December 1, 2023

Get Contract

For Finance Buffs

Morals Verses Ethics in the Work Place

6 min read

Comparing Ethics Codes for Qualified Counselors


This write-up appears at the variations among the codes of ethics offered by a few professional counseling corporations The American Counseling Association, The American Association of Christian Counselors and the American Affiliation of Pastoral Counselors. The report examines the discrepancies in the memberships of the corporation, the ensuing variances in the organizations’ code of ethics and discusses one lacking aspect in each and every code.

Standard Observations on the a few Codes

The codes reviewed under were being posted by the American Counseling Association (ACA, 2005), the American Affiliation of Christian Counselors (AACC, 2004), and the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC, 1993).

The ACA Code of Ethics is revised every single 10 a long time and was final revised in 2005. The code has eight sections: the counseling relationship, confidentiality, specialist accountability, interactions with other pros, evaluations, supervision and schooling, study, and resolving ethical difficulties. Counseling Nowadays summarized the Code’s current alterations to incorporate: greater emphasis on multiculturalism allowing twin associations if it features possibly beneficial interactions broadened suitable use of technologies in study, file preserving and counseling a lot more detail language on counselor impairment and transfer of customers and lastly, changes in several terms but not the meaning as an illustration “checks” are now referred to as “assessments”. (Highlights of ACA Code of Ethics, 2005)

The AACC code was finalized in 2004 following 10 yrs and 4 provisional codes. This is the longest of the three codes. The Code’s main sections are: applicability of the code, introduction and mission statement, Biblical basis rules, ethical standards, and procedural principles. The moral expectations area is divided amongst the numerous types of membership. The AACC Code contains the most intensive segment on resolving conflicts and handling of complaints.

The AAPC is the shortest of the three codes. The code was very last revised in 1993 and at this time the procedural part was separated from the Code of Ethics (Beck, 1997). The Code has 7 sections: prologue, qualified practices, shopper relationships, confidentiality, supervisee, pupil and personnel relationships, interprofessional associations and promotion.

Qualifications of companies

The ACA, AACC and AAPC, as corporations, have different charters and membership.

The ACA is an group geared toward furnishing services to specialist licensed counselors from all backgrounds and planet-views. For illustration, a member could have a entire world-view centered in atheism, Buddhism, Islam or Christianity. The ACA cannot believe any very similar ethical perception or history among the its member.

The AACC membership has a broad aspect in the definition of counselor and a narrow component in that the users are Christian. The AACC Code of Ethics encompasses sections applicable to experienced licensed counselors, pastoral counselors, and lay helpers.

The AAPC has the narrowest of memberships. Entire membership in AAPC involves the member have an M. Div and be ordained by a denominational corporation. The denominational group does not have to be a Christian denomination. The AAPC Code in the Prologue portion particularly states the counselors are also issue to their dominations code of ethics.

Ethical Descriptors Comparison

In evaluating two Christian codes from the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and the Christian Association for Psychological Scientific tests with two secular codes from the American Counseling Association and the American Psychological Association, Beck the works by using the 23 vital ethical descriptors. The descriptors are from Williams Index of Moral Code Terminology that was discovered by Austin, Moline, and Williams (1990) as contained in the 6 codes they examined (Beck, 1997). Table 1 includes the 23 descriptors, further terms determined and cross-references the respective codes sections to each descriptor or time period.

The ACA Code has all of the 23 ethical descriptors mentioned by Beck and most of the added phrases. The only section that the ACA Code does not incorporate is the special treatment sections integrated in the AACA Code linked to material abuse, abortion, divorce, client sexual affairs, and homosexual behaviors.

The AACC Code addresses all the descriptors other than for refusal of therapy, fraud, procedures and like the AAPC Code does not contain the additional descriptors related to the use of technology, session and forensic evaluation.

The AAPC Code incorporates the the very least descriptors of the three codes. It does not consist of the descriptors relevant to measurement tests, security, reporting colleagues, multicultural clients, teams, specific treatment circumstances, technology, session or forensic evaluations.

Even even though the codes may perhaps incorporate sections related to each descriptor, it does not comply with that each Code presents for identical treatment method of the descriptors. Two examples of descriptors that are managed otherwise are suicide and twin relationships.

Area A.9 of the ACA Code discusses suicide. This part leaves the selection to support or not assistance assisted suicide up to the counselor and states that the counselor ought to try to “permit consumers to exercising the highest diploma of self-willpower possible”. The AACC Code discusses suicide in segment E1-127. The AACC Code offers counselors ought to refuse to “condone or advocate for active kinds of euthanasia and assisted suicide”. The AAPC Code does not offer with this issue. A counselor who is a member of the ACA and AACC would be subject matter to conflicting Codes of Ethics in the region similar to counselor steps in regards to assisted suicide.

The variance related to twin associations are not as apparent as in suicide, but the language of the three codes does look to present of spectrum of suggestions on dual interactions.

The ACA Code, in 2005, was adjusted to lessen the restriction on dual interactions. Portion A.5.d of the ACA Code now allows a twin relationship if the romantic relationship is valuable to the counseling romance. The ACA wording looks point out an acceptance of twin associations. Section ES 1-140 to 1-146 of the AACC Code condition that some twin relationships are unethical. The AACC Code does enable for an exception but states that is crucial for the counselor to document the dual partnership and to evidently document the logic for the romantic relationship in the client notes. The language utilised in the AACC Code appears to be significantly less supportive of twin relationships than the ACA Code. The AAPC Code seems to be the most restrictive in stating in Basic principle III E. ” We keep away from dual relationship with clients… which could impair our expert judgment”. The AAPC Code does not accept a favourable dual connection or provide steering on how to figure out or tackle a good twin connection.


Hathaway (2001) raises the issue of what basis is presented to guidance the ethics code? He goes on to observe that Christian and secular expert codes are related on quite a few major factors. He good reasons that this is due to the reality that all psychological wellness pros are experienced in the exact or similar education plans, do the job in the very same surroundings and perform towards the same objectives. A equivalent concern is lifted by Freeman, Engels, and Altekruse (2004) when they stated, ” all those who exercise…behavioral sciences on a regular basis make moral/moral judgments about the appropriateness or inappropriateness of distinct steps, but what is the basis for this kind of judgment? How are they justified?” The one ingredient missing from all a few styles is the basis for the moral determination-creating. This leaves the practitioner devoid of a supportive framework to reference in predicaments that do drop precisely into the norm or where sections of several codes conflict as famous over. The Tarasoff situation as referenced by Freeman et al. (2004) is a good example of this problem. The three codes have to have the counselor to preserve confidentiality of information and facts similar to the counselee and counseling periods. But how does the counselor know when a competing factor of the code, this kind of as do no hurt, would outweigh yet another section with out a audio comprehending of the theoretically underpinnings of the code and/or a outlined conclusion-earning product.

As the choice making design is left up to the authors of the codes, these code will be issue to ongoing redrafting to fulfill switching examples of moral concerns that are offered.


American Affiliation of Christian Counselors. (2004). AACC Code of Ethics. Alexandria, Va.

American Affiliation of Pastoral Counselors. (1993). Code of Ethics. Fairfax, Va.

American Counseling Association. (2005). ACA Code of Ethics. Alexandria, Va.

Austin, K.M., Moline, M.E., & Williams, G.T. (1990). Confronting Malpractice: Authorized and Moral Dilemmas in Psychotherapy. Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage.

Beck, J. (1997). Christian Codes, Are They Better? Christian Counseling Ethics (pp. 313-325). Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press.

Freeman, S., Engels, D., & Altekruse, M. (2004, April). Foundation for moral standards and codes: The position of ethical philosophy and idea in ethics. Counseling and Values, 48, 163-174.

Hathaway, W. (2001). Common Feeling Skilled Ethics: A Christian Appraisal. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 29, 224-233.

Highlights of ACA Code of Ethics. (2005, Oct). Counseling Currently, 1,16-17,63.

Copyright © All rights reserved. | Newsphere by AF themes.