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A branch of the American Counseling Association

Welcome Message from our new FCA President for 2023-2024!

Raul Machuca, Ph.D., LMHC, BC-TMH

July 1, 2023

Dear Members of the Florida Counseling Association,

I am honored to serve as the President of the Florida Counseling Association for the 2023-2024 term. This year we aim to serve as the flagship organization for professional counselors in the state. Our mission encompasses representing and supporting a wide range of counseling specialties, including mental health counselors, school counselors, family counselors, college counselors, counselor educators and supervisors, and more. Together, we will advocate for the highest standards of ethical practice, professional excellence, and continued growth within the counseling field. Our aim is to empower counselors in their individual practices, strengthen the counseling profession, and ultimately improve the well-being of the diverse individuals and communities we serve throughout the state.

As such, it is with great excitement and enthusiasm that I share with you the focus areas for our upcoming term. Together, I hope we will work towards advancing the counseling profession and supporting diverse populations in our state, guided by a decolonized leadership and practice approach.

Our primary focus for the 2023-2024 term will be centered around three key areas: decolonizing counseling leadership and practice, unifying the counseling profession, and supporting diverse minorities in Florida. We recognize that these areas require an approach, which involves dismantling oppressive structures, centering marginalized voices, and fostering inclusivity in our leadership and counseling practices.

As we strive to decolonize counseling practices, we will prioritize cultural diversity and inclusivity. By embracing diverse perspectives, we can challenge dominant cultural norms and create counseling environments that honor the values and experiences of all individuals. Our aim is to integrate culturally responsive approaches, address power imbalances, and promote social justice within our profession.

To unify the counseling profession in Florida, we will adopt an approach that builds bridges and fosters collaboration. It is crucial that we create spaces where counselors from diverse backgrounds (mental health counselors, school counselors, family counselors, college counselors, counselor educators and supervisors, etc.) can come together, share their knowledge and experiences, and collectively address the challenges we face. Through a decolonized approach, we will nurture an environment that values diversity, promotes equitable participation, and encourages the active engagement of all members.

Supporting diverse minorities in Florida will remain a priority for our term. We will strive to enhance support systems for underrepresented populations and address the unique challenges they face. This involves actively seeking input from marginalized communities, amplifying their voices, and incorporating their perspectives in decision-making processes. Together, we will work towards creating counseling environments that empower individuals from diverse backgrounds and promote their well-being.

Additionally, our commitment to addressing disparities and promoting equity in access to counseling services will be an integral part of our work this year. We will advocate for policies that promote diversity, equality, and inclusivity, reduce barriers, and ensure access to mental health services for all individuals in Florida. By leveraging our collective influence and promoting systemic change, we can create a more equitable landscape that recognizes and addresses the specific needs of diverse populations.

I am confident that by embracing a decolonized leadership and practice approach and focusing on these critical areas, we can make a transformative impact on the counseling profession and the communities we serve. I encourage each of you to actively engage, contribute your expertise, and collaborate with fellow professionals, guided by principles of decolonization, justice, and inclusivity.

Thank you for your unwavering dedication to the counseling profession and for being an integral part of the Florida Counseling Association. I am eager to work with all of you during this term and witness the positive change we can create together.

Warmest regards,

Raul Machuca, Ph.D.

President, Florida Counseling Association 2023-2024

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Mailing Address:

Florida Counseling Association

2750 Taylor Avenue

Suite A-36

Orlando, Florida 32806

Florida Counseling Association is a non-profit organization, branch of the American Counseling Association.

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