Recap from New Mexico Counseling Association (NMCA) Annual Conference

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Over the last few days, I served at the New Mexico Art Therapy Association’s (NMATA) table at the Annual Conference for New Mexico Counselors Association (NMCA). However, I feel privileged that I benefited both personally and professionally.  I was able to connect, network, and learn things that I would not learn in an experiential-based school like Southwestern College. Thank you to both NMATA and NMCA for allowing me the opportunity. As an exhibitor on the NMATA Board of Directors team: I made it clear that as a student, since I can not get CEUs – I made myself available so that the rest of the NMATA team could.

A brief summary of this year’s theme and location/date –

2018 NMCA Annual Conference

Thriving in the Face of Challenges

March 23–24, 2018
Embassy Suites
Albuquerque, NM
Special lodging rates available.
Call (505) 245-7100 for reservations.

The rest of this blog post will be my experience in the form of my live-tweets. (By the way, are you following NM Art Therapy Assoc on twitter? Please follow us!)

Friday, March 23

10:40 AM – We are at the New Mexico Counseling Association Annual Conference at the Embassy Suites in Albuquerque.


1:06 PM – Wow, New Mexico Counseling Association has implemented so many initiatives, mainly more communication with members.

Saturday, March 24

9:35 AM – Day 2 of New Mexico Counseling Association Conference – I’m listening in a seminar about play therapy and the benefits of play. …she just went to another slide and said technology doesn’t count. Ha!

9:47 AM – A middle school counselor in the audience said that in the last few years, 6th graders have decreased ability in coping, regulation, and academic. This year, 6th graders have known Facebook all or their life. (NM Counseling Association Conf)

9:53 AM – This is our speaker’s source. The book “Glow Kids” –

11:16 AM – “We need to teach people to understand their body did not let them down.” -especially as it applies to . (Annual Conference)
11:25 AM – Include the body as a source of wisdom. ..Ask the client – Is there something going on in your body? ! Conference
11:28 AM – As , we have an agenda – “I wanna help, I wanna help.” It works when you let the client BE. Accept them. Conference
11:43 AM – We got up and spoke in small groups, was able to connect to people, and the speaker had us sit back down. Then she said sit for a minutes and notice how you feel. “Our nervous system informs us.” Conference
11:48 AM – “The nervous system is always looking out for us to keeping us safe. We have to notice how we are feeling.” Conference
11:52 AM – “We find safety in connection. Our whole brain develops in connection.” (I would add that even adult brains can change based on connections/relationships.) Conference
12:22 PM – Time for lunch! I’m excited to be sitting in the division of New Mexico Mental Health Counselors! Conference
12:23 PM – Everyone at my table is saying they’re tired, & not sure how to make it thru rest of day. I suggested to get up & move everyone once in a while. They asked if I was an athlete.… Conference
1:13 PM – “We want to develop a culture of connection.” – New Mexico Mental Health Counselors Association Board Conference
2:50 PM – Now I’m in a seminar on resilience for transgender youth. They shared this slam poetry video —
3:12 PM – “When working with families, the parents blame themselves or wonder what they did wrong. Give the parents space to work thru a grieving process.” Conference
3:18 PM – Wow, these speakers, who are family therapists, have created the GRACE model: G for Gratitude, R for Respect, A for Affirming, C for Connection, & E for Education. Conference
4:17 PM – Keynote #2 at Association Conference — We are hearing of a Native American man and why is important to him. He knows of kids and that’s the life they know of, they were born into it. “I want to stop the cycle.”
4:21 PM – “We are in recovery, it’s the human condition.” – Speaker Athena Gassoumis Conference
4:25 PM – “Gratitude is the foundation of recovery.” Conference
4:28 PM – Recovery is a reality. It can, and will…happen” Conference
4:30 PM – “The hippocampus does not distinguish between verbal abuse and physical abuse.” Conference
4:40 PM – “No one is born saying they hope they spend their day searching for how to passively commit suicide.” Conference
4:43 PM – Fentanyl is 30-50X stronger than heroin. It is now made illegally. Conference
4:46 PM – “It takes 3 to 5 years to get your brains back. We have to get to 366 days to get on the road to recovery.” Conference
4:51 PM – “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius Conference
By the way, YES – I joined the New Mexico Counselors Asociation!

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