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

Our 2019 to 2022 strategy makes a firm commitment to work with and for our members, and for the benefit of the public, to build acceptability and credibility of the counselling professions.

  1. We will listen to, learn from and work with our members to inform the work of the Association.
  2. We will equip our members to be able to work in a fast-changing world, to be able to influence and contribute to the wellbeing of society.
  3. We will be the professional home of choice for members and communities of practice, providing relevant services and opportunities to learn, develop and inspire each other.
  4. We will further develop confidence in and credibility of the profession by developing and upholding professional and ethical standards, informed by an evidence base.
  5. We will campaign for the appropriate provision of counselling and psychotherapy for all members of society, and for opportunities for paid employment of our members. We will champion the skills, competence and contribution of our members to the public, employers, commissioners and policy-makers.
  6. We will optimise the organisation of BACP to ensure it is flexible, responsive, and capable of resourcing the vision and goals.

We are BACP and counselling changes lives.