“Diverse Perspectives for Multi-cultural Counseling and embracing seasonal changes.”
Greetings my IAMC Colleagues,
Although I have been blogging to you for the past six month, August began my official tenure as President for this esteemed organization. I am excited about reaching out to all of you and continuing to share some of the good work we are doing as counselors. This year, I would like to spotlight through a bi-monthly blog some of this fantastic work that we are doing to promote multi-cultural counseling with our diverse clientele. Some of you work in private practice, others for agencies, schools, etc. and many have informally shared wonderful stories (filled with passion and enthusiasm) about how you serve your diverse clients. I sincerely believe that it is through sharing our wide range of experiences, challenges, resources and creative solutions for change that we continue to thrive and grow as practitioner. (Below this month’s featured blogger -Mr. Rodney Bullock)
Next, I want to introduce myself and the team of IAMC Counselors that will be working with you this year. Ms. Linda Jackson-Brown is President elect for 2015/16 and Ms. Kasia Wereszczynska is our President, elect for 2016/17. Both of these ladies bring in a wealth of counseling experiences and have been supportive of ICA and IAMC for a number of years. Ms. Patricia Merriweather-Lampkin (an ICA Past-President) continues to serve as our treasurer and recent GSU Counseling graduate, Ms. Tracy Theard serves as our secretary. We look forward to having more of you join us in our efforts to promote and sustain the work of IAMC. Additionally, we are looking for nominations for the annual “Outstanding IAMC Individual” award, someone who is actively promoting multicultural counseling through his or her work. You may also nominate an “Outstanding Counseling program”. The individual and/or program will be honored at the ICA conference in November. The individual must be a member of ICA and IAMC or for a program, at least one member belongs to ICA and IAMC. Please e-mail me for a nomination form, and forms are due by Friday, October 24th.
Lastly, I wanted to thank everyone who made it out to our “Diversity Perspectives” workshop; which was hosted by the Adler School of Professional Psychology’s counseling program on Friday June 20, 2014. Long time IAMC and ICA counseling member Eric Dutt, presented on “Cultural Perspectives and Grief and Healing.” We had a good turnout of professionals on a beautiful summer day in Chicago. Additionally, IAMC had also planned to host a 2nd workshop on August 15th (with the topic of ‘Cultural implications for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault”). This event had to be postponed until this fall and is now scheduled during Domestic Violence Awareness month, Oct, 23rd from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at Joliet Junior College. To register for this event, go to the ICA website. The cost for CE’s is $20. Light refreshments will be provided. The workshop is free if you are not wanting CE’s, however you still must register on line.
Please let me know if you are interested in working more closely with IAMC this year. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking forward to hearing from you and seeing some of you soon.
2014/15 IAMC President
Presenting Rodney Bullock-IAMC Diversity spotlight Blogger
My name is Rodney Bullock and I have been a member of IAMC for the past 10 years. I am a LPC and I currently work as a counselor at Joliet Junior College. I serve as one of the contact persons charged with working with our veteran student populations. The work involves personal counseling, career planning, and educational goal setting.
Many veterans are using education benefits such as the post 911 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill and IVG-Illinois Veterans Grant. The veteran must show progress in school to continue to receive these benefits. This creates a particular challenge because the veteran may be facing other issues that prohibit the individual from being able to focus on school. Some veterans may be attempting to take classes for the first time since high school which may have been 10 plus years ago.
Even though military personnel share a distinct culture, this is indeed a very diverse group of students. We have all heard the saying, “no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” This is very true in working with the military population.
Some veterans prefer to work with a therapist who has military experience. Others prefer to work with someone outside of the military. Multicultural counseling techniques have helped me gain acceptance and trust among this student population.
Even though PTSD has been documented and associated with veterans, I am also seeing issues related to anxiety, relationship problems, anger and unemployment. Since the presenting issues and challenges can be so diverse, I have developed relationships with several key support organizations. I have contacts at Hines VA Hospital, Volunteers of America Illinois, Veterans Assistance Commission of Will and Cook Counties and Veterans Alliance groups.
Substance abuse and self-medication is another concern among this population. It is imperative to get these students into counseling to address their issues because self-harm and suicidal ideation followed by suicide is also on the rise.
I also attend state-wide veterans’ trainings presented by various organizations. This keeps me current with events related to the veteran culture and population. Transcendental Meditation (TM) studies have shown some success also in helping veterans adjust back into civilian life. I tried TM nine months ago and it has helped me in my everyday life.
