Idaho Counseling Association has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 2013. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Idaho Counseling Association is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. 


Richard Yep, CAE, FASAE is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Counseling Association, the largest membership organization of professional counselors in the world. He currently oversees a staff of 60 and a $14 million budget. ACA has more than 52,000 members. Rich has worked for ACA for 31 years, 21 of which as the Association’s CEO. He is also the President of the American Counseling Association Foundation.

Rich has presented on various issues impacting not-for-profit organizations relative to public policy, leadership development, product development, and association management. Rich is ACA’s representative to the United Nations Non-Governmental Organizations. His professional affiliations include the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) where he is a past Chair of the organization’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, completed a term on the ASAE Board of Directors, and was named an ASAE Fellow in 2012. In 2017, he received ASAE’s Key Award which honors an association CEO who demonstrates exceptional qualities of leadership in his or her own association and displays a deep commitment to voluntary membership organizations as a whole. Rich recently completed his term on the CAE Commission and he is a member of the Key Professional Associations Committee. For ten years Rich served on the Board of Trustees of Excelsior College, an institution based in Albany, New York that is dedicated to adult learners. His support of Excelsior is rooted in his personal experience in working with individuals facing personal and professional challenges, but who are dedicated to improving their lives through education. Rich is a Chair Emeriti of the board. During the July 2018 Commencement, Rich was recognized with an honorary doctoral degree from the College. Rich holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

Manivong J. Ratts is associate dean in the College of Education and professor of counseling at Seattle University. Dr. Ratts received his Ph.D. in Counseling from Oregon State University (OSU). He holds an associate’s degree from Yakima Valley Community College, a bachelor's degree in psychology from Western Washington University, and a master's degree in counseling from OSU. In 2018, he was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters, Honors Causa from Lewis and Clark College (Portland, OR) for his work in advancing multiculturalism and social justice in the counseling profession and was the graduate commencement keynote, Advocating for Social Change in a Toxic Political Climate. Dr. Ratts is a licensed mental health counselor (L.M.H.C.) and past President of Counselors for Social Justice, a division of the American Counseling Association (ACA). His research is in the area of multiculturalism and social justice. He is one of the nation’s leading scholars in the area of social justice counseling. He coined the term “social justice counseling” and argued that social justice is a “fifth force” among counseling paradigms, following the psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, and multicultural traditions. Dr. Ratts chaired a committee which developed Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies (MSJCC) for the counseling profession with Drs. Anneliese Singh, Sylvia Nassar-McMillan, Kent Butler, and Rafe McCullough. The MSJCC serve as a guide to help counseling professionals develop multicultural and social justice competence. The competencies have been adopted by the American Counseling Association (ACA), the leading organization for professional counselors and they are used in counselor training programs across the country. Dr. Ratts has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Counseling and Development and the Journal for Social Action in Counseling and Psychology. He has published in various peer reviewed journals on social justice counseling and is lead author of the following books Counseling for Multiculturalism and Social Justice: Integration, Theory, and Application (2014) with Dr. Paul B. Pedersen and ACA Advocacy Competencies: A Social Justice Framework for Counselors (2010) with Dr. Judy Lewis and Dr. Rebecca Toporek. He has produced two video series through Alexander Street Press titled Four Approaches to Counseling One Client: Medical, Intrapsychic, Multicultural, and Social Justice Counseling Paradigms (2011) and Five forces of Counseling and Psychotherapy: Psychoanalytic, Cognitive-Behavioral, Existential-Humanistic, Multicultural, and Social Justice (2013). 


Social justice counseling, referred to as the 5th force among helping paradigms, is an important strategy to addressing issues of inequity experienced by marginalized client populations. The need for social justice counseling has become increasingly important in light of the racial and social unrest across America’s landscape. Clients from marginalized groups bring to the therapeutic relationship mental health issues that can be attributed to oppression. Traditional helping paradigms, while helpful in the short-term, are unable to get at the root of these issues. Traditional helping paradigms are not constructed to dismantle systems of oppression. These paradigms more so serve as a band-aid that temporarily heals rather than create long-standing change that clients from marginalized communities seek. Moreover, traditional helping paradigms tend to focus on helping the client change rather than the toxic system surrounding the client to change. Hence, the need for a helping paradigm that balances individual and systems level change.

To achieve social justice counseling, counseling professionals must do things differently. This begins with professional development training. The need for professional development is because counselor preparation programs have not been able to adequately prepare mental health professionals for the realities of working with marginalized communities. This presentation will highlight the rational for social justice counseling, barriers to achieving social justice in counseling, and concrete actions that will help counselors and counselor educators achieve social justice in their work.

Friday, November 6

The Importance of Counselor Self-Care in the era of Covid-19 and Anti-racism

The potential of counselor burnout intensified with covid-19, racism, and police brutality. The impact of these issues on society overall has been devastating. This keynote examines how counselors can understand this added stress and provides information on ways to overcome these challenges.

Our society is in the midst of experiencing an increased divisiveness, discrimination, bullying, and both natural and person made disasters which are leading to increased stress. Professional counselors, counselor educators, and emerging counselors realize that their members, and they themselves, are impacted by these issues. Time and time again, we are reminded of the importance of counselor self-care. Over the years, ACA has devoted books, articles, a website section, blogs, and conference presentations to the need for counselors to take care of themselves. These resources point out that professional counselors need to approach their work in the same way that flight attendants instruct us to use oxygen masks in case of an emergency: put your mask on first before helping others.

Counselors must take care of themselves at all stages of their careers – from trainee to seasoned professional. Not doing so makes you vulnerable to compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and burnout. Giving too much of yourself without attending to professional stressors can cause you to leave the profession you love. This presentation will take a holistic approach to the various components of self-care. It will also speak to the need to set appropriate boundaries and find meaning in life. The goal of this presentation is to enable you to have a long, productive, and fulfilling career as a professional counselor.

Saturday, November 7

Making Social Justice a Reality in Counseling: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Social justice counseling is a distinct helping paradigm that combines counseling with advocacy. The need to integrate social justice into all aspects of the counseling profession has become increasingly evident in light of the racial unrest in our nation. Achieving social justice requires intentionality. This keynote highlights actions counseling professionals can take to achieve social justice.

    The Idaho Counseling Association is a Branch of the American Counseling Association

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