Professional Counseling Organizations

Professional counselors generally belong to one or more professional counseling organizations. Membership in these organizations provides support for advocacy, research, scholarships, access to ethics consultants, continuing education, access to research, and more. Counseling organizations exist at the national, regional, state, and local levels, so be sure to check out your local organizations.

Larger professional counseling organizations, such as the American Counseling Association and its divisions, publish peer-reviewed journals, which are made available to members. Thus maintaining one's membership in these organizations is a great way to access research that is relevant to client care while also staying current. Many organizations have regular conferences, which provide practitioners with access to a wealth of current knowledge, skills, and information as well as peer support.

Organizations and Websites

The American Counseling Association (ACA)

  • The ACA is the primary professional organization for counselors in the United States. The ACA publishes the counseling code of ethics, which can be downloaded from the ACA website.

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA)

  • The ASCA is the primary professional organization for school counselors in the United States. The ASCA website includes the ASCA national model as well as a wide range of resources & publications for members.

The National Career Development Association (NCDA)

  • The NCDA is a division of the ACA that was founded in 1913 as the National Vocational Guidance Association (NVGA). The organization claims to be the first career development association in the world. Their website contains useful resources as well as an ethics code. Starting in October, 2017, the organization will provide credentialing for career services providers and counselors.

The Association for Adult Development & Aging (AADA)

  • The AADA is a division of the American Counseling Association (ACA) that emphasizes development from late adolescence through the end of life. The division offers a journal, resources for political advocacy, grants, & other information on counseling adults.

The Association for Counselor Education & Supervision (ACES)

  • ACES is a division of the ACA that supports counselor educators & supervisors. ACES puts on regional as well as national conferences and publishes the Counselor Education & Supervision journal. ACES also provides information on supervisory best practices that are used in many supervisory relationships. We encourage all counseling doctoral students, counselor educators, & supervisors to join ACES.

Chi Sigma Iota (CSI or ΧΣΙ)

  • CSI is the professional counseling honor society. The CSI website contains membership application information, grant applications, resources & advocacy information for professionals, & information on divisions. CSIs mission is to promote excellence in counseling.

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP)

  • CACREP ensures quality education for counselors through accreditation of graduate masters and doctoral degrees. We highly suggest that prospective counseling students consult the CACREP directory to ensure they are applying to accredited programs, as an accredited degree eases the process of obtaining licensure as a professional counselor in many states.

The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)

  • NBCC provides national level certifications (certifications are not equivalent to state licensure) for counselors across a range of specializations. NBCC also provides resources, grants, advocacy information, continuing education, & a wide range of resources for clients and professionals.