I plan on starting group sessions in our veteran’s center which just recently opened. We are looking at running an emotional support group and a substance abuse group if we have the numbers. I will continue to attend veteran specific trainings. When I attend veteran’s workshops, I add this information to the list of referrals. By utilizing the referral list, the veteran does not have to wait for services through the VA Hospital system.
In closing, I am looking forward to hearing back from my ICA and IAMC colleagues, if you have thoughts or other insights about working with our veterans. I can be reached at email@example.com
Aloha IAMC Members and Supporters,
It seems like it was just yesterday that I was strolling around the tiki torches at the Hilton Hawaiian village hotel for the annual ACA conference. My intentions upon returning to the Mainland (the good old windy city) was to immediately capture my thoughts on paper about the phenomenal and awesome time that I spent not only at the conference, but to reflect on my overall experiences in Honolulu. However, after recovering from my jet lag and returning to work the very next day, somehow time went by much sooner than I had anticipated.
So here I go one month later trying to capture for all my IAMC colleagues the full extent and magnitude of that week. First of all, besides the weather being absolutely fantastic, the overall conference was just as terrific. It was well organized and provided participants with an array of workshop experiences. Each day’s itinerary was filled with choices for the new to more seasoned counselor and for the counselor in training. Additionally, the workshop topics and poster sessions offered an abundance of information on subject areas to satisfy the professional palate and/or passion of the diverse counselors that flocked to Oahu, (I had the pleasure of networking with counselors not only from the 50 states, but also the United Kingdom, the Caribbean, Africa and Australia).
Of course, as IAMC President Elect, I planned to attend a few workshops that involved or addressed concerns of diversity, multicultural competencies and social justice hot topics that will allow us to better serve our clients and be voices or advocates for change. It was affirming after attending several of these workshops to find that counselors are continuing to carry a collective global torch on controversial topics such as “racial bias” “privilege,” and “discrimination.” Even though there has been a great deal of progress on many of these issues, as a nation and throughout the world, there is still much work to be done.
Additionally, as my esteemed colleague Dr. Maricruz Ramos and I discovered when presenting our workshop “Engaging at-risk students: a comprehensive mentoring program for minority students”, practitioners continue to look for best practices for serving our diverse clients.
In closing, I would like to share more stories with you at an upcoming networking event. Please let me know if you are interested in meeting and exchanging best practice ideas to assist at-risk populations from multicultural and diverse perspectives. My IAMC co-leader Mr. Rodney Bullock and I plan to host an IAMC “Multicultural Counseling Forum” networking event of the third Friday of each month from June to August,5pm to 6:30 pm at a Chicago area location. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and Mr. Bullock at email@example.com. Looking forward to hearing from you and seeing some of you soon.
Still Hanging Loose,
President Elect IAMC
Readying for ACA (44 days and counting down) February 11, 2014
Alright, I have to begin with telling everyone how extremely excited I am about presenting at the BIG conference on the BIG island of Oahu. When my colleague, Maricruz Ramos and I begin working on our proposal last year, we were hopeful about being selected to present on a subject that we are both passionate about, but were fully prepared to hear the thanks, but not this time e-mail.
When we received the notification last September that our proposal was accepted, we could not contain our joy; then came the “icing on the cake”, that only 17% of all the proposals submitted were chosen for the distinguished honor of presenting at this national conference for counselors. At this point, the magnitude of this privilege begin to register with my brain, that we will have the rare opportunity to share the great work that we do with mentoring and counseling to a broad national audience of not only our peers, but to others who are distinguished leaders and role models committed to promoting the best practices in this work that we so humbly do called counseling.
Now this week we are submitting our bio’s and a picture (oh and that’s a story all by itself) and our handouts, so that we don’t have to bring 100 copies of each handout on the plane with us. (Thank you!) Additionally, with the weather being so brutal the past few months, needless to say that I am so looking forward to a temporary physical and mental escape to this place described as a “tropical paradise”. As President Elect of IAMC (my official tenure begins August 2014), I will continue to provide you with more updates on my experiences at the conference (hoping that some of you will be joining me there). In the meantime, I want to thank Annette Lonnie (Past-President 2012/2013), for her leadership with IAMC this year in carrying on the torch long after her tenure was up. Since this year’s elected IAMC President moved out of the state, long term IAMC member and supporter Rodney Bullock and I volunteered to work together to co-lead this group for the remainder of this year.
Please feel free to share any thoughts and ideas that you have for promoting IAMC and any events or activities that you would like to work with us on in the future. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and Mr. Bullock at email@example.com Looking forward to hearing from you and seeing some of you at ACA!
President Elect IAMC