According to Neukrug (2000), codes of ethics are a fairly recent development in the mental health professions. He states that the APA formulated its first set of ethical standards in 1953; the ACA in 1961; and the NASW in 1960. Within this relatively short period of time, these ethical codes have undergone a number of revisions. This is due to the fact that they reflect ever changing societal and professional values. Those charged with the formulation of such codes struggle with how these issues should be dealt with. These guidelines, however, do serve a number of purposes that have remained constant. Neukrug (2000, pp. 48-49) delineated the general purposes of codes of ethics as highlighted in a number of works (see Ansell, 1984; Corey et al., 1998; Lowewenberg & Dolgoff, 1996; Mabe & Rollin, 1986; VanZandt, 1990). He goes on to point out that "ethical guidelines are moral, not legal, documents, and our professional associations expect us to be bound by them (p. 49).
Purposes of Codes of Ethics
1. They protect consumers and further the professional stance of the organizations.
2. They denote the fact that a particular profession has a body of knowledge and skills that it can proclaim and that a set of standards can be established that reflect this knowledge. 3. They are a vehicle for professional identity and provide an indication of the maturity of a profession. 4. They profess a belief that the professional should exhibit certain types of behaviors that reflect the underlying values considered desirable in the professional. 5. They offer the professional a framework in the sometimes difficult ethical and professional decision-making process. 6. They represent, in case of litigation, some measure of defense for professionals who conscientiously practice in accordance with accepted professional codes (pp. 48-49).
Although codes of ethics provide an effective means of guiding professional