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  • 01 Jul 2022 8:39 PM | Anonymous

    Hello ORCA and COPACT members, 

    We at the Oregon Counseling Association (ORCA) and the Coalition of Professional Associations of Counselors and Therapists (COPACT), the legislative and advocacy arm of ORCA, are deeply saddened and concerned about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. No matter what each of our individual politics are, human and constitutional rights have been stripped from many persons living in the United States. The effects of overturning Roe v. Wade will disproportionately harm marginalized members of our communities who already face systemic issues in healthcare, housing, education, and more.  

    ORCA and COPACT stand with people who no longer have the right to make their own healthcare decisions for their bodies and lives. In our own ACA Code of Ethics, we value the autonomy of our clients and their ability to make informed decisions for their healthcare. Along with the ACA, we recognize there will be serious repercussions for members of our communities affected by this decision and their families in regards to education, employment, economic security, and physical and mental health. 

    While access to safe and legal abortions and reproductive care are still available in Oregon, that is not the case for our colleagues, friends, and family in other states. We seek to provide you with resources for yourselves, your clients, your students, and our community—please see below.

    ORCA and COPACT are holding space for all of you. Our mission is to empower counselors and therapists, as well as those we advocate with and for every day. We will continue to do this important work, not just of improving access to quality mental healthcare, but also striving to support the basic human rights of our clients and community members. 

    Please take care of yourselves and each other, 

    Gianna Russo-Mitma, LMFT, COPACT President 

    Dr. Jeffrey Christensen, LPC, ORCA President 

    Dr. Kaj Kayij-Wint, LMFT, ORCA President Elect 

    Tever Nickerson, LPC, COPACT Treasurer & ORCA Past President 

    Greg Peterson, LPC, ORCA Pres Elect Elect  

    Oregon Resources: 

    Ethics consultation for clinicians: 

    Forward Together: Rights, Recognition, and Resources For All Families supporting political action in Oregon: 

    Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette: 

    Oregon Abortion Access Fund

    OHSU Center for Women’s Health

    National Supports: 

    Ethics support for clinicians: 

    Planned Parenthood: 

    Resources for Teens:

    Teen Source:

    Planned Parenthood - Info for Teens:

    Center for Young Women’s Health:

    Power to Decide:

  • 13 Mar 2022 10:16 AM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce the 


    Through a competitive application process, ORCA will select one outstanding newly licensed LPC or LMFT (eligible up to the first 5 years of licensure) to participate in the EL Program.  The selected individual will gain leadership skills to support ORCA’s state-wide efforts promoting the counseling profession.  

    As an Emerging Leader you will engage in leadership development and opportunities focused on fostering collaboration and collegiality across counseling degrees and specialties, nurturing a common purpose and a sense of unity within the counseling profession and advocating for counselors and their clients. 

    The year-long program equips you to seek nomination for ORCA’s 3-year term of President-Elect, President, and Past-President.  By ORCA’s bylaws only licensed counselors and therapists may be elected to this leadership term. ORCA seeks to promote the development of effective leaders who feel prepared to assume this executive board position.  

    Emerging Leaders should demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities such as excellence in counseling, service, and leadership in the profession. EL awardees must commit to the one year EL program.  As an EL participant you will receive comprehensive benefits including complimentary ORCA membership, CE trainings and mentorship by another board member.    

    To Apply:

    The EL program is focused on early-career licensed counselors & therapists. To be eligible, you must be newly licensed up to the first 5 years of licensure.  Both LPCs and LMFTs are eligible  to apply.  If selected, you must fulfill the one year EL program commitment.  ORCA encourages individuals who identify with marginalized communities to apply.

    After completing the program, EL awardees are then eligible for nomination to the ORCA President-Elect position and future service with the ORCA Board


    You will be asked to submit:

    • 1-page professional statement addressing how your professional experiences and future goals are aligned with the ORCA Mission.  Please include proposed initiatives you would like to develop as a leader of ORCA that would positively support the counseling profession and mental health advocacy in our state. 

    • Professional resume or CV highlighting experiences in leadership, counseling, and service.

