Get to Know AMHCA's New Southern Region Director
A. Keith Mobley, PhD, LPC, NCC, ACS,
AMHCA’s Southern Region Director
Editor’s Note: In October, AMHCA’s board of directors appointed A. Keith Mobley, PhD, LPC, NCC, ACS, Southern Region Director to fill out the term of Debra Lee Carr, JD, LPC. Carr took office in July 2009, but resigned last fall for personal reasons. Mobley kindly answered questions from The Advocate about his professional work, what drew him to become involved in AMHCA, and the projects he is working on as a region director. Mobley’s term as Southern Region Director runs through June 2012.
Mobley holds a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is a licensed professional counselor. For several years, he has been active with AMHCA’s North Carolina chapter and has participated in AMHCA Leadership Trainings. In 2006, Chi Sigma Iota named him Outstanding Practitioner Supervisor.
Advocate: What is your current job and what drew you to it?
- Keith Mobley: I’m currently a clinical associate professor in the Department of Counseling and Educational Development at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the number-four ranked Counseling program in the country. I’m in my seventh year of directing the departmental training clinic, where I coordinate clinical experiences for our graduate students, provide clinical supervision, and teach courses.
I was drawn initially to counseling because I’m fascinated by the stories and resiliencies of clients and enjoyed helping. I worked with adolescents for many years in residential settings and adults in hospital private-practice settings before returning to school to counselor education.
Advocate: Why did you join AMHCA?
- Mobley: When I became active in my state chapter of AMHCA around professional issues, I really gained an awareness of all that AMHCA does for mental health counselors in terms of advocacy and professional development. Advocacy is a responsibility we have for our profession and just being a member, whether you are active or not, is the first step to fulfilling that responsibility.
Advocate: What made you want to serve on AMHCA’s board of directors?
- Mobley: I believe that part of the responsibility of all counselors is to engage in leadership and advocacy — in any amount. Although that amount varies according to the time, interests, or comfort that individuals have, I believe that AMHCA’s goals and opportunities really align with my interests, experience, and skills. Not only do I have some energy to contribute to the greater cause, I know that I can grow personally and professionally by my interactions with other leaders who bring unique skills and talents.
Advocate: Since you took office in October, what has been your experience on AMHCA’s board? Are there any particular projects you are working on or looking forward to accomplishing?
- Mobley: Since this is a mid-term appointment, I am still orienting to my role. I have had several conversations with AMHCA’s president and our executive director to gain clarity on their perspectives of the Southern Region director role and priorities, and I really look forward to meeting the other board members at the March board meeting in Alexandria. In the meantime, I have started to arrange brief phone conversations with chapter leaders in the Southern Region to learn their plans, challenges, and needs so that I can represent them adequately to the board and serve as a resource for them. I’ve also tried to develop a social networking site for the chapter leaders to make it easier for them to network as needed.
Advocate: Is there anything about the work AMHCA does that you think members may not be aware of?
- Mobley: The work is unending — and cannot be done alone. However, all contributions matter. It’s not only the work that’s accomplished that matters; it’s the number of constituents that AMHCA’s staff lobbyist can represent. AMHCA leaders attend to so many issues and work to build effective relationships with key policymakers and legislators, which integrally contributes to the viability of counselors at agencies and in private practice. I hope every member shares the importance of AMHCA membership with at least one other person. Doing that will ensure that our strength continues to grow.
Advocate: Is there anything you would like AMHCA members to know about you?
- Mobley: I’m very approachable and love to hear from colleagues about issues, questions, successes—we are all in this together, so feel free to connect if you can: firstname.lastname@example.org.