraculous developmental period, including helping teens to develop positive character traits. If you've ever thought that the adolescent mind could not be understood, this workshop will arm you with the latest insights and information on knowing and empowering the teenage brain.


Chutes, Ladders, & Jungle Gym Planning: Fostering Flexible Thinking in Rigid Minds

Clinical Tools - Regency Ballroom East

Jay Hayden, Sharon Lockaby

According to the rules of the classic, childhood game, “Chutes and Ladders”, there is only one way to win the game. You must climb up the ladders and "succeed" or go down the chutes and "fail".  To individuals with rigid minds and perfectionist thinking patterns, these rules go beyond the parameters of the game and parallel their view of how to "win" at life. This interactive program introduces Sheryl Sandberg's Jungle Gym framework and offers strategies to help rigid minds of any age cope and build flexible thinking. The Jungle Gym framework can benefit anyone and is particularly helpful for individuals that are struggling with decision making and major life changes. Games and group discussion will be used to explore examples of flexible and rigid thinking styles throughout the developmental spectrum.  Playful strategies for teaching Jungle Gym Planning to clients will also be incorporated through interactive, craft activities.


Therapeutic Horseback Riding and Autism

Creative Interventions - Regency Ballroom West

Wendy Eckenrod-Green, Gabrielle Carraccio

Therapeutic horseback riding uses the multi-dimensional movement of the horse as treatment (Cuypers, DeRidder, & Strandheim, 2011). This type of therapy can be used to assist with some of the difficulties associated with particular disabilities (e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorder). Administering a therapeutic riding lesson is a trained team consisting of volunteers, the horse, and a certified riding instructor (Gabriels et al., 2011). The lesson is a comprehensive strategy that not only strives to improve physical or emotional goals, such as improved balance or increased happiness, but also positively affects daily activities, independence, and quality of life (Zadnikar & Kastrin, 2011). This is the main goal of therapeutic horseback riding: that the rider will function better off the horse, in their daily life (Cuypers, DeRidder, & Strandheim, 2011).


"I'm Not Jason, I'm Jessica": Advocating for Transgender Individuals

Diversity & Social Justice - Empire Room

Radha Horton-Parker, Jill Dustin

This session will explore the needs and challenges facing transgender individuals in our society. Varying cross-cultural views of transgender identity will be presented. Through the use of video vignettes and case examples, participants will begin to develop the ability to understand, appreciate, assist, and advocate for transgender clients.


Thriving Together: Strengthening Attachments That Enrich Our Growth as Counselors

Ethics & Professional Issues - Crystal Ballroom

Lennis Echterling, Anne Stewart, Eric Cowan, Michael Horst, Somer George

Thriving as a counselor is not a solitary venture.  It involves being open to what peers, mentors, professors, supervisors, and clients offer us. In this session, we explore how deep, profound, and abiding attachments can enrich our personal growth and professional development as counselors. We engage participants in experiential activities, share practical suggestions, and provide handouts containing recommended readings and information on other resources.


Avoiding Legal Pitfalls In Counseling


Understanding & Treating Trauma - Stratford Room

Mark Jones

I will discuss some of the best means of avoiding a lawsuit and keys to defeating one after it is filed. Some of the most important tools for counselors include knowing what constitutes informed consent, how to discus it with a client, and knowing what information to document within provider notes.  I will offer examples and lessons learned from jury trials I handled while representing health providers who were sued by patients or patient families.


Techniques On How To Build Positive Relationships With Difficult Inner City Youths (Using a Proven Theory)

More Potpourri - Lexington Room

Rudolph Melvin    Jr.

My session will assist Teachers, School Counselors, Administrators and other educators as well, to build lasting positive relationships with problems students. Using this proven theory, Maslow's Pyramid of Five Hierarchy of Needs, I will show you how to use these five theories to build those relationships. Maslow's theories has been successfully used in business practices, therapist sessions, supervisors, politicians and others. I will also demonstrate some techniques that I have been using which have proven to be very successful with challenging students.


