This week, I went to the Alabama Counseling Association annual conference in Birmingham. The theme of the conference was “Making Hope Happen”, which was very appropriate for my current situation. I have to admit I didn’t want to go. I felt unprepared for my presentation, didn’t really like going with my financial situation being the way it was but I prayed and saw my glass as being half full and if nothing else it would be a mini-vacation from Montgomery. So, I am going to highlight some of the things that happened during the conference.
My co-presenter and I’s presentation was on Thursday and our topic was “What Happens When Mean Girls turn into Mean Women in the Workplace”. I know it sounded like a good topic but I was like we may have a half a room of people which would be great for my anxiety levels. So, what did my daddy do? He filled the room, which was probably about 50+ people. SMH was all I could do. In all honesty, I felt our presentation was mediocre at best. I hadn’t gone into detail with female bullying as much as want to because of time constraints but it was enough that we had a GREAT discussion about bullying, child and women. Many people came up and said that our presentation was good, so that was heartwarming. I went to a content session later on that day on building character in teens via curriculum. One of the weeks was named Mind, Body, and Soul so during that week the school counselor would talk about different things to relieve stress including tai chi, yoga, nutrition, and the like. I had never heard of this before but they now have a new yoga called laughing yoga.
The conference lasts for three days and every morning they have a general opening session, where most times the speaker is someone well known in the counseling field. On the last day,the speaker was Dr. Marcheta Evans. She is a past president of Alabama Counseling Association and the American Counseling Association, which are big deals in the counseling world. Her speech was very empowering and at the end of her speech, she challenged us to hug five people who we were around. This was very eye opening because I myself is a hugger and gets hugs all the time but I take that for granted that human touch sometime for people is a luxury. She showed us this video first before our hugging began.
This conference has definitely refueled my fire for counseling. I am still honing in my gifts that God has put inside me but I definitely think that counseling is the foundation. I am not sure if I actually want to be the counselor who is there in the office listening to another one problems for day in day and day out but I will be able to use my counseling wisdom in some aspect. The conference also got me into contact with people who started just like I did and now they are well accomplished counselors and presidents and doctors. Seeing them lets me know that God isn’t done with me yet. Where I’m going –only God knows but I know it’s going to be great because God doesn’t half step.