AUS Counseling Department Sponsors and Presents at the National ACES Conference

ACES Conference GroupThe Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) is the premier organization dedicated to quality education and supervision of counselors in all work settings. ACES members are counselors, supervisors, graduate students, and faculty members who strive to improve the education and supervision of counselors in training and in practice. The AUS Counseling Department sponsored and faculty members presented at the 2019 ACES National Conference which was held in Seattle on October 10-13, 2019.

Chair & Core Faculty, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Dr. Katherine Fort and Keiko Sano lead the discussion on the importance of making invisible multicultural dialogs visible in all classrooms. Dr. Mariaimeé Gonzalez discussed the power of women of color in leadership, followed by an exclusive signing of her latest work, Social Justice and Advocacy in Counseling: Experiential Activities for Teaching. The book offers specialized courses for those teaching social justice and advocacy within counseling settings.

The weekend team consisted of Dr. Patty Liu, who discussed trauma counseling training. Speakers like Dr. Dustin Destler covered a CES Research Course created by first-year faculty and students while Dr. Tanya Johnson addressed white fragility in our classrooms.

To close Antioch’s participation during the ACES conference, Dr. Erin Berzinz highlighted the importance of helping students accept critical feedback while Leah Batty-Hibbs, Dani Baker, and Cleo Bertelsen talked about loss and grief explorations within counselor educator and supervision programs.

ACES conference presentationOn the topic of social values within the education system, Dr. Berzinz said, “I think it is important that we partake in the conversations or our broader professions so that we keep our values and ideas present in the work. Conferences are also an invaluable opportunity for faculty and students to bring broader discussions of the field back to our campus. We should know what is happening in the field and keep those dialogs as a part of our daily work at school if we are to be fully engaged in client work, policymaking, and advocacy. I think it is really important for members of the Antioch community to attend these events, connect with professionals around the country, and take part in the larger collective work of mental health.” 

When asked about Antioch’s strong presence at the conference, Dr. Katherine Fort had this to say, “While this was not the first time for many of our faculty to present at the national ACES conference, it was definitely the largest presence that the Antioch University Seattle Counseling Department (MA and PhD Programs) has had! We were fortunate that the conference was in our own backyard, so the affordability in getting there and representing Antioch was there. Overwhelmingly, our faculty consistently presented on aspects of social justice and multicultural competence within the field of counselor education, whether those aspects be areas of curricular integration and focus or student/faculty experiences within the field. Numerous faculty presented from their own evidence-based research. Our presence at the ACES conference helped to put Antioch University on the map, as colleagues from across the nation and a wide variety of universities were present in our sessions. The ability for us to network with our professional peers, continue to engage in best educational practices, and to feel reinvigorated as counselor educators was invaluable.”

Antioch University of Seattle offers an education system that has deep roots within topics of social justice advocacy and multicultural competence, which is why many people choose to educate themselves here. Working with fellow counselors, graduate students and counselors will help spread the best practices.

ACES offers all of the latest information on relevant research, as well as proven practices and ethical standards. Part of the importance that surrounds such a conference is the dedication to keeping the conversations going, especially as society continues to evolve. ACES keeps the conversation flowing with their quarterly journal, which highlights trending themes in counselor training and supervision. Advancing counselor education and supervision are at the forefront of both the ACES Conference and Antioch University Seattle agendas, which is why the two go hand and hand.