Dr. Kylie Dotson-Blake serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer for the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and Affiliates, which includes the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), the Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE) and the NBCC Foundation (NBCCF).
Dr. Dotson-Blake joined the leadership team at NBCC as Interim Chief Operating and Policy Officer in 2018 and later served as Interim President and CEO before assuming the position in July of this year. Her tenure at NBCC also includes six years on the board of directors with two terms as the elected chair.
Dotson-Blake is a native of eastern North Carolina. Previously, she was a professor and Counselor Education program coordinator at East Carolina University in Greenville. She received her master’s degree in counselor education from ECU and her doctorate in counselor education from The College of William and Mary.
She recently spoke to us about her work and what she’s most passionate about.
Why do you believe the work that we are doing is important?
Mental health is as critically important as any other facet of health, and the public needs to be assured that the professionals providing these services are appropriately prepared and demonstrate the knowledge necessary for safe and effective practice. The work that NBCC and Affiliates does is critical for regulation and public protection. We maintain the national model, and that serves as a foundation for the profession overall. It is the starting point for public protection.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
At NBCC, we have a strong systems focus, and community engagement has always been important to me. As people, we’re all responsible to each other and building a better community. Strong communities need strong systems. The system for us is the profession of counseling, and NBCC is totally focused on how we fit into the system and support the profession. The ability to connect with and support the regulatory boards and professional organizations that are also working to ensure that we have counselors prepared to serve the public is such a positive experience. Being able to help counselors get the recognition they deserve and the public to have access to these wonderful resources feels like we are really using our resources in a way that improves the lives of many. It feels good to be part of a team that is working to make things better for others.
What are you most passionate about?
Health services in our country and globally are not equally available to all people, and NBCC has a real and significant opportunity to increase access to mental health services through our capacity building efforts. This is what I am most passionate about — the work that we are doing to increase the numbers of certified counselors in the field, resources to support those counselors' professional development, and our efforts to increase community based mental health resources and services.
What highlights since you’ve been with NBCC and Affiliates really stand out?
The most outstanding and transformative experience has been the powerful coming together of the counseling community to tackle the challenges presented by COVID and to confront systemic racism and advocate for justice for all this summer. Not only has the profession come together, our organization, internally, has as well. Our staff has invested in new and different ways to do their jobs. We've had some missteps along the way, but the team has worked so hard, and they have used this time of challenge to find better ways to provide services and more significant ways to use our resources to promote access and equity in our communities. The NBCC and Affiliates staff has kept trying to find ways to help counselors and others in the community, even in the face of serious challenges. I am inspired and impressed by them every day. I feel very fortunate to be part of this team and to have the opportunity to serve a profession that I love.
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