2019 CCA Student Conference
This event is now closed.

Event Date: 3/23/2019 - 3/23/2019

Event Overview

In partnership with 

The Colorado Counseling Association Presents

2019 Colorado Counseling Association Student Conference

Preparing the next generation of counselor leaders in Colorado

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019, from 9:30am-5:30pm (Registration opens at 8:30am)

Host sponsor: Colorado Christian University, Lakewood, CO

The Colorado Counseling Association is pleased to host a full-day conference exclusively for counselors-in-training and counselor educators. This conference is free for CCA student members and entirely driven by the Colorado student professional counselor population.

Representative Dafna Michaelson-Jenet will speak on the importance of mental health professional engagement in the legislative process in Colorado.

The day will also include masters and doctorate level student presenters chosen from among the student community in Colorado through an academic proposal process. All speaker and presenter topics will focus on relevant information for the student professional counselor.

As many as 15 sponsors/vendors will be in attendance throughout the day with resources and networking opportunities.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certificates will be made available for those in attendance which are good for state licensure requirements.



CCA 2019 Student Conference Keynote Speaker
Representative Dafna Michaelson-Jenet

Mental Health Professionals and the Colorado Legislative Process


Dafna Michaelson Jenet represents Colorado’s House District 30, which stretches from northern Aurora to rural Adams County east of Denver International Airport and back into parts of Thornton and Commerce City, where she resides. Representative Michaelson Jenet serves on the House Education and Public Health Care & Human Services Committees (vice chair), as well as Legislative Audit Committee, and this is her second term as a Colorado State Representative. Rep. Michaelson Jenet's legislative work primarily focuses on youth, particularly foster care youth, mental health, and healthcare access.

Prior to her work in the legislature, Rep. Michaelson Jenet traveled to all 50 states, one state each week for 52 weeks, in search of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to solve problems in their communities. She chronicled her experiences in “It Takes a Little Crazy to Make a Difference,” published by Motivational Press. The book won the social change category of the International Book Awards and earned her a place on Conversation Magazine’s “25 Women Changing the World” list and a mention in CNN’s Intriguing Person column.

After the 50 States Project, Representative Michaelson Jenet and her husband, Michael Jenet, co-founded the Journey Institute, which works with schools, businesses, organizations and individuals to train in community problem solving and next-level team building. She then published her second book, “Peanut’s Legacy,” detailing the loss of the pregnancy of her son at 20 weeks and her journey through her grief. “Peanut’s Legacy” was named as a finalist in the International Book Awards in the social change category.

Representative Michaelson Jenet has an MBA from the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women. She and her husband have three children: Eytan and Gavriella Michaelson and Ryan Jenet, an active-duty U.S. Marine.



To print off the full program, click here.

#MeToo: The Motivation Behind the Movement and its Influence on Advocates Against Sexual Violence

Marissa Meyer and Sarah Taylor

Presentation Description: The #MeToo movement ignited a global awareness regarding sexual harassment and abuse. This has impacted a diverse population, including Coloradans, ranging from lawmakers to students at Colorado State University. Exploration of the movement's history will create a foundation, while building a tripartite construct concerning legislative, ethical, and clinical implications. Attendees will learn about a social-ecological prevention model applicable to counselors regarding this polarizing movement.

Presenter Bio: Marissa Meyer is in her second year of the Master of Arts Counseling program at Colorado Christian University (CCU). She is currently working on her clinical internship at Alternatives Pregnancy Center. Marissa's theoretical approaches include Adlerian, narrative therapy, and interpersonal. She also has interests in developmental stages and attachment styles regarding relationship issues that arise in counseling. Marissa has pursued her curiosity in counselor education via being a teaching assistant throughout her second year at CCU.

Presenter Bio: Sarah is in her second year of the MA in Counseling Program at Colorado Christian University and is completing her clinical internship at Denver Christian Schools. In addition to women's issues and feminist therapy, Sarah's other research interests include, student development, LGBTQ issues, and the integration of sexuality and spirituality.

Motivational Interviewing with the Homeless Population

Kellyanne Achramowicz

Presentation Description: Developing knowledge and basics of MI skills towards working with a specific population of Homeless, development of homeless culture and issues.

