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ACA 2018 Conference & Expo Sessions

409 - Affirmative Intakes: Creating Intentional, Inclusive Forms to Retain Diverse Clients

Apr 29, 2018 10:30am ‐ Apr 29, 2018 11:30am


How do you ask about clients’ cultural identities on your intake paperwork? Did you ever receive specific training about how to do this? In this Session we present our research findings about how clinicians ask for cultural identities on intake paperwork. We identify common issues, the implicit messages clients may receive from initial paperwork and practical solutions for making your intake paperwork more inclusive, accurate and affirmative with the aim of attracting and retaining underserved client populations.

All authors identify as counselors and are dedicated to increasing cultural competence to better serve clients. This premise is foundational to our presentation because our qualitative research on this topic stemmed from this desire. Further, the counseling relationship begins long before a client ever steps into our offices. Because the counseling relationship is essential to favorable client outcomes, we pursued this research and this presentation opportunity so counselors can increase the strength of their intake paperwork. The overall aim of this presentation is to increase attendees’ competence with their intake paperwork procedures.

Learning Objectives:

  • Attendees will learn how to analyze the implicit messages their intake paperwork may be sending potential clients.
  • Attendees will be able to list and describe important factors to include on intake paperwork.
  • Attendees will gain the tools need to analyze their own intake paperwork so they are able to evaluate what changes may be needed and how to make such changes.


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