(mostly all) Counseling related Acronyms and Abbreviations

(Plus Acronyms related to client mental or physical problems)



AAB = American Academy of Bereavement
The American Academy of Bereavement is a non-profit organization founded in 1993, is a national association devoted to the education, preparation and advancement of bereavement specialists.


AAC = (1.) Agency Affiliated Counselor
A counselor who is employed by or has an employment offer with an agency or facility that is licensed or certified by the State of Washington. The agency or facility sets the degree and experience requirements for the job, if any. No degree, experience, or scope of practice standards are established or required by the State of Washington.
See also: Counselor License and Certification in Washington State

AAC = (2.) Association for Assessment in Counseling
The Association for Assesment in Counseling is a division of the American Counseling Association.


AACAP = American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry promote the healthy development of children, adolescents, and families through advocacy, education, and research, and to meet the professional needs of child and adolescent psychiatrists throughout their careers.


AACC = American Association of Christian Counselors
The American Association of Christian Counselors is committed to assisting Christian counselors, the entire “community of care,” licensed professionals, pastors, and lay church members with little or no formal training. It is our intention to equip clinical, pastoral, and lay care-givers with biblical truth and psychosocial insights that minister to hurting persons and helps them move to personal wholeness, interpersonal competence, mental stability, and spiritual maturity.


AADA = Association for Adult Development and Aging
The Association for Adult Development and Aging is a division of the American Counseling Association.  Chartered in 1986, the Association for Adult Development and Aging, serves as a focal point for sharing, professional development, and advocacy related to adult development and aging issues; addresses counseling concerns across the lifespan.


AAETS = The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress
The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress increases awareness of effects of traumatic events and crisis situations on human functioning.


AAGC = American Academy of Grief Counseling
The American Academy of Grief Counseling provides high quality programs of Certification and Fellowship for professionals practicing grief/bereavement counseling.


AAGT = Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy
The Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy is a dynamic, inclusive, energetic non-profit organization committed to the advancement of theory, philosophy, practice and research in gestalt therapy and its various applications.


AAMFT = American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) is the professional association for the field of marriage and family therapy. They represent the professional interests of more than 50,000 marriage and family therapists throughout the United States, Canada and abroad.


AAPC = American Association of Pastoral Counselors
The American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) is a membership and certification organization whose mission is to provide spiritually informed and integrated counseling, collaborative community based  services, training and education in order to enhance the well being of individuals, families and communities.


AAPI = Asian American Pacific Islander
See: Stop AAPI Hate


AAPCSW = American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work
The AAPCSW represents the interests of social work psychoanalyists and psycho-analytically informed social workers. The AAPCSW is affiliated with The Clinical Social Work Federation.


AAPPN = The Association of Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses
Washington state's only organization committed specifically to the practice of advanced psychiatric nurse practitioners.


AARP = American Association of Retired People
Join AARP. Fraud Watch Network helpline toll-free at 1-(877)-908-3360. 


AASCB = American Association of State Counseling Boards
In Spring 2005, the AASCB will launch its National Credential Registry to increase licensure portability--the ability to move more easily between states with a valid counseling license. Counselors will need to register and submit credentialing materials. 


AASECT = American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists
Founded in 1967, the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) is devoted to the promotion of sexual health by the development and advancement of the fields of sexual therapy, counseling, and education. AASECT's mission is the advancement of the highest standards of professional practice for educators, counselors and therapists.


AATA = American Art Therapy Association, Inc.
Promotes and regulates the educational, professional, and ethical standards for art therapists and is the official member organization for professionals and students in the field of art therapy.


ABCFP = American Board of Couple and Family Psychology


ABE = American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work
The American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work (ABE) is the national standard-setting organization for the profession of Clinical Social Work.


ABEPSGP = American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry, and Group Psychotherapy
The ASGPP promotes the development of creativity, spontaneity and encounter to enhance the relationship between individuals, families and communities, and works actively to heal and transform society through the knowledge and practice of psychodrama, group psychotherapy and sociometry in all its diverse applications.


