The All Ohio Counselors Conference wants to share fresh perspectives before the conference to set the tone for our attendees. Please stay tuned for more blog content as it becomes available. 

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  • 07 Nov 2017 8:55 PM | Leisl Moriarty (Administrator)

    Attending a conference can be challenging for first timers, introverts, and for professionals that come from a remote location. In this three-part post we have compiled some suggestions and advice talking with seasoned AOCC counselors for tips to make the most of the conference. Missed our first two posts ? Check out Before You Go and Learning in Unexpected Places

    Taking it Home

    You’re full of ideas and have a re-invigorated passion for the important work you do. You were surrounded by peers who get it – the wins, the struggles, and the reason why you give yourself and change lives. 

    You walk into the office with a renewed fire and find 250 new emails, a parent on the phone complaining, a client in crisis that just walked through the door, drugs are found on campus and the administration has questions – and immediately the quiet day of returning to the office just sucked you back into the day-to-day grind. 

    Without continued work the key takeaways will fall flat and will eventually evaporate from your focus. To help avoid this, carve out 30 minutes at the end of each day at the conference to note your major takeaways and action items for when you return home. Need help with creating an action plan that you’ll use? Check out our Taking it Home resource to make it a reality!

    Did you reach out to network and people you met at the event? Add contacts to LinkedIn and send emails to anyone who gave you business cards with a simple note that you enjoyed meeting at the AOCC and look forward to staying in touch. If a sponsor was particularly interesting to you consider setting up a demo or meeting to talk next steps.

    Finally, make plans to attend the AOCC in 2018. Save the date now – November 7-9, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus – and encourage funds to be budgeted for your attendance! 

  • 01 Nov 2017 5:50 PM | Charlsie Niemiec (Administrator)

    Guest Post by Ravi Hutheesing

    What does it look like when you put a Buddhist, a Christian, and a Sharia Law Muslim in a room together for two weeks and ask them to collaborate? I'll show you during my upcoming keynote at the All Ohio Counselors Conference. While I frequently create such experiences around the world, we live in increasingly diverse communities here at home and must prepare ourselves and especially our students to be culturally competent in a globalized society.

    Moreover, the impact of Artificial Intelligence and technology on the job market is going to change the careers available to graduates and transform the way we interact. With a predicted 38% of today's jobs being automated in 10-15 years, we must consider that human exchanges revolving around goods and services may no longer be the norm. What are the transactions of the future? I believe we will have a cultural economy--an exchange of cultural values and activities that form the basis of human interaction and the advancement of society. However, with globalization comes cultural dilution, and therein lies a conundrum that educators and counselors must address. Otherwise, we risk devolving into animal instincts and survivalist mentalities.

    Combining the idealism of the Millennial generation with their size, which will be followed by the equally large and idealistic Gen Z, we now have the opportunity to naturally grow out of many of society's greatest injustices. However, that will require Baby Boomers to quietly hang onto their baggage and not unload it onto the Millennials. The generation that grew up with segregation being the norm must not inadvertently pollute the generation that grew up with Obama being the norm. If that happens, our noble efforts to extinguish implicit biases will only result in perpetuating them.

    I look forward to meeting you in Columbus and will arrive Wednesday, speak Thursday, and depart Friday. There will be ample time to personally say hello, so please introduce yourself and if you see me engaged in a conversation, join us--this is a conference, and my keynote is just the beginning of a bigger conversation. Together, we can change the world.

    Ravi Hutheesing is a global keynote speaker whose philosophies and strategies have empowered businesses, educators, and over a million people throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia to bridge generational and cultural divides. Additionally, the US Department of State engages him as a cultural diplomat to create programs overseas that foster cultural exchange and mutual understanding.  He will be giving the keynote at AOCC on Thursday afternoon.  Learn more at

    Ravi Hutheesing is the presenter of session Counseling for Cultural Competency, scheduled for Thursday, November 9 from 1:30pm-2:45pm. 

