Introducing TnSCA: Tennessee School Counseling Association



Introducing TnSCA: Tennessee School Counseling Association 

Tennessee Counseling Association Members,

The TCA Presidential Board, along with the Executive Director, were notified on 11/12/19 that "on Oct. 29, 2019, the TSCA Executive Board voted to no longer be a division of TCA and instead become an independent organization effective Dec.1, 2019."

The TCA Leadership stands hurt, saddened, and blindsided by this decision from TSCA leadership to disaffiliate from the state branch.  We have always believed in the importance of the unity of the counseling profession.

Regrettably, the TSCA Executive Board did not have a dialogue with the TCA Leadership before they made their decision on October 29th. It was not a collaborative decision. In other states where disaffiliation has occurred, they have put the question out to their membership to vote.  In this case, there was no vote, no open forum for membership, and no collaboration with TCA Leadership.  

As it has become clear that the TSCA Executive Board was willing to disregard the policies and rules we have all agreed to abide by, our Governing Council realized that this group is better off being independent and we wish them well. However, we also want to reiterate TCA’s decades-long commitment to our state’s professional school counselors.  

We bring all of this to you to state that we are and will remain what we always have been – the home for all counselors.  Our services will not change.  Your membership will remain with the Tennessee Counseling Association unless you decide to not renew. 

We look forward to continuing to serve our school counselor members, as we always have, in the same fashion as before.  Therefore, nothing will change on our end except that we will change the name of our current school counselor division:

Previous Name: Tennessee School Counselor Association (TSCA)

New Name: Tennessee School Counseling Association (TnSCA)

Our mission remains the same:

The mission of the Tennessee Counseling Association is to promote the development of all counseling professionals, advance the counseling profession under a unified association, and to use the profession of counseling to promote the well-being, respect for diversity, and human dignity of all Tennesseans. 

Our TCA goals and division goals remain unchanged.  Our focus will be on looking forward to the future and leverage the best of TCA and Tennessee School Counseling Association to meet and exceed the needs of our members. The leadership of TCA is in the process of structuring our new division and we welcome your input in this process. We will focus on developing a set of goals for the renamed Tennessee School Counseling Association Division, objectives, and commitments to strengthen our Association as we continue in our commitment to serving school counselors.

We believe that we are better and stronger as a unified voice and have no plans for school counselors to lose that opportunity within our organization.  If a member’s needs are not being met, we have numerous avenues and opportunities for changes to be made. We remain dedicated to all counselors who serve in any setting, especially as the value of partnerships across divisions increases often.  LPCs and School Counselors can certainly work collaboratively to serve the needs of the whole child. TCA will continue to focus on this goal in the future. 

We welcome your thoughts, comments, and/or questions as a comment below.  Your feedback is important to us!  

Dr. Steve Zanskas - TCA President 

Dr. Janet Hicks - TCA President-Elect

Dr. Nicole Cobb-  TCA President Elect-Elect

Dr. Eva Gibson - TCA Past-President

Kat Coy - TCA Executive Director
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My First Rodeo



My First Rodeo: A Reflection from A First-Time TCA Conference Attendee

I'm Andrew Arehart, a graduate student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling track at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. I'll be starting practicum in January with a local thirty-day substance abuse rehab facility here in Chattanooga and expect to graduate this time next year. I'm looking forward to the transition from the classroom to the clients in the coming months and decided to attend the TCA conference in order to learn from and connect with my colleagues throughout the state.

Two of the most memorable breakout sessions I attended were on grief in the substance abuse recovery process and on applying Maslow's hierarchy of needs to recovery work. Interestingly, in that second one the projector failed and so instead of being read to from a powerpoint, we had a much more personal presentation and discussion. Something my advisor told me some time back was that if addiction isn't part of your client's own problem, chances are it's a problem for someone in the satellite of their lives, be it a spouse, child, friend or neighbor. As such I was so pleased to have a chance to learn from the experiences of others working in this critical field.

I was also struck by the tidbits...little things veteran counselors mentioned that encapsulated lessons learned over the years. Things like, "get 'why' out of your vocabulary as a counselor. It puts your client on the defensive. And watch out for "but" it sets you up as an adversary." I feel that in learning complex skills, such as counseling work, we move from simplicity, through complexity and back to simplicity. I believe that as we mature in our capacity to do something, we come to recognize essential patterns behind the procedures that illuminate and guide our practices. Comments such as those felt like insight into such patterns.

I would have enjoyed spending more time at the poster presentations, where recent research is most accessible, the presenters being in the thick of their masters and doctoral work. Unfortunately, I was distracted by lunch, which is also dear to my heart. There being a presentation going on over the top of all this kept me from giving this aspect of the program the attention it deserves, so I will watch out for ways to make more time for this at future conferences.

Thank you so much to all of the organizers, presenters and hotel staff who coordinated to make this event possible. I’ll look forward to seeing you again down the road.

Andrew Arehart
[email protected]


Member Spotlight

Do you know a TCA member who is engaged in leadership, research, innovation, or service? If so, we would like to feature them in an upcoming blog post! Fill out the link below to nominate someone to be featured in the Member Spotlight section today!

Member Spotlight Nomination Form:

Publications Committee

Hi there! My name is Erin MacInerney and I am the 2019-2020 TCA Publications Chair. I am currently a M.Ed. Candidate in Human Development Counseling at Vanderbilt University finishing up my final year of graduate school. I am excited to take the TCA publication in a new direction this year by transitioning from a quarterly newsletter to a blog post format.

I am always looking for members to spotlight, recently published articles, and interest pieces. Do you have content you would like to contribute to the TCA Blog? Email me at [email protected] with your ideas, submissions, or suggestions for improvement!

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2019 Grad Student Poster Session Winners

Congratulations Graduate Students: 

Dr. Eva Gibson, Poster Session Chair, honored 1st and 2nd place winners from the TACES 2019 Graduate Student Poster Sessions at the TCA Conference. 

1st Place Doctoral - Natae Jones Fenstra (University of the Cumberlands): “Running Therapy: A Revival of Theory & Technique

1st Place Master’s – Lisa Buchanan (Milligan College): “Measuring Psychotherapy Outcomes in a Small College Counseling Center


2nd Doctoral – Jeffery Bass (Tennessee State University): “You Are Only As Strong As Your Program

2nd Master’s – Charlene Sanderson (Austin Peay State University): “Art Therapy in Schools: Drawing Self-Portraits to Understand Self-Concepts




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Welcome to the TCA blog

Welcome to the TCA blog!


The TCA Leadership team is busy developing great plans for the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year and we want you to know all about it.  This year, we plan to update our blog with Chapter insights, Division highlights, membership spotlights, updates on relevant research, and more!

If you have something that you think is blog-worthy, please email our TCA Publications Chair, Erin MacInereny.