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  • 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:

  • 09 Jun 2021 8:33 AM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    Dear LMFTs, OAMFT members, and other LMFT professionals,

    The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT) decided to restructure their organization and no longer offer state-wide interest networks. Because of this, the Oregon Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (OAMFT) needed to dissolve and could no longer offer membership benefits. 

    The Oregon Counseling Association (ORCA) has represented the interests of LPCs and LMFTs through lobbying efforts, networking events, and CE opportunities. LPCs and LMFTs both represent the board and have served on the executive council for many years. 

    Last month, a unanimous and enthusiastic decision was reached by the ORCA board to announce efforts to welcome our colleagues. We are pleased to announce that in recognition of already paid, non-refundable dues to AAMFT, LMFTs, OAMFT members, and other LMFT professionals will be able to join ORCA for $1 for a one year membership! In addition, our Fall conference will focus on Family Systems Theory (dates & location TBD). 

    Being an ORCA member comes with many benefits. This includes advocacy and legislation efforts by the Coalition of Oregon Professional Associations for Counseling and Therapy (COPACT), discounts on CE events and our annual conference, free networking opportunities, access to a members-only listserv to help find referrals and resources, a free 30-minute consultation with mental health attorney Paul Cooney, and a wonderful quarterly newsletter with pieces written by Oregon clinicians. 

    Since 2010, COPACT has acted as the political arm of ORCA and OAMFT by retaining lobbyists in order to advance access to quality mental health care for all Oregonians. On a funding level, COPACT has been dependent on ORCA, OAMFT, and direct contributions from members and non-members.

    As more LMFTs join ORCA, we can continue our legislative efforts to support Oregon counselors, therapists, and our clients. This year COPACT reviewed 120 bills and was very influential in drafting HB 3046, which enforces parity, reimbursement rates, and network adequacy that will have long-lasting benefits to providers and clients. You can visit COPACT’s website to see some of the work COPACT has done and to make a contribution. 

    We encourage our LMFT, LMFT Intern, and LMFT student colleagues to join ORCA for just $1! The offer expires on December 31, 2021 so join us now for this low rate while also receiving all the benefits of ORCA membership! Your membership will resume to the normal ORCA rate after 1 full year of membership. Our membership levels are: Students and Retiree $53. Pre-licensed interns $82. Associates/Professionals $111, and $106 for that level’s auto-renewal. 

    To all AAMFT members—while OAMFT is no longer a part of AAMFT, we know many members will want to continue their membership with AAMFT, and we applaud that.  Family Team is the advocacy aspect of AAMFT, and if you wish to work on legislative issues through AAMFT, we encourage you to email Steve Rodgers, at and let him know.  

    You can also join ORCA on Facebook and Instagram!

    Thank you and welcome to ORCA.

    Jeffrey Christensen, LPC | ORCA President-Elect

    Steve Rodgers, LMFT | Past OAMFT Chair

    Tever Nickerson, LPC | ORCA President

    Gianna Russo-Mitma, LMFT | OACES President, ORCA Past President 

    Larry Conner, LPC | COPACT President

    AndreaWright Johnston, LMFT | COPACT President Elect 

  • 30 Mar 2021 9:10 AM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    The Oregon Counseling Association is deeply heartbroken by the hate crimes committed against Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities, which have risen drastically during the last year and which were called into sharp focus this week by the murders in Atlanta. 

    ORCA and our affiliated divisions mourn this tragedy—and we unequivocally denounce these acts of white supremacy. 

    We stand in solidarity with our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities and colleagues who continue to experience senseless acts of racism, oppression, and trauma. 

    ORCA and our divisions will continue to confront racism by challenging social injustices in our communities and profession, practicing anti-racism inside and outside of sessions, continuing to fight oppression on all system levels, and working toward sustainable change with our educational events and advocacy work. 

    We hope you join this fight as well-- here are some helpful resources to start or continue your anti-racism work and advocacy to stop Asian hate: 

    Boston College Racial Trauma Toolkit 

    The Racial Healing Handbook by Anneliese A. Singh, PhD, LPC

    Stop AAPI Hate 

    Asian Law Caucus 

    Powell’s Books reading recommendations 

    Here are some helpful resources for folks within the AAPI community:

    Asian Mental Health Collective 

    Subtle Asian Mental Health Facebook group 

    Please provide support, empowerment, healing, and a listening ear to what folks are going through. 

    We see you and we stand with you. Please take good care of yourselves and each other.

  • 11 Jan 2021 9:42 AM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    ORCA is committed to sharing the latest information about the COVID-19 pandemic—particularly around access to vaccinations for counselors and therapists. To that end, please see Copact's dedicated vaccination webpage for the latest info.