  • 31 Oct 2017 6:18 AM | Charlsie Niemiec (Administrator)

    Guest Post by Lisa Hinkelman, Ph.D., LPC

    We know that the world is complicated for girls. Fitting in, body image, pressure, academics, friendships and relationships are all challenging to navigate.  Add to this, the potential challenges of technology and social media, and it is not surprising that girls are reporting high levels of pressure alongside declining levels of self-confidence. With high school girls spending on average six hours a day on social media and 2 out of 3 reporting that they have been asked to send a revealing photo to another person, it is no wonder that schools are at a loss when it comes to helping girls navigate their social world.  In first-of-its-kind, groundbreaking research The Girls’ Index surveyed nearly 11,000 girls across the country on issues like relationships, confidence, leadership, school, and – of course – social media.  The full report reveals key insights into the complex world of today’s girls and the relationship that technology and social media play in girls’ confidence, relationships, academics and aspirations.

    Now more than ever the digital divide is widening.  Today’s generation of girls have never known a time without social media.  As soon as they got their first phone (probably around age 9 or 10) many received access to an entire new social and digital world.  This means that the way that we communicate with, relate to and connect with girls also has to evolve to be relevant to their experiences.  No longer can we simply say, “Put the phone away,” or “Just don’t go on those sites anymore.”  We know that the issues that impact girls during their early years can affect subsequent stages of their development, decisions, relationships and aspirations — positively or negatively. Developing insights into what girls need to be successful and what they need to establish a strong identity and sense of self is critical for the adults who work with and care about girls. We’ve got to take the time to dig in and fully understand the complexities of girls’ lives and then dissect the impact that a constant comparison of one’s life to others can have on the identity development of today’s teens.  Download the research report and join the conversation!

    Lisa Hinkelman, Ph.D., LPC is the Founder/Executive Director of Ruling Our eXperiences, Inc. (ROX) and the author of Girls Without Limits: Helping Girls Achieve Healthy Relationships, Academic Success, and Interpersonal Strength, Corwin Press, 2013. 

    Lisa Hinkelman is the presenter of session Selfies, Snaps, and Sexts: Girls, Social Media and Self Esteem, scheduled for Thursday, November 9 from 10:15am-11:45am.

  • 28 Oct 2017 2:55 PM | Charlsie Niemiec (Administrator)

    Guest Post by Meagan McBride Klein

    Developing a strong sense of professional identity is one of the most important aspects for navigating the counseling profession as a student, clinician, or educator. Since the inception of the consensus definition for counseling (Kaplan, Tarvydas, & Gladding, 2014), relationships between diverse professionals continue to offer a unified sense of what it means to be a counselor (Murdock, Stipanovic, & Lucas, 2013). One distinct benefit from the inclusion of so many prestigious groups is the transference of knowledge gleaned from clinical experience to the next generation of counselors. By establishing relationships among professionals, space is created to ameliorate the countless obstacles confronting counseling students. Fostering such relationships provide a distinct framework for how this knowledge can be translated into professional practice. One successful way to build such relationships is through mentorship opportunities (Bowman et al., 1990; Black et al., 2004). Mentorship is at the heart of the counseling profession due to being aligned with the very definition of professional growth and development (Black et al., 2004). These key relationships build bridges to future opportunities by modeling professional excellence, knowledge transference, and strengthening social support (Black et al., 2004). Therefore, at this year’s All Ohio Counselor Conference, (AOCC), there will be a mixer for future counselors and counselor educators that will be hosted by the Ohio Counseling Association on Thursday from 7:00pm-10:00pm at the Big Bar on floor two of the Hyatt Regency. The event will provide appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages for anyone who wishes to attend. By cultivating a distinct space for future professionals, relationships at multiple levels can be established among professionals in similar journeys that build greater social support roles among attendees. Whether this is your first AOCC conference or you are a continuing attendee, this is the place for you to relax and network with like-minded individuals and groups. Through successful mentorship building, future attendees can benefit from members who continue to model similar practices in their own future practice and communities. 


