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Mission Statement and Legal Stuff


ACTO Mission Statement

We noticed that not everyone is completely clear on exactly what it is ACTO does. We hope that after reading this you will have a greater understanding of the work ACTO does, the ethos behind ACTO, and how seriously, like all therapists, ACTO takes the role of ethics in all forms of therapy.

As we know, online therapy is well established, having been around since the 1980’s.  It is growing in many exciting ways as more and more therapists are keen to broaden our their skills and work with their clients in more flexible ways.  ACTO works hard to promote online therapy and ensure that is based on clear evidence and sound training and ethical standards. 

ACTO is an organisation run by a Board of Directors from a range of theoretical backgrounds and therapeutic experience (of the current 10 only 3 have any connection to an online therapy training provider).  It is a not for profit organisation and all Directors give their time voluntarily, which amounts to many hours each week, as they all feel passionately about supporting the development of online therapy across the world. 

ACTO is an advisory body that provides support and information to therapists interested in developing their practice online, and to those already practising and supervising online.  ACTO is developing strong links with online therapy platforms, online therapy software companies, insurance companies and researchers; with the aim of bringing benefits to members and ensuring that they are able to work as effectively and ethically as possible.

ACTO believes strongly that to practice as effectively and ethically as possible specific training in online therapy is vital.  In the same way that any professional would seek training if broadening out their career and skills in a new area.  All therapists have a foundation training that is robust, with ethics a core aspect running through it.  As we develop our careers our professional bodies expect us to continuously train and keep open to new approaches and learning.  And if we were to begin work in a new way would look for an appropriate course to support this.  For example, core therapy training is to equip the therapist to work with adults, and so we know that to branch out to work with children and young people, we would seek a course that helped us to develop the skills to work ethically in this specialism.  In the same way we would expect a doctor wanting to practice in a related, but different part of medicine to undertake appropriate training.

ACTO believes that maintaining high standards of online training and practice supports both online therapists and the public.  The legal and technological world is ever changing, and can be complicated to understand, potentially leading the untrained online therapist into difficulties.  So ACTO is using its strong relationships with other professional therapy. and related, bodies to ensure that these high standards are maintained across all modalities and online work.

ACTO is also working with the ever growing number of online training providers to create high standards of training that will give therapists confidence in the course they choose, that it will equip them to embark on online therapy.  ACTO is keen to work with all organisations who work online, and are mentoring those who standards do not currently meet what ACTO expects; as ACTO aims to be open and inclusive; working with those who are yet to reach this high standard, rather than shutting them out for not yet being there.

ACTO has recently led in a pilot with CORE-net, gathering evidence for the use of CORE in online therapy, with fascinating and very positive result, which will be used to take this pilot forward to the benefit of all ACTO members.

This gives a flavour of the range of work that ACTO is undertaking on behalf of online therapists, and those wishing to train.  ACTO’s ethos is to be professional, ethical and inclusive, and the Board is always keen for ACTO members to join either the Board or the range of working groups that are doing so much of the valuable work of ACTO.  For example, there are working groups for research and development, children and young people, the CORE project, and the development of the website.

ACTO is happy to engage in open and robust discussion and offer guidance and support to anyone interested in online working.  ACTO’s members have a wealth of experience, skills and backgrounds that they are keen to share.

Legal Stuff

ACTO is the trading name Association for Counselling and Therapy Online Ltd;

Registered address: 19B Front Street, Sacriston, County Durham, DH7 6JS United Kingdom.

Registered in England; Company limited by guarantee in England and Wales No. 10620417.

Although our members may not all be resident within England and Wales any ACTO contract, and the work to which it relates, are subject to the jurisdiction of the laws of England & Wales.

  • ACTO promotes, maintains, improves and advances online counselling and ·psychotherapy and other online psychological support as a recognised method of therapeutic delivery within the mental health professions;


  • ACTO is the representative body for professional online psychological therapists who are members of the Association;


  • ACTO act as an advisory body in the education and training of online therapists working in either paid or unpaid settings, whether full or part time with a view to raising the standards in the principles, practice and skills of online therapy for the benefit of the community and in particular for those who are the recipients of online therapy;


  • ACTO advances the education of the public regarding the role of online therapy generally and in particular aims to meet the needs of those members of society where development and participation in therapy is impaired by mental, physical or social disadvantage or disability.


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