This paper compares and contrast codes of ethics as addressed by the American Counseling Association and the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC). The main difference that one sees is that the AACC is bases its ethical codes primarily on biblical principles. According to the AACC¸ “the code is a comprehensive, detailed, and integrative synthesis of biblical, clinical, systemic, ethical, and legal formation” (AACC Code of Ethics, 2004). Whereas the ACA code of ethics focus on many of the same themes but without the Christian perspective. The three elements that share a great deal of similarities but also some differences are in the areas of fees, confidentiality, and conflict of interest.
The ACA code of ethics opens with the purpose of the document. The code of ethics is broken down into eight distinct groups. Those groups are the counseling relationship, confidentiality, professional responsibility, relationship with other professionals, evaluations, supervision and training, research and publication, and resolving ethical issues. Through those eight groups the code is used an empowerment tool to help counselors make informed ethical decisions. On the other hand the AACC code is not as clear cut. It does not just rely on ethical standards or procedures. It also uses the scripture as a foundation to its code. The AACC code is not laid out into eight distinct groups as is the ACA code. It opens with the foundations of the code that is based on seven biblical and ethical standards. The lay out is not as easy to read. The ACA code is sectioned off and each section is titled using one of the eight groups. The AACC does not appear to be as easy to follow.
The ACA and AACC are very similar when it comes to fees. Both organizations emphasize the importance of establishing fees that are fair and reasonable with respect to the services rendered. The ACA states that its counselors will assist...