    Bowman, R. L., Bowman, V. E., & DeLucia, J. L. (1990). Mentoring in a graduate counseling program: Students helping students. Counselor Education and Supervision30(1), 58-65. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6978.1990.tb01179.x

    Black, L. L., Suarez, E. C., & Medina, S. (2004). Helping Students Help Themselves: Strategies for Successful Mentoring Relationships. Counselor Education and Supervision44(1), 44-55. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6978.2004.tb01859.x

    Kaplan, D. M., Tarvydas, V. M., & Gladding, S. T. (2014). 20/20: A vision for the future of counseling: The new consensus definition of counseling. Journal of Counseling & Development92(3), 366-372. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6676.2014.00164.x

    Murdock, J. L., Stipanovic, N., & Lucas, K. (2013). Fostering connections between graduate students and strengthening professional identity through co-mentoring. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling41(5), 487-503. doi:10.1080/03069885.2012.756972

    Meagan was recently brought on board as the Director of Prevention and Early Intervention for Family Resource Center of Northwest Ohio.  Meagan has been serving children and families for over 12 years, beginning her career as a Special Education teacher.  While teaching at Bowling Green State University, Meagan earned her Masters in Mental Health Counseling, focusing on youth and adolescents. Meagan is a doctoral candidate at the University of Toledo where she also teaches. Meagan serves at the President-Elect for the Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling of Ohio.

  • 19 Oct 2017 5:57 PM | Charlsie Niemiec (Administrator)

    Guest Post by Diana Arie, LSC: School Counselor, Olentangy Local Schools

    Are you interested in learning about new ways to get your students thinking about their future? Would you like to keep your students interested and engaged while increasing their career awareness and building positive relationships with parents and other community members? One program, called Career Cafe, may be your answer! Career Cafe is an opportunity for students to hear volunteer speakers talk about their careers and the skills that are necessary in the workforce. In this session, you will learn more about what this program is and how you can begin to implement it with your students. During this presentation, you will hear about the impact this program has had on students who have been able to attend Career Cafe sessions. Additionally, you will learn about how this program has been successfully implemented in multiple school settings. Best of all, the Career Cafe program can easily be adapted to meet your school's needs and to reach students at any level! After attending this session you will have a clear understanding of how you can take steps to begin implementing a Career Cafe program of your own immediately. 

    In addition to learning about the Career Cafe program, you will learn about other creative and fun ways to develop career awareness in your students. This will include lessons for students as young as Kindergarten and up through fifth grade, with ideas for adaptations to lessons that will allow them to be modified for older students as well. You will leave this session with several career lessons and ideas that you could begin using the following week!

    Diana Arie, LSC, is a school counselor at Johnnycake Corners Elementary School in the Olentangy Local School District. 

    Diana Arie is the presenter of session Career Cafe and Other Fun Career Lessons to Engage Your Students, scheduled for Thursday, November 9 from 8:30am-10:00am. 

  • 18 Oct 2017 6:03 PM | Charlsie Niemiec (Administrator)

    Guest Post by Kathryn Gastaldo, LSC: Elementary School Counselor, Worthington City Schools

    As an elementary counselor charged with servicing over 850 students in two separate school buildings, I am no stranger to feeling as if I do not have enough time to give my students the high-quality support they deserve.  It can be difficult to prioritize student needs and balance the many different responsibilities school counselors are given.  Over the past few years, I have found that I am able to use small group counseling interventions to effectively meet the needs of a large number of students at one time.  For example, over the course of the 2016-2017 school year I was able to facilitate 22 counseling groups between my two school buildings, which included a total of 160 individual students.  Not only am I able to service more students in a group setting than I would be able to work with independently, but there is an extensive amount of research which documents the positive impact counseling groups have on the students involved.  Student participants are able to form positive relationships with other group members and learn from one another.  I have been lucky enough to witness the positive outcomes of group counseling work in my own buildings, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to share some of the specific group interventions I have used with other school counselors.

