Our philosophy

Counselling changes not just the lives of individuals, but of families and communities.

Our desire for social justice determines everything we do and guides our relationship with our members and the public, as well as commissioners and government. It’s why we champion the counselling professions as a viable, and increasingly evidence-based choice for people. We know counselling works.

We’re alongside our members throughout their careers and put them at the heart of what we do. We understand their needs and support them in making a positive difference to the mental wellbeing of their clients.

We do this by promoting and facilitating research to produce trusted best practice, and by providing a robust framework to ensure the profession follows and adheres to the highest possible standards that protect individuals seeking therapy.

As a result, we help the general public, individuals and commissioners make better, more informed choices about the provision of counselling, and continue to raise the ethical and professional standards of the profession.

Charitable objectives

As a registered charity, our two key charitable objectives underpin our work and we use our income and property to promote these aims. In all of our activities, whether we’re providing services to members, commissioning research or campaigning, these are the objectives that guide us, and the principles by which we measure our success.

Our charitable objectives are:

  • to promote and provide education and training for counsellors and psychotherapists working in either professional or voluntary settings, whether full or part time, with a view to raising the standards of the counselling professions for the benefit of the community and in particular for those who are the recipients of counselling or psychotherapy
  • to inform and educate the public about the contribution that the counselling professions can make generally and particularly in meeting the needs of those whose participation and development in society is impaired by physical or psychological health needs or disability.

Our values

Our values were developed through conversations with employees about what it means to be BACP and what we need to succeed.

By living our values we’ll be better able to achieve our purpose and to meet the changing needs of our members.

  • Responsibility - we take responsibility for all our actions and do the right thing, feeling safe to admit our mistakes
  • Encouragement - we encourage ideas for continuous improvement, being open to change and challenges
  • Support - we value each other and our diversity, promoting inclusiveness and tolerance
  • Passion - our work will reflect our passion for counselling changing lives
  • Excellence - we strive for the highest standards
  • Collaboration - we work together for the best outcomes: communicating, listening, learning and sharing ideas
  • Trust - we have integrity, building and maintaining trust, openness, honesty and fairness 

Our strategy

Increasing Our Reach: 2023 to 2028 

Our strategy is a bold agenda for change and improvement. We are ambitious for our members, for the profession and for the public. 

The six objectives are to:   

  1. set the global gold standard for best practice in the counselling professions
  2. support members with new and customised services throughout their professional journey
  3. shape the future of the global counselling professions community
  4. ensure financial and organisational sustainability
  5. promote a diverse and inclusive profession and access to services
  6. establish digital best practice and provide high quality digital services

BACP will be focused on moving from a leading UK association to a positive force on the global stage for counselling professionals and mental wellbeing, over the next five years. 

We’ll continue to champion gold standard best practice and, at every career stage, be a credible and communicative partner. 

We’ll develop as an organisation to deliver our strategy, optimising our use of digital technology, delivering on our EDI strategy and achieving financial sustainability.  

You can read a summary of our new strategy using the links above.

We're BACP and counselling changes lives.