Attend counseling conferences to network, earn continuing education credits, and visit new states (or even countries!) you’ve never been to before.
Counseling conferences have a variety of benefits for mental health practitioners. One is the ability to learn and get continuing education credits to keep your licensure current. Equally important is networking at counseling conferences. There’s a lot you can learn outside of panels, workshops, and education sessions. Network well, as your peers are also valuable resources.
And let’s not forget, therapist burnout isn’t something you want to experience. So, you can practice some self-care while still accelerating your professional goals by adding two or three days to the front or back end of your conference schedule. You’ll have time to unwind and relax in a new location or explore until your feet hurt. You decide what type of vacation you need. Just make sure to prepare yourself for some serious networking and learning, too.
1. ALL Ohio Counselors Conference
Presented by the Ohio Counseling Association (OCA) and the Ohio School Counselor Association (OSCA), the ALL Ohio Counselors Conference aims to bring together counselors of all disciplines, and they deliver. Handpick the events you attend, with topics such as addiction counseling, crisis prevention, social-emotional learning, legal issues in counseling, and much more. Keynote presenters include United States Congressman Tim Ryan.
Rates range between $60 and $225
2. American Counseling Association (ACA) Conference & Expo
In a bold move, the American Counseling Association moved its annual conference from Nashville, TN to San Francisco, CA because of Tennessee’s passing of SB1556/HB1840, which targeted counselors and the LGBTQ+ community.
Don’t expect any changes to the education you’ll receive. Attendees can earn up to 17.5 CEs, but if more is needed, there’s an opportunity to attend pre-conference Learning Institutes, which include up to 35.5 additional CEs. Expect keynote speakers such as Irvin D. Yalom, MD.
Rates range between $255 and $510
3. American Psychological Association (APA) Convention
If you’re looking for annual counseling conferences that relocate to new major cities every year, the APA Convention may be a perfect fit for you. Conference cities are currently designated up to 2024 and include Washington, D.C., Chicago, and San Diego. In the past, 80 CE hours were available, and many broken into full and half day sessions. If you’re looking for a challenge, it’s this conference. Its size is massive, and the assortment of panels, poster sessions, and other learning opportunities is even more abundant. A previous keynote speaker was Jonathan Haidt, Ph.D.
Rates range between $70 and $430
4. Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC) Conference
The ALGBTIC conference is a top choice of counseling conferences for students, educators, mental health clinicians, and school counselors. Planned for San Francisco, CA, expect to learn about the new research and best practices for working with members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Past keynote speakers included Dr. Catherine Roland and Dr. Mark Pope, current and former presidents of the American Counseling Association.
Rates range between $70 and $225
5. Association for Creativity in Counseling (ACC) National Conference
Enjoy beautiful Savannah, GA, during your trip to the ACC conference. It doesn’t matter if you’re an art therapist or simply looking for a way to introduce creativity – such as music therapy – into your private practice, this is a smart conference to attend. There are 27.5 CEs available, and we’re sure you’ll have fun during these breakout sessions. Keynotes include Dr. Samuel T. Gladding.
Rates range between $120 and $195
6. California Counseling Association (CCA)
If you plan your continuing education requirements based on location, the California Counseling Association is cruising to the Caribbean (so don’t forget to pack the sunscreen). This biennial conference takes place on the open seas during the even-numbered years. In the odd years, expect to learn on land, with the last one taking place in Oakland, CA. Keynote speakers include the likes of Dr. Mark Pope and Dr. Catherine Roland, former and current ACA presidents.
Rates range between $70 and $195 (plus cruising costs)
7. Louisiana Counseling Association (LCA) Conference
Don’t expect an ordinary run-of-the-mill conference experience at the LCA conference. Yes, there are still presenters and panelists, but this conference is unique. Every year, they take on a community project for the city that hosts the conference. In the past, they’ve donated to the local food banks, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Teddy Bears for the Military, as well as the State Police. Attendees can participate with monetary gifts or material donations, too.
Expect keynotes speakers such as Dr. David M. Kaplan, Dr. Courtland Lee, and Dr. Russell A. Sabella.
Rates range from $50 to $500 (and you can purchase tickets on site)
So don’t wait and start planning your counseling-conference-turned-vacation now. Also, remember that you can stay as connected as you need to be with the SimplePractice mobile app for therapists. Use your smartphone to manage scheduling, session notes, contact lists, and more. A truly integrated and secure native app allows you to take your practice anywhere! Sign up for a free trial of SimplePractice and take the iPhone or Android app for a spin!