Presenter Bio: Ms. Achramowicz is a PhD student in the Counseling Education and Supervision doctoral program at Walden University. She holds a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Walden University and currently is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Colorado. She works currently with All Health Network in the Jail Based Behavioral Services (JBBS) program in Douglas County Sheriff's Office jail focus on substance abuse. She has experience working in community mental health, inpatient psychiatric hospital, co-occurring community treatment for those on probation, homeless and transitioning population, and parole, and private practice. Kellyanne is a National Certified Counselor and is a member of the American Counseling Association, the Colorado Counseling Association, Chi-Sigma Iota - Omega Zeta chapter, and National Society of Leadership and Success.

Positions and Alliances in Transference: Exploring Clinical Approaches

Michael Barnard, Barbara Shuman, and Dr. Gabriela Zorzutti

Presentation Description:  Loosely defined, transference is the mechanism by which previous relationships are played out in new ones. Transference occurs inevitably between people and groups throughout human interactions. However, assumptions embodied in this unconscious knowing is an essential and often misunderstood component in clinical encounters. Presenters will offer a dialectical exercise exploring what is the clinicians capacity and handicap to know transference.

Presenter Bio: Michael Barnard is a Lacanian psychoanalyst and an author. He is a member of the Colorado Analytic Forum of the Lacanian Field and a third year analyst in formation at the Clinical College of Colorado. He has a private psychoanalytic practice in Denver and Beulah, Colorado.   

Presenter Bio: Barbara Shuman is a Lacanian analyst and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) practicing in the Denver Metro area. Originally from France, she is fluent in French, Spanish, and English. Prior to becoming a psychoanalyst, she worked extensively with young children and their families in educational settings where she trained professionals in caregiving practices, holistic pedagogy, and human development. During that time she developed a passion for mental health, along with a strong conviction that individuals must be offered respect and dignity as they deal with the most intimate aspects of their lives. This new career path lead Barbara to work in a variety mental health settings, including inpatient, outpatient, and in-home environments. Since then, she has worked with adults who are seeking more satisfaction in life and work, with a focus on issues impairing their abilities to reach desire and to find fulfillment in their lives. She also works with children, adolescents and their families who are seeking help in overcoming life challenges, difficult transitions, academic difficulties, and emotional and behavioral issues.

Barbara's formation as an analyst began five years ago when she entered the Clinical College of Colorado and became a member of the Colorado Analytic Forum of the Lacanian Field. She currently teaches theoretical and clinical seminars on Freudian and Lacanian Psychoanalysis. She has presented several papers on a variety of topics, including ethics, the analytic clinic with children, and the essential element in the relationship between the analyst and the “analysand” known as transference. She also provides supervision for clinicians and consultation on cases following the psychoanalytic lens.

Presenter Bio: Dr. Gabriela Zorzutti is a Lacanian analyst from Argentina. She is a School member of the School of Psychoanalysis of the Forums of the Lacanian Field since 2009, a member of the Foro Analítico del Río de la Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina; as well as member of the Lacanian Forum of Washington D.C.

She has given, participated and organized international talks and conferences in Denver, Washington D.C., New York, Buenos Aires, Rio do Janeiro, Rome, Paris, Warsaw and Medellín. She moved to this country 11 years ago and has a bilingual (English and Spanish) private practice in the down town Denver area and in Washington D.C.

She has been part of the Doctoral Clinical Research team of the Universidad of Buenos Aires, Psychology Dept. since 2015. She received a MA in Clinical Psychology in 2006 from the Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata and her PhD in Psychoanalysis from the Universidad de Buenos Aires.

Queer Sex Ed: Implementing Sex Positive Education with Queer Clients

Valerie Cruz and Michelle Saltis

Presentation Description: In this presentation, participants will learn about the importance of inclusive sex and health education for queer youth, as well as and how to implement a six week individual or group curriculum into their your professional counseling work. Presenters will first provide an overview of why queer youth need inclusive sex education. with individuals who identify within the queer community. Participants will learn about this curriculum and how to implement it within their schools and community.

Presenter Bio: Michelle is a second year doctoral student in Counselor Education and Supervision at the University of Northern Colorado. Michelle is also a Licensed Professional Counselor where they see clients at their practice in Fort Collins, Colorado. Michelle’s primary clinical and research interests center around LGBTQ and/or at-risk youth, especially working with and researching trans and gender expansive populations. Michelle also values creativity, social justice and advocacy, and play therapy.

