Code of Ethics Comparison

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Comparison of Ethics Codes:
Church Focused or Self Focused
Diana Calhoun
Liberty University

Abstract
The American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) and the American Counseling Association (ACA) have both established a code of ethics to assist and protect their members in serving and protecting their clients. While there are many differences between the two ethics codes, there are also many similarities. The first part of this essay will discuss the general differences in ethics codes adhered to from the AACC and the ACA. The second part of this essay will discuss the differences between the two organizations’ codes of ethics in subjects of conflict of interest in fees, sexual intimacies, and discrimination. In conclusion clarification on how the similarities between the two codes are the AACC’s attempt to not adopt areas in which the ACA’s practice is not glorifying to Christ and how His church should respond in such subject matters.

Comparison of Ethics Codes: Church Focused or Self Focused
The ultimate goal between the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) and the American Counseling Association (ACA) is different in their code of ethics pursuit. In the ACA Code of Ethics the main goal of the association’s members are to “recognize diversity, and embrace a cross-cultural approach in support of the worth dignity, potential and uniqueness of people within their social and cultural contexts” (2005, p. 3). The AACC Code of Ethics primary goal is “to bring honor to Jesus Christ and his church, promote excellence in Christian counseling, and bring unity to Christian counselors” (2004, p. 3). Even though these goals are vastly different, in order for the AACC to accomplish its goal of honoring Christ and the church it also wants to lovingly respect God’s creation while counseling people. With that in mind the AACC Code of Ethics consulted the American Counseling Association in addition to other ethics codes in the drafting of its statement (2004, p. 2). This creates many similarities and differences between the two codes. The similarities are revealed as the AACC retained ethical stances from the ACA that supported the AACC’s goal, not contradict it. The practices on how these two different goals are achieved by both organizations will be reviewed along with its affects on ethical views. Section I: General Comparison of the Two Codes

Both the AACC and ACA have a similar general goal to do “no harm” to the client, and that all their actions should be consistent with that counseling goal. There are many sub goals and protocols to assist the counselor in abiding to this counseling goal. Sub goals consist of regards to privacy, appropriate counselor-client relationship guidelines, counseling plans, training and resolutions of ethical issues. However the difference between the AACC and ACA is the perspective or definition of what each group considers being “no harm” to the client. The ACA code of ethics appears to be legal guidelines in counseling clients to learn to look inward and make decisions in life on their own based on the client’s moral values. This can include to any degree the client’s view on sex, drugs, money, power or any pleasure deriving device to provide the client with immediate satisfaction. As stated in Competent Christian Counseling this however can be a numbing agent providing short term relief when one desires to find purpose for their life. This short term relief can lead to long term sorrow. Being entrapped in long term sorrow is not classified as a ‘no harm’ counseling goal for any client (Clinton, & Ohlschlager, 2002, p. 26). The AACC Code of Ethics goes beyond just legal guidelines in their dedication “to Jesus Christ as their ‘first love,’ to excellence in client service, to ethical integrity in practice, and to respect for everyone encountered” (2004, p. 5). According to Competent Christian Counseling, Christian counselors not only want to...
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