Last week I attended the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) Institute for Leadership Training (ILT) in Washington, D.C. I was excited to attend this conference for the first time. I was invited due to my service as the Junior Co-Chair of the ACA Ethics Committee for the upcoming year. I did not reflect much on what I was expecting for the conference. However, I am pleased to say that I was blown away! ACA did a masterful job in connecting us with other leaders in the counseling profession while preparing us for the big day – advocacy for counseling legislation on Capitol Hill.
ACA had scheduled all of our interviews with the legislators’ staff members in advance of our day on the Hill. This made it easy for us – we were trained on how to discuss the issues and show up at the designated time. We had the opportunity to meet with our Senators (Senators Perdue & Isakson) and our individual House Representative (Rep. Loudermilk) in order to advocate for the counseling profession concerning important legislation that affects our field (i.e. Medicare reimbursement, hiring of LPCs by the VA, and school counseling funding). The office staff members were receptive and seemed interested in our issues. I returned from D.C. feeling energized and increasingly competent to advocate for the counseling profession on both the local and national stage. #CounselorsEmpower