H Michele Wallach
Liberty University Online
These publications regarding ethics, American Counseling Association: Code of Ethics (2005) and the American Association of Christian Counseling: Code of Ethics (2004), are available as a reference for use. The purpose of this paper is to compare general and specific elements of the two publications. There are two areas of general exploration: 1) relation to their format for retrieval of specific data, 2) their value or standards basis, if any, from which the publications are written. More specifically three specific areas will be compared. First, the area of informed consent as it relates to the client and the counselor. Second, codes relating to conduct for relationships with former clients. Third and lastly, is how each of the publications relates to the issue of abortion. Limitations were evident in that many codes do not offer rationale. Future review of revisions would be an effective part of knowledge to use of both publications.
The field of professional counseling provides for occasions for the counselor to make decisions based on professional ethics. Ethics can be commonly derived from one’s own values. In order to create a more consistent standard codes of ethics have been published. Two of these publications will be used in this paper: 1) American Counseling Association (ACA): Code of Ethics (2005), 2) American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC): Code of Ethics (2004). Whereas these organizations are based on different ideals, a general comparison will be made. Inasmuch as revisions are ongoing, this paper will review several that were revised in the latest publication, as highlighted in the article New Mandates and Imperatives in the Revised ACA Code of Ethics. (2009) Section I: General comparison of the two codes
The ACA: Code of Ethics (2005) and the AACC: Code of Ethics (2004), each offer a logical breakdown of codes referring to situations of an ethical nature and is presented in a format that is easily referenced by both the seasoned professional and the novice.
The design and layout of the ACA: Code of Ethics is laid out with color and graphics and written very formally, giving a tone of legal-ease. The ACA: Code of Ethics codes section is formatted in columns, suggesting the style of a quick access guide. The ACA: Code of Ethics codes are set up in sections with the first level header served by an upper case alphabet letter in chronological order, broken down further by a numerical value in chronological order, and then finally sub-divided once more by a lower case alphabet letter in chronological order. The AACC: Code of Ethics is laid out in a streamlined fashion and executed with a professional vernacular tone. The AACC: Code of Ethics has no color or specialty graphics adorning its pages and the codes section pages are laid out in a full page format without the use of columns. The AACC: Code of Ethics codes are set up in sections with the first level header served by and upper case Roman numeral, the next level is led by the upper case letters of the first two words of the section followed by a numerical value, with no spaces, the section is further sub-divided into numerical values carrying three place values (i.e. 100,101, etc.) in chronological order. At this level, within each section, when a new sub-topic started the numeric value will move to the ten’s place chronologically. Is this important? Absolutely, it is the virtual road map to referencing where information can be found. Although the description here is in generalities, it is to the advantage of the counseling professional to gain a working understanding of the layout. Understanding the way reference material is filed will assist the user immensely. Another structured piece of these publications explains why the reference has been constructed and written the way that is has.
Each of the references being compared contains...