Counselor educator, author and former ACA president Sam Gladding is looking forward to inspiring creativity in counselors on Sept. 14 through a very creative medium: ACA’s first-ever webinar, “Creative Counseling When You Don’t Have Time to Be Creative.”

During the webinar, Gladding will answer questions from counselors and also provide steps they can take to develop more creative counseling experiences, even though a computer monitor will separate Gladding from the “attendees.”

Although Gladding has never done anything like this before, the professor and chair of the Wake Forest University Department of Counseling says he looks forward to using his own creativity to hit the ground running.

“I’m like Elvis — I do better on my feet,” says Gladding. “Hopefully, [webinar participants] can look for practical, pragmatic information delivered in a humorous way that sticks to their ribs like a good meal and leaves them with some food for thought.”

The webinar will run from 1 to 2 p.m. ET and will focus on Gladding’s book, The Creative Arts in Counseling, which is published by ACA. Gladding plans to cover tips and daily habits to make counselors more creative, ways of thinking that can increase creativity, barriers to creative thinking, creative exercises for clients, and steps and formulas to help expand the creative process.

The Creative Arts in Counseling is now in its fourth edition, and Gladding says the counseling field is much more hospitable toward creativity today than when his book first came out. As evidence, he notes the founding of the Association for Creativity in Counseling, a division of ACA, which he calls the “feather in the cap” of the creative counseling movement.

“When I first published this book in 1992, there wasn’t much in the way of creativity in counseling,” Gladding says. “I think there’s been a steady movement and momentum in the 20 years since.”

Although there have been advances in creativity in counseling through the years, Rebecca Daniel-Burke, ACA’s director of professional projects and career services, says many counselors still struggle to strike a balance. That’s why she believes Gladding is the ideal speaker for ACA’s first webinar.

“I remember telling counselors in agencies, ‘You’re going to have to get creative,’” Daniel-Burke says. “They always gave me the same answer: ‘I don’t have time to be creative!’ That’s how Sam and I came up with the title for the [webinar]. I consider Dr. Gladding a humorist as well as an inspirational counseling leader.  I can’t wait to attend the webinar!”

Gladding says he looks forward to providing attendees with knowledge that will prove useful not only in their counseling offices, but in their personal lives as well. Creativity is most successful, he says, when it translates into both spheres.

“I think we’ll have a good time with a great association,” he says. “The people will have great takeaways that will be useful for them as counselors and as they live their own lives, because I think part of creativity is appreciating it in your own life.”

The webinar costs $29.95 for members and $39.95 for nonmembers. Attendees can earn one CE credit. Register online and watch the webinar by visiting Contact ACA Member Services at with any questions.


Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at

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