Posts tagged VCA Convention

VCA 2015

FB_IMG_1448372601090I was fortunate to have the chance to travel to the 2015 Virginia Counselors Association Conference. It was truly a pleasure to share this time with the many Longwood students, professors, and alumnus in attendance, as you can see in this photo. There were two significant highlights of the presentations for me. The first was getting a chance to hear Dr. David Kaplan from the ACA talk about the profession as we move forward and the many changes that are coming in accreditation and licensure.  This was a reassurance that Longwood is moving in the right direction without leaving behind our alums and current students. Secondly, I was intrigued by how brain development and the biology of the brain was interwoven into so many of the presentations I was able to attend. This is a particular area of interest for me, and seeing that it is becoming a focus of the profession is propelling me to learn more going forward.

Virginia Counselors Association Convention

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I recently had the opportunity to attend the Virginia Counselors Association Annual Convention for the second year in a row. The convention was held at The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA. At the convention, I attended several sessions on topics such as bully prevention programs, non-suicidal self-harm, overcoming tragedies, using students as leaders in counseling, having a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset, how counselors and attorneys work together, and using board games and computer games in counseling. The keynote speaker, Sherene McHenry, delivered an inspiring and informative address on love languages and how we can use them to strengthen relationships in both our personal and professional lives.

Aside from learning and expanding my counseling knowledge, my favorite part of the convention was networking with classmates, alumni, and professors from Longwood, along with my internship supervisor and other colleagues and professionals. Once again, the Virginia Counselors Association Convention left me feeling refreshed and even more excited and prepared to begin my career as a professional school counselor.

VCA 2015

vca2015grouppic-300x168I had the great opportunity to attend the 2015 Virginia Counseling Association Conference at the beautiful Homestead in Hot Springs, VA.
I attended presentations about mindfulness and yoga, attachment and trauma, international students and counseling efforts, emergency custody procedures, starting a private practice, moral injury in veterans and many more.
While I am passionate about learning all that I can about trauma and PTSD, the concept of “post traumatic growth” was new to me and was explored in a few breakout sessions.
It was wonderful meeting professionals in the field from all over the state. I enjoyed learning about various counseling settings and received advice from experienced professional counselors. It was fun to connect with Longwood professors, alumni, and classmates outside of the classroom as well! Thank you, Longwood University!

– Amy Kennel

VCA Conference 2015- Getting back to the Basics

IMG_20151106_090125I signed up as a volunteer at the VCA convention, because I wanted an opportunity to meet ANYONE I could. Well that and I love working, I honestly can’t sit still. My classmate and I started our journey to The Homestead after a riveting lecture on the DSM 5! The drive up added meaning to the song “over hills and through the woods”. However, we made it safely to the hotel and welcomed the jaw dropping view. 

Eagerly, I hit my alarm at 6:15 a.m. to get ready for a day. I headed downstairs to meet a nice older gentlemen, who quickly shows me “the ropes”. In no time I was checking people in, before heading to a 7:30 morning mediation session. For people who know me, sitting quietly is hard. My mind goes a thousand miles per hour and I’m already thinking about what to do next after I write this blog! Even though I struggled in morning mediation, I did learn to “touch my thought”. The instructor told us that it will take some work to meditate, but if you acknowledge the thought (touch it) and move on, you won’t be tied down by it. I know that he meant for us to use it for medication, however I am using it in my day to day interactions. Instead of letting negative thoughts or feelings control my day, I acknowledge the thought/feeling and let it go.

After breakfast, I head back up to the registration table to help out until Professor Doyle’s presentation. His presentation was on Interdisciplinary Teamwork, specifically the counselor and the lawyer relationship. I also attending Professor Wynne’s presentation on The Power of Peers: Utilizing Students in Classroom Guidance Delivery. She also talked about using interdisciplinary teamwork, not with regard to the student, but in regard to working with teachers. However, now that I think about it, the students added a level of teamwork as well. Both of our Longwood professors did an excellent job and had great turnout! #golongwood I spent the rest of my afternoon in Relationship 101 and I am not Jason, I’m Jessica. They both were very interesting and I learned a lot. 

I was not for sure what to expect from my first conference, but what I did learn is to get back to the basics. We all have busy lives and are sometimes forgetful of the small things. Some of us over-analyze, when all we really need to do is stop, take a deep breath and go back to what we know. I feel that conferences can be a place for you to learn new knowledge, catch up with your past, refocus your future and leave ready to fight another day. Maybe that is an overly optimistic viewpoint, but it’s what I took from the whole process. Since I am still working on my basics in Counseling, I will take what I learned and continue studying.

Wish me luck!


VCA Conference at the Homestead 2015

Conference photoI had the great pleasure of being able to attend the annual Virginia Counselors Association conference this past weekend. I was able to network with fellow graduate students in the counselor education program and meet professionals who were able to answer my questions and teach me more about the counseling field. The presentations were excellent and very informative for a graduate student to listen too. I learned so much during my attendance and would encourage all graduate students to seek such experiences during their studies!

