For Colleagues and Friends:
ACC has been granted approval from all necessary authorities to make a change of name from Association of Christian Counsellors to Association of Christians in Counselling and Linked Professions.
The name change more accurately reflects our members and their practices.
The abbreviation ACC will continue to be used, but all references to Association of Christian Counsellors on this website should be assumed to be now referring to our new name Association of Christians in Counselling and Linked Professions.
On our 30th anniversary we are thankful for the continuation of ACC as a professional membership body for counsellors who are Christians, and for those who are involved in caring and supporting people pastorally.
As we celebrate this important anniversary we are looking forward to building on this valued legacy, and now is a the right time for a new name and logo that better represents who our members are, which new membership groups are coming aboard, and what we offer to members of the public and the church.
Welcome to the Association of Christians in Counselling and Linked Professions. ACC for short!
We hope you like the name and will like our new logo. Both have come out of a very lengthy process of design, discussion and prayerful discernment.
The choice of each new word in our name has been carefully considered and weighed and we would like to explain them to you.
The change from “Christian Counsellors” to “Christians in Counselling” is subtle but significant. We have often found ourselves needing to explain that the term Christian Counsellors does not mean that all of our counsellor members are trained in and practice a model of something called “Christian counselling”, but rather are counsellors trained and practicing in a wide range of modalities, who identify as Christians. We feel that the new name Christians in Counselling much better represents us as an organisation, and our counsellor members.
The addition of “and Linked Professions” is important in two ways. In addition to counselling members, we already have pastoral care members and for several years we have expressed the desire to grow new membership streams for example, coaches, mentors, spiritual directors. A recent survey has confirmed that, for members who responded, the vast majority support this planned expansion. The challenge was how to represent our new membership streams in our existing name in a concise and encompassing way.
Similar to counsellors, many new members will be Christians working in fields of coaching, mentoring etc. but not necessarily practicing “Christian mentoring / coaching, etc.” We see that the different memberships are linked as in different ways they are all involved in caring for the mental and spiritual health and wellbeing of people. We also wanted to ensure clarity for members of the public so that the different memberships are seen as being distinctive from counselling and importantly the counselling register.
We deliberated a great deal on the choice of the final word ‘professions’ as this does not express well the ministry of pastoral care or spiritual direction. We decided on “professions” in recognition that this word has value and meaning especially in relation to our core membership of counselling. We also know that while pastoral carers and spiritual directors may not describe what they do as professions, they all seek to work with a high level of professionalism and ACC’s desire is to enable them to do so.
The new name therefore we believe brings inclusion of and acknowledgement that we have different membership groups, and clarity about the work and practices of all of our members as Christians working in different but often closely linked ways.
The new logo suggests some continuity with the past and is a fresh expression of a growing organisation that represents members with related skills and capabilities that sometimes overlap – who are one in our identification as Christians working in the field of mental and spiritual health and wellbeing.
7 October 2022