Monday, July 20, 2015

WKMHCA Planning Meeting Held

MINUTES WKMHCA June 25, 2015 6 pm

President Diane Reed, Secretary Janey Wells, and Janet Ogg were in attendance at the WKMHCA Officer's meeting held at the home of Diane Reed.  Thank you for hosting and providing delicious food.

Diane reviewed the following State LPC Board initiatives:
a) Reciprocity agreements are being created with surrounding states of Tennessee and Ohio. To read more about reciprocity, go to
b) The Domestic Violence mandate says that within three years of initial licensing, LPC's need three hours of DV training. This is mandatory.  Janet Ogg will apply to be a DV assessment and treatment trainer in our area.
c) Six hours of Suicide Assessment, Treatment, and Management is required for LPC's every 6 years.  Janey Wells will apply to be a Suicide assessment, treatment, and management trainer.
d) LPC's will also need Kentucky Administrative Regulations and Ethics (3 hours) every 3 years.
e) Telehealth regulations are being drafted and the board is considering adding background checks to the process.
f) There will be vacancies on the board for an at-large member and an LPC.

Conference planning:
a) Fall 2015 conference will be at Murray State University September 4, 2015.  The current plan is to provide a training about Domestic Violence, given by Janet Ogg.
b) The Suicide Assessment, Treatment, and Management training (6 hours) will be held sometime during the week of December 7, 2015.
c) The Spring 2016 training at Barkley Lodge will be March 16, 2016 and will either be about Dating Violence or Regulations and Ethics.
d) Members in attendance discussed conference registration incentives such as a tumbler, notebook, pen, or bag.  Diane Reed motioned to include such an incentive/WKMHCA promotional item and Janet seconded the motion.
e) Presentation fees were discussed and it was considered that the presenters earn $100 per hour of training.  No final decision was made concerning this.

The next officer's meeting was scheduled for August 13, 2015 at 5:30 at Parcell's in Draffenville.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Coping With Holiday Stress

"Joy to the World" and "Peace on Earth" - well-known holiday aphorisms, yet the holidays can be an intensely stressful and at times even unpleasant part of the year for many of our clients, and for us as well. There are a variety of reasons the days between Thanksgiving and New Year's can be particularly difficult, and while some of them are common to many of us, others are tied intimately to our personal history. As Counselors, we know that often times just becoming aware
of those challenges can begin to change them. By working with our clients, and in our own self-examinations and self-care, to identify those emotional triggers that rocket our anxiety and other negative emotions into the stratosphere during this time, we can begin to confront and challenge the underlying issues robbing us of our Joy and Peace.

Some common conflicts include increased financial concerns; the end-of-year rush to get things done; a sense of loss of time and reflecting on what didn't get done this year, unmet resolutions and feelings of failure; familial expectations and family-of-origin history and conflicts; discrepencies between an "ideal" holiday season or celebration and the often messy and chaotic reality; disappointment from unmet expectations from self and significant others... combine these stressors with socially imposed pressure to "buy the right gifts", not forget anyone, engage in forced social interactions (such as office parties), and exhibit "good cheer" and throw in usually bad weather, the physical discomfort of overeating and effects of cortisol, and oftentimes alcohol, and it's no wonder so many people suffer from "holiday blues".

So how to help? Whether we are talking about self-care of helping clients, the same basic rules apply. Recognize and acknowledge the challenges we all face during this time. Engage with your clients about their expectations for the holidays, and their disappointments and help them to verbalize these inner dialogues. Once we have a clear understanding of the emotions driving us during this time we can begin to examine them honestly and prioritize our actions and choices to best meet our own needs.

So you are sick and tired of having the same argument with your older brother year after year, but every year you get drawn into it nonetheless? Recognize that and choose to disengage this year - lay out a plan for doing so. Perhaps you always feel a great deal of pressure to get the "perfect gift" for your spouse, why? Maybe it's time to discuss that with him/her or understand that you are trying to make up for past problems with a present. It could be that you dream of making holiday memories with your children, but you run out of steam or day before you've even gotten to do much more than feed them. Maybe you just get so exhausted by the go, go, go that starts with Black Friday shopping at midnight after Thanksgiving, continues straight through tree-trimming and snow-shoveling and doesn't let up until tax filing when you can finally breathe, and sleep, again. Perhaps you should cross a few things off your list this year? Maybe carve out a day for self-care, sleep, or just reading a book?