ABH = American Board of Hypnotherapy
 The American Board of Hypnotherapy mission is to empower our students to transform their lives and for them to encourage transformation in others using holistic, complementary, alternative and integrative approaches to psychology and human understanding.


ABHW = Association of Behavioral Health and Wellness
Formerly the American Managed Behavioral Healthcare Association (AMBHA)--is an association of the nation's behavioral health and wellness companies.


ABPN = American Board of Professional Neuropsychology


ABPP = American Board of Professional Psychology
The mission of the American Board of Professional Psychology is to increase consumer protection through the examination and certification of psychologists who demonstrate competence in approved specialty areas in professional psychology.


A1c = Specifically, the A1C test measures  what percentage of hemoglobin proteins in your blood are coated with sugar (glycated). Hemoglobin proteins in red blood cells transport oxygen. The higher your A1C level is, the poorer your blood sugar control and the higher your risk of diabetes complications. 


ACA = American Counseling Association
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.


ACAC = Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling
ACAC is a support and information network for counselors who work with children and adolescents.


ACADC = Association of Christian Alcohol and Drug Counselors Institute
An educational program with a curriculum appreoved by the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs and a member of the Apostolic Council of Education Accountability.


ACAF = American Counseling Association Foundation
American Counseling Association Foundation supports counselors within their professional pursuits, while advancing and advocating for the mission of the American Counseling Association.


ACCA = American College Counseling Association
ACCA is an Association for those persons in higher education to include colleges, universities, community and technical college settings, whose professional identity is counseling and whose purpose is fostering students’ development.


ACCFC = American College of Certified Forensic Counselors
It is not a college but rather the Certification Commission of the National Association of Forensic Counselors (NAFC).


ACEG = Association for Counselors and Educators in Government
The purpose of ACEG is to encourage and deliver meaningful guidance, counseling, and educational programs to all members of the Armed Services, their family members, and civilian employees of State and Federal Governmental Agencies.


ACEP = Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology
Energy psychology (EP) is a family of integrative approaches to psychotherapy, coaching and healthcare treatment that work with the mind-body connection.


ACEs = Adverse Childhood Experiences is another part of school culture that teachers and administrators are tackling. ACEs include all types of abuse and neglect, such as parental substance use, incarceration, and domestic violence. ACEs can also include situations that may cause trauma for a child, such as having a parent with a mental illness or being part of a family going through a divorce.
So, in therapy, the client needs to change the question from "what is wrong with me?" to "what happened to me".


ACES = The Association for Counselor Education and Supervision
The Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES) is the premier organization dedicated to quality education and supervision of counselors in all work settings.


ACH = Accountable Communities of Health (ACH) are not replacing behavioral health organizations (BHOs) but are adding an element for the community.  The goal is care of the “whole individual”—medical, mental health, dental, etc. in one location. More option for consumers and more accountability for providers.  Washington State Health Care Authority website has a good overview of ACHs.


ACH = Automated Clearing House System (ACH) charges
ACH direct debit transfers include consumer payments on insurance premiums, mortgage loans, and other kinds of bills. The rules and regulations that govern the ACH network are established by National Automated Clearinghouse Association . Includes automatic payments set up to charge your checking account or credit card each month for a set amount.


ACHE = American Council of Hypnotist Examiners
In 1973, the Hypnotist Examining Council was created as a non-profit professional organization engaging in self-regulation of all who utilized hypnosis/hypnotherapy as an integral part of a professional practice.


ACOG = the Amererican College of Obstetricrians and Gynecologists


3639 MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. WAY SOUTH SEATTLE, WA 98144, (206) 695-7600,


ACS = Approved Clinical Supervisor
A certification of the CCE (the Center for Credentialing & Education, a corporate affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors.) The ACS credential was originally started by the National Board for Counselor Certification (NBCC) in 1997. In January 2001, the ACS was transitioned to CCE to open the certification to mental health professionals who have obtained licensure or certification in a related discipline. (Under NBCC, only NCCs were able to qualify for the certification.) The ACS credential attests to the educational background, knowledge, skills, and competencies of the approved clinical supervisor.


ACSW = Academy of Certified Social Workers
The Academy of Certified Social Workers was established in 1960 and remains the most widely recognized and respected social work credential.


