ACA Organizational Affiliate Letter of Application
We the undersigned hereby notify the American Counseling Association (ACA) of our intent to form the Association for Counseling and Technology (ACT), an Organizational Affiliate of the American Counseling Association. We have created a petition for prospective members to sign below. We are required to gather signatures from at least two hundred (200) members of ACA to be allowed to apply for Organizational Affiliate status.
Our mission is to to enhance the quality of life in society by promoting the development of professional counselors and advancing the counseling profession by supporting new and innovative technologies across the spectrum of practice. Doing so will enable professional counselors to keep pace with the digital revolution and the associated realities of the 21st century. In line with this, the purpose of ACT shall be:
- To provide leadership for the support and acceleration of research, development and consultation addressing innovative applications of technology in counseling;
- To provide access to the most up-to-date information on strategies, applications and standards relating to the development and implementation of technology in counseling;
- To help provide constructive input in the development of programs and presentations at conventions and conferences at national, regional, state, and local levels;
- To promote information exchange and instructional partnerships with University Departments of Counseling to prepare students for effective utilization of technology in the field;
- To promote and improve communication among the professional disciplines allied with Counseling (Psychiatry, Nursing, Social Work and Psychology) that share a common interest in the development, implementation, and evaluation of technology in clinical services.
The world has changed dramatically since the advent of the counseling profession. We now live in the Information Age, an unprecedented era of rapid access to knowledge and varied means of interpersonal communication. Counseling and related mental health service industries are evolving quickly and their growth has been influenced significantly by the digital revolution. In response, technology is evolving and becoming an increasingly vital component of counseling research, education, practice, and public policy. No Interest Group, Organization Affiliate or Division at the American Counseling Association has yet focused squarely on technology and its implications for counseling as a unified profession.
Guided by our dedication to the advancement of counseling, we seek to organize and empower counselors to incorporate digital technologies into their practices, research endeavors, educational, and administrative policies. We also seek to support the emerging and crucial role of 21st Century counselors to become leaders in shaping technology to meet the growing needs of the professional, student and client service communities.
We believe that our goals are directly consistent with and supportive of the interests of ACA and its membership. The core emphases of ACT are to serve as a central point of contact and synergy for ACA members interested in technology issues in counseling including but not limited to: social media, electronic health records, health information exchanges, issues of digital privacy and security (i.e., HIPAA, HITECH, state law), regulatory issues, virtual reality, virtual worlds, video games, gamification of counseling interventions, augmented reality, technology-assisted assessment, remote monitoring, integrated care systems, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), patient-centered homes, eHealth, distance counseling and related services, telemental health and telehealth, informatics and big data, sensor-based health care, mHealth and mobile applications.
We also believe that our goals and interests have considerable appeal to graduate students and outside colleagues, attracting more of them to join ACT as well as the ACA. We intend to develop strong relationships with professionals from other behavioral health associations with an interest in the impact and application of digital technology in behavioral care and numerous technology-oriented professions that indirect service counseling. Our goal then, is to open communication and help bridge the gaps that sometimes exist between disciplines and are trapped in current specialty silos.
With respect to our financial viability, we expect to keep operating expenses to an absolute minimum by publishing a journal online rather than in print and holding virtual meetings as much as possible. We also plan to partner with the private sector interested in technology research, development and consultation to search for shared synergies and to develop potential revenue sources, e.g., through advertising. We anticipate that we will further increase revenue through professional continuing education (CE) workshops when ACT becomes recognized as a CE provider.
We need your help! Please tell others about ACT and share this petition link through your social media. This is your association and your professional future – let’s make it happen! Please ACT now!
Respectfully, the ACT Steering Committee:
Marlene M. Maheu, (PhD, MFT) President
Donna Ford, MS, ACA Past President (1999-2000) and Member-at-Large
Bonnie Johnson, (M.S., LMHC, NCC, DCC) Executive Committee Member
Frank Hutchinson, (EdD, LCPC) Secretary
Tracy Luoma, MS, M.Div, PCC-S, NCC Executive Committee Member
Rachel Blumhardt, (MEd, LPCC, LPC, NCC) Executive Committee Member
Tom Wilson, (LCPC, CPS) Executive Committee Member
Please Help Us Form a New ACA Organizational Affiliate, the Association for Counseling and Technology (ACT)
As a Member in good standing of the American Counseling Association, I support the creation of the Association for Counseling and Technology (ACT), an Organizational Affiliate of the American Counseling Association.