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Connecticut Counseling Association

Mission Statement

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.

2013-2018 CCA Strategic Plan

CCA Organization


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  • American Counseling Association Branch Awards

    2014 - CCA receives the ACA Branch Best Innovative Practice Award for the North Atlantic Region for our comprehensive response to the Sandy Hook shootings, which included collaboration with the Newtown Lions Club to promote the Sandy Hook Elementary Fund and with ACA to promote the fund and the development of a referral list of trauma-trained therapists.
    CCA also incorporated a trauma informed therapy track at its annual conference last year in response to the overwhelming need for counselors to have additional training and support, in addition to several chapter and divisions workshops offered throughout the year. Several of our members also volunteered their time in the aftermath of the shooting, providing crisis intervention in the immediate response as well as becoming advocates for the Victim-Witness families.

    2013 - CCA receives the ACA Branch Best Innovative Practice Award for the North Atlantic Region for our use of Social Media.
    We were honored for our use of Facebook as a tool to enhance communication with our members. Our use of social media is a value-added tool for our members to be able to find relevant information and interact with us in a space known for its familiarity for interaction. It also provides us with a space for like-minded counselors and others to understand the work we are doing.

    At the 2012 ACA Annual Conference and Exposition in San Francisco, CA, The Connecticut Counseling Association was recognized for the workshop, “9/11: A Shared Journey.”CCA in the News at ACA Conference

    CCA wins 2011 ACA Branch Best Innovative Practice Award!

    2011 CCA receives the ACA Branch Best Innovative Practice Award for the North Atlantic Region! We were honored for our successful licensure revision and legislative agenda which focused on strengthening professional scope of practice by including the words diagnose or diagnosis in our licensure law.

    2002 ACA salutes the 75th anniversary of the Connecticut Counseling Association. The association must currently be active as a unit in ACA, possess an official ACA charter, and show evidence of continuous professional service to ACA members for 25, 50 or 75 years. In 2002, ACA salutes the 75th anniversary of the Connecticut Counseling Association. For its commitment to counseling excellence in Connecticut, and to mark its historic 75th anniversary of service, ACA presents this 2002 award to the Connecticut Counseling Association.

    2002 The Best Member Service Award “recognizes the branch that provides a service that best promotes the profession of counseling.” Connecticut received the first place award in this category for our newly developed website.

    2002 The Best Membership Recruitment Campaign “recognizes a program to creatively recruit new members” – Connecticut received the first place award in this category.

    2002 The best Branch Journal award “recognizes the journal that best promotes scholarship and the profession.” dialog, our juried journal, received the second place award in this category.

    2001 Our Newsletter, the Connecticut Counselor, received the award for best newsletter for a medium sized division

  • CCA Awards

    Each year, the Connecticut Counseling Association Awards Program recognizes and honors CCA members who have made outstanding contributions to the counseling profession. The CCA awards celebrate notable achievements by counselors in a number of categories. Information about each award is detailed below.

    Joanne Stein Leadership – Recognizes the individual leader of CCA or of a CCA division who best exemplifies quality leadership as demonstrated by Joanne Stein, CCA president 1997-1998.

    2012 Robert Schmidt
    2011 Gail Lehman
    2010 Marie McCain
    2008 Linda Kobylarz
    2007 Ron Clinton
    2005 Marlene Ruderman

    Counselor of the Year – Honors a CCA member who gives to others without expectations, other than personal satisfaction from helping others.

    2013 Linda Schultz
    2012 Pasquale Giordano
    2008 Dr. Warren Corson, III

    Human Rights – Honors a CCA member who has made significant contributions toward human rights.

    Distinguished Professional – Honors a local, state, or national level CCA member who promotes progress in the counseling field.

    2012 Deborah DelVecchio-Scully
    2011 Robert Miles
    2006 Eleta Jones

    Mentor of the Year – Honors a CCA member who has provided exemplary mentoring service.

    2009 Judith Durham
    2008 Fred Clark
    2006 Cheri Smith
    2004 Sue Peters

    Professional Development – Honors a CCA member who has contributed to the development of the counseling profession.

