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November 9, 2018 CMHCA Professional Development Day

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Dear Fellow CCA Member:

I am very excited to serve as President of the Connecticut Counseling Association, the nation's oldest Counseling Association (2018 celebrates our 91st anniversary!).

The mission of the Connecticut Counseling Association (CCA) is to support and advocate for counselors and the counseling profession through promoting professional identity, providing opportunities for professional development and networking, and offering resources to better support those we serve.

I would like to congratulate and thank you for choosing the career path of a Professional Counselor, one of the fastest growing occupations in Connecticut and throughout the country. Perhaps you thoroughly explored, researched, and compared similar occupations within the Social Services industry, such as Marriage and Family Therapist, Psychologist, or Social Worker. These honorable professions overlap in many areas and are all important to the Mental Health field. There may be one or several reasons why you ultimately elected to pursue the dynamic career path of a Mental Health Counselor. Your contributions and dedication to our profession are greatly appreciated.

As an LPC and Career Counselor with the CT Dept of Labor in Bridgeport, I have observed the connection between career satisfaction and positive mental health. Obtaining and maintaining meaningful and satisfying work often translates into positive mental health and emotional well- being. As President of CCA, I look forward to providing support and guidance to our current members, who represent a cross section of specialties including Mental Health, College, Family, Rehabilitation, Addiction, and Career Counselors as well as Graduate Students and Retired Professionals. Counselor self-care can never be over-emphasized.

The Executive Board and Governing Council both work very hard to represent the interests of all Professional Counselors in Connecticut. We have an exciting year planned, including upcoming professional development events delivered by Connecticut Mental Health Counselors Association (CMHCA), the Career Counseling and Development Association (CCCDA), the Western CT Chapter and of course this 2019 annual conference. These are great opportunities for CCA members to earn CE’s at low or sometimes no cost (with great food usually included!).

In addition, the recently formed Special Interest Group for Addictions (in which CCA received an award from ACA at the Annual Conference in Atlanta for Best Innovative Practice!) is also planning exciting events through the year. Counselor and students interested in the area of Addictions Counseling can find additional information on the CCA web page under Special Interest Groups.

2018-2019 is also an important year as we look to capitalize on this past year's momentum towards obtaining two-tier licensure for our profession. The proposed two-tier licensure will enable new graduates of approved Mental Health Counseling Master’s Degree programs to immediately obtain a professional license while working under proper supervision. This legislation is a win-win for professional counselors, clients, agencies, current and future graduates. We will undoubtedly need everyone’s support to ensure this legislation is obtained in 2019.

Additional goals for CCA during the next year include increasing membership (CCA currently has 400+ members and growing!), promoting and reaching out to members CCA through social media (Facebook and Linked In), and introducing a CCA App for smart phones.

The next year will be exciting and undoubtedly offer a few challenges along the way. With this in mind, here is my call to action. We need your help to ensure CCA remains strong now and in the future. If you are interested in joining a committee, help coordinate the annual conference, mentor students and recent graduates, promote legislation, or assist in other important areas, please contact myself or the Executive Board.

We hope to see you at the American Counseling Association in New Orleans in March 2019 and CCA annual conference in April of 2019. I am honored to serve as President and am happy to answer any questions. Please contact me at mikeshavel@sbcglobal.net

Thank You,

Michael Shavel
mikeshavel@sbcglobal.net

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