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Welcome to the Maryland Counseling Association

A Branch of the American Counseling Association

Registration now open for our 65th Anniversary Conference!

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Sponsorships are available!

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Statement of the American Counseling Association on the School Shooting in Uvalde, Texas

May 25, 2022

The Maryland Counseling Association stands with the people of Ukraine. We denounce all forms of war and violence.

(This logo comes from a UK race of support for Ukraine.)

Please find the ACA statement on the Ukraine conflict here: https://www.counseling.org/news/updates/news-detail/2022/02/28/aca-statement-on-conflict-in-ukraine

US donation sites can also be found here: https://www.npr.org/2022/02/25/1082992947/ukraine-support-help

See MCA's own Dr. Sabrina Taylor, President-Elect of Maryland Counselor's for Social Justice Division, interviewed regarding the recent bomb threats to HBCUs. Watch the CNN link first and then the youtube link of Dr. Taylor's interview.





MCA Statement Regarding HBCU Bomb Threats

Dear MCA Members,

The Maryland Counseling Association stands in solidarity with our colleagues and students at Bowie State University and all HBCUs in Maryland and across the country. The recent threats to these institutions are inexcusable and traumatizing. We demand that these threats be fully investigated and the safety of all HBCU staff and students be secured. If you or anyone you know is struggling under these current conditions, please reach out to friends, family, or a counselor. If you’re struggling to find a service provider, please contact MCA for assistance. We have opened our Networking Event on 2/7 at 1 pm to all counselors (members and nonmembers), free of charge. Please join us.


Sara Pula, PhD, LCPC, NCC, ACS

MCA President 2021-2022

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) released the following statement today condemning bomb threats against Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), including Bowie State University, this morning: 

"The reports of nation-wide bomb threats against HBCU campuses this morning are horrifying and inexcusable. I remain deeply concerned about the well-being and safety of students, staff, and professors at Bowie State University and all who sheltered in place on campus this morning. The threat today is the second time this month that HBCUs have been targeted, and the terror it has caused raises serious questions about the existence of hate-based violence across our nation and in our communities. I strongly condemn these threats today and urge a complete and thorough investigation into this attack and demand that justice be served.”  

Fall is Coming...

Back to School?  One last pool visit? Worry about Delta COVID?

Many things are unknown at this juncture of the changing season and our clients depend on our modeling to navigate new levels of fear and uncertainty in their story.  Remember that it helps for you to enter your client's world as much as you are able.  Ask her what books or films are most interesting and learn what you can about them to be able to engage in that subjective world. 

Consider this as a great time to collect readily available books and films that can help our clients to deconstruct and retell their own strength-based story.  Narrative interventions are particularly useful when clients struggle with uncertainty and need examples of resilience and fortitude. 

Here are just a few examples:






July is Here!

There are plenty of events happening this month to help us to engage in meaningful self-care.  Check out a few of the happenings that may be worth a trip out in the heat!

Baltimore Events

Ocean City Events

Historic Maryland Sites

Sandy Point State Park

Western Maryland Scenic Railroad

Southern Maryland Community Calendar

Please email Past President Carol ZA McGinnis with any other helpful links that you may find!

Celebrate June!!

The weather is getting warmer and things are beginning to grow as we get more accustomed to the regular cadence of the 17 year cicada!  It may be that you are enjoying a new routine as our State continues to open with 70% of adults in Maryland are now vaccinated!!

As you try new things and begin to venture out, we have many different areas of focus for awareness in the month of June:

Men’s Health Month


LGBTQIA Pride Month

National PTSD Awareness Month

Reach out - get involved - ask how you might be able to help to bring about awareness for one of these topics!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

Join MCA and ACA in helping to bring about Mental Health Awareness this month. 

How can we break the stigma related to mental health?

Help someone find mental health help by contacting SAMHSA

Help someone in crisis with referral to specific "hot lines" at this NIHM website

Locate other resources at this useful "60 Useful Resources" website

Check out MentalHealth.gov for other resources

Check out MCA membership to find a professional counselor in your area.

What is an LCPC?

April is Counseling Awareness Month!

Please join MCA in celebrating April as Counseling Awareness Month (CAM)

Governor Larry Hogan has signed a proclamation of April as Counseling Awareness Month in Maryland!  Click HERE to see the proclamation!

The American Counseling Association (ACA) has planned some fun activities (see link above) for us to enjoy and share with others.  

Here are some other ideas: 

You may want to mark April 9th, 2021 as "Teal Day" and consider purchasing a CAM T-shirt from ACA to wear when you are out and about. 

You may want to change your social media to a teal color to bring about awareness of how important counseling is to our communities.  

Share your own way of engaging in self-care so that other counselors may benefit.

Consider using #burnbrightnotout when posting in social media!

History in the Making: Maryland Passes the Interstate Counseling Compact!!!

Our Maryland representatives have heard our voices and have passed the bills needed for our state to participate in the interstate professional counseling compact that is now ready for Governor Hogan's signature! 

This has happened due to the hard work of our ACA representative, Dominique Marsalek, and our very own MCA Advocacy Chair, Roni WhiteSee the news release by ACA that came out today!