    2013 Suzanne Yurko Wall
    2009 Joachim “Kim” Pengel
    2006 John Miceli
    2005 Dr. James Malley

    New Member – Honors a new CCA member who, during the first year of membership, has made significant contributions to CCA, a division, or to the counseling profession.

    2012 Jessica Young
    2011 Amanda Diehl-Lelyveld

    Graduate Student – Honors outstanding scholarship by a CCA student member.

    2013 Emily Adams
    2009 Bryce Crapser
    2008 Cheli Lang
    2006 Rachel Collins
    2005 Jennifer Fitting

    Government Relations – Honors a CCA member who has made significant contribution to the counseling profession by influencing public policy at the state or national level.

    2011 Monika Kahlenbach

    Legislative Service – Honors a legislator or public official influential in public policy and who has significantly contributed to the counseling profession.

    2008 Senator Christopher Dodd
    2005 Representative Robert Simmons

    Nina R. Malinak Service Award – Recognizes a CCA member who has provided long-standing service to CCA and its divisions as demonstrated by Nina R. Malinak, Executive Director of CCA 2000-2009.

    2013 Linda Kobylarz
    2012 Jenna Harma
    2011 Karla Troesser
    2010 Myron Cohen
    2009 Nina Malinak

    Community Service Award – Recognizes an individual or agency that has made a significant contribution to the community at a local, state, national or international level.

    2013 Newtown Lions Club
    2011 Mary Fetchet, founder of VOICES of September 11

    Special Awards

    2012 Don W. Locke ACA President for his service to the American Counseling Association as well as his commitment to branch development.

    President’s Awards for Leadership

    2009 Linda Kobylarz
    2008 Bob Schmidt, Cara Powers
    2007 Cathleen Dziekan, James Malley
    2006 Nina Malinak, Linda Kobylarz
    2005 Dan Joynt
    2004 Monika Kahlenbach

    President’s Appreciation Award

    2003, 2005, 2006 Nina Malinak

    Certificates of Appreciation

    2006 CACES Facilitators: Tracey Roberts, Judith Durham, Judith Rosenberg, James Malley, Richard Madwid, Richard Halstead, Aram Aslanian, Michael Gilles

    Division Leadership Awards 2004

    CACES Michael Gilles
    CCCDA Robert Miles
    CMHCA Marlene Ruderman, Karen Messina,
    CSCA Rose Paolino

Throughout The Years

CCA History

  • 1927 – The first Guidance Conference in Connecticut was held on October 28, 1927 at Hartford Public High School. Sigmund Adler was chairman.

    1928 – The New England Vocational Guidance Association petitioned by 20 members in Connecticut and in October 1928 the Connecticut Branch was born.

    1928 – Dues of the association were $2.00 a year of which $1.50 was sent to the National Vocational Guidance Association and covered a subscription to the Vocational Guidance Magazine. In October of 1929 the balance in the treasury was $15.25.

    1929 – The Connecticut Vocational Guidance Association was recognized by the National Vocational Guidance Association. It was difficult to recruit members because of the Depression.

    1930 – October - The Connecticut Vocational Guidance Association Journal was published in Bridgeport. It was a mimeographed document.

    1931 – The Journal’s name was changed to the Bulletin of Connecticut Vocational Guidance Association

    1931-1934 – The Bulletin was published regularly.

    1934-36 – There were no publications.

    1938 – Of 35 city Directors of Guidance in the United States, there were three in Connecticut. Lawrence Wheelock, Frank McGee and John W. Martinson all members of the Connecticut Vocational Guidance Association.

    1939-1941 – Plagued by financial problems the Bulletin was discontinued and guidance articles were published in the Monthly Bulletin of the Placement and Unemployment Division of the Connecticut Department of Labor and Factory Inspection. Connecticut members continued to be active on the national level and eleven articles were published in the national journal.

    1939 – The Connecticut Vocational Guidance Association applied to become a branch of the Connecticut State Teachers Association and was accepted. Representation in the Connecticut State Teachers Association brought closer collaboration with related sections such as class room teachers and administrators.

    1939 – The first New England Conference of Vocational Guidance Personnel was held at Boston University on December 1st and 2nd. The second conference was held in November of 1940, also at Boston University.