    Rep. Earl Blumenauer's office has compiled an extensive list of resources to help people affected by COVID-19. The resources include ones for food access/resources, shelter, utilities/rent, businesses/workers, tenants/landlords, college students, resources in Spanish, and more. We are grateful to Rep. Blumenauer and his staff for generously sharing this resource list

    It is a viewable/downloadable Google Sheet and updated frequently. Click this link or the image below to view the resource list.


  • 29 May 2020 9:12 AM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    The Oregon Counseling Association stands with the Black community.

    We stand with the Black Lives Matter movement and denounce the pervasive targeting and murder of Black people by police, as well as the systemic racism that condones such actions rather than condemning them.

    We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of victims of police and racial violence, and our solidarity with those who fight against it.

    We recognize the physical and psychological trauma perpetrated on the Black community by repeated acts of violence and the generations of oppression that continue to enable such acts. We are committed to fighting systemic oppression in Oregon and across the country. We recognize the physical and psychological trauma perpetrated on the Black community by repeated acts of violence and the generations of oppression that continue to enable such acts.

    To our Black, Indigenous, and POC counselors and communities—we stand with you.

    To our White counselors—we have work to do. It is not enough to say we support our colleagues, our friends, our clients, and our fellow humans in these times. It is imperative that we use our privilege to usher in real change.

    The day we will not need riots to call attention to the system of inequality will be the day we are already listening, learning, and enacting our solidarity.

    It is all of our work to undo anti-Blackness, dismantle White supremacy, and advance racial justice.

    It is our deepest hope that all of us will recognize the unique position we hold as mental health professionals. We are the most qualified to help our clients, our neighbors, our friends, and ourselves deconstruct the narrative of hate that perpetuates this violence.

    We urge White counselors and allies to explore these resources:

    White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
    So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
    Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad

    103 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
    Resources for White People to Learn and Talk About Race and Racism

    Please also consider exploring more resources at Anti-racism: Activism Resources, Education, and Stories by Minna Lee.

    It is also imperative that government officials in Oregon understand the position they must take in response to these atrocities. Contacting your representatives to voice your concerns and to demand that the appropriate actions be taken is a vital part of this fight. Please visit Oregon Legislator Lookup and search with your home address to find your representatives’ contact information.

  • 06 Aug 2019 9:25 AM | Support Coordinator (Administrator)

    We at the Oregon Counseling Association want to express our deepest condolences to the community, families and friends of those killed in these horrendous shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

    As we move through the devastation of gun violence in our nation once again, it is inevitable that mental health and issues of access to mental health care will be drawn into the conversation. Often mental health is represented as the largest cause of such violence, when it is in fact often driven by racism, fear and hate. This violence has its roots in white nationalism and the divisiveness of white supremacy--not mental illness.

    As mental health professionals, we cannot stand by and allow this to be misrepresented as an issue of mental health. We believe that it is important, especially in times of overwhelming tragedy, that we advocate for those with mental health needs. Individuals with mental illness cannot continue to be the scapegoat for these kinds of hateful acts. The characterization of this violence as a mental health issue will only further stigmatize mental health care and further discourage those who need resources to seek them out. While we recognize that there is a small percentage of violence that stems from issues of mental health, these were deliberate acts of hate and divisiveness. We are clear on where we stand. We must speak out against hate and stand in our determination to advocate for equity and justice.

    One of our greatest strengths as a nation is our ability to unite in ways that show our hearts, our strengths, and our deep capacity for compassion. This requires us to have deep conversations about the reality of our country and the misinformation and fear that continues to drive the conversation around gun violence, immigration and terrorism. Such conversations require vulnerability, openness and a willingness to come to the table to discuss how to heal and create change. They require honesty about the roots of racism, white supremacy and fear. They require our best efforts in moving forward. We must take the values that help us in this field out into the world.

    The Oregon Counseling Association seeks to support the communities impacted by these horrendous acts of hate and gun violence. For anyone affected by gun violence- we encourage you to seek help. The following resources are available:

    Sincerely, on behalf of the ORCA board,

          Alana Ogilvie, president

  • 31 Jan 2019 11:03 PM | Deleted user

    I’m a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), and at any given time I have at least two clients who are experiencing grief. Loss can come in many forms: loss of a relationship, a family, a job, a home, a way of life, and, of course, loss through death. I support people on their journey through processing the losses in their lives. What happens, though, when the grief counselor is grieving? 

    To read more, click here.

The Oregon Counseling Association is a 501(c)(6) tax-exempt trade association.

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Oregon Counseling Association 
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PO Box 2163 Portland, OR 97208

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