You are to provide an?overview on issues related to your

  • Professional Development Paper  (APA style, 5-8 pages).
  •  You are to provide an overview on issues related to your own professional development. You simply use resources already presented in this course (take a good look at the readings located in the Articles section, specifically the Professional Identity Development article), you do not need to conduct additional research. Simply use what you have learned in this course and reference readings from the course.
  • Although the nature of this paper is personal, remember to maintain a professional/academic tone in your writing.
  • How will you develop yourself as a professional in the field of counseling? What are your values? How may they interfere with or promote your own ethical behavior? What will you do that will deepen your level of professionalism and understanding your role as a counselor? How will you maintain a healthy professional and personal life? Be specific. Give details and integrate information learned in this course into the paper. Organize your paper well and remember to use APA format and citations.

  • aca-code-of-ethics1.pdf

  • ProfessionalismEthicsandValueBasedConflictsArticle1.pdf

  • ProfessionaldevelopmentArticle.pdf

2014ACA Code of Ethics

As approved by the ACA Governing Council


•  2  •

© 2014 by the American Counseling Association. All rights reserved. Note: This document may be reproduced in its entirety without permission for non-commercial purposes only.

ACA Code of Ethics Preamble • 3 ACA Code of Ethics Purpose • 3

Section A The Counseling Relationship • 4

Section B Confidentiality and Privacy • 6

Section C Professional Responsibility • 8

Section D Relationships With Other Professionals • 10

Section E Evaluation, Assessment, and

Interpretation • 11

Section F Supervision, Training, and Teaching • 12

Section G Research and Publication • 15

Section H Distance Counseling, Technology,

and Social Media • 17

Section I Resolving Ethical Issues • 18

Glossary of Terms • 20

Index • 21

Mission The mission of the American Counseling Association is to enhance the quality of life in society by promoting the development of professional counselors, advancing the counseling profession, and using the profession and practice of counseling to promote respect for human dignity and diversity.


•  3  •

ACA Code of Ethics Purpose The ACA Code of Ethics serves six main purposes:

1. The Code sets forth the ethical obligations of ACA members and provides guidance intended to inform the ethical practice of professional counselors.

2. The Code identifies ethical considerations relevant to professional counselors and counselors-in-training. 3. The Code enables the association to clarify for current and prospective members, and for those served by members,

the nature of the ethical responsibilities held in common by its members. 4. The Code serves as an ethical guide designed to assist members in constructing a course of action that best serves

those utilizing counseling services and establishes expectations of conduct with a primary emphasis on the role of the professional counselor.

5. The Code helps to support the mission of ACA. 6. The standards contained in this Code serve as the basis for processing inquiries and ethics complaints

concerning ACA members.

The ACA Code of Ethics contains nine main sections that ad- dress the following areas:

Section A: The Counseling Relationship Section B: Confidentiality and Privacy Section C: Professional Responsibility Section D: Relationships With Other Professionals Section E: Evaluation, Assessment, and Interpretation Section F: Supervision, Training, and Teaching Section G: Research and Publication Section H: Distance Counseling, Technology, and Social Media Section I: Resolving Ethical Issues

Each section of the ACA Code of Ethics begins with an introduction. The introduction to each section describes the ethical behavior and responsibility to which counselors aspire. The introductions help set the tone for each particular sec- tion and provide a starting point that invites reflection on the ethical standards contained in each part of the ACA Code of Ethics. The standards outline professional responsibilities and provide direction for fulfilling those ethical responsibilities.

When counselors are faced with ethical dilemmas that are difficult to resolve, they are expected to engage in a care- fully considered ethical decision-making process, consulting available resources as needed. Counselors acknowledge that resolving ethical issues is a process; ethical reasoning includes consideration of professional values, professional ethical principles, and ethical standards.

Counselors’ actions should be consistent with the spirit as well as the letter of these ethical standards. No specific ethical decision-making model is always most effective, so counselors are expected to use a credible model of deci- sion making that can bear public scrutiny of its applica- tion. Through a chosen ethical decision-making process and evaluation of the context of the situation, counselors work collaboratively with clients to make decisions that promote clients’ growth and development. A breach of the standards and principles provided herein does not neces- sarily constitute legal liability or violation of the law; such action is established in legal and judicial proceedings.

