Oakland Counseling Association

2016-17 Vol. 4

The Oakland Counseling Association is a not-for-profit, professional and educational organization that is dedicated to the growth and enhancement of the counseling profession.


The mission of the Oakland Counseling Association is to enhance the quality of life in

Oakland County by promoting the development of professional counselors, advancing the

counseling profession and using the profession and practice of counseling to promote respect for human dignity and diversity.


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By now you may have heard about the new licensing requirements for counselors to renew their licenses. Please read the information below and find out if it applies to you.

There have been changes to the Public Health Code and Administrative Rules that require licensees and individuals seeking licensure to complete human trafficking training. When does this take effect?

Beginning with the June 2019 renewal cycle, and all renewal cycles thereafter, licensees must have completed training in identifying victims of human trafficking that meet the standards established in Administrative Rule 338.1751a. Beginning March 17, 2021, individuals seeking licensure must have completed human trafficking training prior to obtaining a license as a Licensed Professional Counselor or Limited Licensed Professional Counselor. Licensees, or individuals seeking licensure, must complete training in identifying victims of human trafficking only one time. The department may select and audit a sample of individuals and request documentation of proof of completion of training.

Where can I find a copy of the administrative rules pertaining to Counseling?

You may view the current Administrative Rules and proposed revisions on the website www.michigan.gov/bpl.

The direct link to the law can be found here:



Oakland Counseling Association is keeping up with the new law that Mental Health Professionals will need training on Human Trafficking to renew your license after 2019. We are working on offering a workshop at a nominal fee during our 2017-18 school year and. Please keep this in mind as you are looking for workshops to fulfill this requirement. We will send out a save the date once we secure the workshop.

If you are interested in current offerings at Oakland Schools please visit their registration website HERE.

Workshops are currently being offered with Susan Benson for only $15 on August 11, 2017 and March 15, 2018.


Event Description:

Human trafficking has been called a "silent epidemic" and a "hidden threat" to children and adult everywhere. Unfortunately, there is as much misinformation as fact about human trafficking, and separating the two is often a difficult task. Hear from certified trainers and local experts in the field of human trafficking to learn about what trafficking is, why it seems like more people are talking about it, and what Oakland County is doing to address the issue. This half day presentation will satisfy state requirements for health professionals. This presentation will include understanding the types and venues of human trafficking, the identification of victims of human trafficking in school and health care settings, the warning signs of human trafficking in school and health care settings for adults and minors, and resources for reporting suspected victims of human trafficking.


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So it’s been another great school year of growth in my counseling office. I have been fortunate to have access to some excellent professional development, information and resources which can directly impact students, staff and me personally! I would like to share some of my highlights and resources I found very useful and valuable this year.

Jennifer Wilson

Click Here for the Newsletter


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Try these steps to reduce stress

Relaxation techniques can reduce stress symptoms and help you enjoy a better quality of life, especially if you have an illness. Explore relaxation techniques you can do by yourself.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Relaxation techniques are a great way to help with stress management. Relaxation isn't only about peace of mind or enjoying a hobby. Relaxation is a process that decreases the effects of stress on your mind and body. Relaxation techniques can help you cope with everyday stress and with stress related to various health problems, such as heart disease and pain.

Whether your stress is spiraling out of control or you've already got it tamed, you can benefit from learning relaxation techniques. Learning basic relaxation techniques is easy. Relaxation techniques also are often free or low cost, pose little risk, and can be done nearly anywhere.

Explore these simple relaxation techniques and get started on de-stressing your life and improving your health.

The benefits of relaxation techniques

When faced with numerous responsibilities and tasks or the demands of an illness, relaxation techniques may not be a priority in your life. But that means you might miss out on the health benefits of relaxation.

Practicing relaxation techniques can have many benefits, including:

· Slowing heart rate

· Lowering blood pressure

· Slowing your breathing rate

· Improving digestion

· Maintaining normal blood sugar levels

· Reducing activity of stress hormones

· Increasing blood flow to major muscles

· Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain

· Improving concentration and mood

· Improving sleep quality

· Lowering fatigue

· Reducing anger and frustration

· Boosting confidence to handle problems

To get the most benefit, use relaxation techniques along with other positive coping methods, such as thinking positively, finding humor, problem-solving, managing time, exercising, getting enough sleep, and reaching out to supportive family and friends.

Types of relaxation techniques

Health professionals such as complementary health practitioners, doctors and psychotherapists can teach various relaxation techniques. But if you prefer, you can also learn some relaxation techniques on your own.

In general, relaxation techniques involve refocusing your attention on something calming and increasing awareness of your body. It doesn't matter which relaxation technique you choose. What matters is that you try to practice relaxation regularly to reap its benefits.

Types of relaxation techniques include:

· Autogenic relaxation. Autogenic means something that comes from within you. In this relaxation technique, you use both visual imagery and body awareness to reduce stress.

