Dr. Jared S. Rose is an Ohio, supervision-endorsed licensed professional clinical counselor, a national certified counselor, and an EMDR certified therapist. He is an Assistant Professor in Bowling Green State University’s Clinical Mental Health & School Counseling Programs and Owner of Moose Counseling & Consulting, LLC. Dr. Rose is also the President of the Assoc. for LGBT Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC) and the Co-Chair of the Ohio-based Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition. In a variety of helping profession roles he has over 25 years of experience working with LGBQ+ and Trans persons at individual, community, and social justice/advocacy levels. Dr. Rose has produced over 35 publications in books, peer-reviewed journals, state-wide education curricula, and public media outlets; provided over 120 conference presentations and educational trainings at regional, state, national, and international arenas; and given over 30 educational television and radio broadcasts. In the past year alone, Dr. Rose has received three awards for his professional service and social justice and advocacy work. He was recognized by ALGBTIC with the Ned Farley Service Award (one of their highest honors) for his service to the LGBQ+ and Trans communities. He was awarded the Ohio Counseling Association’s Professional Service Award for his anti-human trafficking work. Dr. Rose was also recognized by the Human Trafficking & Social Justice Institute by being awarded their Social Justice Leader Award. He continues to teach and research in his areas of expertise including sex, sexuality, affectionality, and gender minorities; HIV/AIDS; human trafficking; sex and sexual health therapy; and ethical issues in the counseling profession.
The 5 Questions:
1)You have served in a number of leadership roles on the local, regional, and national level, both within the counseling profession and more widely within your community. What propelled you into leadership?
I began volunteering within my community when I was a teenager. Even then I was in leadership, such as my first role at the age of 17 as Co-Director for a crisis hotline. For me, it has always been about helping and supporting others. Be it for my community or my profession, I still continue to think of service roles as volunteering. I have always believed if we can give back and help others, we should, and each of us has the opportunity to give back in ways that best align with our interests and skills. I do not consider leadership as something that I was propelled to do, so much as it is something that has always overlaid well with my skill sets. My ability to see both the big picture and the specific tasks, plan, organize, delegate, and support other leaders I serve with tends to be sought in a variety of levels and foci. I believe in cultivating a team of talented and dedicated individuals with skills and interests that suit the work needing to be done, and supporting them in doing the things they do best in order to help others.
I view such leadership as service leadership. I am ever mindful that I am merely an agent helping others, be it for community members, membership that elects me to a leadership role within a professional organization, or end consumers we seek to help. I am an advocate and activist with a strong social justice focus, thus I tend to be the individual who speaks up for individuals or groups that are in some way being marginalized, oppressed, or victimized. My emphasis and style as a servant leader is also centered on those we serve. I am the type of leader that is consistently mindful on how it is not about me, but rather those for whom I serve. I am known for saying “I’m just doing what I do,” because for me that is really what it is all about. I focus on helping others and the rest, including leadership roles, has always just naturally fallen into place.
2)What does it mean to you to be a leader in your current role as president of ALGBTIC, and then more broadly within the counseling profession?
My current role as ALGBTIC President means more to me than I can express. As a gay man myself, I have spent over 25 years serving LGBTQ+ individuals and communities in a variety of ways. To be elected president of the organization by the ALGBTIC membership is both a great honor and extremely humbling. I am following in the footsteps and legacies of other past, influential presidents who have really lead the charge in so many ways. It also carries with it a significant level of responsibility. ALGBTIC membership is counting on me and the rest of the Board of Directors to lead the organization wisely and effectively. LGBTQ+ individuals who access professional counseling services are presuming affirmative practices, and LGBTQ+ communities are expecting appropriate social justice and advocacy. There are countless people relying on me and the Board of Directors and that carries with it a great deal of pressure for all of us to ensure superior servant leadership.
The concentration of my presidential year has been on LGBTQ+ social justice and advocacy. Not only is this important in general, but even more so now in our current socio-political climate. There are organizations, politicians, policy makers, and even specific national- and state-level legislations that are specifically targeting the oppression and disenfranchisement of LGBTQ+ people. As leaders for LGBTQ+, we cannot simply stand by and watch such targeted discrimination occur. We may be a professional counseling organization, but ALGBTIC recognizes and honors that proper assistance requires social justice and advocacy. Whether that is at the individual, group, organizational, state or regional, or national level(s), we must assist professional counselors in remembering our call to be advocates on behalf of those we serve.
