How To Tell If The Facebook.Code.Is From A Legit Source Morals Verses Ethics in the Work Place

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Morals Verses Ethics in the Work Place

Compare codes of ethics for professional consultants

Abstract

This article looks at the differences between the ethical codes presented by three professional counseling organizations; The American Counseling Association, The American Association of Christian Counselors and the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. The article examines the differences in the organization’s memberships, the resulting differences in the organizations’ code of ethics and discusses one missing element in each code.

General comments on the three codes

The codes discussed below were published by the American Counseling Association (ACA, 2005), the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC, 2004), and the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC, 1993).

The ACA Code of Ethics is revised every 10 years and was last revised in 2005. The code has eight sections: the counseling relationship, confidentiality, professional responsibility, relationships with other professionals, evaluations, supervision and training, research and resolving ethical issues. problems. Counseling Today summarized the recent changes to the Code to include: increased emphasis on multiculturalism; allowing dual relationships when it involves potentially beneficial interactions; broaden acceptable use of technology in research, record keeping and counseling; more detailed language on guidance of advisers and transfer of clients; and finally, changes in various terms but not the meaning as for example “tests” are now referred to as “assessments”. (Highlights of ACA Code of Ethics, 2005)

The AACC code was finalized in 2004 after 10 years and 4 provisional codes. This is the longest of the three codes. The main sections of the code are: applicability of the code, introduction and mission statement, biblical foundational principles, ethical standards, and procedural rules. The ethical standards section is divided between the different categories of membership. The AACC Code includes the most comprehensive section on resolving disputes and handling complaints.

The AAPC is the shortest of the three codes. The code was last revised in 1993 and at this time the procedural section was separated from the Code of Ethics (Beck, 1997). The code has seven sections: prologue, professional practices, client relations, confidentiality, supervisor, student and employee relations, interprofessional relations and advertising.

Background of organizations

The ACA, AACC and AAPC, as organizations, have different charters and membership.

The ACA is an organization dedicated to providing services to professional licensed counselors of all backgrounds and worldviews. For example, a member may have a worldview based on atheism, Buddhism, Islam or Christianity. The ACA cannot assume similar ethical beliefs or background among its members.

The AACC membership has a broad aspect in the definition of a counselor and a narrow aspect in that the members are Christian. The AACC Code of Ethics includes sections applicable to professional licensed counselors, pastoral counselors, and lay helpers.

The AAPC has the narrowest memberships. Full membership in AAPC requires the member to have an M. Div and be ordained by a denominational organization. The denominational organization does not have to be a Christian denomination. The AAPC code in the Prologue section specifically states that the counselors are also subject to their code of ethics for dominions.

Ethical description comparison

In comparing two Christian codes from the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and the Christian Association for Psychological Studies with two secular codes from the American Counseling Association and the American Psychological Association, Beck uses the 23 key ethical descriptors. The descriptors are from Williams Index of Ethical Code Terminology that was identified by Austin, Moline and Williams (1990) as contained in the six codes they examined (Beck, 1997). Table 1 includes the 23 descriptors, additional terms identified and cross-references the respective code sections to each descriptor or term.

The ACA code contains all 23 ethical descriptors discussed by Beck and most of the additional terms. The only section that the ACA Code does not include is the special care sections included in the AACA Code related to substance abuse, abortion, divorce, client sexual affairs, and homosexual behavior.

The AACC code covers all descriptors except for refusal of treatment, fraud, techniques and like the AAPC code includes the additional descriptors related to the use of technology, consultation and forensic evaluation.

The AAPC code includes the fewest descriptors of the three codes. It includes the descriptors not related to measurement tests, protection, reporting colleagues, multicultural clients, groups, specific care situations, technology, consultation or forensic evaluations.

Even though the codes may contain sections related to each descriptor, it does not follow that each code provides for similar treatment of the descriptors. Two examples of descriptors that are treated differently are suicide and dual relationships.

Section A.9 of the ACA Code discusses suicide. This section leaves the decision to support assisted suicide to the counselor and states that the counselor must strive to “enable clients to exercise the highest degree of self-determination possible”. The AACC Code discusses suicide in section E1-127. The AACC Code states that counselors must refuse “to condone or advocate for active forms of euthanasia and assisted suicide”. The AAPC Code does not address this topic. A council member who is a member of the ACA and AACC would be subject to conflicting codes of ethics in the area related to council actions related to assisted suicide.

The difference in relation to dual relationships is not as clear as in the case of suicide, but the language of the three codes seems to present a spectrum of advice on dual relationships.

The ACA code, in 2005, was changed to reduce the restriction on dual relationships. Section A.5.d of the ACA Code now permits a dual relationship if the relationship is beneficial to the counseling relationship. The ACA rating seems to indicate an acceptance of dual relationships. Section ES 1-140 to 1-146 of the AACC Code states that some dual relationships are unethical. The AACC Code allows for an exception, but states that it is imperative for the counselor to document the dual relationship and clearly document the logic for the relationship in the client notes. The language used in the AACC code appears to be less supportive of dual relationships than the ACA code. The AAPC code appears to be the most restrictive in the statement in principle III E. “We avoid dual relationship with clients…that could affect our professional judgment”. The AAPC Code does not recognize a positive dual relationship or provide guidance on how to determine or treat a positive dual relationship.

Summary

Hathaway (2001) raises the question on what basis is provided to support the ethical code? He goes on to observe that Christian and secular professional codes are similar in many important respects. He reasons that this is due to the fact that all mental health professionals are trained in the same or similar training programs, work in the same environment and work towards the same goals. A similar question is raised by Freeman, Engels, and Altekruse (2004) when they stated, “those who … practice behavioral sciences regularly make moral/ethical judgments about the appropriateness or inappropriateness of certain actions, but what is the basis for such actions. judgment? How are they justified?” The one element that is missing in all three models is the basis for ethical decision-making. This leaves the practitioner without a supporting framework to refer to in situations that fall squarely within the norm or where sections of different codes conflict as noted above. The Tarasoff case as referenced by Freeman et al. (2004) is a good example of this problem. The three codes require the counselor to maintain confidentiality of information related to the counselor and counseling sessions. But how does counsel know when a competing element of the code, such as do no harm, would trump another section without a good understanding of the code’s theoretical underpinnings and/or a defined decision-making model.

Because the decision-making model is left to the authors of the codes, these codes will be subject to continuous revision to meet changing examples of ethical issues that are presented.

References

American Association of Christian Counselors. (2004). AACC Code of Ethics. Alexandria, Va.

American Association of Pastoral Counselors. (1993). Code of ethics. Fairfax, Va.

American Counseling Association. (2005). ACA Code of Ethics. Alexandria, Va.

Austin, KM, Moline, ME, & Williams, GT (1990). Confronting Malpractice: Legal and Ethical Dilemmas in Psychotherapy. Newbury Park, California: Sage.

Beck, J. (1997). Christian codes, are they better? Christian Counseling Ethics (pp. 313-325). Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press.

Freeman, S., Engels, D., & Altekruse, M. (2004, April). Foundation for Ethical Standards and Codes: The Role of Moral Philosophy and Theory in Ethics. Guidance and values, 48163-174.

Hathaway, W. (2001). Common Sense Professional Ethics: A Christian Appraisal. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 29224-233.

Highlights of ACA Code of Ethics. (2005, October). Council today, 1.16-17.63.

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