The glossary at the end of the Code provides a concise description of some of the terms used in the ACA Code of Ethics.

ACA Code of Ethics Preamble The American Counseling Association (ACA) is an educational, scientific, and professional organization whose members work in a variety of settings and serve in multiple capacities. Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.

Professional values are an important way of living out an ethical commitment. The following are core professional values of the counseling profession:

1. enhancing human development throughout the life span; 2. honoring diversity and embracing a multicultural approach in support of the worth, dignity, potential, and

uniqueness of people within their social and cultural contexts; 3. promoting social justice; 4. safeguarding the integrity of the counselor–client relationship; and 5. practicing in a competent and ethical manner.

These professional values provide a conceptual basis for the ethical principles enumerated below. These principles are the foundation for ethical behavior and decision making. The fundamental principles of professional ethical behavior are

• autonomy, or fostering the right to control the direction of one’s life; • nonmaleficence, or avoiding actions that cause harm; • beneficence, or working for the good of the individual and society by promoting mental health and well-being; • justice, or treating individuals equitably and fostering fairness and equality; • fidelity, or honoring commitments and keeping promises, including fulfilling one’s responsibilities of trust in

professional relationships; and • veracity, or dealing truthfully with individuals with whom counselors come into professional contact.

• ACA Code of Ethics •

•  4  •

A.2.c. Developmental and Cultural Sensitivity

Counselors communicate information in ways that are both developmentally and culturally appropriate. Counselors use clear and understandable language when discussing issues related to informed consent. When clients have difficulty understanding the language that counselors use, counselors provide necessary services (e.g., arranging for a qualified interpreter or translator) to ensure comprehension by clients. In collaboration with clients, coun- selors consider cultural implications of informed consent procedures and, where possible, counselors adjust their practices accordingly.

A.2.d. Inability to Give Consent When counseling minors, incapaci- tated adults, or other persons unable to give voluntary consent, counselors seek the assent of clients to services and include them in decision making as appropriate. Counselors recognize the need to balance the ethical rights of clients to make choices, their capac- ity to give consent or assent to receive services, and parental or familial legal rights and responsibilities to protect these clients and make decisions on their behalf.

A.2.e. Mandated Clients Counselors discuss the required limitations to confidentiality when working with clients who have been mandated for counseling services. Counselors also explain what type of information and with whom that information is shared prior to the beginning of counseling. The client may choose to refuse services. In this case, counselors will, to the best of their ability, discuss with the client the potential consequences of refusing counseling services.

A.3. Clients Served by Others When counselors learn that their clients are in a professional relationship with other mental health professionals, they request release from clients to inform the other professionals and strive to establish positive and collaborative professional relationships.

A.4. Avoiding Harm and Imposing Values

A.4.a. Avoiding Harm Counselors act to avoid harming their clients, trainees, and research par- ticipants and to minimize or to remedy unavoidable or unanticipated harm.

A.1.d. Support Network Involvement

Counselors recognize that support networks hold various meanings in the lives of clients and consider en- listing the support, understanding, and involvement of others (e.g., reli- gious/spiritual/community leaders, family members, friends) as positive resources, when appropriate, with client consent.

A.2. Informed Consent in the Counseling Relationship

A.2.a. Informed Consent Clients have the freedom to choose whether to enter into or remain in a counseling relationship and need adequate information about the counseling process and the counselor. Counselors have an obligation to re- view in writing and verbally with cli- ents the rights and responsibilities of both counselors and clients. Informed consent is an ongoing part of the counseling process, and counselors appropriately document discussions of informed consent throughout the counseling relationship.