    • License date, type and license number

    EL Program Benefits

    The ORCA Emerging Leaders Program connects early-career professionals with leaders and board members from ORCA.  The EL awardee will also be awarded:

    • Complimentary 1-year membership to ORCA. ($111 value)

    • Complimentary registration to the Annual ORCA Conference (over $250 value)

    • Complimentary registration to ORCA CE events such as Lobby Week and Ethics CE trainings (up to $200 value)

    • Recognition in ORCA Newsletter 

    • ORCA Board mentorship

    • Opportunity to help EL committee with the development and execution of subsequent year’s Emerging Leader Programs. 

    Requirements of EL Awardee

    ORCA Emerging Leader Awardees will commit to a one-year program and will be required to attend: 

    • a minimum 3 ORCA meetings within the fiscal year

    • a minimum of 1 COPACT meeting within the fiscal year.

    • EL Awardee will be assigned to work on an ORCA project and/or committee to provide service to ORCA.

    Timeline for EL Program selection and participation

    The following outline is the timeline for successful development and execution of the ORCA Emerging leaders Program.

    • April 4, 2022:  Call for applicants

    • May 1, 2022:  Application window closes, and review of applicants begins. 

    • June 6, 2022:  ORCA Emerging Leader awardee is notified. 

    • July 2022:  ORCA’s announcement of the Emerging Leader awardee and beginning of ORCA’s fiscal year. The EL awardee’s one year term begins. 


    Questions? Please contact:

  • 08 Mar 2022 7:52 AM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    Nominations are now open for ORCA board leadership!

    The Oregon Counseling Association is seeking nominations for the elected positions of President-Elect and Treasurer

    This is your chance to get involved with professional development decisions and activities impacting counselors and therapists in Oregon. ORCA is dedicated to promoting the counseling profession by being responsive to our members needs, fostering collaboration and collegiality across counseling degrees and specialties, nurturing a common purpose and a sense of unity within the counseling profession and advocating for counselors and their clients.  

    Board Positions open for election

    We are looking for licensed LPCs or LMFTs (or soon to be licensed) who are passionate about leadership in this field and our organization. You must be a member of ORCA & ACA, or plan to be.  This person must commit to a 3-year term on the ORCA Executive Council and attend Board meetings every other month.  The 3-year Presidential term is fulfilled by serving consecutively 1 year as President-Elect, 1 year as President and 1 year as Past-President. 

    The scope of this elected office includes the primary responsibility of overseeing the management and reporting of the Association’s finances. The Treasurer presides over the Finance Committee (which includes, at a minimum, the Executive Council). The Treasurer must be knowledgeable with the use of Quickbooks.  This is a 2-year Board term.  This person must commit to attending the ORCA Executive Council meetings and ORCA Board meetings every other month.

    If you are interested, you may self-nominate or encourage a colleague to nominate you. To be eligible, you must have attended a minimum of one ORCA Board meeting prior to the elections. The next ORCA Board meeting is scheduled for March 12, 2022. 

    Nominations are due by March 31, 2022 by 5pm PST. You can complete the nomination form: Here

    Voting will take place between April 4 and April 11, 2022, with the announcement of election results the week of April 18. New board officers are sworn in at the ORCA May retreat.  The leadership positions begin July 2022.  

    Both positions are required to join ORCA and the American Counseling Association.  The President-Elect position requires you be licensed as an LPC or LMFT (or will license during your Pres-Elect term).

  • 09 Jan 2022 1:56 PM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    Hello all,

    Please see the below information on the No Surprises Act from the COPACT Board.

    COPACT: Info on the No Surprises Act & Good Faith Estimate

    NOTE: This is NOT legal advice. This is information from an ethics CE that COPACT is relaying to Oregon clinicians. There seems to be new/more information everyday, so be aware that this information may be updated. The forms from HHS/CMS are "models" or "templates" to be used and are subject to change. These are not definitive answers at this time, rather a guide on how to start understanding and implementing this law into your practices. As clinicians, we are currently attempting to make a good faith effort and there is no perfect answer.

    Yes, this is meant for LMFTs, LPCs, LMFT Associates, LPC Associates, etc., and not just Psychologists.

    If the No Surprises Act is news to you, please catch up here

    All of our info below came from a training by Becky Beaton-York, PhD & Ethicist from The Knowledge Tree and her malpractice insurer The Trust, who is not affiliated or partnered with COPACT or ORCA. 

    AAMFT has a blog post here.

    First and foremost, the biggest issue:

    We know that we cannot ethically predict how long treatment for a client will take. The Good Faith Estimate (GFE) is just a fee structure for a year of sessions to give clients an idea of what they’re about to spend, so they’re not hit with surprise medical or mental health bills that they cannot afford (hence, No Surprise Act). It’s a way to be more transparent about your fees with clients (yes, even though it’s probably already on your Informed Consent & Fee Agreements).

