Richard YepApril is Counseling Awareness Month and an opportunity to celebrate all of the good work that professional counselors do for millions of children, adolescents, adults, families and couples each and every day. I hope you will visit the American Counseling Association website if you are looking for ideas and information about how you can help to promote what I think is one of the best professions in the world.

I know that many of you have your hands full with clients, students and other projects. You deserve acknowledgment for all you do, yet I know that isn’t always forthcoming. But please know that the staff and leaders of ACA are very appreciative of all you do. Your good work is what motivates us to develop products, resources and information that will be of use to you. In addition, our work advocating for the counseling profession with public policymakers is just one example of how we hope to help you obtain the jobs for which your education and training make you uniquely qualified.

We also know how very valuable your time is, which is why we invested significant funds and time of our own to greatly improve the ACA website at You will find an improved search function, an easier login process that provides access to members-only information, and a site that is much friendlier to use and richer in content.

These next few months are special for many of our readers because the academic year comes to a close and graduation becomes a reality. For those of you preparing to walk the stage to receive your master’s or doctoral degree, congratulations! You join a very impressive, dedicated, committed and caring group of colleagues who have been practicing as counselors and counselor educators. Your impact on society through the next several decades will be amazing, and I want to wish you the very best of luck as you begin this next stage in your career.

If you are graduating, I am sure you are thankful for those who were part of this journey. Some of you depended on friends. For others, it was the help of parents, significant others, faculty members, administrators, student support personnel, babysitters or employers. These were the people who believed in you and helped you get through your graduate program — even when you may not have been so sure of things. Let’s thank all of them for the contributions they made to your success.

Last but not least, I wanted to let you know that Jacki Walker, who served ACA for nearly 20 years as our director of membership services, retired recently. The staff gathered for a fond farewell to a colleague who did her best each and every day. Jacki often went that extra mile to help members who called in or emailed us with a question, concern or dilemma. As the person overseeing our call center, Jacki made sure that our representatives did their best to provide exemplary customer service. Jacki and her crew were at the front line of communicating with members, and I am grateful for her service.

As always, I look forward to your comments, questions and thoughts. Feel free to contact me at 800.347.6647 ext. 231 or via email at You can also follow me on Twitter:

Be well.