Richard Yep

Next month, more than 3,000 professional counselors, counselor educators and graduate students will gather in Charlotte, N.C., for what is shaping up to be one of the American Counseling Association’s best Annual Conferences ever. The registration numbers are strong, the exhibitors are ready to show off their latest offerings, our preconference Learning Institutes will be led by top-notch presenters, the ACA Career Center is ready to roll, many of our best-selling books (and authors) will be available and many of our divisions have planned special sessions and events. We are anticipating a great deal of “counselor energy” when we gather.

Now, all we need is you!

Many of you who attended last year’s event in Honolulu will remember the “feeling” of the conference — outstanding sessions balanced by enough time to connect with colleagues and have fun in the local area. This year will be no different in terms of professional opportunities and the chance to connect.

And, quite frankly, after this past year, which included some fairly impactful events (politically, economically and socially), the chance to reenergize with colleagues who are as dedicated to the counseling profession as you are is something that really cannot be missed! I encourage you to find a way to join with us as we convene our 58th annual gathering.

At ACA, we know we need to bring you information, resources and commentary on those issues and projects that directly impact you as a counseling professional. For example, the recently launched ACA-ACES Syllabus Clearinghouse (online at contains an incredible wealth of information for those looking to improve their own syllabi or those who simply want to know what texts and resources are being used in contemporary counselor education. Go take a look. I want to personally thank all of the counselor educators who contributed their time and materials to building the syllabus library. Talk about collaborative and committed to moving the profession forward!

Many of you also are aware that last month, ACA was finally able (after working on this effort for many years) to offer a superior professional liability insurance program to its master’s-level student members as part of their membership! You read that right. Our master’s-level students, as a benefit of their membership in ACA, will now be covered by professional liability insurance. In addition, other ACA members will soon receive up to a 10 percent discount on their liability insurance.

Why did we go to extraordinary lengths to provide insurance to master’s-level students and yet another deep discount to our professional members? Because we understand the financial challenges our members are facing, especially during these tough economic times. We want you to value your ACA membership, and we want you to know how much we value all that you do.

I hope I will see many of you next month in Charlotte. If not, I still thank you for being a member of ACA, and my hope is that you will continue to take advantage of all the association has to offer!

I also hope you will contact me with any comments, questions or suggestions that you might have. Please contact me via e-mail at or by phone at 800.347.6647 ext. 231.

Thanks and be well.