About Us

A Warm Welcome

Thank you for visiting the IAC website. 

The International Association for Counselling (IAC) is an International Non-Governmental Association (NGO) with United Nations consultative status (ECOSOC, WHO, UNESCO, and ILO). Since 1966, we have worked to advance the development of counselling through practice, education, research, and advocacy initiatives. IAC advances the development of counselling in order to improve people’s lives and well-being.

Our Vision: A world where counselling is available to all.

Counselling changes lives for the better and reduces suffering. IAC’s humanitarian movement advocates for more access to counselling worldwide. IAC lobbies and influences governments and international organisations to have counselling better recognised as a profession. In some countries there is no counselling at all. IAC helps to establish counselling structures, (e.g. National Associations or Education Programmes) in those countries. Technology is moving the global circle of counsellors ever closer. IAC embraces the modernisation of our profession and proudly serves at the forefront of connecting counsellors worldwideIAC is working to advance the counselling profession worldwide and we invite you to join us in our mission.

Over the years, IAC has connected to all of the major counselling associations worldwide.

World Mapping of Counselling Activity: Until recently, there has been no comprehensive and systematic global study of the counselling profession. IAC’s ‘World Mapping of Counselling Activity’ is designed to generate detailed knowledge about the counselling profession in each of the world’s 196 countries. This project has received World Health Organisation (WHO) endorsement and both the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) have sponsored the mapping of world regions. We gratefully acknowledge their support. Generating detailed knowledge about the counselling profession for each country will significantly raise public and professional awareness of counselling, enable enhanced advocacy (both national and international), and improve information sharing for individual counsellors and the wider profession. Please see the mapping website HERE.

Global Advocacy for the Counselling Profession: IAC uses its official consultative status with United Nations agencies (WHO, ILO, UNESCO, UNICEF, and ECOSOC) and other international groups and governments to ensure that counselling becomes better recognized as a profession. Our advocacy work enhances the reputation and credibility of the profession and allows us to strengthen the position of counselling by influencing counselling-related policy. Important, high-level policy decisions on mental health, education, social issues, and work, are made at the intergovernmental level and it is essential to ensure the appropriate inclusion of counselling. United Nations policy decisions strongly influence the approaches that national governments take in these areas, and directly impact counsellors, their clients, and the counselling profession. Read more about IAC and the United Nations HERE.

Memberships: For Individuals and Organisations: Membership is open to Individuals, Associations, Education Institutes and Counselling Services. There are multiple member benefits, including:

  • IAC’s Journal (International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling) -- Quarterly journal and access to all back-issues since 1978.
  • A Certificate of Membership
  • Connection and Support: Invitations to Member Meetings
  • Continuing Education: Including free webinars (3 per year) and online course dicounts.
  • IAC Newsletters: News, updates, articles, and events.
  • An IAC Logo for use on your materials.
  • Voting and Election Rights: You can vote and be nominated for election to various (unpaid) positions.
  • Representation: IAC Edvocacy to the United Nations and Governments.
  • Volunteerig Opportunities: Gain experience, make friends, and assist IAC.
  • Discounts: Significant discounts on events, advertising and more. 

Becoming an IAC member supports our work and brings with it multiple professional benefits. Find all details on JOINING HERE. We look forward to welcoming you to IAC, and to the global community of counsellors.

IAC Quarterly Journal: The ‘International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling’ has been in publication since 1978. It promotes the exchange of information about counselling activities throughout the world. The journal contains over 1,400 conceptual, practical and research contributions that provide an international perspective on: theories and models of counselling and guidance; counsellor education and supervision; state of the art reports on counselling in specific settings; special populations; special applications; and counselling services in developing countries. IAC Education and Online Courses: IAC has a number of online courses in development. In 2021 our course in Transcultural Counselling opened for registration -- creating a unique opportunity to learn online from world-renowned counselling experts. This 20-hour course is self-paced, and aims to increase participants’ cross-cultural responsiveness in a flexible and supported learning environment. Participants receive a Certificate of Completion and fulfil 20 Continuing Education (CEU) Hours / Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Hours. It is suitable for counsellors who wish to expand their practice and customize their approach, either internationally or when serving diverse clients locally. Find out more information HERE and please see a short introductory VIDEO HERE.

IAC Events: IAC conferences and webinars bring scholars, researchers, educators, students, professionals and other groups interested in counselling together to listen and share their knowledge, research findings and educational practices. Our conferences and webinar series contain diverse and high-quality line ups of keynote speakers, presenters, discussion groups, posters and social activity. IAC conferences (both in-person and online) have a lasting impact on the development of counselling in the host country — often becoming a catalyst for national progress and global reach. We look forward to connecting with you at an IAC event.

IAC RoundTable Meetings: IAC Roundtables are ‘discussion and action’ groups that present excellent opportunities for individual counsellors and associations from around the world to meet, discuss and plan activity with their international colleagues. IAC has RoundTables in the following areas: Research; Ethics; Associations (for Association Leaders); Practitioners; Indigenous Peoples; Students; Peace and Social Justice; and Projects. IAC

Partnership and Collaboration: For over 56 years, IAC has partnered and worked with National, Regional, and Inter-governmental Organsiations and Institutes. IAC greatly values these relationships. For enquiries relating to partnership, hosting an IAC conference, sponsorship, organizational membership, or project collaboration, please contact the IAC Chief Executive Officer: Mr. Naoise Kelly. Email: ceo@iac-irtac.org

Thank You