Select how you would like to share this page.

Counseling related Acronyms and Abbreviations


GAF = The Global Assessment of Functioning
The Global Assessment of Functioning scale is used to rate how serious a mental illness may be. It measures how much a person's symptoms affect his or her day-to-day life on a scale of 0 to 100. It's designed to help mental health providers understand how well the person can do everyday activities.   

"The scale was included in DSM-IV, but replaced in DSM-5 with the WHODAS (WHO Disability Assessment Schedule), a survey or interview with detailed items. The WHODAS is supposed to be more detailed and objective than a single global impression.  The main advantage of the GAF would be its brevity."[Wikipedia]

GAL = Guardian Ad Litem
An attorney or other trained person who is appointed by the court to represent the interest of a child or disabled person in a pending court case--commonly used to represent children in a divorce there are allegations of domestic violence or child abuse or custody is contested.


GC-C = Grief Counselor, Certified
(Certified Grief Counselor), American Academy of Grief Counseling, American Institute of Health Care Professionals.


GCMH = Global Council for Mental Health
(A new WHO organization, 2004).


GMHS = Geriatric Mental Health Specialist
Defined by WAC 388-865-0150 which applies to an agency that is licensed by the Mental Health Division as a Community Mental Health Program. This would not apply to an individual in private practice. [Thanks to Washington State DSHS, Mental Health Division, (360) 902-0787.] While the mental health professional is employed by the agency the meaning is as follows: WAC 388-865-0150 Definitions. "(2) A 'geriatric mental health specialist' is defined as a mental health professional who has the following education and experience: (a) A minimum of one hundred actual hours (not quarter or semester hours) of specialized training devoted to the mental health problems and treatment of persons sixty years of age or older; and (b) The equivalent of one year of full-time experience in the treatment of persons sixty years of age or older, under the supervision of a geriatric mental health specialist."


GSA-NCC = Graduate Student Application for the National Certified Counselor
Allows advanced students in participating counselor preparation programs at colleges and universities to to take the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) and start the certification process while their "book learning" is fresh. [Thanks to The NCC, Spring 2007, page 20, a publication of the NBCC.]


HBLU = Healing from the Body Level Up
A brief therapy technique "that engages a mind/body/spirit methodology to help clients struggling with grief and loss, along with other physical and emotional conditions." Developed by Judith A. Swack, Needham, Mass. [Thanks to ACA "Counseling Today" July 2003.]


HCA = The Washington State Health Care Authority.

WSHA works closely with the state Health Care Authority on a broad variety of issues, especially around opportunities to improve the health of Washington residents through innovation. Between the state’s Apple Health (Medicaid) program and coverage for public employees, the HCA provides health insurance for almost a third of Washington State residents.


HERE = The Washington State Department of Health's Health Education Resource Exchange

An online clearinghouse of public health education and health promotion materials, events, resources, and news in the State of Washington. H.E.R.E. is designed for people who perform population-based health promotion activities in a variety of settings, primarily state and local health departments, tribes, community organizations, clinics, hospitals, and schools. 


HIPPAA = Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
The primary goal of the law is to make it easier for people to keep health insurance, protect the confidentiality and security of healthcare information and help the healthcare industry control administrative costs.


HRT = Harm Reduction Therapy
The Center, founded by leaders in the Harm Reduction Therapy movement, is a certified drug and alcohol treatment program staffed by mental health professionals.  Our program offers pragmatic, proven solutions to substance abuse, and has an impressive record of positive results.
Mental Health Articles
How Drugs and Alcohol Affect the Brain and Body
Race Relations Articles

How helpful is this web page to you?

not helpful
very helpful