What I Learned at ACA

Sharing some thoughts about the 2019 American Counseling Association annual conference in New Orleans.

First, NOLA is such an interesting place. Full of variety in people and food and ways to live. A few days in this city is refreshing.

Picked up some information to share about social media as a process, or behavioral, addiction. The internet, social media especially, provides stimulation to our brains and some folks develop a compulsion to check their feeds that can be intrusive. The presenter stressed the role of self-awareness in both understanding and changing relationships with our connected devices.

Discussed the promotion, prevention, treatment, and recovery continuum of care for SUD treatment. This model starts with the normalization of responsible substance use; the key component is responsible use, which is how most people use. From this responsible use concept grows ideas about de-stigmatizing use and also the idea that not using is okay also.

We talked about the effect of use on families, across generations. Turns out, many people are not aware of how use affects their children and grandchildren. Some mentioned how hidden groups that support Adult Children of Alcoholics and minor children in substance involved homes have become. This supports my thoughts about the limits of education for counselors and the work still left to do.

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