MCA Stands in Support of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Community

In response to the violence and racist aggression that has been happening in our nation with the recent mass shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, the Maryland Counseling Association (MCA) stands with the American Counseling Association (ACA) in support of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.  

Please join us in advocating for our AAPI clients, friends, colleagues, and family members who may need some additional support at this time.

Advocacy Update!

The MCA Advocacy Committee has been very active in the process in advocating for legislature that will impact mental health services and the counseling profession!  Under the leadership of Roni White as our Advocacy Chair, we had a very successful Advocacy Day on February 24th with 37 + representatives meeting with us to talk about upcoming bills and amendments.

Thus far, our top priority has been advocating for the Interstate Licensed Professional Counselors Compact that is represented in House Bill 736 and Senate Bill 571.  We have been watching closely as the house bill has been moving forward and waiting with excitement as the senate bill gets closer to a vote. 

We will keep you informed as we hear progress on these very important bills that will help to expand services for our Maryland citizens and provide LCPCs with the opportunity to provide services for clients who live in other states that join the compact. 

Keep in mind that the federal "Hill Day" that will help MCA to engage with representatives from Congress will be scheduled some time in May.  If you have any interest in being a part of that upcoming initiative please email Roni to ask to be put on that volunteer list. 

March is Women's History Month!

Join MCA in celebrating Women's History Month!

Take a moment to support or encourage another woman or girl.  Our words can mean all the difference when external injustices, stress, and oppression are being endured. 

Here are a few weblinks that you may be interested in learning, sharing, and celebrating women who have changed the world:

Why is March Women's History Month?

History.Com: 11 Bold Women Who Changed the World

National Women's History Museum

USA Today: Women Inventors

Vogue: 12 Women Leaders That Changed the World in 2020

If you have a favorite story or weblink that you would like shared here please email: president@mdcounseling.org

Advocacy Day!  February 24th, 2021

MCA has been busy planning for Advocacy Day that has been scheduled on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.  Roni White, MCA Advocacy Chair, has created a short video to personally invite you to participate in this process.  Please consider how you may be able to help on this day to promote support for bills that impact our clients and our community.  If you would like to know more please see our Advocacy Webpage or contact Roni at advocacy@mdcounseling.org

February is Black History Month!

MCA is enthusiastic about Black History Month in 2021 because there are exciting things happening right now to acknowledge the many people of color who have contributed to the mental health of our nation. 

Professional counselors understand how ethnicity, ancestral heritage, and the richness of diversity connects to the development of the individual as well as the lifeblood of our community and country. 

Let's begin that journey together through a commitment to share these important stories that promote hope, infuse us with celebration, and inspire us to do more.

Here are a few weblinks that we thought you might enjoy privately, choose to share with friends, family or clients, or potentially use through social media to promote positive energy to our extended community:

The Oprah Magazine - 26 Black Americans You Didn't Know But Should

Cleveland.com - 50 Most Important African American Music Artists of All Time

Thinkgrowth.org - 14 Back Inventors That You Probably Didn't Know About

Mental Health America - Black Pioneers in Mental Health

Harriet Tubman Museum - Harriet Tubman Museum of Cape May

Harper's Bazaar - 20 Black Films to Add to Your Watchlist Right Now

Ways to Celebrate Black History Month in Washington D.C

MD Office of Tourism - Celebrate Black History Month in Maryland

Please email president@mdcounseling.org with other helpful links that you would like posted!

National School Counseling Week!

Don't Forget!!

February 1-5, 2021 is also National School Counseling Week!

Take a moment to send a card or acknowledge a school counselor today!

Words of Encouragement

Post Capital Riot Message from the President: January 2021 Encouragement from your MCA 2020-2021 President: Carol McGinnis PhD, SIP, BC-TMH, NCC, LCPC

Licensed Counselors (LCPCs or LGPCs) Are Here For You!

Please know that MCA is here for you at this difficult time.  Reach out to a licensed counselor to obtain help at this time of isolation.  Many counselors are offering Telemental health to meet the needs of the community. 

It may be useful to do an internet search for an LCPC - Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor or an LGPC - Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor with expertise with a wide variety of issues that relate to anger, ostracism, parenting, marriage, family, children, career, or grief and loss. 

As a non-profit organization, the Maryland Counseling Association uses all funds to support the mission, vision, purpose, and needs of the counselors in the State of Maryland. Therefore, all registration fees are final and non-refundable.

Message from our President-elect on Vaccinations!

Dear Maryland Counselors,

We know you are concerned regarding the COVID-19 vaccination and when you might be eligible to receive it. As a licensed health care provider, you are eligible to receive this now, in the 1A phase. This applies to LCPCs and LGPCs.

You may already have eligibility to receive the vaccine in your county or city.  To be sure about that possibility you need to check with your local department of health.  Some counties have already moved into the 1B phase and you may be able to obtain the vaccination now. 

