20/20: Consensus Definition of Counseling

The delegates met at the ACA Conference in Pittsburgh in March 2010 and agreed on a unified definition of counseling.

Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.

The delegates made it clear that the definition was a basic framework and that each participating organization is welcome to add a statement that fleshes out the particular specialty or area of focus.

The definition was then submitted to the leaders of the participating organizations, and was approved by 29 of the organizations. Details in JCD-July 2014 article by David M. Kaplan, Vilia M. Tarvydas & Samuel T. Gladding: 2020: A Vision for the Future of Counseling: The New Consensus Definition of Counseling!

Endorsing organisations are

• American Association of State Counseling Boards (AASCB)

• American College Counseling Association (ACCA)

• American Counseling Association (ACA)

• ACA Midwest Region

• ACA North Atlantic Region

• ACA Southern Region

• ACA Western Region

• American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA)

• American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA)

• Association for Adult Development and Aging (AADA)

• Association for Assessment in Counseling and Education (AACA)

• Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES)

• Association for Counselors and Educators in Government (ACEG)

• Association for Creativity in Counseling (ACC)

• Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALBGTIC)

• Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD)

• Association for Specialists in Group Work (ASGW)

• Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling (ASERVC)

• Chi Sigma Iota (CSI)

• Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC)

• Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)

• Council on Rehabilitation Education (CRE)

• Counseling Association for Humanistic Education and Development (Formely),
-now the Association for Humanistic Counseling (AHC)

• International Association of Addictions and Offender Counselors (IAAOC)

• International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC)

• National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)

• National Career Development Association (NCDA)

• National Employment Counseling Association (NECA)

•National Rehabilitation Counseling Association (NRCA)

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