ADAA = Anxiety Disorders Association of America
Promotes the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and related disorders and to improve the lives of all those who suffer from them through education, practice, and research.


ADAI = Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute of the University of Washington
The mission of the Institute has been to conduct and support substance abuse research at the University of Washington, and disseminate research findings in substance abuse.


ADATSA = Washington State's Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Treatment and Support Act


ADEC = Association for Death Education and Counseling
The Association for Death Education and Counseling® is an international, professional organization dedicated to promoting excellence and recognizing diversity in death education, care of the dying, grief counseling and research in thanatology.


ADTA = American Dance Therapy Association
The purpose of the ADTA is to establish, maintain, and support the highest standards of professional identity and competence among dance/movement therapists by promoting education, training, practice, and research.


ADTR = (1.) Academy of Dance Therapists Registered
A senior-level clinician credential for experienced, evaluated and approved DTR's, is officiated by the American Dance Therapy Association, or (2.) a member of the Academy of Dance Therapist Registered. (See also: DTR and CMA.)


AFCARS = The Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System
The Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System  "collects case-level information from state and tribal title IV-E agencies on all children in foster care and those who have been adopted with title IV-E agency involvement. Examples of data reported in AFCARS include demographic information on the foster child as well as the foster and adoptive parents, the number of removal episodes a child has experienced, the number of placements in the current removal episode, and the current placement setting...


AGLBIC = Association for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues in Counseling

ALGBTIC includes the recognition of both individual and social contexts presenting the confluence of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, age, spiritual or religious belief system, indigenous heritage


AGPA = American Group Psychotherapy Association
AGPA serves as the voice of group therapy for mental health clinicians and the public-at-large, both nationally and internationally.


AHFC = Apple Health Foster Care 


AHP = Association for Humanistic Psychology
In its 50th year, the Association for Humanistic Psychology has reflected upon its mission, over the past half century, to facilitate the understanding of the Humanistic principles within the global community. Our success in this objective is reflected in the recognition of these principles in just about every realm of science and practice relating to human service and growth around the world.


AICT = American Institute for Cognitive Therapy
The American Institute for Cognitive Therapy is an internationally recognized group of clinical psychologists and psychotherapists providing the highest quality cognitive-behavioral treatment for depression, anxiety, phobias, eating disorders, personality disorders, child and adolescent problems and family and marital problems.


AIHCP = American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc. is a, professional organization serving various health care professionals, providing Health Care Certification, Continuing Education, and Fellowship programs in their practice specialty.


ALS = Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a rapidly progressing neurological (nervous system) disease that belongs to a group of disorders known as motor neuron diseases. ALS destroys nerve cells need to walk, talk, swallow and –eventually—breathe.  There is no cure and most people die within three to five years.


AMCD = Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development
The Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development seeks to develop programs specifically to improve ethnic and racial empathy and understanding. Its activities are designed to advance and sustain personal growth and improve educational opportunities for members from diverse cultural backgrounds.


AMHCA = American Mental Health Counselors Association
AMHCA succeeds in giving a voice to our profession nationwide and in helping to serve you and your colleagues in your state.


AOA = American Orthopsychiatric Association
("Ortho") is an 80-year old membership association of mental health professionals concerned with clinical issues and issues of social justice. Ortho provides a common ground for collaborative study, research, and knowledge exchange among individuals from a variety of disciplines engaged in preventive, treatment, and advocacy approaches to mental health.


APA = (1.) American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the world’s largest psychiatric organization. It is a medical specialty society representing growing membership of more than 36,000 psychiatrists


APA = (2.) American Psychological Association
The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA is the world's largest association of psychologists, with nearly 130,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as its members.


APAC = Association of Professional Advisers & Counselors at UW


APMHA = American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association
American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association (APMHA) was formed in 1992 by a group of licensed therapists as an alternative for professionals to provide a multidisciplinary forum for the ethical use of hypnosis and hypnotherapy.


APNA = American Psychiatric Nurses Association
APNA has grown to be the largest professional membership organization committed to the specialty practice of psychiatric-mental health (PMH) nursing and wellness promotion, prevention of mental health problems, and the care and treatment of persons with psychiatric disorders.


