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Morals Verses Ethics in the Work Spot


Comparing Ethics Codes for Expert Counselors


This article seems at the variations amongst the codes of ethics introduced by a few expert counseling corporations The American Counseling Affiliation, The American Affiliation of Christian Counselors and the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. The report examines the variations in the memberships of the corporation, the ensuing variances in the organizations’ code of ethics and discusses a person lacking ingredient in every code.

Normal Observations on the three Codes

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

The ACA Code of Ethics is revised each and every 10 a long time and was very last revised in 2005. The code has 8 sections: the counseling connection, confidentiality, professional duty, associations with other pros, evaluations, supervision and training, investigate, and resolving ethical troubles. Counseling Currently summarized the Code’s modern adjustments to include things like: elevated emphasis on multiculturalism allowing for twin associations if it includes potentially helpful interactions broadened appropriate use of engineering in investigate, record maintaining and counseling much more detail language on counselor impairment and transfer of consumers and ultimately, modifications in many conditions but not the that means as an instance “tests” are now referred to as “assessments”. (Highlights of ACA Code of Ethics, 2005)

The AACC code was finalized in 2004 right after 10 a long time and 4 provisional codes. This is the longest of the three codes. The Code’s important sections are: applicability of the code, introduction and mission statement, Biblical basis principles, ethical specifications, and procedural policies. The moral specifications section is divided concerning the different groups of membership. The AACC Code contains the most extensive portion on resolving conflicts and dealing with of issues.

The AAPC is the shortest of the a few codes. The code was final 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, professional tactics, consumer relationships, confidentiality, supervisee, scholar and employee associations, interprofessional relationships and promoting.

Qualifications of companies

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

The ACA is an firm geared towards delivering companies to professional accredited counselors from all backgrounds and planet-views. For case in point, a member could have a planet-check out based mostly in atheism, Buddhism, Islam or Christianity. The ACA are unable to presume any very similar moral perception or background amongst its member.

The AACC membership has a wide element in the definition of counselor and a slim aspect in that the users are Christian. The AACC Code of Ethics encompasses sections applicable to qualified certified counselors, pastoral counselors, and lay helpers.

The AAPC has the narrowest of memberships. Comprehensive membership in AAPC needs the member have an M. Div and be ordained by a denominational firm. The denominational organization does not have to be a Christian denomination. The AAPC Code in the Prologue area specially states the counselors are also matter to their dominations code of ethics.

Moral Descriptors Comparison

In evaluating two Christian codes from the American Affiliation of Pastoral Counselors and the Christian Association for Psychological Scientific tests with two secular codes from the American Counseling Affiliation and the American Psychological Affiliation, Beck the makes use of the 23 essential ethical descriptors. The descriptors are from Williams Index of Ethical Code Terminology that was recognized by Austin, Moline, and Williams (1990) as contained in the 6 codes they examined (Beck, 1997). Desk 1 includes the 23 descriptors, extra conditions recognized and cross-references the respective codes sections to every single descriptor or phrase.

The ACA Code is made up of all of the 23 moral descriptors discussed by Beck and most of the supplemental phrases. The only section that the ACA Code does not consist of is the particular treatment sections provided in the AACA Code similar to compound abuse, abortion, divorce, client sexual affairs, and homosexual behaviors.

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

The AAPC Code contains the the very least descriptors of the 3 codes. It does not include the descriptors connected to measurement screening, safety, reporting colleagues, multicultural purchasers, teams, precise treatment conditions, technological know-how, session or forensic evaluations.

Even however the codes may contain sections related to each descriptor, it does not abide by that just about every Code gives for similar therapy of the descriptors. Two examples of descriptors that are taken care of in another way are suicide and dual associations.

Part A.9 of the ACA Code discusses suicide. This segment leaves the decision to help or not assist assisted suicide up to the counselor and states that the counselor should strive to “permit consumers to physical exercise the optimum degree of self-dedication achievable”. The AACC Code discusses suicide in segment E1-127. The AACC Code provides counselors need to refuse to “condone or advocate for active varieties of euthanasia and assisted suicide”. The AAPC Code does not deal with this issue. A counselor who is a member of the ACA and AACC would be matter to conflicting Codes of Ethics in the space relevant to counselor steps in regards to assisted suicide.

The change related to twin associations are not as very clear as in suicide, but the language of the three codes does appear to be to existing of spectrum of assistance on dual associations.

The ACA Code, in 2005, was modified to reduce the restriction on twin relationships. Portion A.5.d of the ACA Code now permits a twin marriage if the romantic relationship is effective to the counseling relationship. The ACA wording appears to be show an acceptance of dual interactions. Section ES 1-140 to 1-146 of the AACC Code point out that some twin associations are unethical. The AACC Code does allow for for an exception but states that is critical for the counselor to document the dual connection and to obviously document the logic for the relationship in the customer notes. The language utilised in the AACC Code appears to be less supportive of dual associations than the ACA Code. The AAPC Code seems to be the most restrictive in stating in Theory III E. ” We stay clear of dual relationship with shoppers… which could impair our qualified judgment”. The AAPC Code does not accept a favourable dual relationship or present guidance on how to decide or take care of a favourable twin romantic relationship.


Hathaway (2001) raises the query of what basis is furnished to assistance the ethics code? He goes on to notice that Christian and secular specialist codes are related on lots of significant factors. He motives that this is because of to the actuality that all mental overall health specialists are trained in the same or related instruction systems, work in the identical setting and do the job toward the exact ambitions. A related problem is elevated by Freeman, Engels, and Altekruse (2004) when they said, ” all those who exercise…behavioral sciences frequently make moral/ethical judgments about the appropriateness or inappropriateness of specific actions, but what is the foundation for such judgment? How are they justified?” The 1 aspect lacking from all 3 models is the foundation for the ethical final decision-making. This leaves the practitioner with no a supportive framework to reference in situations that do slide exactly into the norm or the place sections of different codes conflict as noted previously mentioned. The Tarasoff situation as referenced by Freeman et al. (2004) is a fantastic case in point of this problem. The 3 codes need the counselor to sustain confidentiality of info connected to the counselee and counseling periods. But how does the counselor know when a competing factor of the code, these kinds of as do no hurt, would outweigh one more section without the need of a audio understanding of the theoretically underpinnings of the code and/or a defined choice-creating design.

As the choice making model is still left up to the authors of the codes, these code will be issue to steady redrafting to meet altering examples of moral issues that are introduced.


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 Affiliation. (2005). ACA Code of Ethics. Alexandria, Va.

Austin, K.M., Moline, M.E., & Williams, G.T. (1990). Confronting Malpractice: Lawful 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). Basis for moral requirements and codes: The job of ethical philosophy and theory in ethics. Counseling and Values, 48, 163-174.

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

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