To be sure - go to this link and enter your zip code to find a vaccination center near you. Schedule an appointment at that specific center and they will verify your eligibility. You will need to provide documentation of your full or provisional license. They may also require such additional information as the agency you work for, how many clients you serve, or if you are in private practice.

Maryland is slated to move to the 1B phase on Monday, January 18th. New vaccination centers are being opened weekly and Giant and Wal-Mart will be offering vaccinations as soon as January 25th.


Sara Pula, PhD, LCPC, ACS
MCA 2020-2021 President-Elect

January is the Month of National Slave and Human Trafficking awareness

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/publicdomainpictures-14/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=19176">PublicDomainPictures</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=19176">Pixabay</a>

In January 2011, this month was proclaimed National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.  We often think that these issues are not present in our country yet the practice is still thriving in the shadows of our society.  As counselors and mental health practitioners, it is important for us to maintain awareness through training, advocacy, and attention to available resources for clients who may need help.  

Here are some resources that may help to orient you to how slavery and human trafficking is impacting your immediate area and ways to help.  As a minimum, you may want to let others know about January 11th as "Wear Blue Day" and bring attention to this advocacy on your social platforms:

National Today informative website

National Child Trauma Stress Network

January 11th Wear Blue Day

Hope for Justice

December is the Month of Human Rights and AIDS awareness

What an appropriate time to be thinking about Human Rights!

Our nation has been struggling with many problems related to human rights as: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. — Article I of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — adapted by the United Nations General Assembly 1948"

December 10th is Human Rights Awareness Day

AIDS and HIV have been a difficult health problem for many people in our community and we want to take time this month to consider how we might help to mitigate the ramifications of this disease on the individual, the family, and our nation. 

December 1st is World AIDS Day

We do what we can to help our community and invite you to send your suggestions to MCA for other ways to serve at this difficult time of COVID-19.  Your work as counselors might be the best gift that any of these people may receive at this time of hardship.

Keep up the good work!

November 7, 2020 MCA President Letter

The historical implications of the national election may provoke symptoms that require professional counseling help.  To demonstrate our support of the community, the MCA president, Carol ZA McGinnis, has drafted this letter for the community:

Maryland Counseling Association November 7 President Letter.pdf

Please seek help from a licensed professional counselor or click on the hands for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline if you are having difficulty managing negative thoughts, emotions, or behaviors at this time. 

November is National Native American Heritage Month

In a time when we are working toward justice and freedom for all people in our nation, it is poignant for us to take a moment to celebrate National Native American Heritage Month.  

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/engvall-17633/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=739731">Eva Engvall</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=739731">Pixabay</a>

Consider purchasing wild rice from the White Earth Nation Ojibwe reservation, researching Maryland tribes, visiting a nearby festival, or attending the 46th Annual Baltimore American Indian Center Pow Wow

As counseling professionals, we value the unique diversity of every person and our Native American heritage is one that is ethnic as well as spiritual.  Please join MCA in celebrating all aspects of client diversity.

Advocacy Committee Letter - Gov. Hogan Moratorium on Evictions

It was my honor to add my name to the Advocacy Committee Letter that was recently sent to our Governor, Larry Hogan on the need for a moratorium on evictions during this COVID-19 crisis.  Please consider how you may want to join the effort to advocate for others in the community through MCA!


October 15th MCA President Letter

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

As fall weather begins to roll in, we need to stay vigilant to the men and women who are suffering in our community due to domestic violence. 

Please reach out to a licensed counselor (LCPC) in your area if you - or someone you love - are experiencing bullying or interpersonal violence or consider contacting one of the many resources posted on our Anti-bullying/Interpersonal Violence webpage

September is National Suicide Prevention Month

At this time of COVID-19 isolation, unemployment, and difficulty, it is important for us to be attentive to suicidal thoughts and behaviors in our community. 

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide - or know someone else who may need this information - please use or share:

Maryland Suicide Prevention Program (911 for emergency): call 2-1-1 and press option 1 or text 898-211

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24 hours a day, available in English and Spanish): 1-800-273-8255

Other helpful resources and information is available at the ACA Suicide Prevention Month Webpage.

Advocacy Committee Letter - Activism Action!

July is Minority Mental Health Month in the State of Maryland by Proclamation of Gov. Hogan!

MCA Stands with International Students

New MCA leadership officers for 2020-2021!

The MCA 2020 Election Results are as follows:

President-Elect--- Dr. Sara Pula

Treasurer--- Dr. Keyona Hall

Treasurer-Elect—Irene Burks

Secretary-Elect—Dr. Danielle LaSure-Bryant

Now is an exciting time to consider joining MCA! 

MCA's mission is to promote public confidence and trust in the counseling profession and to influence policies that affect professional counselors and the welfare of the diverse clients they serve. 

We are currently planning new ways to provide services for our members and the community at large and need your ideas!

Why not take the step in joining MCA and considering work on one of our committees to make the world a better place through your care and expertise?

MCA supports professional counselors and counselors-in-training through a variety of professional development opportunities and support services.

See our upcoming events and resources webpages for helpful content!

Maryland Counseling Association
915 Russell Ave, Suite B
Gaithersburg, MD 20879



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