Member DMG + American Association of Christian Therapists

What is Diplomate?

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One who has received a diploma, and is certified as a specialist by a board of examiners


Noun 1.  diplomate – specialist whose competence has been certified by a diploma granted by an appropriate professional group.



The AACT has developed the standards of several other medical/counseling organizations.


One of The AACT's major objectives is to always attempt to promote the highest standards for professional excellence and attempt to assure that AACT Diplomates are recognized as leaders in the fields of Behavioral Medicine, Counseling, Psychotherapy, Chemical Dependency Counseling and Coaching. Many internationally prominent practitioners have assisted in the development of international standards for Diplomate Status.


It is to be emphasized that AACT Diplomate Status is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as being, a substitute for any legal requirements for practicing behavioral medicine, counseling, psychotherapy, chemical dependency counseling and/or coaching that may exist within a state, province, country or any other jurisdiction. But rather, licensing/certification/registration at the highest level by the appropriate jurisdiction within which a candidate practices is generally considered to be the minimum requirement for AACT Diplomate Status.


An AACT Diplomate/Member's professional practice must always be in full compliance with all existing laws, rules and regulations within the jurisdiction within which he/she practices. The basic requirements for AACT Diplomate Status are generally as follows:


  • Appropriate advanced degree(s) in Candidate's chosen profession
  • Specific training satisfactory to The AACT in its scope and depth in the area(s) in which the Candidate is applying for Diplomate Status
  • Licensing/Certification/Registration at the highest level by the relevant jurisdiction in which the Candidate practices
  • Minimum of five years of acceptable post-graduate professional experience
  • Minimum of ten (10) years of clinical or professional practice or other experience acceptable to The AACT
  • Satisfactory professional references from appropriate individuals (colleagues and/or supervisors)
  • No record of disciplinary action by any licensing or certifying entity or misdemeanor/felony conviction without written explanation acceptable to The AACT.
  • Comprehensive examination – may be waived for qualified candidates.
  • Agreement to always adhere to and uphold the highest ethical standards as described in The AACT's Code of Ethics, as well as the code of ethics of the Candidate's profession
  • Any requirements for AACT Diplomate Status may be added, deleted, modified or waived without notice at the discretion of The American Association of Christian Therapists’ Executive Committee for Clinical Standards and Credentialing.


Code of Ethics


As a member of the American Association of Christian Therapists, I PROMISE to conduct myself at all times in an ethical manner becoming to my title.  I shall not be self-serving or monopolizing, or take undue advantage of any person I choose to counsel.


I PROMISE to strive for excellence in my counseling.  Whenever possible, I will continue to advance my learning and improve my counseling skills through continuing education.


I PROMISE to be fair in all my practices and with those I seek to help.  When any act or practice of mine has been challenged by a counselee or the AACT, I shall endeavor to respond and help to solve the problem in a timely manner.


I PROMISE to counsel only within the boundaries of my training and experience.  I will not intentionally jeopardize the well-being of any counselee by using “innovative” approaches or various psychotherapies on him/her when I am not trained properly or qualified in a specific discipline or modality.  I will take the responsibility to refer a counselee to another counselor if I feel unqualified to help him/her.


I PROMISE to remember with every approach in counseling I realize that ultimately I am responsible for helping the counselee find a solution for their problem.


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The term fellow is also used to describe a person, particularly by those in the upper social classes. It is most often used in an academic context: a fellow is often part of an elite group of learned people who are awarded fellowship to work together as peers in the pursuit of knowledge or practice. The fellows may include visiting professors, postdoctoral researchers and doctoral researchers.