New York Counseling Association
The New York Counseling Association hosts several conferences and continuing education workshops throughout the year for professional counselors and mental health professionals of all types. All conference programs and workshops listed below are eligible for DCA and Psychologist continuing education credits.
The Online Learning platform offers on-demand programs to support the professional development needs of professional counselors across a variety of work settings. Courses start at free for members. The online course catalog contains a variety of program topics and new courses are always being added ensuring that programming is up-to-date and informative.
All theDivisions and Chapters offer a variety of workshops during our annual conference interims. Use the Workshop webpage to learn more about individual continuing education opportunities that are taking place around the state. If you are a Chapter or Division interested in having your workshop listed on the website
PROFESSIONAL GROWTH CONFERENCE
The Professional Growth Conference is DCA largest annual conference, held each November. The complete four-day event draws well over 1,500 attendees and is designed for professional counselors working in a variety of settings including private practice, primary and higher education, criminal justice, community mental health centers, hospitals, nursing homes and managed care facilities, among others. The conference generally features 100 sessions including full-day Learning Institutes, Conference workshops, and two General Session keynotes - for the complete six-day event. Conference topics range from mental health, school and college counseling, counselor education and supervision, addiction and offender counseling, community and clinical counseling, marital, couple and family counseling, career development and employment counseling, to diversity, multicultural and social justice issues in counseling.
COLLEGE COUNSELOR CONFERENCE
The annual School Counselor Conference is a three-day professional development event held in early September. The event offers comprehensive programming, full-day Learning Institutes, and draws more than 1,000 attendees. Intended for school counselors across the education spectrum, the conference is an extraordinary opportunity to learn innovative and proven techniques for effective school counseling practices as well as explore new trends and issues related to student growth and development.
The annual College Counseling Conference is a three-day event designed specifically to address the unique interests and continuing education needs of professional college and career counselors including those working in college counseling centers, community colleges, private practice, or rehabilitation settings as well as counselor educators and student service personnel. The conference is generally held in early September.
The dictionary describes counseling as provision of advice or guidance in decision-making, in particularly in emotionally significant situations. Counselors help their clients by counseling them. Counselors also help clients explore and understand their worlds and so discover better ways of thinking and living.
Some definitions include:
help clients understand and clarify their views of their lifespace, and to learn to reach their self-determined goals through meaning ful, well-informed choices and through resolution or problems of an emotional or interpersonal nature. work with individuals and with relationships which may be developmental, crisis support, psychotherapeutic, guiding or problem-solving The task of counseling is to give the client an opportunity to explore, discover and clarify ways of giving more satisfyingly and resourcefully.
A principled relationship characterized by the application of one or more psychological theories and a recognized set of communication skills, modified by experience, intuition and other interpersonal factors, to clients' intimate concerns, problems or aspirations. A common factor in most counseling situations is that the client is demoralized, distressed or otherwise in a negative state of mind about something.
Counseling can be for one person or a group (typically couples and families) and may be delivered through a number of methods, from face-face dialogue, group work, telephone, email and written materials.
Counseling is largely a voluntary activity whereby clients must wish to change and collaborate willingly with the counselor. Early counseling activity in some cases involves bringing referred clients to this point of readiness.
Results of counseling can include:
In summary, counseling typically leads to resolution of a living problem, learning of some kind and/or improvements in social inclusion. Counseling is also a profession, with national associations and control bodies, who, along with academics, have explored its detail further.
Sadness or downswings in mood are normal reactions to life's struggles, setbacks, and disappointments. Many people use the word "depression" to explain these kinds of feelings, but depression is much more than just sadness. Some people describe depression as "living in a black hole" or having a feeling of impending doom. However, some depressed people don't feel sad at all—they may feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic, or men in particular may even feel angry, aggressive, and restless. Whatever the symptoms, depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and unrelenting, with little, if any, relief.
Are you depressed?
If you identify with several of the following signs and symptoms—especially the first two—and they just won't go away, you may be suffering from depression.
What are the signs and symptoms of depression?
Depression varies from person to person, but there are some common signs and symptoms. It's important to remember that these symptoms can be part of life's normal lows. But the more symptoms you have, the stronger they are, and the longer they've lasted—the more likely it is that you're dealing with depression. When these symptoms are overwhelming and disabling, that's when it's time to seek help.
Signs and symptoms of depression include:
Depression and suicide risk
Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. The deep despair and hopelessness that goes along with depression can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. If you have a loved one with depression, take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously and learn to recognize the warning signs.
Warning signs of suicide include:
About Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorders can cause physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweating, and a general feeling of unease. A person suffering from anxiety feels incapable of acting in certain situations and will avoid those situations that make them uncomfortable, no matter what it forces them to give up - whether it's being able to go to work, enjoy a movie in a dark theater, or spending time in a public place like a shopping mall. Recognizing anxiety symptoms can put you on the right path to diagnosis.
A diagnosis of anxiety disorder must be given by a licensed professional. The evaluation is usually done with the help of a standardized questionnaire or interview along with a personal evaluation of the patient. A medical examination is recommended to rule out medical conditions that can cause similar symptoms. A family history of anxiety disorders can be very helpful as well.
Types of anxiety disorders
There are several treatments available for anxiety disorder, and some are more appropriate for certain kinds of anxieties while some are used in combination with other treatments. There is no "cure" for anxiety disorders; however the patient can learn to cope with the unpleasant feelings and be able to participate in all facets of life. They may find these feelings returning at a later point, and want more therapy to reinforce the success they are having, and they may need help each time they are presented with a new, as yet unresolved situation.
Therapies include anxiety medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, and lifestyle changes. They tend to work best when used together, however each patient must be evaluated and monitored on an individual basis by a licensed professional who knows the patient and family histories. There are several drugs available for treating anxiety disorders, and the decision of which to use should be left up to the professional in charge of the patient.
Five major types of anxiety disorders:
It may surprise you to learn that art can be an effective tool in mental health treatment. What could art possibly have to do with psychotherapy? As an expressive medium, art can be used to help clients communicate, overcome stress, and explore different aspects of their own personalities. In psychology, the use of artistic methods to treat psychological disorders and enhance mental health is known as art therapy.
Art therapy integrates psychotherapeutic techniques with the creative process to improve mental health and well-being. The American Art Therapy Association describes art therapy as "a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages.
It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight."
When Did Art Therapy Originate?
While people have been using the arts as a way to express, communicate, and heal for thousands of years, art therapy only began to formalize during the middle of the 20th-century. Doctors noted that individuals suffering from mental illness often expressed themselves in drawings and other artworks, which led many to explore the use of art as a healing strategy. Since then, art has become an important part of the therapeutic field and is used in some assessment and treatment techniques.
How Does Art Therapy Work?
An art therapist may use a variety of art methods including drawing, painting, sculpture, and collage with clients ranging from young children to the elderly. Clients who have experienced emotional trauma, physical violence, domestic abuse, anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues can benefit from expressing themselves creatively. Hospitals, private mental health offices, schools, and community organizations are all possible settings where art therapy services may be available.
You might also wonder how an art therapy session differs from the average art class. "In most art therapy sessions, the focus is on your inner experience—your feelings, perceptions, and imagination. While art therapy may involve learning skills or art techniques, the emphasis is generally first on developing and expressing images that come from inside the person, rather than those he or she sees in the outside world," explains Cathy Maldiochi in The Art Therapy Sourcebook . "And while some traditional art classes may ask you to paint or draw from your imagination, in art therapy, your inner world of images, feelings, thoughts, and ideas are always of primary importance to the experience."