Richard Yep, FASAE, CAE, executive director and CEO, American Counseling Association, answers questions from ACA member Chris Roseman.
What inspires and excites you most about the mission of professional counselors and the roles you have within the profession and ACA?
Before I worked in the public policy arena, I was active in the direct delivery of human services and outreach to those who weren't looking for a handout so much as an opportunity. When I think about what professional counselors do, their dedication to their clients and students is such an honorable endeavor. Knowing that our association helps these professionals to be even more effective is what keeps me coming in to the office each and every day.
With the counseling profession being relatively new and continually evolving, what are some of the most significant changes you have observed and been part of in ACA?
Professional counselors have embraced their role as advocates, and they are better at educating public policy officials about the impact they have on society. In addition, with various crises and tragedies our society has encountered in the last decade, professional counselors continue to seek the resources and information they need to meet the challenges of the human condition.
What is your vision for how you and your staff can work to keep ACA vibrant, relevant, and flexible?
Similar to a good counselor, our entire association staff must be good listeners! When we listen to members, we can develop the products, services, training, and research to help them meet their goals. When we are seen as a viable, valuable partner to our members, it means we stay relevant.