I attended the Louisiana Counseling Association conference in Lake Charles last weekend. In addition to some interesting “Louisiana” experiences (driving over the swamps, seeing whooping cranes on the side of the road, and catching a zydeco version of “Leroy Brown”–in French–on the radio), I finally starting making some connections in Louisiana’s counseling community. Leaving behind my network in Nebraska was difficult and rebuilding has been trickier than I’d imagined, at least at first.
One session that caught my interest focused on forming a professional identity as a counselor. Caught between numerous helping professionals like social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists, counselors have to stick together and stick up for our profession. It’s our job to help the world understand the unique advantages that counselors offer, especially as the helping professions undergo changes. New counselors and students like me had better be prepared to understand who we are, what we do, and how to advocate for our own profession. Networking and learning at conferences is a great way to start.
Read more here at the ACA My Counseling blog, and then tell me, what have you done to form your professional identity, or to keep it strong?