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61st Virtual Annual Conference


Conference Schedule

September 26, 2020 


12:00 –21:00 GMT+1 (9:00pm) (UK)

6:00am-3:00pm EST

Session 1

1.5 CEUs

12:00pm – 14:00pm GMT +1

6:00am – 8:00am EST

Presenter 1: Superheros Wear Masks: Building Resiliency & Self-Compassion in Clients and Ourselves During COVID-19

Rebecca L. Mathews, PhD, LPC-S, CBGT, CHST, Donna Hickman, PhD, LPC, CSC& Crystal Brashear, MA, LPC

Self-compassion, the ability to be understanding and soothing to oneself during times of suffering, has never been more universally needed than during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this interactive presentation, presenters will discuss examples of self-compassion development during the COVID-19 crisis in hospital and outpatient settings. Strategies counselors can use to access self-compassion during times of distress will be discussed and practiced. Tools to use with clients to aid their development of kindness, humanity, and mindfulness will be presented.


Presenter 2: Creative Interventions to Counselor and Client Wellness

Justina Wong, B.A. & Andy Brown, Ed.D., LCMHC

Baking and listening to music are forms of self-care because they reduce stress and anxiety. Counselors must uphold ethical codes to maintain self-care and overall wellness to prevent from causing harm to clients. This presentation will include an interactive experiential meaningful recipe exchange and special music, how baking and music are forms of self-care during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they reduce stress and anxiety.

Presenter 3:"Secure your own mask first": Protective and Resilience strategies during and following Covid-19

Marilyn Haight, Ph.D. & Nina Spadaro, Ph.D.

Covid-19 turned our worlds upside down and the masks have dropped (figuratively speaking). It’s often hard to overcome natural resistance to organizational/systemic change, but now we need to don our own (literal) masks not only for safety measures, but our figurative coping skills masks.



13:45pm - 14:00pm GMT +1

7:45am- 8:00am EST

Session 2

1.5 CEUs

14:00pm – 16:00pm GMT +1

8:00am – 10:00am EST

Presenter 1:Using the One Welfare Model in the Promotion of Animal-Assisted Interventions

Amy Johnson, EdDc, MA, MAT, LPC, CPDT-KA, UW-AAB & Leslie Stewart, PhD, LPC

One Welfare frames the interconnections between animal welfare, human well-being and the environment. Through the improvement of animal welfare, the well-being of humans can improve, particularly in the areas of abuse and neglect. This presentation shares a case study of an animal-assisted intervention that has been working to improve the lives of at-risk youth, homeless young adults and male inmates through learning about, caring for, and improving the lives of  hard-to-adopt shelter dogs since 2005.

Presenter 2: Counseling Education, Social Justice, Advocacy, and Geriatric Population around the World

Fariba Ehteshami PhD. Family/Marriage & PhD. Candidate Counseling education

The counseling profession is facing significant ethical challenges as a result of the rapidly growing population of geriatric clients in this country and in the world. Along with advanced age comes a wide variety of mental and emotional concerns that further complicate treatment choices and both legal and ethical decision-making. Therefore, our important purpose is to improve ethical consideration and applicable laws that increase counselors’ treatment effectiveness and to also help to change society’s world view in this area.

Presenter 3: Strengthening wellness at the US Border: The counselor's response to immigration concerns

Jessica Haas, PhD, LGPC, NCC, Selma Yznaga, PhD, UTRGV & Suzanne Maniss, PhD, UTRGV

In the current political climate, immigration concerns are abstracted through national dialogues, sometimes resulting in misinformation about the humanitarian crises at our border towns. Asylum seekers are extremely vulnerable populations at risk, of exploitation and cartel violence on their journey to the US, and family separation through the journey to citizenship. With immigrants awaiting court hearings in towns throughout the country, all counselors must be prepared to navigate such traumas.