    Acronyms to know before reading this:

    OMB = Office of Management & Budget

    HHS = U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services

    GFE = Good Faith Estimate

    Takeaway & things to know:

    So far (and this could absolutely change, even in the days ahead) this is meant for clients who are uninsured or using cash pay/out of pocket (whether they are insured or not)

    Just because there is a grace period and it won’t likely be enforced until July 1, 2022, we need to start complying with the law and ethics of this ASAP

    If you don’t have a Tax ID number (EIN), it’s a good idea to get one now

    Ask each client if they have insurance or plan to use it for your sessions

    Your Good Faith Estimate (GFE) must be a separate document from your Informed Consent

    You must give any new clients and existing clients this GFE within 3 days of their next appointment/ASAP

    You do not need to give a diagnosis or diagnosis code on this GFE document

    If we don’t provide this form, we can potentially be fined by a licensing board

    Clients sign this even though it’s not a contract, and you’ll keep it in their file for 7 years just like clinical records

    You must also go over the GFE verbally with clients

    Use the existing forms from HHS to avoid pitfalls and fill it out specifically to your practice/work (OMB Control Number 0938-1401, per HHS)

    Your GFE with your client will include:

    -    A letter and 2 main forms:

    -    Letter: Model Disclosure Notice Regarding Patient Protections Against Surprise Billing

    -   Forms: Standard Notice & Consent Document with 1) Surprise Billing & Protection Form and 2) Good Faith Estimate

    -   Various CPT codes and their cost per session

    -    Estimate for 1 full year of sessions - do this GFE annually - if a client plans to attend monthly, create a specific GFE for them

    -    The estimate amount must be within $400 of the actual cost (cannot exceed it)

    -    Any time you increase your fees, you must create a new GFE for each client

    You will need to post this form to your website and/or in your office physically:

    Form: Model Disclosure Notice Regarding Patient Protections Against Surprise Billing

    Forms in other languages?

    The HHS has not uploaded forms in anything other than English unfortunately.

    What is next?

    There may be a Part 2 rolling out after March 31, 2022 from HHS and OMB.


    Training by Becky Beaton-York, PhD & Ethicist from The Knowledge Tree and her malpractice insurer The Trust

    AAMFT Blog Post

    Click here for a template for a Good Faith Estimate form *note that this document may have formatting issues

    Click here for a template for a Standard Notice and Consent form

    Click here for a template for a Letter to Clients

    Click here for a Website Office Disclosure Notice form

    If you have further questions or comments, please Contact COPACT.

  • 03 Jan 2022 6:28 PM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    Happy 2022, members!

    Many of us were surprised when, towards the end of 2021, we learned about provisions of the No Surprises Act (passed in Oct 2021) which took effect on Jan 1, 2022. The Act requires health care providers to supply any uninsured, out-of-network, or self-paying clients with a written Good Faith Estimate for health care services, either when scheduling care or when the client requests an estimate.

    Our professional code of ethics already stipulates that we must inform clients about fees and billing practices.  How this new federal requirement will apply in Oregon has yet to be fully explained. ORCA and COPACT are working diligently to clarify how this will play out for our profession in Oregon. 

    Stay tuned!

    In the meantime, the ACA has released a brief statement on the impact of the No Surprises Act on behavioral health providers, as has the AAMFT.

  • 22 Nov 2021 5:27 PM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    It is with the greatest sadness that the Oregon Counseling Association announces the passing of longtime friend and former board member Roy Huggins. Roy served for 5 years on the board of the Oregon Mental Health Counselors Association (a precursor to ORCA) and then as the Oregon Counseling Association's Technology Committee Chair.

    The company he founded, Person-Centered Tech, is a partner of ORCA and frequently sponsors our events, often presented by Roy. Roy had been been a regular presenter for our CE trainings and workshops focused on Ethics, Telehealth and the effective use of technology in counseling. He consulted on these issues both with ORCA and counselors and therapists nation-wide.

    A memorial page for the counseling community to  share and read memories, share and view pictures, and listen to Spotify playlists of music Roy loved and a GoFundMe supporting Roy's wife are linked below.

