The Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia (LPCA-GA) held its 28th Annual Convention and Regional Conference in Stone Mountain, GA, at the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort, May 5-7. The Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia is nationally recognized as The Most Outstanding State Association for Counselors in the United States, by the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA), which is a division of the American Counselors Association (ACA). As a result, overwhelming numbers of Professional Counselors from throughout Georgia, the United States, and Europe attended this year’s conference which centered its Continuing Education (CE) training sessions and keynote speakers’ addresses around the theme, “ The Art and Science of Psychotherapy.” Members in attendance during the complete conference were eligible to receive up to 25 Continuing Education Core and Ethics hours that were approved by GAPT, NBCC, LPCA and ADACB-GA.
Highlights at this year’s convention included the celebration of accomplishing a key milestone for Licensed Professional Counselors in Georgia. The passage of SB 319 in the Georgia Legislature which occurred at 11:53 pm on March 24, 2016, effected a major positive change for practicing LPC’s in Georgia. Georgia SB 319, known as the “diagnosis” legislation, added “diagnosis” to the scope of practice of LPC’s in Georgia, thereby bringing parity with other masters level clinicians, making the clinical capability of LPC’s explicit, and most of all expanding professional mental health services to meet the needs of many citizens in Georgia. The Association expressed its appreciation to the Georgia State Legislators who authored and sponsored SB 319, for their overwhelming and persistent support. During the Presidential Forum and Luncheon, Senator Lester Jackson, DDS, of Savannah, Senator Greg Kirk, LPC, and former LPCA GA President (2011- 2012), along with Senator Renee Unterman, Representative Tom Dickson and Representative Lee Hawkins were presented with Awards of Recognition and Appreciation. Other awards and recognitions presented during the conference included the Counselor Educator of the Year to Ryan T. Day, PhD, LPC, CPCS; Student Counselor of the Year to Danai Brown; and the John C. Burns III Lifetime Achievement Award to Andre Marria, LPC,CPCS and a Past, and the first African American LPCA-GA President (2003-2004). The Board of Directors also named a special award in honor of the late Linda Painter, PhD, LPC, CPCS, a past LPCA-GA President (1999-2000. The first Linda Painter Service Award was given posthumously.
Presiding at the 2016 Convention and Regional Conference were LPCA President, Katie Tolleson, MS, LPC; President Elect, Galen Cole, PhD, MPH, LCP, WCP; and Immediate Past President, Theresa Holt, EdD, LPC, NCC, CPCS. Incoming LPCA President, Darrell M. Brooks, MPA,Med, LPC, CPCS, is already making plans for the 2017 Convention and Regional Conference currently scheduled to convene