SBC Psychology Code of Ethics the Counseling Relationships Section A Questions

Code of Ethics
As approved by the ACA Governing Council
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.
© 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
ACA Code of Ethics Purpose
Section A
The Counseling Relationship
Section B
Confidentiality and Privacy
Section C
Professional Responsibility
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
• 2 •
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 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 address 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 section 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 carefully 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 decision making that can bear public scrutiny of its application. 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 necessarily 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.
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• ACA Code of Ethics •
Section A
The Counseling
Counselors facilitate client growth
and development in ways that foster
the interest and welfare of clients and
promote formation of healthy relationships. 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 cultural backgrounds of the clients they
serve. Counselors also explore their own
cultural identities and how these affect
their values and beliefs about the counseling process. Additionally, counselors
are encouraged to contribute to society
by devoting a portion of their professional activities for little or no financial
return (pro bono publico).
A.1. Client Welfare
A.1.a. Primary Responsibility
The primary responsibility of counselors is to respect the dignity and promote
the welfare of clients.
A.1.b. Records and
Counselors create, safeguard, and
maintain documentation necessary
for rendering professional services.
Regardless of the medium, counselors
include sufficient and timely documentation to facilitate the delivery and
continuity of services. Counselors
take reasonable steps to ensure that
documentation accurately reflects client 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
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 review and revise counseling plans to
assess their continued viability and
effectiveness, respecting clients’ freedom of choice.
A.1.d. Support Network
Counselors recognize that support
networks hold various meanings in
the lives of clients and consider enlisting the support, understanding,
and involvement of others (e.g., religious/spiritual/community leaders,
family members, friends) as positive
resources, when appropriate, with
client consent.
A.2. Informed Consent
in the Counseling
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 review in writing and verbally with clients 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
Counselors explicitly explain to clients
the nature of all services provided.
They inform clients about issues such
as, but not limited to, the following: 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 technology; 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.
• 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, counselors 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, incapacitated 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 capacity 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 participants and to minimize or to remedy
unavoidable or unanticipated harm.
• ACA Code of Ethics •
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, trainees, 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 discriminatory in nature.
A.5. Prohibited
Noncounseling Roles
and Relationships
A.5.a. Sexual and/or
Romantic Relationships
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 inperson and electronic interactions or
A.5.b. Previous Sexual and/or
Romantic Relationships
Counselors are prohibited from engaging in counseling relationships with
persons with whom they have had
a previous sexual and/or romantic
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. Counselors, before engaging in sexual and/or
romantic interactions or relationships
with former clients, their romantic
partners, or their family members, demonstrate 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
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 relationship 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
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 professional association, organization, or
community. When counselors accept
these clients, they take appropriate professional precautions such as informed
consent, consultation, supervision, and
documentation to ensure that judgment
is not impaired and no exploitation
A.6.b. Extending Counseling
Counselors consider the risks and
benefits of extending current counseling relationships beyond conventional
parameters. Examples include attending 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 client’s ill family member in the hospital. In
extending these boundaries, counselors
take appropriate professional precautions such as informed consent, consultation, supervision, and documentation
to ensure that judgment is not impaired
and no harm occurs.
A.6.c. Documenting Boundary
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 unintentional harm occurs to the client
or former client, or to an individual
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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 relationship 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
or Relationships (Other
Than Sexual or Romantic
Interactions or
Counselors avoid entering into nonprofessional 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 barriers and obstacles that inhibit access
and/or the growth and development
of clients.
A.7.b. Confidentiality and
Counselors obtain client consent prior
to engaging in advocacy efforts on behalf 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 •
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 potentially conflicting roles, the counselor will
clarify, adjust, or withdraw from roles
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 jeopardized by the group experience.
A.9.b. Protecting Clients
In a group setting, counselors take reasonable precautions to protect clients
from physical, emotional, or psychological trauma.
A.10. Fees and Business
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 organization make explicit provisions for
self-referrals. In such instances, the clients must be informed of other options
open to them should they seek private
counseling services.
A.10.b. Unacceptable Business
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 consider the financial status of clients and
locality. If a counselor’s usual fees create undue hardship for the client, the
counselor may adjust fees, when legally
permissible, or assist the client in locating 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 bartering 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 recognize 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
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, counselors discontinue the relationship.
A.11.b. Values Within
Termination and Referral
Counselors refrain from referring prospective and current clients based solely
on the counselor’s personally held values, 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 relationship when it becomes reasonably
apparent that the client no longer needs
assistance, is not likely to benefit, or is
• 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 client 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
When counselors transfer or refer clients
to other practitioners, they ensure that
appropriate clinical and administrative 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 necessary, during interruptions such as vacations, illness, and following termination.