15:45PM - 16:00pm GMT +1 

9:45am - 10:00 am EST

Session 3


16:00pm – 17:00pm GMT+1

10:00am – 11:00am EST

President’s Address

Dr. Steve F. Bain, D.Min, LPC-S, NCC

16:00pm – 16:15pm GMT+1 

10:00am – 10:15am EST

A note from Dr. Steve F Bain: Greetings, dear friend and thank you for vising our website of the European Branch of the American Counseling Association (EB-ACA). As President of EB-ACA for the 2020-2021 year, I am so honored to serve this prestigious organization particularly in light of all the world events unfolding before us. For me, we have an extraordinary opportunity to make a difference in our world in spite of the challenges wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.


A primary goal of EB-ACA is to provide continuing education and resources for counseling professionals in Europe. And we are doing that by hosting our first ever virtual conference and filling the next year’s calendar with virtual opportunities for continuing education. Our commitment continues to focus on fostering relationships between counselors based in Europe and the United States, as well as with mental health professionals across the globe.


I hope you will strongly consider being involved in EB-ACA by becoming a member, attending or presenting at our continuing education events, or serving on a committee. Please browse our website to learn more about EB-ACA, upcoming events, and membership information, and follow us on social media for updates. We hope to hear from you or to meet you at a future EB-ACA event in person or virtually!



 Dr. Steve F. Bain, D.Min, LPC-S, NCC

2020: The Year of Racial Change? Keynote Speaker

Dr. Dwight Turner​

16:15pm –16:45pm GMT +1

10:15am –10:45am EST

Note from Dr. Dwight Turner:To say 2020 has been tumultuous would be an understatement.  From, the global pandemic, Covid-19 and the lockdowns and deaths that have followed, to the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests against racism and abuse around the world, the impact of the past several months upon clients and practitioners has led us all to question our intersecting identities. 

Just considering one of these, it has long been understood that Race is a powerful social construct.  In her work on complexes, Brewster (2020) saw a racial complex as something which bound races upon both sides of the divide, meaning that the present need to look at race, and our own racism, is nothing that counsellors should be afraid of.  It is a route whereby our clients have the chance to grow and develop, and to deepen their understanding of themselves and their clients.  

Through the lens of dreams, which is just one route to recognizing the unconscious impact of this time, this talk then becomes a call towards encouraging counsellors to be brave in the work we do of personal, relational, and cultural transformation.

Business Session

16:45pm – 17:00pm GMT +1

10:45am – 11:00am EST

Session 4

1.5 CEUs

17:00pm – 19:00pm GMT +1

11:00am – 1:00pm EST

Presenter 1: Utilizing Art-Informed Therapy to Foster Holistic Healing for Traumatized Children and Adolescents

Sharon Thompson, Ph.D., Mary Sears Taylor, MA, Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern & Terra Shishido, B.S.

When children experience trauma, it can be difficult for them to process the complex and often conflicting emotions elicited. As it is challenging for this demographic to speak what seems unspeakable, trauma may be processed effectively utilizing nonverbal techniques. The hands-on, developmentally appropriate activities featured address the abstract nature of how trauma is stored. Participants will learn 10 art-informed techniques to use with traumatized children and adolescents. We will address utilization in teletherapy, as well.

Presenter 2: Strengthening Resilience through Promoting Wellness in Youth: A Trauma-Responsive School Approach

Donna Dockery, Ph.D.

Almost half of U.S youth have experienced a potentially traumatic event. Early intervention to promote wellness and resiliency can be effective in mitigating the potential negative life-long impacts of childhood trauma. We will discuss how schools and counselors may be responsive to youth who have experienced trauma. This session may resonate with those who wish to intervene at individual, classroom, school climate, and policy level to provide better support for youth who have experienced trauma.

Presenter 3: Understanding Cultural Trauma: Race Based Trauma

Amirah R. Nelson, MA, CAGS

Trauma permeates culture. A strong, positive ethnic identity has been shown to be a potential protective factor against symptoms of anxiety and depression (Williams et al., 2012) unless the discriminatory events are severe (Chae et al., 2011). The presentation aims at discussing culturally competent understanding of trauma, potential preventive strategies and interventions.