Help your client (perhaps practice on yourself first) to develop a list of personal "rules" for this holiday season. To be most effective, keep the list short (no more than 10 items, I've found 4-5 works best) and specific (not only the rule, but the solution) and the rules simple (leave little ambiguity or "wiggle room"), and make sure they address the individual's specific needs. Some ideas may include things like: "I will NOT argue with my dad about money this year. Instead I will simply say "This is a source of stress for me every year and this year I choose not to talk about it." "I WILL get at least 6 hours of sleep every night in December." "I will NOT set 'resolutions' this year, but instead will write down simple, attainable goals." "I will limit my Christmas dinner to 5 dishes." "I will play outside with my kids for 1 hour every week in December." Or even, "I will use disposable plates and tableware this year so that I can spend less time cleaning up and more time with my kids."

By understanding the underlying causes of stress, identifying and addressing them specifically, and making succinct and achievable rules and choices to modify our own behaviors we can overcome the challenges of the season and infuse the end of the year with real Joy and Peace.

West Kentucky Chooses Spring Conference Topics

WKMHCA will be offering 6 CEU/EILA credit hours (pending approval) at their spring conference, held in conjunction with the WKCA conference at Lake Barkely Lodge. There will be two separate sessions, one on Sand Tray Therapy and one on Utilizing Technology to Improve Counseling Efficiency. Please look for more information soon! Mark your calendars and plan to join us at this beautiful location for a low-cost way to gain CEU's early in the year and meet up with professionals from the Western part of the state!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

West Kentucky Mental Health Counselors Association (WKMHCA) Planning Meeting

October 15th, 2013
WKMHCA leadership met in Mayfield, Kentucky to discuss the program for the spring WKMHCA meeting at Barkley Lodge in association with West Kentucky Counseling Association (WKCA). They also reviewed the proposed changes to the licensure law which will be discussed at Kentucky Counseling Association (KCA) Fall Conference October 24th.  The group discussed the changes being suggested by members of the Kentucky Professional Counselor’s Board.  Several LPCCA’s who are currently being supervised by one of the leaders were in attendance. 
     Amy Washington, President of KMHCA, offered to present a session on working in groups with adolescents. Amy has had extensive experience in working with groups of adolescents with significant behavioral and emotional problems through girl’s and boy’s group homes in Western Kentucky. In addition Donna Barrix suggested contacting presenters who could do a session on Sandbox Therapy.  These were the primary topics presented by the group for discussion.  Both topics were approved and the leaders agreed to seek further information about these topics to help with planning the spring program. 
     Discussion about the proposed licensure law changes was very positive with members expressing their approval of the proposed changes.  There were some questions related to the nomination of new Kentucky Professional Counselor Board members.  The new law, as proposed, gives the authority of nominating new board members exclusively to Kentucky Counseling Association.  Amy Washington, current president of KMHCA, indicated that she felt it would be a good idea to include KMHCA in these decisions and the best way to have this documented was to have KCA consider adding to their bylaws that KCA  would include KMHCA in the process of nominating new candidates for these board positions.  This would be a blending of previous procedure for nominating candidates to the governor who makes the appointments to this board. Originally, KCA was responsible for making these nominations, but when the licensure law was passed, it was written in the new law that KMHCA was responsible for nominating professionals to the governor for appointment to the board.  WKMHCA leaders and members in attendance in this meeting expressed interest in having KMHCA continue to play an important role in this process.
     WKMHCA leaders and members also expressed concern that requiring two tests as a part of licensure would be burdensome to applicants for licensure.  They indicated that the cost of the tests for persons not working in permanent positions and the pressure to study and prepare for two very comprehensive exams would present barriers which might not prove helpful in building the profession.
     WKMHCA leadership made it clear that all interested counseling professional counselors would be welcome to attend and participate in the spring conference.  CEUs and EILA credits will be offered for these trainings.  Further information about dates and times will be published in time to plan for attending this meeting. 
Submitted by Jan Roberson

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October is Attachment Parenting Month

For those of you interested in attachment related issues or early childhood development you might peruse the information available at Attachment Parenting International's website. For those of you who attended the conference last spring at Lake Barkley you might recognize some of these names as they were presenters for ourworkshops  on attachment. 

You can sign up for API's free enewsletter and check out the API website today at API benefits thousands of families every day by helping to foster secure attachment that is vital to the well-being of children. API helps parents find their instinct to parent and provides a community of support. API is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.