    1941-1945 –The War Years State membership declined as a result of World War II. The word vocational is deleted from the objectives of the Connecticut Vocation Guidance Association.

    1943-46 – No state conferences were held due to travel restrictions, membership is inconsistent

    1944 – Dues were raised to $4.00 a year

    1941-1945 – Nine general business meetings, 6 executive board meetings and 8 general conferences, some small some large were held during these years. There were continued drives for membership and the numbers fluctuated from a low of 80 members in 1943 to a high of 106 in 1944. There were continuing concerns about finances and promoting a consistent vehicle for communication with the member- ship about pertinent topics. The constitution underwent two revisions during these years in an effort to streamline the operation of the Association and respond to concerns about standards of qualifications and training. The Association began to look ahead to its role in the post-war years.

  • 1946-1952: World War II had given Guidance Services an impetus. Psychologists and counselors had operated in the Armed Forces. When the Veterans Administration was established, testing and counseling services were included in services for veterans. This together with performance by counselors during the war in schools and communities lead school administrators and boards of education to clamor for more guidance service in the schools. As more counselors were hired in schools and agencies, membership in CVGA grew.

    1947 – The Certification Committee of CVGA under the direction of Dorothy Wheeler, proposed requirements for counselors who spend less than half time in guidance, for counselors who spent half or more time in guidance and requirements for Directors of Guidance. The New England Conference was reestablished during this period where each year one of the New England States sponsored the conference.

    1948 – The CVGA divided the state into areas, making chairmen of each area a vice president in CVGA.

    1950 – A Master’s degree in Guidance was established.

    1951 – In October, two national organizations, the national Vocational Guidance Association and the American College Association jointed forces to become the American Personnel and Guidance Association. In April of 1952, CVGA became the Connecticut Personnel and Guidance Association. (CPGA)

    1953-1962: This period saw the Korean War, McCarthyism, recessions, changes in family structure, growth in population, redevelopment programs, welfare, automation, the atom bomb and race in space. During this period, there was an indictment of American Education. Carman Syrett and Wishy state that schools were geared to produce intellectually average docile citizens trained for a job, rather than men and women capable of informed individual judgment, and or resistance to the comforts of an uncritical conformism. Pressure came to bear on schools to offer special programs for the intellectually gifted and many such programs were begun on all levels of the educational system. The Guidance Movement, however, took the stand that while the intellectually gifted should have every opportunity to develop it full potentialities, it was the moral duty of education to do as much for those whose intellectual capacities were average and below average.

    1956 - The CPGA by-laws were revised to conform with the APGA by-laws.

    1957 – The Connecticut Personnel and Guidance Association was given an official charter by the American Personnel and Guidance Association.

    1958 – The National Defense Act was passed. Title V of this act applied to Guidance, giving assistance to states in order to advance counseling. The APGA and its branches played a role in the passage of this act.

    1963 - The Connecticut School Counselor Association was formed and Joseph Spada was elected president.

  • 1964 – The Connecticut School Counselor Association became a division of the Connecticut Personnel and Guidance Association. The state was divided into areas: Fairfield, Hartford, New Haven, Northwest, South Central and South East. There was a vice president to CPGA from each area.

    1968 – Beatrice Pressley, Associate Professor at the University of Hartford, testified before the U. S. House and labor Committee promoting counseling in schools (Guidance for Career Development). This year also saw two studies set up by CPGA. One addressed counselor concerns regarding delay in processing student applications to the University of Connecticut. As a result, communications between counselors and the University improved. The second was a child guidance clinic study.

    1969 – Dr. Robert Stoughton (President of CPVGA 1945-47 – predecessor of CPGA) was elected as president-elect for the Association for Measurement and Evaluation, a division of APGA. In addition to Teacher Convention Day (October 30), CPGA held an annual spring dinner. These were all evening meetings beginning at 3:30 P.M., with discussion followed by social hour, dinner and a guest speaker.

    1970 – A group consisting of CPGA and CSCA leadership revised the CPGA constitution. A CPGA Senate would be the governing body. Membership in the governing body would consist of the officers of the CPGA, the president of each division and additional voting members depending upon the number of members in each division.

    1971 – In October, the Connecticut Employment Counselor Association (CECA) was accepted as a division of CPGA.

    1972 – In May, the Connecticut Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors (CACES) was accepted as a division of CPGA. Dues were $4.00 for CPGA, $2.00 for CECA or CACES and $4.00 for CSCA.

    1972 – In October, the CPGA Conference, co-chaired by CPGA and CSCA, had Dr. Sid Simons from the University of Massachusetts (Values Clarification) as the guest speaker. There were 400 people in attendance.

    1973 – In April, a two-day workshop on behavior modification was held. Dr. Robert Carkcuff, American International College, Springfield, Mass, and Dr. Ray Hosford, University of California were the workshop leaders. Participants worked with each leader for seven and one half hours.

    1973 – 74 The following changes to the Constitution occurred: Emeritus membership was changed to read, “A member having reached the age of 65 and having been a member of at least one division or its antecedent, may request emeritus membership.” And the Executive Board was changed to consist of the President, President-elect, immediate Past President, Secretary and Treasurer of the Association, Chairpersons of present standing committees, as well as President of Divisions.

    1974 – Additional Constitutional changes occurred: 1. The office of the Treasurer became an elected office beginning 1975-76, 2. All officers of the Association with the exception of the Treasurer, who shall serve a term of two years, shall be elected at large from the individual members of the Association and shall serve a one-year terms.

    1974 – The division of CECA was dissolved and CVGA took its place.

    1975 – There was a discussion of having an Executive Secretary. This was abandoned in favor of an administrative assistant.

    1978-1980 A financial crisis in CPGA led to a revision of collection of dues and distribution to divisions.

    1980 – A number of conferences resolved issues of policy, procedures and governance.

    1981 – Dr. Albert Ellis was the key speaker of the CPGA conference.

    1981 – The thirty-fifth New England Personnel and Guidance Association conference was held in Hartford, October 22-24 at the Hartford Sheraton. “People Growing, Everyone’s Business” was the title. Dr. Alvin Poissant, Harvard psychiatrist, author John Lee, (Hour Power), and author Dr. George Bach (Stop, You’re Driving me Crazy) were the featured speakers. There were workshop themes from twelve clusters. CPGA and its five divisions were hosts of the Conference.

    1982 – The CPGA Conference saw thirty workshops.

    1982 – A newsletter was publisher four times a year and a journal dialog twice a year. CPGA had become a very professional organization.

  • 1983 – saw the first push for professional counselor licensing act. Claire Friedlander, President of CPGA, Maria Catania, Past President and chair of the CPGA Licensure Committee, and Jacqueline Fusek, chair of CPGA Government Liaison Committee presented an omnibus professional Counselor Licensing act. Due to opposition from other professional groups, and that testing for this licensure was not in place, this bill had to be withdrawn.

    1984 – CPGA became CACD to conform with APGA changing to AACD.

    1985 - Peg Carroll was honored with a professional service award at the AACDS conference.

    1988 – CACD received a matching grant from AACD to look at membership.

    1988 – CACES and CSCA collaborated. CACES Committee for School Counselor Competencies, chaired by Eileen Matthay, and Alan Fossbender, and assisted by CSCA members, developed a list of professional competencies for both prospective and beginning school counselors. CACES members assisted the CSCA Committee for Program Standards, chaired by Anne Taylor and Francine Walko Strazdas, in developing standards for exemplary K-12 Guidance and Counseling programs. CACES and CSCA were represented on a state task force for guidance and counseling services that was established by Commissioner Gerald Terozzi.

    1989 – CVGA become CCCA. CSCA held a Developmental Guidance conference. In December, Felix Babel, a stalwart of CACD and a Past President of CACD, and one of the founders of CSCA, passed away.

    1990 – Helen Chapman and Brad Noel presented a developmental guidance curriculum at the AACD Conference.

    1992 – AACD became ACA, thus CACD became CCA.

