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AMHCA Election: Candidate for President-Elect
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AMHCA ELECTION: Candidate for President-Elect


Judith Bertenthal–Smith, LPC, ALPS

Professional Experience:
  • Assistant professor of Psychology and Education, Davis & Elkins College
  • Private practice: includes adults, adolescents, and children
  • Psychology/counselor educator, 30-plus years
  • LPC, 20-plus years
  • Sabbatical: South Africa, HIV/AIDS psychosocial research
  • Fellow: Salzburg Seminar, 2006, 2009–2010
  • Workshops and presentations on bibliotherapy, play therapy, cultural diversity, language development, critical thinking, and working with families affected by HIV/AIDS
Association Experience:
  • Past president, West Virginia Licensed Professional Counselors Association (WVLPCA)
  • Past president and co-founder, West Virginia Association for Play Therapy


  • Director-at-large, 2007-2010, 2010-present

  • Chair, Strategic Planning Committee

  • Conference Planning Committee, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012

  • Board liaison to Graduate Student Committee

  • Presenter, Annual Conference, 2008

Awards and Honors:
  • Mellon Fellow Community Initiative Grant focusing on the globalization of small college campuses, 2009–2010
  • Sabbatical leave: psychosocial research on HIV/AIDS, South Africa, 2007
  • Arts Fellow, “The Telling of Lives: Biography as a Mirror on Society," Salzburg Seminar, Salzburg, Austria, 2006
  • West Virginia Licensed Professional Counselor of the Year, 2004
  • Recipient of grant from Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) to create Multicultural Children's Literature Collection at Davis & Elkins College, 2000
Community Service
  • Red Cross Mental Health Disaster Worker: Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi (2007) and Sago Mine Disaster, West Virginia (2008)
  • Birch Family Camp for Infected and Affected HIV/AIDS families, NYC (1995–2011) (Counselor, Group Leader, Clinical Director, Child-Life with medical staff)

I have been a psychology/counselor educator for more than 30 years and an LPC for more than 20 years. My experience reflects my interest in professional issues, direct service, and best practices. I became an AMHCA member when I joined WVLPCA, a young chapter that has successfully changed West Virginia's licensure requirement to a 60-hour master's, ensuring consistency of credentials with bordering states. I am conversant with challenges of young and small chapters, and my work on the AMHCA board has made me sensitive to the diverse needs of larger chapters.

My involvement with AMHCA has paralleled my interest in globalization on college campuses. The challenge of our association reflects the complexity of the world we live in. Inclusiveness and respect are at the core of our profession and professional organization. The events of the past few years and the state of the economy—coupled with my work with the Red Cross and my ongoing experiences with the HIV/AIDS community—have heightened my commitment to AMHCA's increased visibility and its mission to serve our membership and to meet the increased demands for quality mental health services. Quality professional services will be in especially great demand for veterans returning from our country’s recent wars; we need to meet that demand.

It has been an honor and privilege to serve as AMHCA’s director-at-large. In this capacity, I have initiated a yearly systematic review of chapters, established a database of chapters, updated the existing annual chapter reports, and have twice chaired the Strategic Planning Meeting. I serve as the liaison with the Graduate Student Committee, an increasing constituent of our membership. I hope to be able to provide a more organized system of mentorship in the future.

I appreciate the opportunity I have had to serve and strengthen our organization and profession, and would welcome the challenge of serving as the AMHCA president.

My goals include working to:

  • Continue our legislative efforts to include mental health counselors as authorized Medicare and Tricare providers.
  • Present a consistent and visible image of highly skilled, well-trained professionals nationally and within each state.
  • Advocate for the profession with new and existing healthcare programs.
  • Enhance the reciprocal nature of chapter/national relations in a consistent and focused manner.
  • Develop stronger relationships with graduate school programs to foster professional development in the next generation of mental health counselors.
  • Continue to use technology to increase communication within AMHCA and among chapters and to promote green practices, to better serve our membership and utilize resources in a sustainable manner.

In Spring Election, Voters Will Use Electronic Ballots

Voting in the annual AMHCA election this spring will be by electronic ballots rather than paper ballots for the first time. 

Here’s how voting electronically will work:

Everyone eligible to vote in AMHCA’s election will receive an email from 
Intelliscan in March that will include a link to a personalized ballot. 

To vote, simply click the link within the email to open your ballot, which will include your name and the races you are eligible to vote on. The ballot will include a link to the candidates’ statements and photos, which also appear online. After indicating the candidate you prefer for each race, you may review your choices before clicking “submit” to cast your ballot electronically.

Voting will be open from March 19 through April 20. Members who do not wish to vote electronically may request a paper ballot.