Continuous Learning, Community of Professionals, Counseling Connections
1. Membership Benefit: Joining a Community of Professionals
I have had the honor of being a member of the Connecticut Counseling Association since 2010 when I joined as a first year graduate student pursuing a master of science in counseling at Western Connecticut State University. Joining CCA was a requirement of one of my core classes as was membership in the American Counseling Association – and what beneficial requirements these turned out to be! CCA provides members with a community of professionals and a myriad of benefits.
2. Membership Benefit: Local Chapter Membership
I am also a member of the Connecticut Counseling Association – Western Connecticut Chapter. This vibrant organization offers its members monthly workshops in interesting and timely subjects. For those working in the field these workshops yield CEUs and for students these meetings offer an extension of learning. The yearly CCA Conference is a venue to attend workshops, hear lectures by professionals, network and have fun.
3. Membership Benefit: Mentoring and Professional Growth
I recently connected with a poetry therapist who taught a workshop at the 2011 CCA Conference. She made such an impression on me that I joined the Association for Poetry therapy and this Licensed Creative Arts Therapist has since become my mentor. In the fall I will be attending a poetry therapy intensive taught by her that will factor into my certification as a poetry therapist. This connection would not have been possible without the Connecticut Counseling Association. My CCA membership is instrumental in my education as it will be in my career. I see it as an integral component of my foundation as a counselor.
Counselor in training, a personal coach and a freelance writer
From Graduate Student Mentoring to the Supportive Listening Ear of a Friend
My CCA story began around 1994. I was a graduate student at SCSU. From my first CCUCA meeting, Joanne Stein and Marie McCain (exemplary role models in college counseling) welcomed me into the organization and mentored my involvement. During the initial years, I served as CCUCA secretary and a co-coordinator of professional development. As a new professional, this group really took me under their wing and helped me to grow both personally and professionally. Having been in the organization for many years now, these professionals have gone above and beyond mentoring me, sharing their knowledge in conferences, and collaborating on projects to becoming dear friends who have provided a listening ear and gems of advice when I needed it most. Each year, I try to return to the CCA conference to connect with this amazing network and meet new professionals who are entering the field for of passion and excitement for helping others. It is a wonderfully recharging experience.
Associate Director of Admissions at Tunxis Community College
Professional Growth, Networking, and Having Fun
Hi, my name is Linda Haas and I joined when I was in grad school, maybe around 2002, to get involved with the field into which I was entering. Fellow students as well as professors recommended that we join, and I’m glad I did! I am currently the Clinical Director of Young Adult Services at Bridges…A Community Support System, Inc. in West Haven; Bridges is the local mental health authority for that area; YAS serves clients between ages 18-25 with significant mental health and/or recovery needs and assists them in increasing wellness, independence and self-sufficiency.
CCA is a supportive collegial group that keeps me current on local and larger trends within the counseling field. I appreciate the camaraderie, feedback, and opportunities for continuing education. Being able to participate in the annual conferences is a great experience for learning, networking, and self-care…And it’s FUN! I appreciate the many ways I can connect with colleagues via local chapter meetings, social meet-and-greets, and other forums for gathering such as conferences, seminar/trainings, and Leadership Development Institute training.
I love the diversity of people with whom I interact, both clients and staff. I really enjoy engaging with our clients and helping them discover their strengths and talents in ways that encourage them to thrive and overcome the numerous challenges from which they have survived. I especially love that I am able to continue learning and growing as a professional and a person.
Clinical Director of Young Adult Services at Bridges...A Community Support System, Inc. in West Haven, CT
The Power of Positive Relationships Through Learning, Networking, and Volunteering
My CCA: Learning, Networking and Volunteering
My name is Dan Mirandi and I’ve been a CCA member since I was a student in 2008. I graduated Southern Connecticut State University in 2009 with a Masters in Clinical Mental Health. Since then I have earned my LPC and have been working as a clinician for Bridges Young Adult Services in West Haven CT. My membership to the CCA has benefited me in a variety of different ways. As a member I’ve had the opportunity to expand my knowledge base though trainings and workshops, I expanded my network by meeting other counseling professionals, and lastly I was given the opportunity to help other counselors as a volunteer for the CCA.
As a member I’ve been able to participate in a variety of workshops and social events. During the first CCA conference I attended I had the opportunity to present a poster presentation on EMDR. I enjoyed this opportunity because it allowed me to link the skills I learned at my internship and share my knowledge with other CCA members. Since then I’ve tried to attend every CCA conference. I find the conferences to be very convenient because I’m able to earn a good number of CEUs during a short period of time. I don’t find myself having seeking training opportunities at the last minute. Not only that, but I’m constantly updated on upcoming trainings via email.
Secondly, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting counselors from a variety of different disciplines. This has been very enriching for me because it has enabled me to expand my counseling skills in ways I never thought I would. For example, I first learned about Motivational Interviewing by having a conversation with a fellow CCA member. Today, I use MI on a daily basis at my work place. Overall, I appreciate the CCA for making counseling as interesting and exciting as the first day I started practicing
The more CCA members I met the more positive relationships I gained. About a year ago I was asked to be the CCA’s CEU coordinator. I was a little nervous at first, but I decided to take on the responsibility. It took a little getting used to, but I eventually adapted to my new responsibilities. As an emerging leader I was given the opportunity to join two other CCA leaders to the ACA Leadership Conference in Washington DC. While there I was able to visit my congressmen to advocate for a variety of issues important to counselors. It was a very empowering experience for me.
My time as a CCA member has been a positive one. I’ve learned a variety of different counseling skills, I’ve gained many new friends, and I’ve been able to help other counselors within the CCA. I look forward to being a CCA member for many years to come.
Clinician for Bridges Young Adult Services in West Haven, CT