Our History

Four independent associations convened a joint convention in Los Angeles, CA in 1952: The National Vocational Guidance Association (NVGA), the National Association of Guidance and Counselor Trainers (NAGCT), the Student Personnel Association for Teacher Education (SPATE), and the American College Personnel Association, in hopes of providing a larger professional voice. They established the American Personnel and Guidance Association (APGA), later changing names in 1983 to the American Association of Counseling and Development. On July 1, 1992, the association changed its name to the American Counseling Association (ACA) to reflect the common bond among association members and to reinforce their unity of purpose.

Headquartered in Alexandria, VA, just outside Washington, DC, the American Counseling Association promotes public confidence and trust in the counseling profession so that professionals can further assist their clients and students in dealing with the challenges life presents. The American Counseling Association services professional counselors in the U.S. and in 50 other countries including Europe, Latin America, the Philippines and the Virgin Islands. In addition, the American Counseling Association is associated with a comprehensive network of 19 divisions and 56 branches. The American Counseling Association also collaborates with several corporate and related organizations to enhance member services.

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Latest News

  • ACA in the News: Opt-out Rule for Counselors Gains Approval in Arkansas

    Jul 13, 2016
    Yesterday, Arkansas lawmakers passed a bill that permits a counselor to opt out of working with a client if the provider has a conflict of "conscience." ACA immediately issued a statement condemning the passage, citing a direct violation of the ACA Code of Ethics.
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  • ACA Responds to Shootings in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas

    Jul 08, 2016
    “We are all saddened by the latest shootings in Baton Rouge and outside of Minneapolis. This is all further heightened by the shooting in Dallas. We take comfort in knowing that ACA members provide valuable services to communities and individuals who are trying to make sense of these tragic events,” said Rich Yep, CEO of the American Counseling Association.
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