CMHC students are encouraged to join professional counseling organizations and to participate in professional conferences and training opportunities. Developing one’s professional identity and competence is a process that spans one’s career that provides ongoing education and a supportive community of peers. Below we provide links to some of the most relevant national and regional counseling organizations to explore and join. Further information is available in the CMHC Graduate Handbook.
The American Counseling Association (ACA) is the largest professional counseling association in the country. ACA has 19 divisions as well as regional, international, and special interest groups that members may join.
The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) is an organization specifically focused on the professional needs of mental health counselors. They provide numerous clinically-oriented presentations and training opportunities, a journal, advocacy on behalf of licensed counselors, and a marketing resource for those in private practice. American Mental Health Counselors Association
The National Board of Certified Counselors is an independent organization that certifies counselors. While not the same as state licensure, this level of recognition is useful in enhancing one’s professional identity, level of competence, and mobility for employment. National Board of Certified Counselors
The Oregon Counseling Association (ORCA) sponsors an annual conference and workshops throughout Oregon; ORCA is affiliated with ACA. Likewise, the Oregon Mental Health Counselors Association (OMHCA, ) is affiliated with AMHCA and provides conferences and training in the state. Both organizations work with State of Oregon legislators on behalf of licensed counselors and with the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists (OBLPCT).
The Mental Health Resource and Education Network (MHREN) is a local group of mental health professionals. They provide numerous workshops during the year at reasonable cost in Medford, Oregon. They also have an on-line therapist Referral Directory for those looking for a counselor.
Some other organizations to explore with specialty focus: