"The Heart and Conscience of the Counseling Profession"
AHC has a proud history as one of the original divisions of ACA which was then APGA. Over the years, AHC earned the nickname "the Conscience of the Association" because of the mission to address the very real concerns of human beings in arenas ranging from professional and career to personal growth and wellness.
AHC has a long history as an association, evolving along with the counseling profession itself. Originally founded in 1931 under the name of the Teachers College Personnel Association, the organization was dedicated to "personnel workers" (i.e., counselors) involved in training of teachers (Allen, 1962). In 1946, the name was changed to Personnel Section of the American Association of Teachers Colleges, evolving again in 1951 to the Student Personnel Association for Teacher Education, or SPATE (Allen, 1962). It was then in 1952 that SPATE joined with three other organizations to form the American Personnel and Guidance Association (APGA), later the American Counseling Association (Kaplan, 2002). In 2010, the name of the association changed from the Counseling Association for Humanistic Education and Development (C-AHEAD) to AHC, but our commitment remains the same. With its emphasis on humanistic education and counseling, AHC has directly contributed to the counseling profession through its focus on getting to know the client as a person rather than a diagnosis, and continued championing the ethical regard for the dignity of all persons (Kaplan, 2002). In this way, AHC has been instrumental in defining the counseling profession as unique and separate from other helping professions such as social work or psychology.
Today, AHC continues its work fostering the wellness and mental health of clients and counselors. "Giving back" as an organizational philosophy has resulted in the Empty Plate project, in which funds are collected from ACA members to benefit a local food pantry in the community hosting the annual convention. The annual Wellness Center at the convention is a series of events that enhance counselor wellness. In addition, benefits for members include a twice-yearly peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education, and Development, and a twice yearly newsletter, the Infochange. As the "Division with Vision", AHC works to identify issues or topics of interest to the counseling profession and provide a venue for exploration of those issues or topics. In the past, these have included hot-topic debates at the annual ACA convention, special issues and special sections of the Journal, and hosted activities at the association's booth in the convention exhibit hall. In the future, these initiatives and others that remind us what counseling is as a profession will remain the core of the association's identity.
If you would like to view archived material of the AHC click on the following link Archived information