  • 15 Nov 2021 5:23 PM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    The 2021 ORCA Awards were presented at this year's annual conference in Ashland on November 12. Read more about this year's award winners below:

    The Leona Tyler Award 
    Dr. Teresa McDowell

    This award is designed to recognize counselors who have made outstanding contributions to the profession and whose work has had statewide implications for counseling. Dr. Leona E. Tyler was Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Oregon. Her many contributions to our profession, including research, writing, teaching and supervision of graduate students, attained both national and international acclaim. The award was established in 1967, and was initially presented to Dr. Tyler, announcing that in her honor an annual award was being established by the Association. It is ORCA’s highest award.

    Distinguished Service Award

    Tever Nickerson

    This award recognizes persons or groups who have contributed substantially to the Association and the counseling profession. This award is traditionally presented to Association members. However, non-members such as legislators, school officials, agency administrators, or others in the larger community may also receive the award for outstanding contributions to the Association. 

    The Human Rights Award
    Keely Helmick

    Dr. David Capuzzi, former counselor educator at Portland State University, established this award in 1986-87, during his year as President of the American Association for Counseling and Development (now the American Counseling Association–ACA). As a state branch of ACA, the Oregon Counseling Association believes this award is one opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to respecting and fostering human dignity.  The award is presented to members who have demonstrated an exemplary level of professional and personal commitment in the areas of human rights and the advancement of human dignity.

    Larry S. Conner Distinguished Public Advocate Award

    Charmagne Westcott

    This award honors those who have made outstanding contributions to ORCA’s public policy and advocacy efforts on behalf of LPCs, LMFTs, and all of the people we serve. This award may honor those who have worked to pass an important piece of legislation that advanced access to quality mental health care for all Oregonians, or who have effectively protected LPCs and LMFTs in the legislature, or who have successfully worked with government agencies on the state or federal level to enhance professional counseling and marriage and family therapy.

  • 06 Sep 2021 8:33 PM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    Every year, the Oregon Counseling Association takes time to recognize individuals in our state who have made outstanding contributions to our Association and/or our profession. The ORCA Board is actively seeking your nominations for the following awards: the Leona Tyler Award, the Human Rights Award, the Distinguished Service Award, and the Distinguished Public Advocate Award.

    The Oregon Counseling Association is pleased to announce that nominations for the 2021 Annual Counseling Awards are open now through Sept. 24!

    To nominate an award recipient or to learn more about the awards, please click here.

  • 08 Aug 2021 2:19 PM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    ORCA's 2021 Annual Conference, Focus on Family Systems, will be held this Nov 11-13 at the Ashland Springs Hotel in Ashland, Oregon!

    We'll be hosting an in-person conference this year along with a hybrid Zoom option. 

    Go Rogue with Us as we hear from speakers on systems supervision, queer relationships, working with high conflict couples, coparenting after divorce, generational trauma, and more!

    Keep an eye on our website and social media for more details soon about registration, hotel discounts, and networking events!

    Mark your calendars—we look forward to seeing you in Ashland!


    Please bring proof of vaccination.

    For the safety of everyone—you, us, our loved ones, and our clients—safety first. If you'd like to attend the conference in person, we will be requiring you show your vaccine card, which we'll check as proof of vaccination at the door and for which we will give wristbands.

    If you'd prefer to not show your card or you're not vaccinated, you are welcome to watch the conference live streamed on Zoom.

    If you test positive for COVID-19, please do not attend this event in-person; you may attend the conference remotely.

    We highly encourage wearing a mask at the event.

    Conference registration is non-refundable, but is transferrable to another attendee via email ( in advance of the event.

    If an instance such as a COVID-19 breakout or devastating forest fire occurs, ORCA will cancel the in-person event and will transfer registration to the 2021 virtual conference.

  • 12 Jul 2021 9:49 AM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    The Oregon Association for Multicultural Counseling & Development (OAMCD) is pleased to host the next webinar in our Decolonizing Counseling Series! July's topic is "Using a Disability Justice Lens in Counseling." We will be awarding 1 free NBCC-approved CE to attendees who complete an evaluation. Pre-registration is required. We hope you'll join us!

    • OAMCD Decolonizing Counseling Webinar: Using a Disability Justice Lens in Counseling, by Aarynn Cypher, MS, CRC and Nathaniel Brown, Ph.D., CSW-A
    • Friday, July 30th at 1pm
    • To register and view learning objectives and presenter bios, please visit:

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