The Australian Counselling Association Inc (ACA) is the peak body representing the interests of Australian counsellors/psychotherapists and the mental health consumer. ACA acts as the check and balance between therapists and the Australian public through a national registration system (quality control) for therapists and a complaints mechanism (accountability) for the public.
ACA also advocates for equitable access to therapeutical services and optimal mental health care for all Australians. ACA promotes excellence and career success for our members through the registration process and working with government, non-government organisations and the private sectors. Non registered counsellors/psychotherapists may not meet the minimum academic standards required of registration and are likely to not be accountable through a National complaints mechanism.
With evidence based scientific foundations, registered counsellors are experts in working with people suffering from mental health conditions such as depression, stress, body image, bullying and many other issues. Counselling is a cost-effective way that does not require a GPs referral to maximise function, optimise recovery, promote wellness and primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of mental health disease across the lifespan. Recent research has shown that many physical ailments have a strong mental health component and unless these ailments are treated holistically recovery may be temporary or the condition may become chronic.
Research has shown 1 in 5 Australians will suffer from a mental health condition in their life time with the World Health Organisation predicting depression will take over from heart disease as the number one debilitating health condition within 10 years. The demand for mental health services will continue to increase beyond the capacity of our health care system and with this the public needs to be protected through a National registration process. Not all counsellors/psychotherapists are registered nor are they required to be by law.
Registered counsellors continue to provide ever increasing levels of preventive mental healthcare services, whilst continuing to provide primary mental health care for individuals, families and couples to ensure mental health well-being.