The ACA 2017 Conference & Expo will NOT be in Nashville, Tennessee

Richard Yep, Chief Executive Officer of the American Counseling Association, explains ACA’s decision to relocate the 2017 Conference & Expo. Learn more at

20 thoughts on “The ACA 2017 Conference & Expo will NOT be in Nashville, Tennessee

  1. Nick Overbeck

    Good for the ACA! I fully support your decision to move…legislators are far more motivated through economic means and this will really hurt their pockets.

  2. Skooter McGoo

    Christians are mad that they can't go out hunting to kill LGBT citizens legally. Their "god" says kill all non believers just like ISIS their religious brothers of hate. Religion kills humanity, it has always and always will if let INFECT human kind.

  3. F Clark Williams jr

    Sir: I understand your frustration, but your conference was scheduled for NASHVILLE, which is in one of the "bluest" counties in the country. Cancelling the conference punishes the very people who are most embarrassed by this really stupid law. The thing has no impact on ACA member counselors because they are covered by the ACA code of ethics. PLEASE reconsider. No person will be harmed by your convening in Nashville. Invite the governor to speak and to defend his failure to veto this retched thing.

  4. xirtkaeanjax

    This is a very respectable move on ACA's part. As Counselors, we acknowledge our clients' various cultures, backgrounds, beliefs, differences, etc and we accept that by going into the profession. It is our duty to respect and provide services to ALL people, and if we are truly unequipped to do so, to help the client find someone who can. We are obligated as Counselors to advocate for our clients, and I am proud to see that fellow members of ACA are doing so. I fully support this decision.

  5. Erica Ash

    Wow. As a counseling graduate student from Arkansas in my final year, I'm actually really disappointed by this decision. I get the reasoning behind the decision, and I believe that intentions were entirely noble. I love gay people and I would never refuse to take a gay person as a client. I have gay friends that I chose to be around before I entered the counseling profession. While establishing contact with an agency in my area for my internship experience, I recently met a few professionals which are my age, but are a little further along in their careers than I am. Since I entered the counseling program three years ago and learned of the ACA conference in exotic places like Hawaii, Orlando, and Montreal, I have dreamed of going to the conference someday. When I found out the 2017 Conference was supposed to be in Nashville, only about 8 hours driving distance from my location, I was so excited! I had already begun talking about getting a group together to go. We could go in together on a rental car and share hotel costs. The conference would finally be affordable and available for me to attend! Now we learn that the conference won't be in Nashville after all. How disappointing. This was going to be my chance to have an experience that would be priceless in terms of my identity as a new counselor, hearing professionals in the field speak on topics which would help me help my clients in my practice, as well as developing relationships with the other counselors that I had come to the conference with. Again, I get why the decision was made, but I just feel like it is a decision that further damages counselors and clients. And this includes counselors who would make the choice to serve populations that not everyone has a heart to serve. Why not turn the other cheek and include many sessions on how to best serve LBGTQ clients? What are the people of Nashville supposed to do? Are all counselors of Nashville supposed to pull out and abandon their clients, both gay and straight and move to another city that is more accomodating, at the cost of forcing some professionals work with clients that they feel they might harm because of biases they were raised with?

  6. soulofaphoenix

    Thank you for standing by your ethical codes and taking a public stance against human rights violations. Many Tennessee mental health providers have been violating the ACA codes of ethics for years and have been protected by a self-interest based state board and system. This law is just the latest in chronic human rights violations. Perhaps your public stance will help bring courage to those providers who seek to be ethical, but have been afraid to stand up against those who are not due to retribution. I applaud your choice. For those who will have to travel it is but a minor inconvenience. For those whose rights have been violated, this law us more than an inconvenience!

  7. Jess

    I'm very thankful to be part of an organization that will take a stand like this. Hoping to make it to the San Francisco conference!

  8. Ryan Roberts

    As a future counselor, I am appalled by the the actions of this man. Punishing the economy and hurting local businesses in Nashville in no way make the point he is attempting to make. His war is with politicians, not the businesses of Nashville. Additionally, the values, beliefs, and convictions we have as people make us who we are long before we begin our careers as counselors. My values will always come above my ethics. If I can not in good conscience be completely unbiased when counseling a couple who are members of the LGBTQIQ community, then, according to the code of ethics, it would be best practice to refer them to another individual who is capable of giving them the best treatment/therapy/counseling possible. TN HB-1840 requires a counselor to find and make a proper referral to another counselor/therapist who is well qualified to handle the treatment of the client being referred. This preserves the counselors right to freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. I am in full support of TN HB-1840 as it preserves and protects the counselors constitutional right to freedom of religion, while protecting the client through a proper ACA code of ethics process regarding a referral. We cannot separate who we are as people from our profession as counselors, otherwise we would get therapy from robots. If I know that because of my own personal values and potential biases that may arise that the best interest of the client would be served by referring them to another counselor who may not have the same values and biases and be in a better position to help my client, that is what I will do.
    Furthermore, for him to threaten counselors who choose to respect their freedom of religion and conscience is unprofessional and I believe makes him an unqualified leader of this profession which is supposed to focus on people. In my humble opinion, Richard Yep needs to either apologize to the members of his organization or resign as our leader.


Leave a Reply