Multicultural counseling is a challenging field, but one of the greatest resources for professionals in this therapeutic field are conferences for multi-cultural counselors. By coming together to share ideas, update individual practical understandings of the concerns they face, and explore the next developments for the field as a whole, they foster an atmosphere of professional development, mutual support, and intellectual growth. In the article below, we'll explore five of the great options for counseling professionals to come together and grow.
1. The National Multicultural Conference and Summit
In the early days of January, the NMCS will convene in Portland, Oregon. Their continuing objective is to provide a space where professionals within the counseling field can come together and explore their roles as students, teachers, practitioners, and researchers. As well, they offer a venue to advance individual learning objectives and professional enrichment goals with lectures and panel discussions. They define multiculturalism as an intersection of domains—age, ethnicity, social identities, and even socioeconomic status. Among their stated objectives are goals such as the application of multicultural psychology to ordinary life situations and to help prepare individuals who are ready to begin their professional journeys as teachers, counselors, educators or healthcare specialists.
2. The Association for Multicultural Counseling Annual ACA Conference
The American Counseling Association holds an annual conference, which draws professionals and students from every field of counseling psychology. The AMCA participates as a large proponent of these conferences, offering interested individuals from the healthcare industry, students, and established therapists a venue to discuss and explore the finer points of multicultural counseling. There are opportunities for these individuals to network, exchange ideas, and even informally familiarize themselves with the mechanisms integral to the exploration of polyvalent cultural concerns. Students and professionals new to the field are strongly encouraged to attend the luncheon, in addition to partaking of panel discussions and focused lecture opportunities.
3. The Cross-Cultural Counseling and Education Conference for Research, Action, and Change
Each year since 2001, Georgia Southern University conducts this conference to bring together educators, practitioners, healthcare professionals, and researchers. In 2017, the Savannah-based conference will focus on racial identity development, as well as considerations of gender and psycho-sexual development within a cultural context. The goal of this conference is to enrich practitioners', researchers', and educators' understanding of how these themes develop within multi-ethnic cultural settings. They will also explore how themes of white, heteronormative patriarchy and the initiatives of anti-racism or anti-oppression movements impact these sociocultural ideologies. Their goals are to equip educators and social science researchers with the conceptual tools to identify and expunge bias within a multi-cultural matrix.
4. 17th Global Summit on Cognitive, Psychological, and Behavioral Sciences
Hosted in Toronto, Canada during the first three days of May, this conference offers a broader array of learning opportunities for counselors with a multicultural focus, educators, counseling researchers, and healthcare personnel. Because it tends to draw a more cosmopolitan crowd, an international conference can also provide beneficial perspective for those engaged with multicultural therapies or research. While there are many research-focused tracks available, one specifically geared towards counseling psychology may provide the most benefit. Professionals will learn new ways to assist individuals in alleviating distress, social crises, conflicts of ideology, and many other beneficial approaches that they may apply to their clientele.
5. American College Counseling Association National Conference
While the ACCA is an organization with a broader focus, they may be considered as one of the more rewarding conferences for multi-cultural counselors. February 16-19, 2017, invested professionals from the collegiate community will meet at the Tampa Harbor Island Westin to discuss issues that range from multicultural counseling to leadership within the community and beyond.
Opportunities to come together and explore the realm of counseling as it relates to relevant cultural themes are vital. While venues that provide a broader focus are highly beneficial to students, educators, and professionals, conferences for multi-cultural counselors also play an important role in nurturing professional relationships and advancing the field.