A.2.b. Types of Information Needed

Counselors explicitly explain to clients the nature of all services provided. They inform clients about issues such as, but not limited to, the follow- ing: the purposes, goals, techniques, procedures, limitations, potential risks, and benefits of services; the counselor’s qualifications, credentials, relevant experience, and approach to counseling; continuation of services upon the incapacitation or death of the counselor; the role of technol- ogy; and other pertinent information. Counselors take steps to ensure that clients understand the implications of diagnosis and the intended use of tests and reports. Additionally, counselors inform clients about fees and billing arrangements, including procedures for nonpayment of fees. Clients have the right to confidentiality and to be provided with an explanation of its limits (including how supervisors and/or treatment or interdisciplinary team professionals are involved), to obtain clear information about their records, to participate in the ongoing counseling plans, and to refuse any services or modality changes and to be advised of the consequences of such refusal.

Section A The Counseling


Introduction Counselors facilitate client growth and development in ways that foster the interest and welfare of clients and promote formation of healthy relation- ships. Trust is the cornerstone of the counseling relationship, and counselors have the responsibility to respect and safeguard the client’s right to privacy and confidentiality. Counselors actively attempt to understand the diverse cul- tural backgrounds of the clients they serve. Counselors also explore their own cultural identities and how these affect their values and beliefs about the coun- seling process. Additionally, counselors are encouraged to contribute to society by devoting a portion of their profes- sional activities for little or no financial return (pro bono publico).

A.1. Client Welfare A.1.a. Primary Responsibility

The primary responsibility of counsel- ors is to respect the dignity and promote the welfare of clients.

A.1.b. Records and Documentation

Counselors create, safeguard, and maintain documentation necessary for rendering professional services. Regardless of the medium, counselors include sufficient and timely docu- mentation to facilitate the delivery and continuity of services. Counselors take reasonable steps to ensure that documentation accurately reflects cli- ent progress and services provided. If amendments are made to records and documentation, counselors take steps to properly note the amendments according to agency or institutional policies.

A.1.c. Counseling Plans Counselors and their clients work jointly in devising counseling plans that offer reasonable promise of success and are consistent with the abilities, temperament, developmental level, and circumstances of clients. Counselors and clients regularly re- view and revise counseling plans to assess their continued viability and effectiveness, respecting clients’ free- dom of choice.

• ACA Code of Ethics •

•  5  •

A.4.b. Personal Values Counselors are aware of—and avoid imposing—their own values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Counselors respect the diversity of clients, train- ees, and research participants and seek training in areas in which they are at risk of imposing their values onto clients, especially when the counselor ’s values are inconsistent with the client’s goals or are discrimina- tory in nature.

A.5. Prohibited Noncounseling Roles and Relationships

A.5.a. Sexual and/or Romantic Relationships Prohibited

Sexual and/or romantic counselor– client interactions or relationships with current clients, their romantic partners, or their family members are prohibited. This prohibition applies to both in- person and electronic interactions or relationships.

A.5.b. Previous Sexual and/or Romantic Relationships

Counselors are prohibited from engag- ing in counseling relationships with persons with whom they have had a previous sexual and/or romantic relationship.

A.5.c. Sexual and/or Romantic Relationships With Former Clients

Sexual and/or romantic counselor– client interactions or relationships with former clients, their romantic partners, or their family members are prohibited for a period of 5 years following the last professional contact. This prohibition applies to both in-person and electronic interactions or relationships. Counsel- ors, before engaging in sexual and/or romantic interactions or relationships with former clients, their romantic partners, or their family members, dem- onstrate forethought and document (in written form) whether the interaction or relationship can be viewed as exploitive in any way and/or whether there is still potential to harm the former client; in cases of potential exploitation and/or harm, the counselor avoids entering into such an interaction or relationship.

A.5.d. Friends or Family Members

Counselors are prohibited from engaging in counseling relationships with friends or family members with whom they have an inability to remain objective.

A.5.e. Personal Virtual Relationships With Current Clients

Counselors are prohibited from engaging in a personal virtual re- lationship with individuals with whom they have a current counseling relationship (e.g., through social and other media).