Section B
and Privacy
Counselors recognize that trust is a cornerstone of the counseling relationship.
Counselors aspire to earn the trust of clients by creating an ongoing partnership,
establishing and upholding appropriate
boundaries, and maintaining confidentiality. Counselors communicate
the parameters of confidentiality in a
culturally competent manner.
B.1. Respecting Client Rights
B.1.a. Multicultural/Diversity
Counselors maintain awareness and sensitivity regarding cultural meanings of
confidentiality and privacy. Counselors
respect differing views toward disclosure
of information. Counselors hold ongoing 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. Counselors request private information from
clients only when it is beneficial to the
counseling process.
• ACA Code of Ethics •
B.1.c. Respect for
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
without a client’s permission, counselors 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 potential harm to the client or counseling
B.2.e. Minimal Disclosure
B.2. Exceptions
To the extent possible, clients are
informed before confidential information is disclosed and are involved
in the disclosure decision-making
process. When circumstances require
the disclosure of confidential information, only essential information
is revealed.
B.2.a. Serious and Foreseeable
Harm and Legal
B.3. Information Shared
With Others
At initiation and throughout the counseling process, counselors inform clients of
the limitations of confidentiality and seek
to identify situations in which confidentiality must be breached.
The general requirement that counselors 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 revealed. 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 considering 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 supervision from appropriate professional and
legal parties.
B.2.c. Contagious, LifeThreatening Diseases
When clients disclose that they have a
disease commonly known to be both
communicable and life threatening,
counselors may be justified in disclosing information to identifiable third
parties, if the parties are known to be
at serious and foreseeable risk of contracting 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 concerning disclosure about disease status.
B.2.d. Court-Ordered Disclosure
When ordered by a court to release
confidential or privileged information
B.3.a. Subordinates
Counselors make every effort to ensure
that privacy and confidentiality of
clients are maintained by subordinates, including employees, supervisees,
students, clerical assistants, and
B.3.b. Interdisciplinary Teams
When services provided to the client
involve participation by an interdisciplinary 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 information 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
Counselors take precautions to ensure
the confidentiality of all information
transmitted through the use of any
B.3.f. Deceased Clients
Counselors protect the confidentiality
of deceased clients, consistent with legal requirements and the documented
preferences of the client.
B.4. Groups and Families
B.4.a. Group Work
In group work, counselors clearly
explain the importance and parameters of confidentiality for the specific
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B.4.b. Couples and Family
In couples and family counseling, counselors clearly define who is considered
“the client” and discuss expectations and
limitations of confidentiality. Counselors
seek agreement and document in writing
such agreement among all involved parties
regarding the confidentiality of information. In the absence of an agreement to the
contrary, the couple or family is considered
to be the client.
B.5. Clients Lacking Capacity
to Give Informed
B.5.a. Responsibility to Clients
When counseling minor clients or adult
clients who lack the capacity to give
voluntary, informed consent, counselors
protect the confidentiality of information received—in any medium—in the
counseling relationship as specified by
federal and state laws, written policies,
and applicable ethical standards.
B.5.b. Responsibility to Parents
and Legal Guardians
Counselors inform parents and legal
guardians about the role of counselors
and the confidential nature of the counseling relationship, consistent with current legal and custodial arrangements.
Counselors are sensitive to the cultural
diversity of families and respect the
inherent rights and responsibilities of
parents/guardians regarding the welfare of their children/charges according
to law. Counselors work to establish,
as appropriate, collaborative relationships with parents/guardians to best
serve clients.
B.5.c. Release of Confidential
When counseling minor clients or
adult clients who lack the capacity
to give voluntary consent to release
confidential information, counselors
seek permission from an appropriate
third party to disclose information.
In such instances, counselors inform
clients consistent with their level of
understanding and take appropriate
measures to safeguard client confidentiality.
B.6. Records and
B.6.a. Creating and Maintaining
Records and Documentation
Counselors create and maintain records
and documentation necessary for rendering professional services.
• ACA Code of Ethics •
B.6.b. Confidentiality of Records
and Documentation
Counselors ensure that records and
documentation kept in any medium are
secure and that only authorized persons
have access to them.
B.6.c. Permission to Record
Counselors obtain permission from clients prior to recording sessions through
electronic or other means.
B.6.d. Permission to Observe
Counselors obtain permission from clients prior to allowing any person to observe counseling sessions, review session
transcripts, or view recordings of sessions
with supervisors, faculty, peers, or others
within the training environment.
B.6.e. Client Access
B.6.i. Reasonable Precautions
Counselors take reasonable precautions
to protect client confidentiality in the
event of the counselor’s termination of
practice, incapacity, or death and appoint a records custodian when identified as appropriate.