In addition to the work being done for our own membership and consumers of counseling services, ALGBTIC has a responsibility to the profession itself. ALGBTIC and its leaders are those which the ACA and other divisions turn to for guidance on handling LGBTQ+ counseling and professional issues. We field countless inquiries, consultations, meetings, etc. surrounding issues associated with LGBTQ+. I often find myself walking the fine-line balance between “this is the best recommendation or practice” and “keep in mind this does not necessarily speak to ‘everyone’ or ‘all cases’ ”. Within our scope, ALGBTIC is concerned with the multitude of identity continuums associated with sex, sexuality, affectionality, and gender, and that is highly complex given intersectionalities. What the lived experience is for a Caucasian lesbian, for example, is not the same as that of a trans person of color. We strive on our Board of Directors to not only be diverse amongst ourselves, but also in the resources we can quickly access so that we can best assist the variety of questions and concerns we receive on a daily basis. I am enormously impressed by, and grateful for, our Board of Directors. They are a truly amazing team of dedicated individuals who work hard every day to fulfill the responsibilities, mission, and vision of the organization. It is not an easy task to feel the weight of pressure associated with being “the voice” of so many identity and intersectional continuums to an entire profession, but I am proud that our current board is always focused on the people we serve.
3)What do you see as the current strengths of the counseling profession? What has got you excited?
The strength of our profession lies in its counseling professionals. Our counselors, be they practitioners, supervisors, educators, and/or researchers, are the lifeforce of our profession. We work daily to help others on their personal journey. That could be clients looking to improve their life; supervisees seeking to improve their skills; counseling students learning how to go out and help their own clients and students; or researchers seeking to improve any and all of the others. Counseling professionals help others every single day. What excites me about our profession is our people. Counselors are out there consistently trying to help others do better; to be better. As a whole, that then promotes the betterment of the human condition. When you stop and think about it, that is truly awe-inspiring.
4)What do you see as the current challenges of the counseling profession? What has got you concerned?
There is division occurring between counseling entities and specialty areas, and I find this very concerning. I have always believed we are one profession with different specialties. When the ACA put forth the 20/20 Vision I was encouraged as it gave us a formal proclamation that made clear we as a profession were here to help others and, while we may do that in different arenas or ways, we are all counselors. Yet lately we are seeing discord such as divisions leaving the ACA, increased controversy over training standards, disagreement on how licensure portability should be handled, etc. What concerns me is how those discussions, decisions, and actions are being handled. As a national, divisional president, I sit in meetings sometimes and feel concern because the focus I hear is on things (e.g., financial) other than who we are as counselors and as professionals who should be focused on helping others. I do not mean to imply there are no other variables associated with decision making; of course there are. And yes, we should agree these are complex issues that need to be discussed and addressed. But I believe the primary focus should always be on those we serve and help. Look at other professions, such as social work for example. They do not argue over what area of helping people is “more important” or “more specialized”. They focus on helping others and doing what it necessary at the professional level in order to ensure that is possible in the most person-centered way possible. I am concerned that what I see happening right now in our field does not strengthen our profession, it divides it. It divides us. Some decisions being made do not put counseling service consumers at the forefront of decision making and I find that very concerning.
5)What are your hopes for the profession as it continues to grow and mature in the next 5/10/20 years?
It will come as no surprise that my hopes for the profession stem directly from my concerns previously noted. I hope for things such as getting license portability handled because it helps counseling services, not debating about which organization will lead the charge. I hope for the day when we stop arguing about whether or not counselor training should have standards. We should absolutely question what the standards are and how they are implemented, but we should not be debating if there should be standards. I hope for the day when multicultural considerations, equity, inclusion, and intersectional identities are not “issues to be concerned with” so much as they just are things we do naturally because it is the right thing to do. I hope for the day when the profession remembers it is comprised of individuals who wanted to be counselors so they could help others, and honor and respect that there are different specialty areas in which we can do that from our shared counseling approach. Overall, I hope the profession will remember it is about those we serve and those we help. Because it is not about us, it is about them.