OHIO MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS ASSOCIATION
Nikol Bowen, MA, PhD, PC
Renee Kolecki, M.Ed, PCC-S
Renee Kolecki, M.Ed, PCC-S
F. Robert Wilson, Ph.D., PCC
AMHCA State Coordinator
For Legislative Advocacy
Richard A. Wantz, Ed.D., NCC
Doctoral Intern, 20010-2011
Linda Barclay, Ph.D., LPPCC-S
J. Y. Mel Butler, MA, PC
Mark Carli, Ph.D., PCC
Anne Deffenbaugh Ober, Ph.D., LPC
Donna Menigat, Ph.D., LPCC-S
Angela Miniard, M.Ed, CDCA,CT
Gregory Pollock, M.Ed., P.C.C.-S
Donna Tromski-Klingshirn, Ph.D. PCC-SP.C.C.-S
KEY WEB SITES
Ohio Mental Health
OH Counseling Association
Chi Sigma Iota
Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
State of Ohio Legislators
United States Senators
U.S. House of Representatives
October 26, 2010
All Ohio Counselors Conference (AOCC)
November 3-5, 2010
Message from the President
As an agent of change, I am dedicated to utilizing the opportunity to serve as president of OMHCA to advocate for mental health care awareness and mental health rights for all. In order to have an impact on these issues, within and outside of the state of Ohio, I have developed three goals for myself and the association. Goal 1 is to engage in lobbying efforts at the community, city, state, and national level. Goal 2 is to increase my knowledge and inform members of the association about the ways in which national crisis and trauma such as war and unemployment are manifesting in client presentation, access to care, and response to treatment. Goal 3 is to increase diversity amongst membership and enhance our appreciation for diverse perspectives within the field.
In order to achieve these goals, I will need the assistance of the board, current members, past members, and future members. With your support we will be capable of increasing clinician access to clients and equitable reimbursement for services. This year the president of AMHCA stated that he is dedicated to helping licensed mental health counselors obtain full provider status in Medicare, Tricare, Veterans Affairs, and other insurance providers. Although AMHCA works to enhance our privileges within the nation, we must do our part locally to ensure that Ohio legislatures are aware of the dearth of accessible mental health care services within our state. Many families throughout Ohio are feeling the effects of war and poverty and as licensed mental health counselors we are prepared to help them find hope if the government provides us with the privilege to do so.
In counseling we teach clients about empowerment and here is an opportunity to practice what we teach. This year I have been empowered to speak and hope that you too find your voice and utilize it to inform others. I believe that grassroots advocacy is the key to changing mental health care in Ohio and I invite you to join me in being an agent of change through advocacy within OMHCA. In addition, I would like to know how OMHCA can support your local mental health care initiatives. As a state organization we are willing to provide you with resources and support as you advocate for yourself, clients, and colleagues. This year I welcome you to submit articles, for the OMHCA newsletter or to be featured on our Facebook page, about techniques that have been beneficial when working with diverse clients and/or highlights from advocacy efforts within your community. I also invite you to contact me directly if you are interested in participating in mental health awareness activities that we will be coordinating throughout the year.
Below are some great ways to get involved.
1. Write a letter to your congressperson supporting counselors and mental health care initiatives
2. Write an article for the OMHCA Newsletter
3. Coordinate a local get together with members in your area
4. Participate in Legislative Advocacy Day
5. Attend the OMHCA division session at OCA conference in November
6. Contact OMHCA president to discuss regional needs
7. Encourage a colleague to join the organization
With increased opportunity comes increased responsibility! And it is my hope that the association can assist you as you advocate for the profession and prepare to meet the counseling demands of tomorrow.
Nikol Bowen, PC, PhD
2010-2011 OMHCA President
In This Issue
Letter from outgoing President:
Renee Kolecki, M.Ed, PCC-S
It is a privilege to pass the torch of the OMHCA Presidency to Nikol Bowen. Nikol came to the OMHCA Board as a doctoral assistant, worked hard and was chosen President-Elect for the 2010-11 year. Though she had to step into the role of President earlier than anticipated, she bravely and enthusiastically agreed to it and I believe we are in good hands. Her letter to the membership demonstrates her clear thinking and her passion. I wish the best to Nikol as she embarks on her year; I am quite sure she will move us forward.
The theme of 2009-10, “Grow OMHCA” came to fruition as our membership peaked in April with 257 active members, representing a growth of approximately 34% since September, 2009.
