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

ACA Nominations and Elections Handbook - February 2020
2020-2021 ACA Nominations and Election Handbook Feb 2020

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 (June 2020)

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

    Legislation for Licensed Professional Counselors in Michigan Signed Into Law

    by User Not Found | Oct 30, 2019
    HB 4325 clarifies that counselors can continue to diagnose and offer psychotherapy

    Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed HB 4325 into law—effectively protecting the scope of practice for licensed professional counselors and ensuring they retain the ability to diagnose patients and use psychotherapy techniques.

    “This new law will ensure that more than 150,000 Michiganders can still access critical mental health care,” stated Whitmer. “And it will protect 10,000 professional counselors from losing the ability to practice as they currently do. We must continue to work hard to ensure every Michigander has access to critical mental health care, and this is a step in the right direction.”

    The bill signing comes after several weeks of a huge grassroots effort mobilized among concerned counselors and mental health organizations, including the American Counseling Association, to protest the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ proposed changes to redefine the work counselors are lawfully permitted to perform. While a decision from LARA is still forthcoming, today’s bill signing eclipses any rule changes that would have been established by the Board.

    In an effort to expand and clarify the scope of practice for professional counselors in Michigan, HB 4325 adds the term "clinical counseling principles, methods or procedure" to the scope of practice language. Other changes that the bill addresses include: requiring licensed counselors to seek continuing education courses. It also would allow people who have graduated with Master's or doctoral degrees to become counselors at 18 years old. Currently, the age requirement to practice is 21.

    “This important legislation safeguards the ability of at least 10,000 of Michigan’s LPCs to provide critical counseling services to the state’s families, seniors, veterans, and children during this time in our nation when the mental health crisis is on the rise, “ said Richard Yep, CEO of the American Counseling Association. “We applaud Governor Whitmer for standing with the LPCs in Michigan and the approximate 150,000 citizens they serve each year.”