Our History

Four independent associations convened a joint convention in Los Angeles, CA in 1952: The National Vocational Guidance Association (NVGA), the National Association of Guidance and Counselor Trainers (NAGCT), the Student Personnel Association for Teacher Education (SPATE), and the American College Personnel Association, in hopes of providing a larger professional voice. They established the American Personnel and Guidance Association (APGA), later changing names in 1983 to the American Association of Counseling and Development. On July 1, 1992, the association changed its name to the American Counseling Association (ACA) to reflect the common bond among association members and to reinforce their unity of purpose.

Headquartered in Alexandria, VA, just outside Washington, DC, the American Counseling Association promotes public confidence and trust in the counseling profession so that professionals can further assist their clients and students in dealing with the challenges life presents. The American Counseling Association services professional counselors in the U.S. and in 50 other countries including Europe, Latin America, the Philippines and the Virgin Islands. In addition, the American Counseling Association is associated with a comprehensive network of 19 divisions and 56 branches. The American Counseling Association also collaborates with several corporate and related organizations to enhance member services.

Related Links

Join Now

  • Learn more about your specialty—join a division
  • Maximize your Professional Development
  • Stay ahead of the educational learning curve
  • Advocate for the counseling care of tomorrow
  • Expand your networking connections
  • More Member Benefits

Latest News

White House Supports Additional Type of Group Health-Care Insurance Plan

by Kathie Felix | Jan 17, 2018
Late last month, the White House proposed new rules that would make it easier for small businesses, sole proprietors, and individuals to group together in “association” to buy insurance in the large group market. These association plans, as they are known, would be exempt from many of the consumer protections—including required mental health coverage—that are mandated by the Affordable Care Act, which now provides coverage for some of the same types of customers.
An association plan has no connection with the American Counseling Association or other professional associations. The name refers to a group of businesses and individuals associating with each other for the purpose of obtaining insurance.

The Labor Department predicts that as many as 11 million people may join these association plans. A 60-day period for public comment on the proposal is currently under way. The opportunity for public comment ends March 6, 2018.  

Read more on the American Counseling Association Government Affairs blog