We hoped to grow OMHCA through outreach and education as well as membership. To that end, we:
• we supported our parent, AMHCA, by distributing AMHCA surveys to consumers and counselors to via our listserv;
• shared stress-management information with clients, consumers and the public during Mental Health Counseling Week;
• added a graduate student page to website;
• committed to maintaining a user-friendly webpage;
• began efforts to reach out to counselors in private practice;
• developed a Facebook page;
• offered two continuing education workshops this year, free to members. Non-members paid to attend;
• co-sponsored Legislative Advocacy Day with Ohio Counseling Association (OCA) and other State Divisions. President participated on planning committee; President and a Board member spoke at conference; Board sponsored scholarships for ten OMHCA members to attend;
• President, Renee Kolecki, Past-President, Jodi Jones and Legislative Liaison, Gregg Pollack delivered a presentation on Legislative Advocacy for Counselors at the AMHCA annual conference in Boston in July.
In addition, OMHCA President participated on committee with OCA Executive Council members to review and recommend changes to Rules of the Ohio Revised Code regarding counselors.
Finally, under the guidance and leadership of Board members Bob Wilson and Gregg Pollack, OMHCA advocated for the Mental Health Hold Bill in Ohio and Medicare coverage for counselors.
We had a busy and productive year! I would like to thank the members of the Board for their generous time, hard work, commitment to OMHCA and support. To Jodi Jones, thank you for your guidance.
Please take our survey! This edition: the Mental Health Hold Bill
Bob Wilson, Ph.D., OMHCA Member-at-large
Many of you have already responded to this survey; however we would like to continue to collect information on the topic. If you have not completed this survey on the Mental Health Hold Bill, please do so today. It will only take a few minutes. Thank you!
OMHCA's Continuing Education Series
OMHCA’s Continuing Education Series In 2009-10, OMHCA offered several continuing education opportunities to its membership. In February, Dr. Cecile Brennan, Ph.D., PCC-S, presented “The Dislocated Self: Using Relational Approaches to Address the needs of 21st Century Clients” in Lakewood (Cleveland area.) Thank you to Renee Kolecki and Angela Miniard for arranging the evening.
In March, two workshops in one day were offered in Columbus. Steve Gifford, M.Ed., PC, LICDC presented “Addiction Relapse: Understanding How Defense Mechanisms Support a Return to Active Use and Helping Clients to Better Understand the Relapse Process” and Steve Silliman, M.S., M.Ed., PCC presented, “Dismantling the Illusion: Identifying and Treating Hidden Depression in Men.” Thanks to Jodi Jones and Donna Menigat for making this workshop happen!
State and National Events:
OMHCA Participates in State and National Conferences:
OMHCA participated in OCA’s 4th Annual Legislative Advocacy Day in Columbus in April. We donated ten scholarships for members to attend the workshop that included a discussion of State and Federal issues, updates from the Towner Policy Group, a demonstration of a meeting with a legislator and participant appointments with legislators. Lunchtime speakers included Representative Kenny Yuko and Executive Director of Ohio Department of Mental Health, Sandra Stephenson. OMHCA President, 2009-10, Renee Kolecki and Board member and OCA Legislative Relations committee member Gregg Pollack each spoke on topics related to the importance of advocacy for mental health counselors.
In July, OMHCA Board members Jodi Jones, (Past President, 2008-09) Renee Kolecki (Past President, 2009-10) and Board member Gregg Pollack presented “Effective Advocacy for the Counseling Profession” at the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) Annual Conference in Boston. This year’s conference drew 400 counselors from nearly all 50 states and included three international attendees. Next year’s conference will be held in San Francisco.
All Ohio Counselors Conference
Please mark your calendars for the 27th Annual All Ohio Counselors Conference in Columbus on November 3-5, 2010 at the Hilton Easton. Please join OMHCA for its Division Session on Friday at 12:15 p.m. and stop by our booth in the Exhibitor’s Hall. OMHCA will co-sponsor the Poster Session Thursday evening with the Alpha Chapter of Chi Sig from Ohio University. Hope to see you there.
AMHCA Survey A Big Success
Joan Normandy-Dolberg, Past President, VACC
Over 1250 counselors throughout the United States participated in a survey sent out by the American Mental Health Counselors Association as part of this year’s celebration of Mental Health Counseling Month. The survey, which was designed by Joan Normandy-Dolberg, AMHCA’s Public Relations Chair, was distributed to the state chapter presidents and was emailed to their members. Those who received it were also encouraged to send it on to peers who are in different mental health professions including Clinical Psychologists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers and Certified Substance Abuse Counselors. All states participated with Florida, Washington, Ohio, Alabama, Virginia and Massachusetts having the largest number of responses.