You repeat words or suggestions in your mind that may help you relax and reduce muscle tension. For example, you may imagine a peaceful setting and then focus on controlled, relaxing breathing, slowing your heart rate, or feeling different physical sensations, such as relaxing each arm or leg one by one.

· Progressive muscle relaxation. In this relaxation technique, you focus on slowly tensing and then relaxing each muscle group.

This can help you focus on the difference between muscle tension and relaxation. You can become more aware of physical sensations.

In one method of progressive muscle relaxation, you start by tensing and relaxing the muscles in your toes and progressively working your way up to your neck and head. You can also start with your head and neck and work down to your toes. Tense your muscles for about five seconds and then relax for 30 seconds, and repeat.

· Visualization. In this relaxation technique, you may form mental images to take a visual journey to a peaceful, calming place or situation.

To relax using visualization, try to incorporate as many senses as you can, including smell, sight, sound and touch. If you imagine relaxing at the ocean, for instance, think about the smell of salt water, the sound of crashing waves and the warmth of the sun on your body.

You may want to close your eyes, sit in a quiet spot, loosen any tight clothing, and concentrate on your breathing. Aim to focus on the present and think positive thoughts.

Other relaxation techniques may include:

· Deep breathing

· Massage

· Meditation

· Tai chi

· Yoga

· Biofeedback

· Music and art therapy

· Aromatherapy

· Hydrotherapy

Relaxation techniques take practice

As you learn relaxation techniques, you can become more aware of muscle tension and other physical sensations of stress. Once you know what the stress response feels like, you can make a conscious effort to practice a relaxation technique the moment you start to feel stress symptoms. This can prevent stress from spiraling out of control.

Remember that relaxation techniques are skills. As with any skill, your ability to relax improves with practice. Be patient with yourself. Don't let your effort to practice relaxation techniques become yet another stressor.

If one relaxation technique doesn't work for you, try another technique. If none of your efforts at stress reduction seems to work, talk to your doctor about other options.

Also, bear in mind that some people, especially those with serious psychological issues and a history of abuse, may experience feelings of emotional discomfort during some relaxation techniques. Although this is rare, if you experience emotional discomfort during relaxation techniques, stop what you're doing and consider talking to your doctor or mental health provider.

Resource: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/relaxation-technique/art-20045368?pg=1


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View a webinar presented by ASCA, the American Foundaiton for Suicide Prevention and the National Association of School Psychologists on using "13 Reasons Why" as a teachable moment. Download ASCA handout, AFSP handout, NASP handout.

The teenage years are typically marked by turbulent emotions and stress. The Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” has highlighted the impact and consequences when friends, parents, teachers and school counselors aren’t aware of or don’t know how to intervene when a student needs help.

Often mental health struggles come to light only in the public extremes, when an outburst or tragic event or television show forces us to stop and ask “Why?” Because it is not a physical disability but one involving brain chemistry, mental illness is often a private struggle that hides in the corners of our school hallways.

Educating students, staff members and parents about mental health issues is critical to the work of school counselors. School counselors know students who struggle socially and emotionally are vulnerable to academic failure. Instinctively, others know this as well but often don’t have the tools they need or know school counselors can provide to help.

School counselors:
• Recognize warning signs, such as:
  1. changes in school performance (e.g. grades, attendance)
  2. changes in mood
  3. complaints of illness
  4. increased disciplinary problems at school
  5. problems experienced at home or family situations (stress, trauma, divorce, substance abuse, poverty, domestic violence)
  6. communication from teachers about problems at school
  7. dealing with existing mental health concerns
• Educate teachers, administrators, parents/guardians and community stakeholders about the warning signs and about the mental health concerns of students, including recognition of the role environmental factors have in causing or exacerbating mental health issues and provide resources and information

• Advocate, collaborate and coordinate with school and community stakeholders to ensure students and their families have access to mental health services

• Recognize and address barriers to access mental health services and the associated stigma, including cultural and linguistic impediments

• Help identify and address students’ mental health issues while working within the ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors; Competencies for School Counselors; and national, state and local legislation (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which guide school counselors’ informed decision making and standardize professional practice to protect both the student and school counselor

• Direct students and parents to school and/or community resources for additional assistance through referrals that treat mental health issues (suicidal ideation, violence, abuse and depression)

• Provide responsive services including internal and external referral procedures, short-term counseling or crisis intervention focused on mental health or situational (e.g. grief, difficult transitions) concerns with the intent of helping the student return to the classroom and removing barriers to learning

• Deliver the school counseling core curriculum that proactively enhances awareness of mental health; promotes positive, healthy behaviors; and seeks to remove the stigma associated with mental health issues

• Provide school-based prevention and universal interventions and targeted interventions for students with mental health and behavioral health concerns

• Provide students with individual planning addressing their academic, career and social/emotional (including mental health) needs

• Adhere to appropriate guidelines regarding confidentiality, the distinction between public and private information and consultation

• Seek to continually update their professional knowledge regarding the students’ social/emotional needs

Resource: https://www.schoolcounselor.org/school-counselors-members/professional-development/learn-more/13-reasons-why-resources