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FULL-DAY Sessions

Preconference 1

Expanding pedagogical approaches in counseling clinical documentation: A social justice imperative

Presenter - John Nance, PhD, LCMHC-S, NCC, ACS

Room - Crystal 2

CE: 6 Ethics hrs

Abstract - With increasing access to insurance panels and Medicare coverage for licensed clinical mental health providers, counseling programs face new challenges in addressing student biases and overcoming hurdles in clinical practice. More students are focusing on developing private practices after graduation. This training program focuses on teaching counseling clinical documentation practices from a social justice and ethical perspective. It aims to define social justice in documentation practices, discuss teaching challenges and opportunities, and explore how clinical documentation is taught in counseling programs and other disciplines. Attendees will learn about social justice concerns related to documentation perceptions, insurance submissions, and private practice. The training will analyze teaching and supervision practices and encourage incorporating a social justice perspective into the counseling curriculum.


Preconference 2

From Development to Prowess: Maximizing the Writing Process for Publication and Research Agendas

Presenters -

Christian D. Chan, PhD, NCC

W. Bradley McKibben, PhD, NCC

Room - Crystal 2

CE- 6 hrs

Abstract - Scholarly writing tends to be a nebulous process as a result of subjective standards and differing philosophies. To improve the rigor and impact of counseling and counselor education research, the presenters discuss strategies to construct sound manuscripts across methodological traditions, evaluate effective writing through peer review, and develop self-efficacy and consistent writing practices for a cohesive research agenda.

HALF-DAY MORNING (8:30a-11:30a) SEssions

Preconference 3

Autism in Counselor Education: Supporting Autistic Counselors & Trainees Through a Neurodiversity Affirming Lens

Presenters  -

Ali Cunningham Abbott, PhD, LMHC, QS

Noelle R. St. Germain-Sehr, PhD, LPC-S, NCC, ACMHP

Sarah Tucker, PhD, LPC, NCC, RPT, CCPT

Room - Crystal 3

CE-3 hrs

Abstract - As the neurodiversity movement has grown, awareness of autism in counselor education and supervision contexts has emerged, mainly through the sharing of experiences. However, research is lacking related to autism among counselors, educators, or supervisors. In this session, participants will explore beliefs and biases related to autistic individuals in the field; examine current research related to autism; discuss autistic affirming strategies to support autistic individuals in CES; and network with colleagues to discuss a potential neurodiversity ACES Interest Network.


Preconference 4

Comprehensive Assessment to Support Change in Every Aspect of Our Work

Presenters -

Jenny L. Cureton, PhD, LPC, ACS, NCC

Natalie M. Ricciutti, PhD, LPCC, NCC

Room - Crystal 6

CE-3 hrs

Abstract  - CES professionals initiate changes to impact students, supervisees, clients, and colleagues. Neglecting readiness can lead to failure. Community readiness (CR) is an established framework to prepare for change. Presenters review CR concepts and evidence and introduce their CR inventory and tips for comprehensive assessment. Guided discussion supports you to consider CR for a CES initiative. We share examples for academic change, research, service, social justice: any effort for systemic change.


Preconference 5

Navigating Inclusive Andragogy in Counselor Education and Supervision

Presenters -

Jessica Haas, Ph.D.

Michelle R. Ghoston, Ph.D., LCMHC-QS (NC), LPC (VA), ACS

Jennifer E. Randall Reyes, Ph.D. (CES), ALPS, LPC, AADC

Nouna Jalilzadeh, M.S., Ph.D., LMHC, NCC
Amy Banko, MS, CPRP

Bentley Eskridge, MA, LPC, ACS, NCC

Room - Crystal 7

CE-3 Ethics and 3 Supervision hrs

Abstract - Given the current climate, there is significant need for spaces to explore andragogical decentralization for diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and belonging (DEI-AB). During this three-hour pre-conference presentation, the presenters will cultivate a positive, strength based safe space promoting inclusive andragogy through sociolinguistics and collaborative syllabi creation. Further facilitating non confrontational conscious conversations with the primary goal of equipping educators and counselors with the skills to bridge the gap between multicultural theory and clinical applications in Counselor Education. A secondary goal being to empower participants to actively implement DEI principles in their teaching and supervision roles. Safe spaces that provide support to educators, supervisors, and students is necessary for the continued work of DEI-AB in the classroom and beyond.