The survey asked thirty-five questions, including gender, age, state and location (urban, suburban or rural), type of employment, salary, retirement plans, and participation in various professional organizations. It also asked questions about clinicians experience with managed care. Thirty six percent of those who responded are between 51 and 60 years old, and 22 percent have been in practice 25 years or longer. Seventy five percent of those who responded are females, and 59 percent own their own practice. Ninety-one percent work with adults, 83 percent do individual therapy and 63 percent of those responding work with couples.
About 50% of those who responded participate with health insurance or managed care, with about 33% filing their own claims by mail and 33% filing electronically by an office administrator. The long wait on the phone to get authorization for a new client (70% spend between 10 and 30 minutes per client) and the long wait for reimbursement (50% wait between 2 and 4 weeks) represent major concerns and may be why 50% of those responding do not participate with managed care.
Thirty percent of those who responded work between 31 and 40 hours a week, and, despite our extensive training, salaries are not commensurate with education levels. Thirty seven percent earn $50K or more per year, 10% earn over $80,000 while only 3% earn over $100,000 per year. Not surprisingly in these difficult economic times, over 75% are moderately to very concerned about funding retirement, and over 90% are considering to see clients after retiring.
Over 74 % of those who responded had attended or are currently attending CACREP accredited programs, and many belong to several professional organizations including AMHCA and ACA. Fifty-six percent belong to their state associations.
The four most important legislative issues that counselors would like to have AMHCA advocate for are: Medicare coverage of counselors; the ability to practice independently under TRICARE; counselor inclusion in the Department of Transportation's Substance Abuse Professionals Program (SAP); and Mental Health parity.
Techniques in Counseling
Kathryn P. Van der Heiden, MS, MAT, PCC
Ohio Pastoral Counseling Services, Inc.
Prof. Affiliations: AMHCA, OMHCA, APP, AGPA,
AAPC, NBCC, ATA
I am intrigued by the request to write about the use of techniques in clinical counseling. Clients often ask about the techniques that I might use in counseling at the same time that they ask about insurance coverage. This is particularly true if they have not been in counseling before. I hear this as a request for expertise and security in trying to determine the boundaries of what a contract might be. It is perhaps a hope that knowing what techniques will be used will provide an idea about how the therapy might proceed and a guarantee about outcome. In the last 34 years since matriculating for my Masters degrees I studied and trained in a wide range of approaches to therapy, including but not limited to Gestalt, Bioenergetics and other body-mind techniques, Psychodynamic psychotherapy, Psychosynthesis, Behavioral , Rational Emotive, Jungian, and Integrative Therapy. I could recite those as a pedigree along with my license and my certifications and professional affiliations but my experience has shown me that techniques are only the framework, the warp of the weaving becomes the counseling/psychotherapy process. The creative work is much more than a collection of techniques. Out of context they are more like tricks imposed by the counselor onto the client. Different techniques are useful in different situations, but not rooted in the flow of the relationship they can be harmful. They are best when integrated into the work, grounded in the flow of the process. The healing lies in the client experiencing being seen and heard in the context of searching for the solutions to the problems and dilemmas they bring into the consulting space. Those problems are often a conglomerate of deep unresolved feelings, bad habits, entrenched defense mechanisms and broken communication with self and others that are maladaptive and impinge on their functioning, stability and well being. The techniques are the tools that come in handy to help with building self-awareness, increasing communication and working through unresolved dilemmas and places of being emotionally, mentally or relationally stuck or entrenched. I see the process of counseling/psychotherapy as a journey embarked on as therapist with a client, couple or family. Together, with a set of goals as markers, we search out the details of the problems and difficulties and in that process the clients are encouraged and coached and challenged to find their way back to center and to better emotional and mental health. The techniques vary within the context and are more like the spices added to good cooking rather than the foundation of the work itself. I have been privileged to witness my clients change in the years of my practice. I see the techniques I have learned as a precious collection of tools in my counseling/psychotherapy back pack that I carry on this counseling journey. When used well they fit seamlessly into the work.
#8 Membership Drive winner and membership application:
OMHCA awarded a one-year membership to Amy Holsinger in a drawing of those members who referred the most new members. “Thank you” to Amy who referred 15 people to OMHCA. Please update your membership today and invite someone new to join.
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