Belinda D. Hicks
The purpose of this paper is to discuss and call the attention to the fact that there are genera differences and similarities in the Code of Ethics of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the Code of Ethics of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC). In addition, discuss due diligence the counselor has to the client, the focus will be on sexual intimacy, fees and records. There will also be a contrast of the three aspects as well. Counselors have an ethical responsibility to the clients when it come sexual intimacy, fees, and records. The goal is to shed some light on the differences. The outcome is to make sure that all professional counselors are well informed that there are some differences in the way Christian Counselors’ should conduct themselves.
Code of Ethics Comparison
“A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help” (Albert Schweitzer). What did Schweitzer mean by this statement, one may assume and some may wonder about such a broad statement? The meaning of the statement is that regardless of whatever or whomever one may help; the inner man provokes that individual to adhere to the code of ethics in his or her profession. What’s the definition of ethics? Webster New World Dictionary defines ethic as “as the study of standards of conduct.” Never the less, the discussion is on the code of ethics. Clinton & Ohlschlager stated, “The code of ethics is a systematic statement of ethical standards that represent the moral convictions and guide the practice behavior of a group, in this case, the various counseling disciplines” (Clinton & Ohlschlager, 2002,pp. 245). Different professions have their own code of ethics; and the objective of this paper is to compare and contrast codes of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Association Christian Counselors (AACC) code of ethics.
There are notable differences in the ACA codes and the AACC codes. The predominant difference in the AACC is the application of Christian terminology. The introduction of the AACC codes is geared toward service. As stated, “The Code is designed to assist AACC members to better serve their clients and congregants and to improve the work of Christian counseling worldwide. It will help achieve the primary goals of the AACC—to bring honor to Jesus Christ and his church, promote excellence in Christian counseling, and bring unity to Christian counselors” (American Association Christian Counselors, 2004) In other words, the codes are solely based on the Bible. But, the introduction of the ACA codes appears to have a contractual obligation tone, “Counselors recognize that trust is a cornerstone of the counseling relationship. Counselors aspire to earn the trust of clients by creating an ongoing partnership, establishing and upholding appropriate boundaries, and maintaining confidentiality. Counselors communicate the parameters of confidentiality in a culturally competent manner” (American Counseling Association, 2005). The terminology and tone is more of a business agreement, there’s no feeling of empathy toward the client. There are similarities; they both place emphasis on maintaining confidentiality through keeping records safe. In addition, to obtain a certain level of competency, moreover, the overall concern is for the client to cause no harm to the client.
Sexual misconduct is the first code to compared and contrasted. In almost every profession sexual misconduct with a client, employer and/or any associated member of your employment is forbidden. The American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) is not an exception and such acts are considered immoral and unethical. For example, direct sexual contact, solicitation of sex, and any...