Preconference 6

Providing Ethical and Clinical Guidance: Equipping CITs for Effective Work with Chronically At-Risk Clients

Presenters -

Jessica Meléndez Tyler, PhD, LPC-S, BC-TMH, NCC

Sara Ellison, MS, LPC, NCC

Room - Crystal 8

CE-3 Ethics and 3 Supervision hrs

Abstract - Managing chronically at-risk clients profoundly affects counselors. This session, tailored for counselor educators and supervisors, equips them to guide trainees in analyzing risk challenges, engaging stabilization techniques, addressing biases, and applying research-supported approaches. Emphasis is placed on refining teaching strategies to enhance student proficiency in trauma and culturally informed approaches, foster ethical care, and minimize malpractice risks.

HALF-DAY AFTERNOON (1p-4p) Sessions

Preconference 7

Reality vs. Ethics: A Counselor’s Role in Supporting Their Clients in an Anti-LGBTQ+ World

Presenters -

Bernell L. Elzey, Jr., Ph.D., LPC, CSC, NCC

Tamara L. Tisdale, Ph.D., LPC, CSC, NCC

Chantrelle D. Varnado-Johnson, PhD, LPC-S (LA), BC-TMH, RPT, NCC

Anita Martin, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC, RPT-S, MAC, SAP, ACS

Room - Crystal 6

CE-3 Ethics hrs

Abstract - Approximately 3.2 million youth identify as LGBTQ+ and many are susceptible to badgering, persecution, or harm. According to the ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors (2022) Section A.1.h. reads as professional school counselors “respect students’ and families’ values, beliefs, and cultural background, as well as student’s sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, and exercise great care to avoid imposing personal biases, beliefs, or values rooted in one’s religion, culture, or ethnicity.” Similarly, ACA Code of Ethics (2014) Section A.4.b states counselors must “respect the diversity of clients, trainees, and research participants, furthermore, all sections require that counselors pay attention to the diversity of their clients.” ACA adds that diversity includes culture, religion, race, ability, age, gender, sexual orientation, education, and socioeconomic level.

In the last few years, states have introduced an unprecedented number of bills targeting LGBTQ+ rights, which has created ethical dilemmas in which laws and the best interests, desires, and values of clients conflict. This workshop will give practitioners the practical skills and knowledge to work ethically with LGBTQ+ clients and students in schools. By discovering how other counselors understand LGBTQ+ identities, have used inclusive language, and have advocated for policy changes that promote equality and inclusion, counselors can help create a safe and supportive environment for all clients.


Preconference 8

Cross-Cultural Supervision: The Impact of Power, Race, and Gender

Presenter - LaTonya Summers, PhD

Room - Crystal 7

CE- 3 Supervision hrs

Abstract - Mental health professionals engaging in this training will learn how to assess, identify and attend to the dynamics of power, race, and gender in cross cultural counseling and supervisory relationships, and use broaching as a multicultural competence tool.


Preconference 9

The Intersection of Self-Compassion and Laughter for Healing our Minds

Presenter - Coralis Solomon, PhD

Room - Crystal 8

CE- 3 hrs

Abstract - In our fast-paced and often stressful world, the importance of self-compassion cannot be overstated. This pre-conference session delves into the transformative potential of self-compassion, coupled with the therapeutic benefits of laughter.

Drawing from psychological research and personal anecdotes, this presentation explores the profound impact that self-compassion and laughter can have on our mental well-being. By fostering a kind and understanding attitude towards ourselves, we can cultivate resilience, reduce self-criticism, and enhance our overall psychological health.

Through a series of interactive exercises and practical techniques, attendees will learn how to incorporate self-compassion and laughter into their daily lives. In this highly experiential presentation participants will learn common misconceptions about self-compassion and learn evidence-based strategies for overcoming barriers to its practice. In the laughter part of this presentation, we will explore how laughter serves as a powerful tool for releasing tension, shifting perspectives, and fostering connection with others. Through the laughter experiential portion, we will explore how laughter serves as a powerful tool for releasing tension, shifting perspectives, and fostering connection with others.

Overall, participants will leave with a deeper understanding of how to cultivate self-compassion and harness the healing power of laughter to nurture their minds and promote emotional well-being. Join us as we embark on a journey towards greater self-compassion, resilience, and joy, one chuckle at a time.


Coming Soon

Continuing Education

Southern Association of Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES), has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 2076. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. SACES is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

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