    This November at the All Ohio Counselors Conference (AOCC), my colleagues and I are planning on giving participants an in-depth look at six different group counseling curriculums, activities, and resources.  One of the counseling groups I will personally be speaking about is a group titled “Courageous Conversations,” which is a place for students to come together and have conversations about diversity topics with their peers.  The goal of this counseling group is to raise awareness about what it means to be diverse and to create a culture of acceptance within our school building.  I will also be sharing information on some different counseling groups I have utilized to address the concern of student anxiety.  One of these groups is a “Calming Club,” which allows students to participate in hands-on activities, which are designed to relieve anxiety and strengthen students’ coping skills.  Another group, titled “Morning Mindfulness,” helps students start their school day by participating in stretches, developmentally appropriate yoga poses, and positive thinking exercises to relieve stress and focus the mind.  Other group counseling interventions that will be explored during this session will address the topics of self-regulation, changes in the family system, peer relationships, and leadership.

    Kathryn Gastaldo is a elementary school counselor in the Worthington City School District.  Kathryn is constantly seeking new, engaging strategies to help support her students and school communities.  Her passion for addressing social justice issues drives her work as an educator.  

    Kathryn Gastaldo is the presenter of session Using K-6 Group Counseling Interventions to Meet the Needs of Students, scheduled for Friday, November 10 from 8:30am-10:00am. 

  • 18 Oct 2017 11:41 AM | Charlsie Niemiec (Administrator)

    Guest Post by Tamarine Foreman, PhD, NCC, LPCC-s

    In William Blake’s poem, On Another’s Sorrow, he asks “Can I feel another’s woe and not be in sorrow too? Can I see another’s falling tear and not feel my sorrow’s share?” As a counselor, these words resonate with me deeply. Often times after I heard another story of devastation, abuse, or tragedy the story lingered and caused me to wonder about my own competence, faith in others, and my belief in this world as a safe place. Yet I also had thoughts about how much I valued my own relationships and greater appreciation for life. 

    In our profession, we are trained to listen with empathy and provide a safe therapeutic environment for people to share their stories of trauma with us. In that therapeutic space, we listen with open hearts and minds to support and facilitate growth for others. Trauma has been recognized as having the ability to disrupt a person’s development and cause long lasting negative impact to a person’s physical and mental health. For our students and clients, we provide a healing space to address the impact of trauma on their lives. However, there is limited space given to how the repeated exposure to these stories of trauma impact the lives of counselors.

    Today, it is estimated that at least 70% of all adults and 60% of youth under the age of 17 have experienced or been exposed to at least one type of trauma. Counselors are poised to be exposed to multiple stories of trauma. As we create therapeutic space and connect with the people we counsel, we open ourselves to the risk and negative impact of vicarious traumatization and the benefit of post-traumatic growth. 

    Vicarious traumatization can shake our beliefs in our own competence and abilities, cause us to question the trustworthiness of others, and shift our thoughts of the world as a safe place. If left unaddressed, it is possible develop impairment which raises the risk to do harm. While vicarious traumatization is considered to be a negative outcome of our work with people who have experienced trauma, it is also considered a normal part of the process. It is also possible for these experiences to foster the development of post-traumatic growth. When this occurs, counselors may have an increased appreciation for their personal strengths, relationships, and improved spiritual well-being. 

    Taken together, vicarious traumatization and post-traumatic growth provide a way for us, as counselors, to further the conversation and dialogue about how we are impacted by our work and what we are doing to prevent impairment and foster our own wellness. 

    Tamarine Foreman, PhD, NCC, LPCC-s, is an assistant professor of counselor education at Ohio University. She completed her counseling degree at University of Dayton. Her clinical experience has included working with families and youth in adoptive and foster homes, college students, and child/adolescent inpatient. Dr. Foreman earned her doctorate in Counseling and Counselor Education from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. Foreman’s research centers on understanding the impact of working with people who have experienced trauma, vicarious traumatization and post-traumatic growth with the goals of illuminating these processes, inspiring commitment to wellness, and supporting the journey of counselors.  

