About ACA

The American Counseling Association is a not-for-profit, professional and educational organization that is dedicated to the growth and enhancement of the counseling profession. Founded in 1952, ACA is the world's largest association exclusively representing professional counselors in various practice settings.

What Is Counseling?

According to 20/20: A Vision for the Future of Counseling, the delegates comprised of 31 counseling organizations agreed upon a unified definition of counseling: Professional counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.

Divisions, Branches, and Regions

There are 20 chartered divisions within the American Counseling Association. These divisions provide leadership, resources and information unique to specialized areas and/or principles of counseling.  ACA has four regions, which serves members in those regions.  Lastly, ACA has 56 chartered branches in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America.  Please click the following links to get more information about ACA's Divisions, Branches, and Regions.

More About ACA

Counseling Today

Multicultural competence: A continual pursuit

  • Counseling Today
    In the September cover story, prominent figures in the field emphasize that multicultural competence in counseling involves consistent and career-long striving, not a one-time acquisition of knowledge. More

Featured Podcast

Integrated Care: Applying Theory to Practice

  • Podcast
    Dr. Russ Curtis is an LPC and associate professor of counseling at Western Carolina University; where he serves as coordinator of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. Eric Christian is an LPC, a national certified counselor, and has been working as an integrated care coordinator for the past five years.

ACA Achieves Climate Registered Status
The Climate Registry - Climate Registered logoAfter measuring its carbon footprint according to The Climate Registry's best-in-class program, having the information verified by a third-party, and reporting the data on The Registry's website, in 2012 ACA achieved Climate Registered status (view the full list of Client Registered organizations here). Measuring an entity's carbon footprint is the first step toward reducing it. Climate change is contributing to rising sea levels, floods and droughts, and the severity of adverse weather events like Hurricane Sandy.  ACA is continuing its work as a member of The Climate Registry this year, including setting goals for reducing emissions and expanding its emissions inventory.  We are proud to join a wide range of businesses, utilities, governments, and other nonprofits in leading work to address this crucial issue.

Join ACA Today

  • Maximize your Professional Development
  • Stay ahead of the educational learning curve
  • Advocate for the counseling care of tomorrow
  • Expand your networking connections

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Latest News

Help ACA design the 2014 For Graduate Students and New Professionals Only conference series in Hawaii!

by Don Kenneally | Apr 11, 2013
ACA really enjoys paying as much attention as we can to graduate students and new professionals and we need your help to do so.

Dear Graduate Students and New Professionals,

ACA really enjoys paying as much attention as we can to graduate students and new professionals and we need your help to do so.

An important ACA initiative is our special For Graduate Students and New Professionals Only conference series. Each year at the annual conference, ACA provides education sessions by some of the most famous authors, theorists, and leaders in professional counseling on topics specifically chosen by graduate students and new professionals. Previous For Graduate Students and New Professionals Only presentations have included:

  • Patricia Arredondo—Making the Most of Supervision.
  • Gerald Corey—Finding a Meaningful Life After Graduate School.
  • Gerald Corey, Marianne Corey, & Jamie Bludworth—Becoming a Professional Counselor
  • Rebecca Daniel-Burke—Finding a Counseling Job in This Lousy Economy. A New Opportunity: Getting a Job in Integrated Care.
  • Marcheta Evans—What Graduate Students and New Professionals Need to Know About Mindfulness.
  • Jo-Ann Lipford Sanders—What Graduate Students and New Professionals Need to Know About the Current State of Multiculturalism.
  • Carman Gill & Stephanie Dailey—Got Spirit? Our Clients Do.
  • Sam Gladding—What Graduate Students and New Professionals Need to Know About Humor in Counseling.
  • Sam Gladding & Donna Henderson—Keeping the Boundaries From Breaking in Counselor Education: Professor/Student Relationships.
  • Jane Goodman—Master Teaching Techniques for Rookie Counselor Educators.
  • Allen & Mary Ivey—What Graduate Students and New Professionals Need to Know About Neuroscience.
  • Marty Jencius—What Graduate Students and New Professionals Need to Know About Social Media.
  • Jeffrey Kottler—What Can I Do With My Counseling Degree? Career Options for Graduate Students and New Professionals.
  • Courtland Lee—Let Your Degree be Your Passport: International Opportunities for Graduate Students and New Professionals.
  • Lynn Linde—Office Politics 101.
  • Sandra Lopez-Baez—Practical Pointers for Graduate Students and Professionals.
  • Deborah Legge—Preparing Graduate students and New Professionals for Success in Private Practice.
  • Chris Moll—From Backpacks to Briefcases: Making the Transition From Graduate Student to Professional Counselor.
  • Jane Myers—Wellness & Self-Care for Graduate Students and New Professionals.
  • Beverly O’Bryant—Knowing me, Supporting Me, and Marketing Me.
  • Cynthia Osborne, Pamela Paisley & Jack Culbreth—How to Find Post-Grad Supervision on a Shoestring Budget.
  • Mark Pope—How to Get Through Your Dissertation (and Graduate).
  • Anneliese Singh—“Do Ask, Do Tell”: Current LGBTQ Issues in Counseling for Graduate Students and New Professionals.
  • Don W. Locke—Building Skills and Advocating for the Counseling Profession.

ACA needs your help in determining the lineup for the 2014 ACA conference in Hawaii next March. We would love to have you respond to the following two questions: 1.—Other than a faculty member in your own program, who is a famous counselor that you would enjoy seeing (and meeting) at the conference? Who is the person most likely to get the following reaction from you: “I can’t believe I’m seeing her/him in person!”

2. What topic(s) would you like to see at the 2014 conference for the For Graduate Students and New Professionals Only series? Most of our student attendees are enrolled in master’s degree programs, so while we certainly want doctoral level related programs, we are especially desirous of topics that are meaningful to master’s level students and new professionals.

ACA thanks you for your willingness to help construct the 2014 For Graduate Students and New Professionals Only series. The ACA conference is the world’s largest conference for professional counselors (3,500 attended the Cincinnati conference last month) and we hope that everyone can come to Hawaii. For information on the conference – including how to submit a proposal before the June 5th deadline- visit www.counseling.org/conference. Even if you can’t attend we still would love to have your ideas for the series.

You can send your thoughts directly to ACA at dkaplan@counseling.org.