Comparing Codes of Ethics

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Comparing Codes of Ethics The American Counseling Association and the American Mental Health Counselors Association Codes of Ethics both provide guidance and direction in making ethical decisions for their members (ACA, 2005) (AMHCA, 2010). Both the ACA and the AMHCA Codes of Ethics cover a wide range of moral and ethical situations that could present themselves to mental health professionals. Both of these codes of ethics have significant impacts on the counseling profession. The tools provided by these codes of ethics ensure that mental health professionals are able to conform to the regulations set forth. They address common concerns from varying points of view. Understanding these codes of ethics is essential to all mental health professionals in order to aid in resolving ethical and moral issues that might evolve in practice. These codes of ethics have many similarities and some differences. I will highlight just a sampling of these comparisons.
Supervisory Role and Client Welfare In the ACA Code of Ethics, 2005, the issue of teaching and supervisory roles for new mental health counselors is addressed. In the case taken from the ACA ethical standards casebook, Pressures From All Sides: A Rehabilitation Counselor's Dilemma, the matter of adequate supervision was presented (Herlihy & Corey, 2006). In this case, the supervisor advises the counselor to follow the guidance of the company that has hired her rather than act in the best interest of the client. According to the ACA Code of Ethics, 2005, F.1.a, in regard to counselor supervision and client welfare, “A primary obligation of counseling supervisors is to monitor the services provided by other counselors or counselors-in-training. Counseling supervisors monitor client welfare…Supervisees have a responsibility to understand and follow the ACA Code of Ethics.”(p.13) According to the ACA Code of Ethics, 2005, A.1.a, the primary responsibility of the counselor is to promote the welfare of



References: American Counseling Association (ACA). (2005). 2005 ACA code of ethics [White Paper]. Retrieved from http://www.counseling.org/Files/FD.ashx?guid=ab7c1272-71c4-46cf-848c-f98489937dda American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA). (2010). 2010 AMHCA code of ethics [White Paper]. Retrieved from https://www.amhca.org/assets/news/AMHCA_Code_of_Ethics_2010_w_pagination.pdf 2010 AMHCA Code of Ethics used with permission of The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA). Herlihy, B., & Corey, G. (2006). ACA ethical standards casebook (6th ed.). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

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