Presenter Bio: Valerie is a second year School Counseling graduate student at The University of Northern Colorado. She is currently an intern at Windsor High School in Windsor, CO. Her main focuses are LGBTQ issues and grief and loss work in schools. She enjoys golfing, traveling, hiking, going to concerts, puns, and hanging out with friends. She has a cat, his name is Paul McCatney and yes, he is named after my favorite Beatle.

Addiction Counselor Specialization: Why and How to Become a CAC/LAC in Colorado

Ryan Kennedy, PsyD, LAC, LMFT, LPC, RN, ACS

Presentation Description: Recognizing, understanding, and effectively working with substance use issues and problematic, ritualized comfort-seeking behaviors takes specialized training and is not something adequately addressed by most graduate-level counselor training programs. For that reason, it is imperative that counselors working with people who present with these problems receive the tools, experience, and supervision they need so that they can effectively support and guide their clients on the road to recovery.

Presenter Bio: Ryan Kennedy, PsyD, LAC, LMFT, LPC, RN, ACS is the Founder and Executive Director of Noeticus Counseling Center and Training Institute® and also serves as the Training and Education Director of the Noeticus Addiction Counselor Clinical Training Program™ (NACCTP). He has been a psychotherapist since 1993, a counselor educator and clinical supervisor since 1996, and has been on the faculty of many graduate-level counseling programs. He has worked in addiction recovery since 1990 and has in-depth experience in a variety of treatment settings across the continuum of care including self-help, support groups, detox, residential, inpatient, critical care, and outpatient care. In addition, Dr. Kennedy is an approved by the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) as an Addiction Counselor Trainer and is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). He loves to bring his passion for adult learning and experiential education into all of his classes.

Pathways To Licensure

Jo Donlin

Presentation Description: Presented by DORA, this presentation will cover the various pathways to mental health licensure in Colorado.

Presenter Bio: Jo Donlin currently serves as the Director of Regulatory Outreach and Education for the Division of Professions and Occupations, one of nine Divisions at the Department of Regulatory Agencies. In her position, she utilizes her communications and policy expertise, focusing on creating consistent, clear messaging and educational tools that help licensees and consumers better understand the application and disciplinary processes. She also builds partnerships with various stakeholders so the regulatory voice can be heard and the Division can help create workforce and regulatory solutions across Colorado.

Prior to joining the Division, Jo served as Director of External Affairs at the Colorado Division of Insurance. She also worked at the Colorado Health Institute as a Senior Policy Analyst and the National Conference of State Legislatures as a Program Manager. A native of Wyoming, Jo received her undergraduate degree from Colorado College and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Colorado.


Critical Thinking and Counselor Dispositions: A lens into culture and theory

Dr. Candace McLain-Tait, EdD, LPC, ACS, BC-TMH

Presentation Description: Utilizing the movie, Life of Pi as a narrative, this presentation reviews the theories and critical thinking of counseling students in training.

Presenter Bio: Dr. Candace McLain-Tait has over 18 years of clinical mental health counseling experience and 10 years of university teaching expertise 6 of which served as administrative leadership and teaching in a CACREP Counseling program. Dr. McLain’s clinical work included but was not limited to working in adolescent residential treatment, substance abuse counseling and in clinical supervision. Her areas of passion in counselor education supervision are online adult education and technology, complex trauma informed education and supervision, spirituality in counseling and remediation and student development. She is currently a member of ACES, CCA and ASERVIC and volunteers teaching and offering education supervision in her local community public schools. In addition, she serves on the ACES Technology Interest Network and supports both the Student Development committee and the Skills Committee as a mentor. She has coauthored several chapters with colleagues and loves research and writing to support both counselors and supervisors. She is licensed as a professional Counselor in Colorado and Michigan, and is an Approved Clinical Supervisor. Most recently, she has co-published a textbook on Ongoing Professional Development and Growth. She loves spending time with family skiing, hiking and being in the outdoors.

Private Practice A – Z: Everything You Need to Know (and that Grad School Doesn’t Teach You)

Robert A. Lees and Associates

Presentation Description: Robert A. Lees & Associates devotes a large part of our practice to serving the unique needs of mental health professionals and organizations. This presentation will focus on grievances, company formation, practice forms and all things related to beginning a private practice.

