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Annual Conference 2013
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Theme of ‘Resilience, Transformation & Advocacy’ Relates to Life Both In-Session and Beyond

​By; Judith Bertenthal–Smith, LPC, ALPS
AMHCA President–Elect and 
Chair, AMHCA 2013 Conference Planning Committee

If you were one of the hundreds of fortunate participants of the 2012 AMHCA Conference in Orlando, you know what an incredible, successful conference we had.  

We all have the opportunity to have a similar experience this July in Washington, D.C., but we need you to join us!

AMHCA’s Conference Planning Committee couldn’t have predicted when they chose the 2013 conference theme, “Resilience, Transformation & Advocacy,” just how timely this theme would be in light of Hurricane Sandy. Clinical mental health counselors see their role as the conduits for change and advocates for their clients and for their profession. They assist those they counsel to find inner resilience, which leads to the positive transformation of lives.

Friday’s keynote speaker is noted social psychologist and author Jonathan Haidt, PhD (shown at right). Dr. Haidt’s latest work focuses on how morality and emotion vary across cultures, and he is an expert in the field of positive psychology. Dr. Haidt’s latest work is, “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion.” His earlier work is, “The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom.”

AMHCA is equally excited to offer an invited track dealing with issues surrounding veterans and the special circumstances of reintegration into the family and civilian life, as well as processing combat experiences. Clinicians from The Center for Deployment Psychology will be giving the conference’s Saturday keynote address. Attendees seeking further training on veterans issues can follow up the keynote by purchasing a ticket to The Center for Deployment Psychology’s invited track.

We hope you will join us in our nation’s capital and take advantage of the opportunity to:

  • Network with fellow AMHCA members
  • Learn about the changes in the new DSM-5, which is slated to be published in May 2013
  • Examine who we are as a profession
  • Learn new approaches
  • Enhance the resilience of clients
  • Increase knowledge of the biological basis for behavior
  • Better handle co-occurring disorders
  • Expand your competence with diverse populations
  • Become informed of the progress AMHCA has made advocating for our profession on Capitol Hill
  • Renew your professional commitment
  • See the spectacular sights of Washington, D.C.

An added bonus to the new learning that always comes from conference attendance is the interactions with presenters, colleagues, and our graduate students. We are aware of the importance of relationships. The Annual Conference gives us the opportunity to connect with old friends, make new acquaintances, and renew both our professional and personal spirit.

When not in a session, enjoy the sights of Washington, D.C., including the U.S. Capitol, the national monuments, the Smithsonian museums, the Holocaust Museum, or any of the myriad fabulous things to do in our nation’s capital. Maybe you would like to just relax? Our conference hotel, The Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel, offers many amenities to help you unwind.

We will be sharing more details about our conference in the months to come as we finalize conference offerings. Please plan now to join us July 18–20 for AMHCA’s 2013 Annual Conference, in Washington, D.C.