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News From AMHCA's CEO
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By W. Mark Hamilton, PhD
AMHCA Executive Director & CEO

See You in July in Washington D.C.?

Plans are under way for a stellar AMHCA national conference this summer. We’ll be convening July 18–20 in Washington, D.C., a destination that’s been perennially popular with our members.

One of the activities we are excited about is our “Day on the Hill.” Join us on Thursday, July 18, before the conference officially begins as we advocate for our profession in the offices of our national legislators on Capitol Hill.

Medicare coverage for clinical mental health counselors is more important than ever. While we are pleased that healthcare reform will make purchasing health coverage easier for consumers—and greatly expand the availability of coverage for mental health and substance-use disorder services—rapid change in delivery systems threatens the profession. If clinical mental health counselors continue to be excluded from Medicare coverage, then the marketplace will discriminate strongly against their inclusion, and it will be difficult for clinical mental health counselors to thrive under the new healthcare delivery and financial structures.

The “Day on the Hill” is part of this year’s Leadership Training, but members who are not attending the Leadership Training are welcome to join us in our advocacy efforts. Come to your nation’s capital and let your voice be heard. Before we “charge the Hill,” our group will receive a one-hour briefing on current legislative issues from AMHCA's James Finley, associate executive director and director of public policy, along with pointers and legislative briefing sheets for the Hill meetings. 

Transportation to and from Senate office buildings will be provided from the conference hotel, the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel. Visit the conference website for information about travel to D.C., the conference hotel, and parking for hotel guests and those commuting to the conference: 

We are also excited about our slate of excellent conference sessions. Our invited speakers have national reputations and are recognized experts in their field. To make it easier for you to boost your CE tally, we have added two pre-conference workshops Thursday afternoon from 1–5:30 p.m.. One of the pre-conference workshops is on the new DSM-5; the other is on, “Ethical Implications of Electronic Technology, Teletherapy, and Technotherapy.”

Bombs in Boston, Explosion in Texas

We were all saddened to hear about and see the imgaes of the terrible tragedies that took place in mid-April in both Texas and Massachusetts. Explosions at a fertilizer factory in West, Texas, on April 17 took the lives of 15 people and destroyed neighborhoods near the factory. Just two days earlier, bombs set near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed at least three people and injured more than 250 people. 

Increasingly, violence in many forms seems to be becoming more commonplace in our society. Our thoughts go out to those affected by both tragedies. 

AMHCA’s Massachusetts chapter, located just outside Boston, was safe and offered assistance to the injured. See Chapter News in this issue for the chapter’s online response with support and resources to members and assistance to victims. On the afternoon of the Boston Marathon bombings, Stephen Brady, PhD, who chairs AMHCA’s Professional Development Committee, had planned to host a committee conference call. Steve lives not far from the crime scene, and the committee call was postponed. 

AMHCA Webinars Offer a Great Way to Earn CEs 
and Learn Something New

Our webinar series program in partnership with Psychotherapy Networker continues to grow. Each webinar has been selected for its relevance to clinical mental health counselors, and the national reputation of its program presenters. 

AMHCA’s current webinar offering is “Men and Intimacy: Overcoming Commitment Phobia.” Program presenters include:

  • Pat Love, PhD, on male-friendly psychotherapy;
  • David Wexler, PhD, on defusing male shame;
  • Holly Sweet, PhD, on men and depression,
  • and many others.
As always, AMHCA members receive bonus programming. This series includes two bonus programs, one with Susan Johnson, EdD, on emotionally focused couples therapy, and one with Harville Hendrix, PhD, on empathy and healing. All sessions are available starting on Tuesday, May 7, at 1 p.m. Eastern time. For more information about the webinar series, see Noteworthy in this issue, or go online for more information.

Revamped Website
AMHCA’s redesigned website improves resources and navigation—and looks good, too! 

The updated AMHCA website makes it easier for mental health counselors to access professional resources and keep up with the latest news of AMHCA's advocacy and professional development activities.

In addition, the site's new look continues to reinforce the positive image of mental health counselors as effective and professional providers of mental health care for people of all ages with a wide variety of treatment needs.