Virginia Counselor Association Conference 2014


This past November I was able to attend the Virginia Counselor Association Conference held in Colonial Williamsburg from the 20-22.  This conference held some amazing sessions that I appreciated because we had the chance to learn from people in the field with different views and experiences.  The keynote speaker James Lloyd, did a phenomenal job getting people motivated and uplifted; I would love to see him speak again if I had the chance.

The sessions that I went to were very diverse in their topics.  Some of them talked about mindfulness and the importance of maintaining an awareness of one’s mind and learning to remain in the present instead of always thinking about past and future events.  One of the sessions that I went to also had a discussion about Disney characters and how their experiences are related to what happens in the real world.  Some of the stories have to do with grief, some have to do with conflict, and others have to do with differences in personality and how to best relate to one another.  For example, Winnie the Pooh reflects a variety of personalities and how they all learn to get a long is a good lesson.

Finally, the conference in general felt like a vacation.  The first night we were able to participate in a fun event to get to know other counselor’s and to have some great refreshments.  We had a reception for the Longwood Graduate students as well at one point so I felt like we were a part of the Counseling field, even if we are Graduate Students.  I was so grateful to have the opportunity to go and I can’t wait until next year!

Virginia Counselors Association Convention

IMG_2093This November, I had the opportunity to attend my first Virginia Counselors Association Annual Convention, which was held in Williamsburg, VA.  Throughout the convention, I attended several sessions on topics that will help me to become a successful school counselor, such as bucket filling, creatively expressing emotions, positive behavior interventions, social media, and even how to use dance and yoga in the classroom or during counseling sessions.  The motivational speaker, James Lloyd, was incredibly entertaining and motivated me to not only be a better counselor, but to be a better person as well.  His words on genuinely making others feel important and taking care of yourself will stick with me for many years to come.  In addition to learning a variety of new counseling strategies and resources, I really enjoyed networking and getting to spend time with other grad students, friends, and professors outside of the classroom.

The conference was a very inspiring and refreshing experience that has left me with new tools, greater friendships, and even more excitement as I move closer to starting my career as a counselor.  I am already looking forward to attending next year’s convention!

Virginia Counselors Association Convention 2014

imageThe VCA convention was absolutely a remarkable experience. I believe every one should take the opportunity to attend one while a student or counselor. As a student preparing to indulge in the counseling field it was inspiring to be apart of such a big event. One gets the opportunity to notice numerous counselor come together and celebrate their accomplishments. They all seem to want to make an impact in children’s lives, as well as help those who need assistance. The atmosphere as I attended the three day convention remained positive through  out the entire conference. Everyone was so welcoming, wanting to learn about one another and what position they play in schools or institutions. It was great to meet new people and find out their “stories” and where are they come from.

During the convention, I learned plenty while attending each of the session. Each presenter had a great topics to introduce and discuss; all worth listening and learning from.  One of my favorite lectures dealt with adolescents and social media. It gave a great insight of today current trends and how adolescent use social medias such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and etc.If possible, I would want to attend again next year.

Virginia Counselors Association Conference 2014

VCA conference picI was honored to be selected to present at this year’s VCA conference in Williamsburg, VA. This was my second experience presenting at this conference. Last year, I had the privilege to present with Dr. Kevin Doyle on Collegiate Recovery Communities (CRCs). I felt very proud that he trusted me to go it alone this year. I believe the information I had to share about CRCs is important and am proud that Longwood is home to one. “Longwood Recovers” was established in 2013 and provides a great network of support for those in or considering recovery from substance use disorders or other problematic/addictive behaviors. I enjoyed attending the conference this year and getting together with fellow Longwood members and alumni. I am grateful to Longwood and Dr. Doyle for supporting me and efforts to get this message out there. I am so proud to be a Longwood girl! Thanks for the continued opportunities!

Virginia Counselors Association

conferenceThis November, I had the opportunity to attend my first professional conference. This year, the VCA conference was held at the beautiful Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, Va. During the weekend, I attended sessions on grief, ambiguous loss, ethical concerns regarding social media, infertility issues, play therapy and even how to use Disney stories and characters in counseling sessions. I had the opportunity to network with a variety of school and mental health counselors and gain their advice about entering the field as a new professional. The keynote speaker, James Lloyd, a well-respected motivational speaker, opened up the weekend with an encouraging message. He emphasized that we as counselors should strive to provide grade A “customer service” and care. He stated that when people receive exceptional service, it is an experience that remains with them for life. He added that it is essential to have the attitude of “There you are” rather than “Here I am” when we interact with others. Those words have and will continue to stay with me as I enter the counseling field.

This conference has taught and reminded me not only how vital our profession is, but also how people find hope and healing everyday from our interventions and care. This conference has provided me with new tools to go into my counselor toolbox and has most definitely reminded me why I am studying to become a counselor.

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