ATLANTA CONFERENCE FOCUSES ON IMPROVING COUNSELING SKILLS
By J. Douglas LeCheminant
February 21, 2014
Atlanta, Georgia ― Providing quality education on topics surrounding professional counseling is at the core of the mission of the Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapists (AMCAP). To accomplish that mission, the Atlanta Chapter of AMCAP invited Dr. Galen Cole, a member of the Snellville Ward, Conyers, Georgia Stake, to present at their Spring Conference.
Dr. Cole, who has a thriving counseling practice in addition to his full-time work with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, entitled his presentation, True Psychology: 52 Tools You Can Use in Your Practice Tomorrow. Building on a shared understanding of the stress response cycle and models of rational decision making, Dr. Cole effectively utilized a multi-media approach to educate conference participants on how to make their therapy sessions more dynamic and more effective in motivating clients towards their goals of change.
Dr. Cole demonstrated how he helps clients create a mental movie of change through life script restructuring. He begins by exploring what the client wants to change. With the change goal as the foundation, old irrational scripts are reviewed, new scripts are written, and those new scripts are then rehearsed as the client is encouraged to embrace their new role.
Visualization is the key to making their life movies effective. JulieAnn Krogel, an AMCAP member from Knoxville, Tennessee, noted she was impressed with the potential positive impact of helping clients visualize a new self through means other than just the use of words.
The Atlanta AMCAP Chapter opened up conference registration to all professional counselors in the community. Advertising through the Georgia Licensed Professional Counselor Association proved effective as over 50 members of that group joined with nearly 20 LDS therapists at the conference in the Meetinghouse next to the Atlanta Temple. AMCAP members from Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee joined their Georgia counterparts in learning more about creative techniques that can be applied in any counseling practice.
Manon Kraus, chair of the Atlanta AMCAP Chapter, began the conference with a brief overview of the mission of AMCAP and weaved key scriptures in her remarks to emphasize the central focus on Jesus Christ. One participant later noted, “It’s so nice to see people brave enough to connect their faith with their work. It’s about time.”