A.6. Managing and Maintaining Boundaries and Professional Relationships

A.6.a. Previous Relationships Counselors consider the risks and benefits of accepting as clients those with whom they have had a previous relationship. These potential clients may include individuals with whom the counselor has had a casual, distant, or past relationship. Examples include mutual or past membership in a pro- fessional association, organization, or community. When counselors accept these clients, they take appropriate pro- fessional precautions such as informed consent, consultation, supervision, and documentation to ensure that judgment is not impaired and no exploitation occurs.

A.6.b. Extending Counseling Boundaries

Counselors consider the risks and benefits of extending current counsel- ing relationships beyond conventional parameters. Examples include attend- ing a client’s formal ceremony (e.g., a wedding/commitment ceremony or graduation), purchasing a service or product provided by a client (excepting unrestricted bartering), and visiting a cli- ent’s ill family member in the hospital. In extending these boundaries, counselors take appropriate professional precau- tions such as informed consent, consul- tation, supervision, and documentation to ensure that judgment is not impaired and no harm occurs.

A.6.c. Documenting Boundary Extensions

If counselors extend boundaries as described in A.6.a. and A.6.b., they must officially document, prior to the interaction (when feasible), the rationale for such an interaction, the potential benefit, and anticipated consequences for the client or former client and other individuals significantly involved with the client or former client. When un- intentional harm occurs to the client or former client, or to an individual

significantly involved with the client or former client, the counselor must show evidence of an attempt to remedy such harm.

A.6.d. Role Changes in the Professional Relationship

When counselors change a role from the original or most recent contracted relationship, they obtain informed consent from the client and explain the client’s right to refuse services related to the change. Examples of role changes include, but are not limited to

1. changing from individual to re- lationship or family counseling, or vice versa;

2. changing from an evaluative role to a therapeutic role, or vice versa; and

3. changing from a counselor to a mediator role, or vice versa.

Clients must be fully informed of any anticipated consequences (e.g., financial, legal, personal, therapeutic) of counselor role changes.

A.6.e. Nonprofessional Interactions or Relationships (Other Than Sexual or Romantic Interactions or Relationships)

Counselors avoid entering into non- professional relationships with former clients, their romantic partners, or their family members when the interaction is potentially harmful to the client. This applies to both in-person and electronic interactions or relationships.

A.7. Roles and Relationships at Individual, Group, Institutional, and Societal Levels

A.7.a. Advocacy When appropriate, counselors advocate at individual, group, institutional, and societal levels to address potential bar- riers and obstacles that inhibit access and/or the growth and development of clients.

A.7.b. Confidentiality and Advocacy

Counselors obtain client consent prior to engaging in advocacy efforts on be- half of an identifiable client to improve the provision of services and to work toward removal of systemic barriers or obstacles that inhibit client access, growth, and development.

• ACA Code of Ethics •

•  6  •

being harmed by continued counseling. Counselors may terminate counseling when in jeopardy of harm by the client or by another person with whom the cli- ent has a relationship, or when clients do not pay fees as agreed upon. Counselors provide pretermination counseling and recommend other service providers when necessary.

A.11.d. Appropriate Transfer of Services

When counselors transfer or refer clients to other practitioners, they ensure that appropriate clinical and administra- tive processes are completed and open communication is maintained with both clients and practitioners.

A.12. Abandonment and Client Neglect Counselors do not abandon or neglect clients in counseling. Counselors assist in making appropriate arrangements for the continuation of treatment, when neces- sary, during interruptions such as vaca- tions, illness, and following termination.

Section B Confidentiality

and Privacy

Introduction Counselors recognize that trust is a cor- nerstone of the counseling relationship. Counselors aspire to earn the trust of cli- ents by creating an ongoing partnership, establishing and upholding appropriate boundaries, and maintaining confi- dentiality. Counselors communicate the parameters of confidentiality in a culturally competent manner.

B.1. Respecting Client Rights B.1.a. Multicultural/Diversity

Considerations Counselors maintain awareness and sen- sitivity regarding cultural meanings of confidentiality and privacy. Counselors respect differing views toward disclosure of information. Counselors hold ongo- ing discussions with clients as to how, when, and with whom information is to be shared.

B.1.b. Respect for Privacy Counselors respect the privacy of prospective and current clients. Coun- selors request private information from clients only when it is beneficial to the counseling process.

A.8. Multiple Clients When a counselor agrees to provide counseling services to two or more persons who have a relationship, the counselor clarifies at the outset which person or persons are clients and the nature of the relationships the counselor will have with each involved person. If it becomes apparent that the counselor may be called upon to perform poten- tially conflicting roles, the counselor will clarify, adjust, or withdraw from roles appropriately.

A.9. Group Work A.9.a. Screening

Counselors screen prospective group counseling/therapy participants. To the extent possible, counselors select members whose needs and goals are compatible with the goals of the group, who will not impede the group process, and whose well-being will not be jeop- ardized by the group experience.

A.9.b. Protecting Clients In a group setting, counselors take rea- sonable precautions to protect clients from physical, emotional, or psychologi- cal trauma.

A.10. Fees and Business Practices

A.10.a. Self-Referral Counselors working in an organization (e.g., school, agency, institution) that provides counseling services do not refer clients to their private practice unless the policies of a particular orga- nization make explicit provisions for self-referrals. In such instances, the cli- ents must be informed of other options open to them should they seek private counseling services.

A.10.b. Unacceptable Business Practices

Counselors do not participate in fee splitting, nor do they give or receive commissions, rebates, or any other form of remuneration when referring clients for professional services.

A.10.c. Establishing Fees In establishing fees for professional counseling services, counselors con- sider the financial status of clients and locality. If a counselor’s usual fees cre- ate undue hardship for the client, the counselor may adjust fees, when legally permissible, or assist the client in locat- ing comparable, affordable services.

A.10.d. Nonpayment of Fees If counselors intend to use collection agencies or take legal measures to col-

lect fees from clients who do not pay for services as agreed upon, they include such information in their informed consent documents and also inform clients in a timely fashion of intended actions and offer clients the opportunity to make payment.

A.10.e. Bartering Counselors may barter only if the bar- tering does not result in exploitation or harm, if the client requests it, and if such arrangements are an accepted practice among professionals in the community. Counselors consider the cultural implications of bartering and discuss relevant concerns with clients and document such agreements in a clear written contract.

A.10.f. Receiving Gifts Counselors understand the challenges of accepting gifts from clients and rec- ognize that in some cultures, small gifts are a token of respect and gratitude. When determining whether to accept a gift from clients, counselors take into account the therapeutic relationship, the monetary value of the gift, the client’s motivation for giving the gift, and the counselor’s motivation for wanting to accept or decline the gift.

A.11. Termination and Referral

A.11.a. Competence Within Termination and Referral

If counselors lack the competence to be of professional assistance to clients, they avoid entering or continuing counseling relationships. Counselors are knowledgeable about culturally and clinically appropriate referral resources and suggest these alternatives. If clients decline the suggested referrals, counsel- ors discontinue the relationship.

A.11.b. Values Within Termination and Referral

Counselors refrain from referring pro- spective and current clients based solely on the counselor’s personally held val- ues, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Counselors respect the diversity of clients and seek training in areas in which they are at risk of imposing their values onto clients, especially when the counselor’s values are inconsistent with the client’s goals or are discriminatory in nature.

A.11.c. Appropriate Termination Counselors terminate a counseling re- lationship when it becomes reasonably apparent that the client no longer needs assistance, is not likely to benefit, or is

• ACA Code of Ethics •

•  7  •

B.1.c. Respect for Confidentiality

Counselors protect the confidential information of prospective and current clients. Counselors disclose information only with appropriate consent or with sound legal or ethical justification.

B.1.d. Explanation of Limitations

At initiation and throughout the counsel- ing process, counselors inform clients of the limitations of confidentiality and seek to identify situations in which confiden- tiality must be breached.

B.2. Exceptions B.2.a. Serious and Foreseeable

Harm and Legal Requirements

The general requirement that counsel- ors keep information confidential does not apply when disclosure is required to protect clients or identified others from serious and foreseeable harm or when legal requirements demand that confidential information must be re- vealed. Counselors consult with other professionals when in doubt as to the validity of an exception. Additional considerations apply when addressing end-of-life issues.

B.2.b. Confidentiality Regarding End-of-Life Decisions

Counselors who provide services to terminally ill individuals who are con- sidering hastening their own deaths have the option to maintain confidentiality, depending on applicable laws and the specific circumstances of the situation and after seeking consultation or super- vision from appropriate professional and legal parties.

B.2.c. Contagious, Life- Threatening Diseases

When clients disclose that they have a disease commonly known to be both communicable and life threatening, counselors may be justified in disclos- ing information to identifiable third parties, if the parties are known to be at serious and foreseeable risk of con- tracting the disease. Prior to making a disclosure, counselors assess the intent of clients to inform the third parties about their disease or to engage in any behaviors that may be harmful to an identifiable third party. Counselors adhere to relevant state laws concern- ing disclosure about disease status.

B.2.d. Court-Ordered Disclosure When ordered by a court to release confidential or privileged information

without a client’s permission, coun- selors seek to obtain written, informed consent from the client or take steps to prohibit the disclosure or have it limited as narrowly as possible because of po- tential harm to the client or counseling relationship.

B.2.e. Minimal Disclosure To the extent possible, clients are informed before confidential infor- mation is disclosed and are involved in the disclosure decision-making process. When circumstances require the disclosure of confidential infor- mation, only essential information is revealed.

B.3. Information Shared With Others

B.3.a. Subordinates Counselors make every effort to ensure that privacy and confidentiality of clients are maintained by subordi- nates, including employees, supervisees, students, clerical assistants, and volunteers.

B.3.b. Interdisciplinary Teams When services provided to the client involve participation by an interdisci- plinary or treatment team, the client will be informed of the team’s existence and composition, information being shared, and the purposes of sharing such information.

B.3.c. Confidential Settings Counselors discuss confidential infor- mation only in settings in which they can reasonably ensure client privacy.

B.3.d. Third-Party Payers Counselors disclose information to third-party payers only when clients have authorized such disclosure.

B.3.e. Transmitting Confidential Information

Counselors take precautions to ensure the confidentiality of all information transmitted through the use of any medium.

B.3.f. Deceased Clients Counselors protect the con


Best Custom Essay Writing Services

Looking for unparalleled custom paper writing services? Our team of experienced professionals at is here to provide you with top-notch assistance that caters to your unique needs.

We understand the importance of producing original, high-quality papers that reflect your personal voice and meet the rigorous standards of academia. That’s why we assure you that our work is completely plagiarism-free—we craft bespoke solutions tailored exclusively for you.

Why Choose

  • Our papers are 100% original, custom-written from scratch.
  • We’re here to support you around the clock, any day of the year.
  • You’ll find our prices competitive and reasonable.
  • We handle papers across all subjects, regardless of urgency or difficulty.
  • Need a paper urgently? We can deliver within 6 hours!
  • Relax with our on-time delivery commitment.
  • We offer money-back and privacy guarantees to ensure your satisfaction and confidentiality.
  • Benefit from unlimited amendments upon request to get the paper you envisioned.
  • We pledge our dedication to meeting your expectations and achieving the grade you deserve.

Our Process: Getting started with us is as simple as can be. Here’s how to do it:

  • Click on the “Place Your Order” tab at the top or the “Order Now” button at the bottom. You’ll be directed to our order form.
  • Provide the specifics of your paper in the “PAPER DETAILS” section.
  • Select your academic level, the deadline, and the required number of pages.
  • Click on “CREATE ACCOUNT & SIGN IN” to provide your registration details, then “PROCEED TO CHECKOUT.”
  • Follow the simple payment instructions and soon, our writers will be hard at work on your paper. is dedicated to expediting the writing process without compromising on quality. Our roster of writers boasts individuals with advanced degrees—Masters and PhDs—in a myriad of disciplines, ensuring that no matter the complexity or field of your assignment, we have the expertise to tackle it with finesse. Our quick turnover doesn’t mean rushed work; it means efficiency and priority handling, ensuring your deadlines are met with the excellence your academics demand.

ORDER NOW and experience the difference with, where excellence meets timely delivery.