Presenter Bio: Robert Lees is a seasoned attorney with forty years of experience practicing law in the areas of administrative, regulatory and governmental law, litigation, arbitration, mediation, appellate actions in all state and federal courts in Colorado, regulatory boards and agencies; arbitration and mediation; asset protection, constitutional litigation, and regulatory (administrative) law. Mr. Lees appears regularly before the State of Colorado regulatory boards and has litigated cases with the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) and numerous administrative law proceedings. Mr. Lees has engaged in general counsel and investment advisement, including regulatory law and securities analysis.

Mr. Lees’ admissions to the bar include Colorado (1977); U.S. District Court (1977); and 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (1978). He is a member of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, the National District Attorneys Association, and the Arapahoe and Colorado Bar Associations. Mr. Lees has assisted in the drafting and presenting numerous statutory amendments to the Colorado Code for use by Colorado’s legislature. Mr. Lees appears in the Martindale-Hubbell Register of Preeminent Attorneys and Who’s Who in American Law. He is rated to be in the upper 2% of the nation’s lawyers. Mr. Lees was consulted by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies for sunset review and was requested to present opinions and suggestions on modification of the current laws to assist in the re-enactment of those laws. Mr. Lees authored five regulatory law publications for reference and training purposes.

Presenter Bio: Kerry M. Broman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice. Kerry has been treating individuals, couples and families in Colorado since 1999. Kerry has worked in public and parochial school settings as well as adolescent day treatment and residential treatment facilities. Additionally, Kerry spent the last 5 years at Metropolitan State University of Denver in the Graduate Social Work program as an Affiliate Faculty Member. Kerry is also the former President of Colorado Society for Clinical Social Work (CSCSW).CS CSCSW is a collegial association that advances the profession by providing opportunities for education, setting practice standards, promoting public recognition of the profession and advocating for protection of clinical social workers and their clientele. Kerry served two terms as president for CSCSW from 2010-2014.
Kerry Broman began a private practice in the Denver Tech Center, where she specializes in the treatment of adolescents and their families. Kerry has been providing formal presentations and training on treating self-harming behaviors in adolescents since 2010. She has also presented on working with high risk youth, assessing and treating domestic violence, and tips for starting a private practice.

Presenter Bio: Peter Barber is an organizational consultant with a fine-tuned sense for building culture and weathering adaptive change. He has led staff teams as a direct supervisor and as a peer, and has worked extensively with volunteer teams. He is an engaging speaker who is comfortable in a variety of settings. He possesses a clear and concise presentation style that ensures no one in the audience is left behind. Peter also currently is an Associate Faculty member at Denver Seminary, where he teaches the capstone thesis-level class to graduating M.A. students in the Leadership Degree program which teaches students how to use the Action Research Method to consult with a live organization. In this role, he coaches, mentors, and consults with the students as they implement the Action Research Method within these organizations to provide innovative solutions to the problems the organizations are facing. Peter also has deep experience in the mental health field, where for seven years he served as the primary vision-caster and program administrator for a counseling center. He was responsible for the conception and launch of this center, and oversaw its growth from a start-up phase to a fully-operational center.

LPCC vs. Registered Psychotherapist: Which one, How, and When?

Dr. Ryan M. Burkhart, EdD, LPC

Presentation Description: This presentation will explore the history of the LPCC designation and the intent behind its recent creation in 2016. Dr. Burkhart will address if a counselor in training should apply for their LPCC or Registered Psychotherapist and the process by which this occurs. This featured talk highlights an important transition for professional counseling in Colorado. 

Presenter Bio: Dr. Ryan M. Burkhart is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Colorado. He provides clinical supervision in the greater Denver area and has worked with youth in a variety of facets as a Clinical Director of a program for youth with global developmental delays, and as a clinician for the Colorado Division of Youth Corrections with youth in custody, and youth on parole status.Dr. Burkhart is the Program Director of the Master of Arts in Counseling Program at Colorado Christian University.

Dr. Burkhart was a recipient of the Colorado Counseling Association Outstanding Counselor Educator of 2016 Award. He President of the Colorado Counseling Association, the state branch of the American Counseling Association. Dr. Burkhart represents the counseling professional at a state level through legislation advocacy and often testifies in front of the House and Senate Health Committees in regards to mental health legislation.