18:45pm - 19:00pm GMT +1

12:45pm - 1:00pm EST 

Session 5

1.5 CEUs

19:00pm – 21:00pm GMT +1

1:00pm – 3:00pm EST

Presenter 1: The State of the Counseling Profession Internationally

Paulina Flasch

International counseling has long been on the agenda for the Counseling Profession’s endeavors. However, as a field we lag behind globally, surpassed by well-established professions such as psychology and social work. In this presentation, we will summarize the history and current international state of the counseling profession and open up an interactive audience discussion about what where we are going and how to get there. Feedback will be shared with ACA’s International Committee.

Presenter 2: Ethics Renewal: What Should We Know About Working Remotely With Clients?

Mercedes Ballbé ter Maat, Ph.D., LPC, ATR-BC

This presentation is intended to help raise participants’ awareness on the ethical and legal responsibilities of working remotely with mental health counseling. It fulfills 1 hour of ethics CEU requirements toward licensure renewal in an interactive way. Participants will engage in active discussions and activities regarding telehealth, boundaries, self-care, and practicing within our area of expertise. HIPAA security and privacy laws and other key legislation will be discussed with emphasis on working remotely with clients.

Presenter 3: Online Play Therapy: Is It Possible?

Jill Van Horne PhD, (LCMHCS, NCPSC, NCC, RPTS, EAGALA certified), Karla Katibah & James Staley 

Play Therapy is known for its therapeutic magic in the experiential setting. The recent need to go virtual with counseling has opened up opportunities that had not previously been explored. Counselors found directive approaches as a common way to meet the therapeutic needs of online counseling.  What participants will learn is how non-directive play therapy can be executed successfully via a tele-counseling format. 


20:45pm - 21:00pm GMT +1

2:45pm - 3:00pm EST

EB-ACA Award Presentation & Board Panel Discussion

21:00pm - 22:00pm GMT +1

3:00pm – 4:00pm EST

EB-ACA Award Presentation & Board Panel Discussion

Discussion Topics

- What would they like to see differently for next year?

- What was meaningful to them particularly in a Covid-19 world?

- What expectations do you have for next year's conference? Maybe a hybrid?

Awards being given:

Outstanding Professional Member:  

The Outstanding Professional Member Award recognizes an EB-ACA member who has demonstrated excellence in scholarship and research; leadership and service; counseling practice; or teaching and training. Consideration for this award will focus on the impact the recipient has directed towards international counseling in addition to countries represented within  EB-ACA. Recipients for this award will also be considered for their overall impact on the counseling profession.


International Service Award:  

The International Service Award recognizes an ACA member who has provided significant service to the counseling profession, particularly to the international community of counselors. This award recognizes efforts of service to the profession and leadership and/or humanitarian efforts with a significant impact on the international counseling community and/or EB-ACA.


Outstanding Research Award:  

The Outstanding Research Award recognizes the researcher who is an EB-ACA member with excellence in research. This award recognizes the individual who has utilized research to enhance the understanding of counseling and its application with international populations or with the international scope of counseling as it impacts EB-ACA.


Outstanding Doctoral Student Member:  

The Outstanding Doctoral Student Member award recognizes a doctoral student who is a member of EB-ACA and has demonstrated excellence in scholarship and research; leadership and service; counseling practice; or teaching and training. Consideration for this award will focus especially on contributions and efforts directed to the international scope of counseling and the potential impact on EB-ACA.


Outstanding Master’s Student Member:  

The Outstanding Master’s Student Member award recognizes a master’s student who is a member of EB-ACA and has demonstrated excellence in counseling practice; leadership and service; scholarship and research; or teaching and training. Consideration for this award will focus especially on contributions and efforts directed to the international scope of counseling and the potential impact on EB-ACA. 

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