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PCA December Member Announcements and Upcoming Events



Wednesday, December 6, 2023, at 5:00pm

Town Hall Graphic

PCA members are welcome to join the upcoming Town Hall with the President, President-Elect, and Government Relations Chair as we address the current concerns around Highmark Incident-to Billing and PCA’s support of Tiered Licensure in the Commonwealth.

You may register and submit your questions for the Town Hall here.  A link will be emailed to you prior to the event.

Thursdays, December 7 & 21, 2023

PASGW Grad Student Support Group

Pennsylvania Specialists in Group Work (PASGW) will host its monthly virtual graduate student support groups.  

All graduate students are welcome to join our student-run support group. This group is designed to provide a space for students to reflect on their educational journeys and everything that goes along with it. Please reach out to Rachel Rectenwald with any questions (

To sign up, complete this form.

Friday, December 8, 2023

Coffee Chat

Friday, December 15, 2023


The Pennsylvania Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling (PASERVIC) is hosting its monthly, peer-to-peer, grounding support group for counselors and therapists. 

The support group occurs on the third Friday of each month (dates listed below). GSG is free for PASERVIC members, $10 to register for PCA members, and $15 for non-PCA clinicians.

Please email for more information, to register, or for payment instructions. An email with the Zoom link will be sent to registrants before each date.

  • 2023 Dates: 9/15, 10/20, 11/17, and 12/15
  • 2024 Dates: 1/19, 2/16, 3/15, 4/19, and 5/17


PCA Congratulates and Recognizes 2023 Award Winners

This year there were a number of nominations from our membership for their impact on the profession.  PCA would like to recognize the 2023 awardees celebrated at the 55th Annual Conference at the Harrisburg Hilton this year:

  • Dr. Matthew Nice, PCA President’s Award
  • Dr. Nellie Scanlon, David W Hall Advocacy Award
  • Dr. LeeAnn Eschbach, PCA Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Stephanie A. Onkst, PCA Outstanding Graduate Student Award
  • Dr. Stephanie DePalmer, PCA Outstanding Practitioner Award
  • Dr. Stephen F. Kuniak, PCA Outstanding Professional Teaching Award
  • Dr. Hsin-Hua Cathy Lee, PCA Outstanding Research/Publication Award
  • Dr. Stephen Kiuri Gitonga, ACS, PCA Outstanding Supervisor Award
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Commonwealth University of PA, Lock Haven, PCA Outstanding Counselor Education Program Award

Congratulations to these incredible counselors for all the work that they do for their clients, students, and the profession!

An Update on the Counseling Compact:

At the 55th Annual Conference at the Harrisburg Hilton, ACA Fellow, Dr. Lynn Linde provided a spectacular explanation about the Counseling Compact and its benefit to Licensed Professional Counselors of the Commonwealth.  I wanted to provide an update for those that were not able to attend the conference or speak with our Government Relations Committee.

At this time, we continue to be in a "stagnant" situation with the Compact legislation in Pennsylvania due to the FBI Clearance issue that arose under the previous Governor's administration.  

From our conversations with legislators, it seems that the concern may center around the verbiage in a national law that may be interpreted in different ways.  In Pennsylvania, the wording has been interpreted in a way that is not in our favor for the Compact to pass.  Fortunately the SHARE Act, which is currently active in the US House of Representatives, would clarify the wording making the FBI clearance issue moot.  Unfortunately the bill hasn't made it to the US Senate at this time.  We are hopeful that it gains traction and is passed.

At the State level, the Government Relations Committee (GRC) has made incredible strides through grassroots efforts and have secured sponsors in both the House and Senate to bring the Compact forward.  We are aware that the Social Workers have recently had their Compact introduced at the state level also. I inquired to determine if there would be a benefit to being included with their legislative proposal.  We are unable to do this because we still have to maintain our own wording to maintain our professional requirements as LPCs; the FBI clearances are another conflict.  We are continuing to monitor their progress to see if decisions made for their bill may benefit LPCs in any way.

We do encourage our members to write to their local legislators to bring the Compact and its benefits to light.  The GRC has constructed a pre-fabricated letter available for PCA members to send to their legislators, accessible here.

If you would like more information on the Counseling Compact or GRC efforts, you may visit The National Center for Interstate Compacts, PCA Government Relations, or email the GRC

Ashley Deurlein, LPC, NCC
PCA President


PCA has an official Discord server! 

The server is now live, and we will be rolling out links to the server via an email from our marketing and outreach committee to the registered email address of our members. If you are not familiar with Discord, it’s a service that allows anyone to create a unique server. This server is then filled with interest channels (in our case, channels that are specific to our divisions, interest networks, and of interest to counselors generally), and members who have access to the server can move within these text and audio/video channels to interact with other members. 

Here are some quick notes on how to make use of this new member benefit:

  • If you already have a Discord account but may not use it much, following this link will just add another server to your left navigation panel and you can switch back and forth by selecting which server you want to use at the time. 
  • If you're totally new to Discord, I'm providing a brief explanation video, through YouTube, that Discord has created about itself: []

So, once you get the email from us with the link, here’s how to join:

  • To start, just click the provided link in your unique email, login or create an account if you don’t have one already (Discord accounts are free).
  • You may be asked if you’d like to download the Discord app on your PC or mobile device. It’s a slightly more user-friendly way of interacting with the server.
  • You should then be taken to our private server. You may have to click an entry notification again to gain access. There will be some onboarding questions to enhance safety and make all members aware of our moderation policies before entering.
  • The PCA server is locked down to provide a safe space for association members and to use this community as a membership benefit. Only active members can use it. Prospective members can see some channels and interact in them, but just within those specific channels initially. 
  • In order to gain full access to the server, just click on the the "Intro Messages" channel to enter it, and then post a brief message telling us who you are (name and PCA email address would be ideal). One of our moderators or admins will double check your membership status, and then give you member access, which will provide you with all of the appropriate channels. We will also delete your chat with your name and email address as soon as we grant access. You can then click on any channels under the various categories to gain access to them and interact with other members.
  • The channels and categories are ways to keep the constant live chat more organized so specific interest areas don’t get lost in one main chat room. As a result, you may be asked to move a chat to another room, if it fits better within a specific chat category. 
  • Participation in this server is completely voluntary, but we ask everyone in the server to behave as professionals. Anyone who uses the server inappropriately, engages in abrasive or toxic behaviors, etc. may be warned, timed out, or banned from the server. Server access is a member benefit, but it is not a right. Loss of server access will not necessarily result in a revocation of membership status. 
  • You may reach out to me, Dr. Steve Kuniak, with specific questions at, but please understand that this is a volunteer role for me, and that I do check my email and Discord messages regularly, but I am not available 24/7.

This Discord server is meant as an answer to a long-standing request from members. It is the ability to interact with PCA members across the state, in real time, just like we do in the conference or in the conference app, but all year rather than just during major get togethers. Hoping to see you all in Discord, where we can benefit from one another’s professional expertise and collegiality.


Dr. Steve Kuniak
PCA Marketing and Outreach Chair
PCA Past President 2020-2021

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