Personal Code of Ethics
The Counseling Relationship
Work hard to create and sustain a relationship with their clients based on trust.
Obtain informed consent from clients entering a counseling relationship.
Respect a client’s confidentiality and privacy.
Maintain appropriate boundaries in the professional counseling relationship.
Explain to clients what the counseling relationship entails (which could include fees, group work, and termination).
Be cognizant and respect the client’s culture, values, and beliefs.
Confidentiality and Privacy
Communicate the concept of confidentiality with their clients on an ongoing basis and do so in a culturally sensitive way.
Inform clients about the limitations of confidentiality regarding what situations information must be disclosed (e.g., to protect clients or others from harm).
Discuss if and how information may be shared with others.
Understand legal and ethical issues involved in working with clients who cannot provide informed consent (such as minors or clients with impairment).
Maintain and store records in an approved way.
Practice within one’s boundaries of competence.
Practice counseling based on scientific foundations.
Adhere to the ACA Code of Ethics
Report reasonable suspicion of neglect or abuse.
Distance Counseling, Technology, and Social Media
Be knowledgeable about the laws governing distance counseling and social media.
Inform clients about the limits of confidentiality and potential Internet interruptions due to the nature of technology.
Avoid disclosing confidential information through social media.
Utilize informed consent to explain the boundaries of social media.
Resolving Ethical Issues
Behave in an ethical and legal manner and recognize when there is a conflict between ethics codes and laws.
Utilize and document an ethical decision-making process when faced with an ethical dilemma.
Resolve ethical dilemmas with direct and open communication to all parties involved.
Seek consultation when necessary.