Professional Identity Development

Shaping the counselor professional identity is a foundational goal for training students in the counseling program.  Counselor identity development includes integrating the values, attitudes and actions championed by the counseling profession with ones larger identity system.

Membership in professional organizations and associations is essential to the counselor professional identity. Counseling program students are required to join a professional organization. Membership dues are sometimes discounted for students.  Membership benefits include receiving newsletters, journals, announcements regarding professional activities, federal updates and policy notices impacting the counseling profession and networking opportunities. In addition, members are offered professional liability insurance at reduced rates.  Students can select organizations that best align with their identified specialty area and professional interests.  Below is a list of professional organizations:

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (

American Counseling Association (

Association for Adult Development and Aging (AADA;

Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling (AARC;

Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling (ACAC;

Association for Creativity in Counseling (ACC;

American College Counseling Association (ACCA;

Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES;

Association for Humanistic Counseling (AHC;

Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC;

Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD;

American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA;

American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA;

American School Counselor Association (ASCA;

Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling (ASERVIC;

Association for Specialists in Group Work (ASGW;

Counselors for Social Justice (CSJ;

International Association for Addictions and Offender Counselors (IAAOC;

International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC;

International Committee of Adlerian Summer Schools and Institutes (ICASSI;

Military and Government Counseling Association (MGCA;

National Career Development Association (NCDA;

National Employment Counseling Association (NECA;

National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC;

North American Society of Adlerian Psychology (NASAP;