Writing Fiction from Counseling Experience**

Narrative Therapy - Georgian Room

Claire Cole Curcio, Christie Jones

Both presenters have written fiction based on counseling issues: Claire Cole Curcio, a novel, “The Death Law” on end-of-life issues, and Christie Jones, “Are We Home Yet”, a children's book on homelessness. They will describe how they decided to write their books and how they got them published. Aspiring and published authors welcome! **NOTE:  This session is not available for NBCC Credit**


Measuring Personal Growth

Potpourri - Chesapeake Room

Walter Anderson, Ishan Williams

Counselors seek to facilitate client Personal growth, whether their "clients" are students, agency clients, or counselors in training. Unfortunately, counselors lack a consensus definition of Personal growth and, therefore, a suitable measure.

We (two presenters) have been conducting research with a 21-item instrument originally developed to measure Posttraumatic growth (Tedeschi & Calhoun, 1996). We have used the item set to measure Personal growth in general, simply by modifying the original instructions to participants. During the last few years, we have used the item set to measure levels of Personal growth attributed to circumstances as diverse as naturally occurring life experiences and planned educational activities.

Our presentation has two purposes: (1) to describe the instrument and (2) to demonstrate its general applicability. We plan to accomplish the latter by helping each audience member to write a set of instructions for measuring the Personal growth of hypothetical participants in an activity of special interest to the audience member (classroom guidance, series of counseling sessions, substance abuse group members, for example).


Preventing Vicarious Traumatization and Compassion Fatigue Among New Professionals: Practical Tools for Clinical Supervisors


Professional Development & Supervision - Appalachian Room

Josephine Olson

In work with individuals and families, mental health professionals are privy to disturbing accounts of violent crime, physical and sexual abuse, neglect and great personal loss.  The implications of trauma are devastating to the physical and psychological development of children and have long-term implications upon overall mental health.  In order to effectively treat traumatized individuals, a therapist must attain a thorough understanding of the impact of trauma upon the individual and the family system. This presentation will empower the clinical supervisor with practical trauma-informed principles to promote healing and resilience in traumatized individuals.  Models for culturally sensitive and strength-based clinical and peer supervision will be explored. The presenter will specifically address strategies to assist the supervisee in avoiding vicarious traumatization and re-traumatizing the client.  The presenter will also facilitate experiential activities to assist the clinical supervisor and supervisee in developing specific self-care plans to prevent compassion fatigue and subsequent burnout in their practice with traumatized individuals and families.


Post-Secondary Planning Help: A multitude of tools and tips to help your students plan their future

School Tools - Mount Vernon Room

Leah Byrd, Lien Weakland

Fill your storehouse with resources to help your students and their parents plan for life after high school. You will learn how counselors can improve the planning process by employing specific strategies to assess student needs. You will be given material to help students who plan to attend 4-year/Community colleges, enlist in the Military, attend a Technical School or enter the World of Work. This session is great for new counselors and those who hope to rejuvenate their programs.


The Role of Meaning in Career Decision-Making

Specialized Techniques & Populations - Blue Ridge Room

Michele Kielty, Simone Lambert

A variety of career counseling theories and approaches acknowledge the multi-facets of the career decision making process. In a fast-paced and ever-changing world, individuals are faced with multiple and sometimes challenging realities, along with the desire to create a meaningful life, including a satisfying career. This presentation will cover a holistic perspective for career counseling and decision-making and provide tools for helping clients explore paths towards meaningful and balanced lives, while taking into account the realities and challenges of the times in which we live.


Shame on Me? An Attachment-based Perspective of Combat and Moral Injury

Understanding & Treating Trauma - Theatre Room

Lisa Kruger

With the number of returning Veterans diagnosed with PTSD on the rise, what are clinicians missing?  Research on moral injury suggests that post-combat shame and guilt are not recognized or targeted in treatment.  This session will explore moral injury through an attachment lens to investigate how internal working models relate to combat experiences and moral injury. Attention to this topic can yield future research and treatment of interpersonal factors that contribute to complex moral emotions following combat trauma. This presentation will propose a model that links the cognitive, emotional, and social factors to morally conflicting trauma-related conditions, which can inform of more effective therapeutic interventions clinicians can employ to support our returning veteran.


Virginia Counselors Association
316 Hodges Cove Road, Yorktown, VA 23692 | Ph: 757.766.5466 | Fax: 757.766.5467 |