Empowering a profession, one counselor at a time.
As counselors and therapists, the work we do is important, difficult, and life-changing. To care for our clients—not just in those difficult moments, but day in and day out, and in the larger societal sense—we need each other. That’s where ORCA comes in.
ORCA’s mission is to empower each other, and our clients, to do our best, most healing work. We do that through networking and CE events, by advocating for social justice, and by lobbying for the profession—so you can have more protection and opportunity. If your job is to support the mental health of Oregonians, then ORCA is here to support you.
The organization is volunteer-run and membership driven, which means that our work depends on counselors coming together as members. The benefits of joining ORCA include:
- Connecting counselors through professional networking events.
- Hosting a members-only listserv, which is great for finding referrals, joining groups, advertising, and finding resources.
- Gaining more knowledge (and Board required CEs) from continuing education events with discounted fees if you are a member or sign up as a member with the event.
- Having a strong lobbying presence in the Capitol on behalf of counselors and family therapists. Part of our membership money funds the COPACT lobbyist, who advocates for things like improving client’s access to the mental health care they need, and counselors’ ability to treat our clients ethically, responsibly, and with care.
- Access and to discounts for ethics and technology help from our partners at Person Centered Tech—a Portland-based consultant for mental health professionals and a great resource for ORCA members.
- Every ORCA member gets a free legal consultation with mental health attorney, Paul Cooney, who is the go-to expert to help you with legal questions or issues.
- Supporting social justice and human rights with other counselors.
- An exceptional quarterly newsletter, and the opportunity to share your expertise with others in the counseling community—and get your name out there—by submitting articles for publication in The Counselor.
The Oregon Counseling Association is a 501(c)(6) tax-exempt trade association that promotes and protects the counseling profession in Oregon. ORCA is run by a 15-member Governing Board, including 6 elected officers, 2 Division Presidents, and 7 Committee Chair positions, appointed by the President. ORCA has more than 500 members throughout the state.
Mission: Enhancing Human Development and Promoting the Counseling Profession
Vision: ORCA will support the counseling profession in Oregon by:
- Providing networking and professional development opportunities for counselors
- Being responsive to our members needs
- Creating modalities for counselor communication throughout Oregon
- Fostering collaboration and collegiality across counseling degrees and specialties
- Nurturing a common purpose and a sense of unity within the counseling profession in Oregon
- Advocating for counselors and their clients
The specific purposes of ORCA are to:
- Function as the Oregon Branch of the American Counseling Association
- Promote the professional and business interests of professional counselors and therapists engaged in the practice of Professional Counseling as described in ORS 675.705, including but not limited to:
- political and professional advocacy for the profession of mental health counselors and therapists
- promoting ethical practice of mental health counseling and therapy
- promoting diversity and human rights, and advocacy for consumers of mental health counseling.