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.


8 Ways ACA Helped Counselors Help Others in 2018

2018 ACA Annual Report Infographic

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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 18 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 - May 2019

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 (July-2019)

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 2017 Public Version

Learn more about what ACA does for its members here.

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  • Latest News

    Statement from the American Counseling Association on our National Crisis of Gun Violence

    by User Not Found | Aug 09, 2019

    Professional Counselors care, are concerned, and can help

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—The following is ACA’s statement on our national gun violence crisis and the trauma caused by these heinous acts (esta declaración también está disponible en línea en Español/this statement also is available online in Spanish):

    It is with great sympathy for impacted communities across the country that the American Counseling Association (ACA) extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of those killed and injured as a result of gun violence.

    Communities in our nation too often suffer from the impact of gun violence. The mental and emotional harm that it causes families, communities, and society is profound. Individuals may experience a wide range of trauma responses, including distractability, difficulty focusing, dwelling on the event, sleeplessness, anxiety and depression. This is why ACA:

    • Strongly discourages attributing these atrocities to mental illness—rather than considering the complex interplay of the misuse of guns and targeted acts of gun violence; and
    • Recognizes that all communities suffer greatly from gun violence and need resources and help.

    “We know that gun violence is a major threat to the physical, emotional, and mental health of individuals and communities,” ACA Chief Executive Officer Richard Yep said. “Long after the initial shock of a tragedy subsides and the press, politicians and first responders address the needs of the communities, professional counselors remain and are prepared to help them navigate the sustained period of grief that may follow.”

    “Licensed Professional Counselors are trained to identify those impacted by violence, to assess their needs, and to appropriately intervene, not only for PTSD but also for other serious mental health conditions,” ACA President Heather Trepal said. “As a result of training and experiences, professional counselors in all settings understand the range of emotions and fears the public experience when their lives are impacted by tragic events or when they hear about these events.”

    The American Counseling Association seeks partnerships with all mental health professional organizations in our support of communities and in our collective recommendations to improve policies that combat these horrific events.

    For anyone affected by gun violence: Seek help. ACA provides the following free resources: