The American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) both present thorough codes of ethics. As both organizations and its members focus on serving clients by respecting their dignity and above else doing no harm, commonalities within the codes are expected. However, The American Counseling Association developed and presents it codes strictly from a secular worldview whereas The American Association of Christian Counselors grounds its values and influences from “ (1) the Bible and historic orthodox Christian theology; (2) accepted standards of counseling and clinical practice from Christian counseling and the established mental health disciplines; (3) codes of ethics from other Christian and mental health professions; and (4) current and developing standards derived from mental health and ministry-related law.
Law and relationships are the driving themes of both codes. Ethical standards regarding the counselor’s relationship with clients, other professionals, students, supervisors, and the profession itself are all addressed. Specific client and legal issues such as confidentiality, communication and privacy, as well as research, publication and resolution of ethical issues are also presented.
The American Association of Christian Counselors code includes standards and exemptions for ordained pastors, pastoral counselors, and lay helpers. Further, whereas The American Counseling Association refers to a separate codebook regarding ehics enforcement, The American Association of Christian Counselors Code of Ethics includes an entire section establishing the Law and Ethics Committee (LEC) and presenting procedural rules for ethic enforcement and recommendations for reprimands and censure. 1) The Relationship between the Counselor and Client
The relationship between counselor and client section is addressed to protect the welfare of the client by defining informed consent, establishing boundaries of dual relationships and value imposition, and stating ethics for advocacy, end-of-life care, fees, termination…