ACA and AACC: Ethics Codes Compared
Codes of ethics are guidelines that are created to give various professions and organizations a structure in which to work within. Codes of ethics could be considered structured behavioral ideals for professional people to follow. And, for the purpose of this paper several ethical codes for counseling professionals from both the American Counseling Association and the American Association of Christian Counselors will be examined. The ACA and the AACC are specialized organizations that emphasize one’s duty as a professional counselor to every client. However, the two organizations base their standards on very different foundations. The ACA basis for ethical standards is secular while the AACC centers its ethical standards on Bible teachings and scripture. Further, this paper will examine the similarities and differences that both the ACA and the AACC have on the issues of confidentiality, colleague relationships, and fees.
The code of ethics are a means in which to protect consumers or clients while providing the professional counselor with requirements for delivering effect services. Additionally, codes of ethics offer a foundation to individuals within the counseling profession to “establish principles that define ethical behavior and best practices” within an institution or organization (Ponton, 2009). In this assignment the similarities and differences between the ethics codes of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) will be discussed. Further, the codes of ethics that are examined for this paper will be confidientiality,colleague relationships, and fees; the similiaries and differences of these ethical codes will be discussed in regards to both the ACA and the AACC. Section I: ACA and AACC
The American Counseling Association and the American Association of Christian Counselors stress the importance of counselor’s competence, respect, training, and experience. Both entities emphasize the importance that counselors work within the boundaries of their realm of qualification. However, both codes of ethics sets a standard for counselors to always expand their level of expertise/training and competence by always seeking new educational opportunities. Furthermore, both the ACA and AACC codes address the issues of duties that counselors have to monitor their performance, their duty to refer clients to more qualified counseling professionals, as necessary. While the emphasis on various issues are the same within both institutions, the AACC goes further than the ACA in its guidelines. The AACC places much weight on following Christian principles, for instance, when counselors make referral to other counselors as he or she recognizes that a problem is beyond their scope of expertise he or she should refer that client to a Christian Counselor. As a matter of fact, the AACC states “When consulting or referring, Christian counselors seek out the best Christian help at a higher level of knowledge, skill, and expertise” (AACC Code of Ethics, 2004). Obviously, the idea behind this policy or ethic rule is grounded on the belief that for effective interventions to work it should be based on Biblical scripture and truth. In contrast, the ACA’s ideas behind it’s ethic rules and standards are based on secular social morals, legal obligations, and professional codes of conduct. Section II: Confidentiality
The ACA and the AACC place great importance on confidentiality, both institutions a have clear and precise understanding of the imperativeness counselor’s ethical obligation and respect of individual rights and privacy. Furthermore, each association stresses that counselors explain these rights about confidentiality to the client in an appropriate setting and manner. Additionally, the ACA and the AACC points out the...
References: AACC Code of Ethics (2004) American Association of Christian Counselors
Retrieved March 27, 2013 from http://www.liberty.edu/media/1118AACC Christian _Code_of_Ethics
ACA Code of Ethics (2005) American Counseling Association dl, A. F., Pupo, M. Retrieved March 27, 2013 from http://www.counseling.org/Resources/aca-code-of-ethics.pdf
Ponton, R. F. (2009). The "ACA code of Ethics": Articulating Counseling 's Professional Covenant. Journal of Counseling & Development, 87, 117-119.
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