A Message from the President...

Good day fellow counselors,

I hope that this message finds everyone well and hopefully finding the summer months restorative.   

We all know that counselors provide a valuable and integral part of the human services system in South Dakota and the country as a whole.  School, Mental Health, Vocational, Native American, and others counselor specialties are often a lifeline for children and adults who are struggling in these troubling times.  From social unrest related to racism and economic disadvantage to serious mental health including depression anxiety, the people that counselors contact each day often have no one else that they can rely on.

As I begin this year as President of the South Dakota Counselors Association I want to lay to highlight the vision for our association and ask that each of you consider what small part you might be able to play as we move through the next year.  This year’s vision is Culture in the Changing WorldAs I mentioned previously, our state and country have and continue to face serious and difficult issues.  As counselors we need to be able to assist our clients, school districts, businesses, communities, and our profession to be able to adjust and adapt to changes that sure to come.  In the recent SDCA leadership retreat the board of directors updated our strategic plan in a hope to address the ever-changing needs of our profession.  The plan is available on the web page to review.  In short, the plan addressed four main areas:

Continuing Education/Trainings

Membership Engagement

Legislative Advocacy

Public Relations and Community Education

Our goal is to assure that all counselors have access to high quality trainings available both in our state but also to be aware of what is available to them in the region and nationally.  Provide our members connections to other counselors whether for supervision or consultation.  Additionally, that members know where to turn when they just need another professional to talk with.  That our association continues to be a strong advocate for our clients and our profession.  SDCA has worked hard in the past years to assure that confidentiality is protected in schools, worked to modernize our practice code, addressed the need for licensure portability in our regional and nationally, and continues to address the need for counselors to be covered by Medicare.  SDCA will also work to develop direct contact with the general public so they know what counselors do, why we are important and how to access services.  Also, SDCA works to help the general public to have a better understanding of the issues people face and to destigmatize the need for counseling. 

I hope that as you read this you are as excited about the coming year and what counselors do every day as I am.   I look forward to working with everyone in the counseling world as we move forward.  I also look forward to seeing you all April 28-30, 2022at the SDCA conference in Aberdeen.


Duane Kavanaugh, MS, NCC, CCMHC, LPC/MH

SDCA President

Director of Counseling

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology