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 (October 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 2018 Public Version

Learn more about what ACA does for its members here.

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  • Latest News

    President Trump Issues Executive Order on Behavioral Health

    by Danny Le | Oct 06, 2020
    The President signed an executive order that could increase access to mental health services for those suffering from behavioral health issues exacerbated by the global health pandemic.

    On Monday, October 5th, President Trump signed an executive order that could potentially increase access to mental health services for those suffering from behavioral health issues exacerbated by the global health pandemic.

    “My administration is committed to preventing the tragedy of suicide, ending the opioid crisis, and improving mental and behavioral health. The pandemic has also exacerbated mental and behavioral-health conditions as a result of stress from prolonged lockdown orders, lost employment, and social isolation,” said Trump.

    The President has also issued a national call to action which includes provisions that will address many of the behavioral health needs of the country; such as suicide prevention, avoiding drug-related deaths, and decreasing poor behavioral-health outcomes. The provisions include:

    • Providing crisis-intervention services to treat those in immediate life-threatening situations.
    • Increasing the availability of and access to quality continuing care following initial crisis resolution to improve behavioral-health outcomes.
    • Permitting and encouraging safe in-person mentorship programs; support-group participation; and attendance at communal facilities, including schools, civic centers, and houses of worship.
    • Increasing the availability of telehealth and online mental health and substance use tools and service.
    • Marshalling public and private resources to address deteriorating mental health, such as factors that contribute to prolonged unemployment and social isolation.
    • Establishing a Coronavirus Mental Health Working Group to facilitate an “all-of-government” response to the mental health conditions induced or exacerbated by the pandemic, including issues related to suicide prevention.

    Within 45 days of the date of the executive order, the Coronavirus Mental Health Working Group will develop and submit to the President a report that outlines a plan for improved service coordination between all relevant public and private stakeholders, executive departments and agencies to assist individuals in crisis, so that they receive effective treatment and recovery services.

    ACA will monitor the executive order and will keep you updated with any developments. If you would like to become involved in ACA’s advocacy efforts, please contact us at advocacy@counseling.org.