The term parity evokes a wide range of issues for professional mental health counselors, such as equal pay and client access to services. Parity also extends to equality in terms of status. A growing concern for counselors is that despite their advanced education and training, and their unique skill set and product, they do not enjoy a “seat at the table” with other professionals where crucial mental health issues are discussed. The how, where, and why of this disparity are presented in this session, as well as possible solutions.
To disseminate the findings of the ACA Parity Task Force, whose purpose is to identify the ways -- the "what" and the "where" -- in which professional mental health counselors do not enjoy parity of status with other mental health professionals. Examples of how and where counselors do not enjoy parity of status are presented and explored, along with the consequences for counselors, consumers, and future mental health workers.
To present and explore, and invite from participants discussion, ideas, and perspective on how the often erroneous and confusion outward perception of who counselors are and what they do impacts their parity of status. The question of how counselors themselves impact this problem is explored.
To present and explore, and invite from participants discussion, ideas, and perspective on possible solutions to the problem of disparity of status, both as a profession and as individual counselors.