Richard Yep

Last month, I had the good fortune to be in San Francisco with my son, who is a huge baseball fan. We had tickets to see the San Francisco Giants and were there when Barry Bonds hit his 756th career home run to set a new Major League Baseball record. Regardless of what you may think about the controversy surrounding Bonds’ career, this was truly a moment that will be remembered for a very long time. Being there was definitely an experience. In fact, when I e-mailed a friend to tell him we had been at the game, he responded by letting me know that he was in attendance when Roger Maris hit his 61st home run to surpass Babe Ruth for the single-season record for homers back in 1961.

I apologize to those readers who do not follow baseball. Suffice it to say that Bonds and Maris achieved significant milestones in their careers when they set their respective records.

This month will also be one of those “moments in time” as millions of students at all levels of education return to (or begin!) school. In this, our “Back to School” theme issue of Counseling Today, I call your attention to the special features you will find throughout our publication.

We all have moments in time that we will remember for the rest of our lives. Sometimes, they are good moments and sometimes, not so pleasant. Let me ask you to think about a particular moment. I want you to remember the moment you chose to be a professional counselor. Any number of reasons might have led to your decision to become part of such a noble profession. Or perhaps it “crept up” on you as you pursued various occupational or educational paths only to find yourself at the door of a counselor education program. Or maybe you had a mentor or colleague who encouraged you to become a professional counselor.

Regardless of the path you took, please know you are now part of a community that really is helping millions of children, adolescents, families, adults and couples each and every day. You are part of a very special group of professionals, and I hope the American Counseling Association will continue to provide you with the resources, information, support and networking that you need.

Speaking of what we can help to provide, I know many of you have already registered for next year’s ACA Annual Conference in Honolulu (March 26-30). I’m pleased to see that so many have also signed up for one of the ACA hotels in Honolulu. In fact, given that the response has been so positive and based on the numbers we are seeing, we are in the midst of adding additional rooms at yet another property. Understand that in addition to being in one of the most beautiful locations on earth, we will be offering more than 400 professional development sessions, along with the chance to interact and connect with colleagues from all over the world. The 2008 ACA Annual Conference is shaping up to be one of the best ever. For more information, go to The Hawaii gathering will certainly provide some special moments for you.

For those of you beginning a new school year — whether as a student, a counselor educator, an administrator or as someone there to support a family, friend or significant other who is a student — I wish you the best of luck. Preparing to be a professional counselor is challenging at times, but I think that decision is something that will fill you with many special moments as you progress through your career.

This special “Back to School” issue of Counseling Today contains many interesting articles in which our writers describe the “special moments” of many of your colleagues. I hope you will enjoy reading this issue.

If you have the chance to drop me a line, let me know about the special moment when you realized you would become a professional counselor. I am always fascinated by what moved our members to become such incredible helping professionals.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or suggestions that you may have by e-mailing or calling 800.347.6647 ext. 231.

Thanks and be well.