    Dr. Tamarine Foreman is the presenter of session The Impact of Our Work: Understanding Vicarious Traumatization and Post-Traumatic Growth, scheduled for Thursday, November 9 from 12:15pm-1:15pm. 

  • 17 Oct 2017 12:00 PM | Charlsie Niemiec (Administrator)

    Guest Post by Norman Shub, LPCC-S: President, Director, Gestalt Associates

    Anxiety is one of the most common forms of mental illness in the United States and affects countless children. Teachers, counselors, and other professionals are always struggling with how to deal with anxiety in the school environment. There are all kinds of things that we can do psychotherapeutically but there are limited resources that talk about how to really implement change in anxious children by using the educational setting as the frame.

    In this workshop, “The Four Keys to Mitigating Student Anxiety,” we are going to talk about how you can help a child by participating in the educational process learn to feel safer, less anxious, and begin to really feel liberated from an undue amount of anxiety. 

    One of the biggest challenges in tackling student anxiety at school is the fact that the anxiety is often being caused at home and outside of the school. We will explore the parental behaviors that cause anxiety to gain a deeper understanding of where the child is coming from. Participants will reflect on their own developmental experiences to gain more insight on how anxiety develops in children and how it impacts their lives.

    As we explore specific interventions to use in the classroom and counseling environment to help diffuse student anxiety, participants will have an opportunity to experientially be part of a process where they can see how anxiety can be reduced through the group/classroom. 

    Addressing anxiety at school can be extremely tricky. However, it is important for teachers and counselors to understand the skills that can be used to help mitigate anxiety in their students. Many students suffering with anxiety don’t receive treatment or never have it addressed. This can really impact their success and ability to be present in school. I am extremely passionate about this topic and if you are interested in learning how to use the classroom really mitigate anxiety this workshop will be extremely helpful.

    Norman Shub has been the Clinical Director of Gestalt Associates and the Gestalt Institute of Central Ohio for more than 40 years. He is an author, teacher, and psychotherapist who has worked around the world presenting to thousands of parents, therapists, teachers, and more. His clear and articulate approach has earned him distinctions of master teacher and psychotherapy trainer. 

    Dr. Shub is the presenter of two sessions, scheduled for Thursday, November 9 at 8:30am-10:00am and 10:15am-12:00pm. Visit his sessions here!

  • 13 Oct 2017 3:24 PM | Leisl Moriarty (Administrator)

    Attending a conference can be challenging for first timers, introverts, and for professionals that come from a remote location. In this three-part post we have compiled some suggestions and advice talking with seasoned AOCC counselors for tips to make the most of the conference. Missed our first post? Check out Before You Go

    Learning in Unexpected Places

    Learning comes in many forms, but often the best outcomes are resources and suggestions from peers.  The AOCC is the pinnacle of peer-based learning for counselors in Ohio. You’re not attending a conference of people who are on a stage that haven’t been in the trenches.  Presenters for this event are counselors and associated professionals that are fully immersed and knowledgeable about the challenges you’re facing every day. 

    So what, you say? This is so important to your learning, and especially while at a large-scale conference. AOCC presenters are going to talk about what worked for implementing something into their counseling program, or an approach that lead to a client breakthrough. More, they’re approachable and want to share their experience and knowledge. They’re presenting at the AOCC to offer this to their peers, so they want to talk to you, offer advice, and provide context from their experience.

    After the session you may see the presenter in the hallway, or at a reception. Engage! Talk about the presentation, ask follow-up questions, and inquire about what challenges were faced that they didn’t talk about on stage in their formal presentation. As an introvert maybe you’re not comfortable with a blind approach or to spark up a conversation with a stranger. After the presentation jot down a note on paper or your business card and pass it to the presenter following the conversation simply saying thank you for their presentation.  On that paper ask to follow-up with them by email, phone, or to meet in a quiet place later during the conference. Your interest to chat privately or in a quiet place later in the conference will only further the impact of the content and its use for you.

