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5 Conferences for Counseling Professionals in 2016

Counseling is a progressive field, the tenets of which evolve with the times. As such, it requires that practitioners continually be apprised of changes in assessment and treatment, in designations of disorders and in counseling techniques, among others. Conferences offer the ideal venue for this type of supplemental training along with the opportunity for discourse with others in the profession.

Among the many conferences available to counseling professionals in 2016 are the following five:

American Counseling Association

A joint effort of the Canadian Counseling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) and the American Counseling Association (ACA), this conference will be held from March 31- April 3, 2016 at the Montreal Convention Center in Montreal, Canada. As an international event, it offers attendees the opportunity for global collaboration among a diverse cadre of colleagues as each expands his or her knowledge base and skill sets in workshops while gaining career insights along with training in Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Volunteering, among other benefits.

Continuing Education Credit is offered for each hour of the Red Cross training as well as for education sessions, roundtable sessions and the pre-conference learning institute.

American Mental Health Counselors Association

An event solely for counselors working in the field of mental health, the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) Annual Conference will be held at The Roosevelt in New Orleans, Louisiana on July 14-16, 2016. In addition to networking opportunities, the conference offers training through sessions that tackle key policy issues that affect various aspects of practice, including psychotherapy, assessment and diagnosis, treatment planning and crisis management, to name a few. Additionally, pre-conference speakers will provide evidence-based materials on a range of issues, from workplace bullying and suicide prevention to brain injury treatment and expressive trauma resolution, among many others.

Association for Addiction Professionals

Entitled "Embracing Today, Empowering Tomorrow," the 2016 Annual Conference of the Association for Addiction Professionals will take place at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 7-11, 2016. Formerly known as the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors — hence the acronym NAADAC — this organization and its yearly conference emphasize addiction as the primary public health issue in the United States. Underscoring this point, the conference's exhibitors and presenters afford attendees cutting-edge practices in addiction prevention, treatment and recovery through a varied array of workshop presentations, keynote addresses, poster papers, and various networking and special events.

American School Counselor Association

"The Recipe for Success," the 2016 Annual Conference of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), will be in New Orleans, Louisiana on July 9-12, 2016. An international forum, it gives school counselors the occasion to interact with global peers who will serve as professional resources throughout the school year.

It also introduces these attendees to companies that enable practitioners to create more successful school programs through useful products and services. EduTours, a new feature of the conference this years, provides counselors the chance to delve into local industries and colleges, learning about new career and educational options for their students. Keynote speakers, educational sessions and networking events round out this conference.

National Christian Counselors Association

The Marriott Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky is the site of the Annual Conference of the National Christian Counselors Association on October 28-29, 2016. Designed to offer professional support to counselors who provide religious counsel, this conference presents six guest speakers, covering such disparate topics as the implementation of a temperament inventory and the legal implications inherent to the counseling profession. In addition to the professional development offerings, this conference also offers attendees a sunset cruise aboard the Belle of Louisiana for a nominal fee.

Not an exhaustive list, these five conferences for counseling professionals in 2016 represent the spectrum of professional development options available to counselors. While each is uniquely suited to a specific type of counseling, the commonality is the enhancement of counseling skills while allowing attendees the chance for positive peer interaction.