Current Trends and Issues in Addictions Counseling

Dr. Mita Johnson, LPC, LMFT, LAC

Presentation Description: This presentation will bring attendees up to date on the current trends within the field of addictions counseling and the issues facing the profession.

Presenter Bio: Dr. Mita Johnson has degrees in biology, counseling, and counselor education and supervision. Dr. Johnson is a faculty member at Walden University’s School of Counseling MS program. Mita teaches, trains, and speaks nationally. and internationally on psychopharmacology and the science of addictions. She became interested in the field of addictions when she realized that most of her clients were dealing with co-occurring mental health and substance misuse or other behavioral addictions. Mita is passionate about understanding how drugs influence the body homeostasis systemically. Dr. Johnson is an Executive Committee member and President-Elect of NAADAC and NAADAC’s Ethics Committee Chair. She is a member of the Colorado Association of Addiction Professionals and Colorado Counseling Association. Mita has been working as a clinician for 29 years, and currently maintains a thriving private practice where she is providing clinical supervision and consultation.

Private Practice 101

Dr. Mark Mayfield, LPC

Presentation Description: Have you ever wondered what it would be like to start a private practice? Many counseling students and graduates dream of owning their own practice, but it isn’t as easy as it seems. Dr. Mark Mayfield walks you through the common questions, pitfalls, and unknowns of starting a private practice and provides key concepts for success.

Presenter Bio: Dr. Mayfield has extensive experience within the realm of substance abuse (primarily with the adolescent population), doing 10-15 groups a week early in his career. He has worked with gang members in the inner-city of Denver, developed adolescent and family therapy programs working with at-risk youth, provided in-home family therapy and multi-systemic family therapy, and has developed equine facilitated psychotherapy groups for child and adolescent survivors of mental and/or emotional struggles. Dr. Mayfield's doctoral research focused the effects of equine facilitated psychotherapy on veteran survivors with partial or full PTSD. He has been published in a human growth and development textbook and has recently been published in Focus and Brio magazines. Dr. Mayfield is founder and CEO of Mayfield Counseling Centers in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which serves over 11,000 appointments a year. He also conducts therapy with families, couples, individuals, and groups and has a passion to provide exceptional care for military service members and their families. He also trains other clinicians through LPCC supervision.

Intimacy Anorexia: A Growing Epidemic in Marriages

Aimee Jackson and Shauna Gossenauer

Presentation Description: This presentation explores the concept of Intimacy Anorexia and how it can negatively impact long-term relationships. This relationship disorder has been defined by the American Association for Sex Addiction Therapy as active withholding of emotional, spiritual, and sexual intimacy from the spouse or partner. The effect of Intimacy Anorexia will be discussed as well as an overview of causes, characteristics, and treatment method.

Presenter Bio: Shauna is in her second year of graduate school, earning her Master of Arts in Counseling at Colorado Christian University. She has been an intern at Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs since August 2018. She been trained in treating intimacy anorexia and female partners of those struggling with sexual addiction and intimacy anorexia through the American Association for Sex Addiction Therapy. Shauna is honored to lock arms with clients and walk the path of healing, hope, and discovery.

Presenter Bio: Aimee Jackson is a second year Master of Arts in Counseling student at Colorado Christian University. She is completing her professional practice hours at Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She has completed her training with the American Association for Sexual Addiction Therapy and specializes in working with women that have experienced betrayal trauma within their marriages or committed relationships either through sexual addiction or intimacy anorexia. Aimee believes that it is a privilege to be walk with her clients through difficult seasons of their lives.

 A Neglected Population: Approaches to Treating Grief and Loss with Older Adults and their Families

Maggie Sellars

Presentation Description: Grief and Loss are a natural part of life for all humans; however, older adults are particularly vulnerable to developing complicated grief along with co-morbid depression and anxiety, which often go untreated. This presentation will highlight the prevalence of complicated grief and suicidality among older adults, provide a summary of existing evidence-based treatments for this population and offer an overview of ethical considerations for working with older adults.

Presenter Bio: Maggie Sellars is in the final semester of graduate school at the University of Northern Colorado-Denver Campus where she is pursuing a Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She worked in the senior housing industry for several years as a consultant with a senior housing start-up where she gained a passion for working with older adults and their families. Maggie returned to school to pursue a calling to work in the counseling field. She lives in Denver with her husband and their dog, Zelda and cat, Ralph.