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A Call to Action

Here’s your chance to make a difference in the future of counseling services provided to gifted children in schools, community agencies, and private counseling-related services. This request comes from Andrew Mahoney, Past-Chair of the Counseling and Guidance Division of NAGC and the Counseling and Guidance Division of NAGC.

What’s the Situation?

Currently, school counselors, mental health professionals, and those in counseling-related professions have virtually no professional training on the graduate level in addressing the unique, complex needs of gifted children.

What’s the Result?

It can be difficult to find appropriate mental health services that do not view the behaviors of gifted children as pathological. Also lacking are professionals trained in the complex intervention required to reverse academic underachievement and in providing specialized career counseling services to address the needs of gifted individuals school age and beyond.

How Can You Help?

Write letters to influence the actions of CACREP, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. This independent accrediting arm for the American Counseling Association is currently in the process of revising the standards for graduate programs in counseling for the year 2008.

At present approximately 180 graduate institutions adhere to the CACREP standards of practice and curriculum. The opportunity exists to bring about changes in those standards to address the special needs of counseling gifted children. The changes (yet to be determined) could have a tremendous impact on both the counseling and the education of gifted children. School counselors and other related counseling professionals could become advocates for our children because they would have the tools to support the necessary services.

What Should You Do?

As quickly as possible, send letters in support of these changes and /or an endorsement from your organization. Cite any relevant research, anecdotal experience, and/or data from you, your schools, and personal experience or otherwise that could document the need for change. As Andrew Mahoney states, “We need as much documented experience for this initiative as possible since there are relatively small amounts of available research data. These letters do not have to be perfect, they just need to manifest and accumulate.”

Please send all letters of support and endorsements to:

CACREP, attention of the Standards Revisions Committee
5999 Stevenson Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22304
Phone 703.823.9800 ext. 301
Fax 703.823.1581
E-mail cacrep@cacrep.org

For more information, contact:

Andrew Mahoney at 703-318-6621
ASMahoney@aol.com or www.counselingthegifted.com

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