    We have a ton of student volunteers that help make this event happen. No, really, we have about 200 volunteers that are an extension of our small (but mighty) team. All volunteers are grad and doctoral students and all of them are friendly and would love to make new connections and mentors. Maybe you’re from the same alma mater? Maybe they’re looking to be an elementary school counselor just like you. Maybe they love working in substance abuse counseling and are furthering their education to provide resources for clients. They will be in bright red aprons when they’re on the clock, but look for the green volunteer ribbons when they’re attending sessions with you as the best time to reach out.

    Stay open-minded to learning in alternative forms. During one of the session breaks you sit down on one of the round and comfy cushions and meet someone new. You quickly realize you’re navigating a similar challenge and begin to share stories. Oh no, the next session begins in 2 minutes. Pause. What is going to be the richest resource for you to make an impact as a counselor? Is the next session on XYZ that you were only moderately interested in, or this conversation where you can see interventions and tested approaches from a peer who gets it? Sometimes the best parts of your conference experience are not always when you’re listening to a presenter on a stage. No, you won’t receive continuing education hours for that session time, but the ideas and resources may be powerful enough to warrant having to a supplemental webinar one day over lunch.

  • 12 Oct 2017 3:03 PM | Charlsie Niemiec (Administrator)

    Guest Post by William DeMeo, LPC: Psychologist, Specialty Psychological Services

    Executive Functions are cognitive processes that allow students to plan, organize, make decisions, pay attention, and regulate behavior. All of us use Executive Function skills to solve problems and evaluate the decisions we make. Research suggests that Executive Function skills are essential for students to succeed in school and adults to succeed in later life. For counselors, there is a strong correlation between behavioral and academic problems in school and poor executive functioning. In addition, there are a number of mental health conditions that are neurological associated with executive functioning such as ADHD.

    The development of Executive Function skills actually begins in infancy and continues into adulthood. The more students use these skills the greater the development of circuits or pathways in the frontal lobe of the brain that are responsible for critical reasoning and decision-making. The neuron networks of the brain develop and grow based on experience, so if they are utilized regularly, they become more extensive, organized, and effective.

    Students are often faced with ever-increasing demands for organizational skills, planning longer-term school projects and managing busy daily schedules. When there are challenges in meeting these demands, the student’s performance and confidence may be negatively affected. Because one of the major developmental stages of students is focused on increasing autonomy, the goal is to equip the student with strategies that they can carry out independently and internalize as they continue to mature. The best way to do this is to have them practice in their everyday life as well as receive consistent feedback from the adults around them. In addition, giving the students opportunities to say what is working for them and what is not provides them with a sense of control and teaches essential self-monitoring skills. 

    This workshop will assist counselors involved with students in the latest research and best practices in how to effectively integrate new understanding of the relationship between Executive Functioning skills and academic and life success into their practices.  This workshop will explore strategies on how students can learn to manage their time, plan and prioritize tasks, organize their thoughts and materials, focus their attention and regulate their behavior. Participants will be able to implement these strategies immediately when returning to their programs to help all students succeed in school and life. 

    Dr. William DeMeo is a Developmental Neuro Psychologist who has a private practice that specializes in serving children and families that other agencies are not able to serve. William had coordinated the mental health services for Cincinnati Public Schools’ Early Childhood Program for the past 25 years.  

    William continues to be one of the most sought after national and international trainers for educators in the areas of mental health and brain-based learning, utilizing his extensive experience to present practical and entertaining workshops. He has authored several books, including his latest publication; When Nothing Else Works (2013). 

    Dr. DeMeo is the presenter of session Executive Functioning: Connecting to Success in School and Life!, scheduled for Thursday, November 9 from 3:15-4:30 pm.

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