About ACA

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 19 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.

Policies, Bylaws & Forms


ACA Articles of Incorporation and Amendments
ACA Articles of Incorporation - August 1952 

ACA Bylaws
Bylaws - March 2015

ACA Policies Manual
Policy Manual - April 2018

ACA Code of Ethics

2014 ACA Code of Ethics

Code of Leadership Conduct

ACA Code of Leadership Conduct

Past Meeting Minutes
APGA/AACD/ACA Governance Meeting Minutes

Governing Council Motions
Governing Council Motions - 2003 - Present (April 2018)

IRS Form 1023, Exemption Application

IRS Tax Exemption Letter for ACA

IRS Tax Exemption Letter for ACA Group (ACA divisions that are listed)

IRS Form 990 - ACA 2016 Public Version




Learn more about what ACA does for its members here.

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Latest News

Take Action: Insurance, Mental Health Coverage in Peril

by Kathie Felix | Nov 22, 2017
A bill proposing revisions to the nation’s tax structure is now in the Senate. That measure contains a provision that would negatively affect the clients professional counselors serve, in terms of their access to early intervention, preventative care, and affordable insurance and mental health care costs. Ultimately, that provision would affect the ability of clients and prospective clients to see professional counselors and to obtain mental health care.
The House of Representatives has already voted on a tax plan of its own, but that measure did not include any change to the current health care law.

What does this mean? 

The Senate tax reform bill contains a repeal of the “individual mandate” of the Affordable Care Act.  The individual mandate, which requires that almost all Americans have health insurance or pay a fine, brings more people into the insurance marketplace, resulting in better costs and coverage for early intervention,  preventative, and ongoing health care, including care for mental health.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated this repeal would result in 4 million people losing health insurance coverage in 2018—and 13 million losing coverage by 2027—as well as premium increases of 10% per year in the individual marketplaces.

To learn what the American Counseling Association is doing for professional counselors and their clients on this measure—and what you can do, read more here.