APRN = Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
What is the difference between RN and APRN? RNs deliver direct patient care as specified in a patient's medical plan, while APRNs create this patient care plan alongside other advanced practice providers, and supervise other medical staff, including RNs and medical assistants. 


APSA = American Psychoanalytic Association
Psychoanalysis is a method of treatment that helps people understand themselves, their relationships, and how they behave in the world.


APT = Association for Play Therapy
APT promotes the value of play, play therapy, and credentialed play therapists by advancing the psychosocial development and mental health of all people and sponsoring and supporting those programs, services.


ARCA = American Rehabilitation Counseling Association 
ARCA is an organization of rehabilitation counseling practitioners, educators, and students who are concerned with improving the lives of people with disabilities. Rehabilitation Counselors are counselors with specialized training and expertise in providing counseling and other services to persons with disability.


ARNP = Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner
Requires advanced diagnostic training and often has authority to write and monitor prescriptions.
Department of Health | Washington State


ASAM =American Society of Addiction Medicine 
"ASAM criteria" means admission, continued service, and discharge criteria for the treatment of substance use disorders as published by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. The ASAM Criteria for substance abuse provide a national set of objective guidelines that give clinicians a way to standardize treatment planning and which "level" patients are placed in treatment, as well as how to provide continuing, integrated care and ongoing service planning. The purpose is to provide outcome-oriented and results-based care in the treatment of addiction. There are four main levels of treatment for substance abuse: Level I --outpatient treatment, Level II --intensive outpatient treatment, Level III -- medically monitored intensive inpatient treatment, and Level IV -- medically managed intensive inpatient treatment.  Founded in 1942 by J. L. Moreno, MD, it is the pioneer membership organization in group psychotherapy.


ASGPP = American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama 
Founded in 1942 by J. L. Moreno, MD, it is the pioneer membership organization in group psychotherapy.


ASPPB = Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (US & Canada)

ASTT = Advocates for Survivors of Torture and Trauma
A group of physicians, psychologists, social workers and human rights advocates who have come together to find ways to help survivors of torture and trauma.


ASWB = Association of Social Work Boards
To strengthen protection of the public by providing support and services to the social work regulatory community to advance safe, competent and ethical practices.


ATCB = Art Therapy Credentials Board
Grants registration (ATR) after reviewing documentation of completion of graduate education and postgraduate supervised experience. The Registered Art Therapist (ATR) who successfully passes the written examination administered by the ATCB is qualified as Board Certified (ATR-BC), a credential requiring maintenance through continuing education.


ATP = Association for Transpersonal Psychology
Membership supported international coordinating organization for scientific, social, and clinical transpersonal work that serves the world community. The Association's mission is to promote eco-spiritual transformation through transpersonal inquiry and action. Recognizing the reciprocity inherent between our actions and our world, the Association is dedicated to encouraging and enhancing practices and perspectives that will lead to a conscious, sustainable, co-evolution of culture, nature, and society.


ATR = Registered Art Therapist
Becoming a Registered Art Therapist requires the completion of qualifying master’s level education (including art therapy core curriculum, supervised practicum, and internship experiences), post-education supervised clinical experience, and references. 


ATR-BC = Registered Art Therapist - Board Certified


ATSA = Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers
The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers is an international, multi-disciplinary organization dedicated to making society safer by preventing sexual abuse. ATSA's members include treatment providers, researchers and educators, victims' rights advocates, law enforcement and court officials, and representatives of many other groups.


ATSS = Association for Traumatic Stress Specialists
Organize, educate and professionally certify its worldwide membership in order to assist those affected by trauma.  ATSS provides and promotes opportunities for training and education in the field of traumatic stress, and professionally recognizes evidence of service, education and experience by those individuals engaged in trauma treatment, services and response.


AU = Americans United for Separation of Church and State (or AU for short) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that advocates separation of church and state, dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation, representing persons of different backgrounds, races, religions and ages. Americans United shields our shared laws from the influence of any one religion so we can be free to come together as equals and build a stronger democracy.


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