    1993 – There were 7 divisions of CCA: CACES (Counselor Education and Supervision), CAADA (Adult Aging and Development), CSCA (School Counselor), CCCA (Career Counselors, CCUCA (College and University Counselors, CAMDA (Multicultural Counselors), and CMHCA (Mental Health Counselors).

    1993 – Diane Stempien was named Administrative Assistant.

    1994 – CAMFC (Marriage and Family Counselors) was added as a division of CCA. The Licensure Committee was working with the Lobbyist, Barry Williams. The mentoring program expended and a workshop “On How to Mentor” was presented.

    1995 – CCA became a tax-exempt organization. Representative Ann McDonald blocked the Counselor Licensure Bill so that it died during that Legislative Session. The Clinical Social Workers and Family Therapists received their licensure in the previous Legislative session. However, an amendment was passed that required the Department of Public Health and Addiction Services to study the counseling profession and report on the suitability of licensing professional counselors. Attorney Martha Murray was hired to help interpret the bills since it looked like professional counselors in private practice might be practicing illegally. At the end of 1995, there were eight divisions represented in CCA.

    1996 – Barry Williams, the Lobbyist, was rehired, contingent on receipt of $10,000 from the Connecticut Board for Certification for Professional Counselors. Frank Kuan was introduced as the new part-time Executive Director. At the end of 1996 the membership was 1298.

    1997 – In February, the Licensure Bill was sent to the Senate as #287. Dues for secondary membership were raised to $10.00. CACES took on the concept of helping CCA prepare for the National Counselor exam in the event the Licensure Bill passed. In April, the status of Emeritus was discussed. 12 members were currently recognized with Emeritus status. They were grandfathered in as having Emeritus status. In September the Licensure was signed into law. Frank Kuan was rehired as Executive Director. Funds were moved from the general funds to the Lobbyist account effective January 1998. The Lobbyist could now pursue legislation that serves the interests of the counseling profession.

    1998 – The office of President-Elect-Elect was established. At the ACA World Conference in March, CCA received a first place award for the Best Leadership Development Program. In November, Frank Kuan resigned as Executive Director and Lori Hunziger took over this position. The CAADA and CAMCD divisions were disbanded and a chairmanship was created for each.

    1999 – CCA moved the April conference to the 4-star Hotel Sheraton in Waterbury. Lori Hunziker announced she would be moving out of state and therefore would be resigning as Executive Director.

    2000 – February saw the introduction of Nina Malinak as the new Executive Director. Bill Kovachi, Nina Malinak and John Thorson attended the ACA Convention in April. At the Awards ceremonies, Janine Bernard received a national award and the CCA Newsletter won second place recognition for medium size branches. Massachusetts and Rhode Island disbanded their Counseling Associations. In cooperation with ACA, letters and CCA membership application forms were sent to counselors in those states so they could continue a counseling association. CCA agreed to assist Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the future to establish CCA chapters in those states and prepare for eventual rechartering of ACA branches and transfer of membership from CCA. The Certification Board was disbanded since it no longer had a purpose. The $14,000 remaining could be redistributed. The Executive Board voted to apply these funds to the creation of a CCA website. Annual awards were created to recognize contributions of members. A two-year membership at a reduced rate was offered in addition to the traditional one-year membership. We were all saddened by the loss of Past President Joanne Stein. At the September Governing Council meeting, a committee was established to set up an award in Joanne Stein’s memory. JoAnn Kiernan was introduced as the new Editor of the Connecticut Counselor and Wendy Oestreicher as the new Treasurer. The Elementary School Counselor effort died in Legislative Committee, however, vendorship and privileged communications for licensed professional counselors was approved by the Legislature.

    2001 – CSCA legislation for mandatory school counseling grades K-12 was still in committee. Opposition was voiced by school psychologists and school social workers. At the ACA Convention, the CCA Newsletter received the award for best newsletter for a medium size branch. The ACA honored John Thorson with the Carl D. Perkins Government Relations Award for his significant contributions to the counseling profession. The CCA website (ccamain.org) went on line in May.

    2002 – CCA is honored at the ACA conference in New Orleans for 75 years of counseling service. CCA receives three Branch Awards at the ACA Conference: Best Member Recruitment Program, Best Member Service and second place for our journal dialog.