As the 2019 Virginia Counselor’s Association conference nears, the VA-ASERVIC Board members have been hard at work updating the website, preparing for interaction with members, and immersing themselves in spiritual competency research. A main goal of late has been organization – board members have been exploring past documentation, developing a plan to contact members regularly, and identifying how each member can best contribute to VA-ASERVIC growth in the 2019-2020 year.

Outreach to new members and communication have always been at the forefront of VA-ASERVIC’s mission. This year, our current president, Kat McCleskey, has proposed a goal of 10% membership growth by March of 2020, and encourages all members to find three counselors, counselor educators, or counselors-in-training of whom to explain the importance of spiritual competency in counseling before next spring.

Consider how VA-ASERVIC might be important to the person you are talking with – do they currently emphasize the importance of spiritual integration, or are they uncertain of what spiritual and religious integration tangibly looks like in the counseling office? Discuss with your colleagues and counselor peers the importance of meaning making and understanding of personal beliefs within the counseling process. Emphasize the necessity of ethical principles and practice in your own counseling development. Open and honest conversations with our colleagues can lead to growth within our division!

The largest avenue for division growth throughout the year can be attributed to the Virginia Counselor’s Association annual conference, held this year at the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia on November 7-9. The VCA provides professional development opportunities, collaboration with other counseling professionals, and allows for a moment of rejuvenation from the intense world of counseling. This year, VA-ASERVIC has big plans for our conference table (available throughout the duration of conference) and division reception Thursday evening. We will be emphasizing the spiritual competencies through research, artwork, and promotional materials. Be sure to stop by and chat with us sometime during the conference!

Finally, expect to see future posts on our website providing more information about upcoming events, recent board meetings, and as training opportunities. Many members and fellow counseling professionals have spoken with board members expressing their uncertainty in the principles of various religions and spiritual practices. As such, our board members will be presenting a blog series focusing on the integration of often misunderstood spiritual practices with counseling. While the details have yet to be decided, expect an emphasis on developing an understanding of world religions in our upcoming content (including the spring webinar!).

Check out our Facebook and Instagram pages, or send us an email. We look forward to learning with you!

– The VA-ASERVIC 2019-2020 Board

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