B.7. Case Consultation
B.7.a. Respect for Privacy
Information shared in a consulting
relationship is discussed for professional purposes only. Written and oral
reports present only data germane to the
purposes of the consultation, and every
effort is made to protect client identity
and to avoid undue invasion of privacy.
B.7.b. Disclosure of
Confidential Information
Counselors provide reasonable access
to records and copies of records when
requested by competent clients. Counselors limit the access of clients to their
records, or portions of their records,
only when there is compelling evidence
that such access would cause harm to
the client. Counselors document the
request of clients and the rationale for
withholding some or all of the records
in the files of clients. In situations
involving multiple clients, counselors
provide individual clients with only
those parts of records that relate directly
to them and do not include confidential
information related to any other client.
When consulting with colleagues,
counselors do not disclose confidential
information that reasonably could lead
to the identification of a client or other
person or organization with whom they
have a confidential relationship unless
they have obtained the prior consent
of the person or organization or the
disclosure cannot be avoided. They
disclose information only to the extent
necessary to achieve the purposes of the
B.6.f. Assistance With Records
When clients request access to their records, counselors provide assistance and
consultation in interpreting counseling
B.6.g. Disclosure or Transfer
Unless exceptions to confidentiality
exist, counselors obtain written permission from clients to disclose or transfer
records to legitimate third parties. Steps
are taken to ensure that receivers of
counseling records are sensitive to their
confidential nature.
B.6.h. Storage and Disposal
After Termination
Counselors store records following termination of services to ensure reasonable
future access, maintain records in accordance with federal and state laws and
statutes such as licensure laws and policies
governing records, and dispose of client
records and other sensitive materials in a
manner that protects client confidentiality.
Counselors apply careful discretion and
deliberation before destroying records
that may be needed by a court of law, such
as notes on child abuse, suicide, sexual
harassment, or violence.
Section C
Counselors aspire to open, honest,
and accurate communication in dealing with the public and other professionals. Counselors facilitate access to
counseling services, and they practice
in a nondiscriminatory manner within
the boundaries of professional and
personal competence; they also have
a responsibility to abide by the ACA
Code of Ethics. Counselors actively
participate in local, state, and national
associations that foster the development and improvement of counseling.
Counselors are expected to advocate
to promote changes at the individual,
group, institutional, and societal levels that improve the quality of life for
individuals and groups and remove
potential barriers to the provision or
access of appropriate services being offered. Counselors have a responsibility
to the public to engage in counseling
practices that are based on rigorous re-
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search methodologies. Counselors are
encouraged to contribute to society by
devoting a portion of their professional
activity to services for which there is
little or no financial return (pro bono
publico). In addition, counselors engage
in self-care activities to maintain and
promote their own emotional, physical,
mental, and spiritual well-being to best
meet their professional responsibilities.
C.1. Knowledge of and
Compliance With
Counselors have a responsibility to
read, understand, and follow the ACA
Code of Ethics and adhere to applicable
laws and regulations.
C.2. Professional Competence
C.2.a. Boundaries of
Counselors practice only within the
boundaries of their competence, based
on their education, training, supervised experience, state and national
professional credentials, and appropriate professional experience. Whereas
multicultural counseling competency is
required across all counseling specialties,
counselors gain knowledge, personal
awareness, sensitivity, dispositions, and
skills pertinent to being a culturally
competent counselor in working with a
diverse client population.
C.2.b. New Specialty Areas
of Practice
Counselors practice in specialty areas
new to them only after appropriate
education, training, and supervised
experience. While developing skills
in new specialty areas, counselors
take steps to ensure the competence
of their work and protect others from
possible harm.
C.2.c. Qualified for Employment
Counselors accept employment only
for positions for which they are qualified given their education, training,
supervised experience, state and
national professional credentials, and
appropriate professional experience.
Counselors hire for professional counseling positions only individuals who
are qualified and competent for those
C.2.d. Monitor Effectiveness
Counselors continually monitor their effectiveness as professionals and take steps to
improve when necessary. Counselors take
reasonable steps to seek peer supervision
to evaluate their efficacy as counselors.
• ACA Code of Ethics •
C.2.e. Consultations on
Ethical Obligations
Counselors take reasonable steps to
consult with other counselors, the
ACA Ethics and Professional Standards
Department, or related professionals
when they have questions regarding
their ethical obligations or professional
C.2.f. Continuing Education
Counselors recognize the need for continuing education to acquire and maintain a reasonable level of awareness
of current scientific and professional
information in their fields of activity.
Counselors maintain their competence
in the skills they use, are open to new
procedures, and remain informed regarding best practices for working with
diverse populations.
C.2.g. Impairment
Counselors monitor themselves for
signs of impairment from their own
physical, mental, or emotional problems
and refrain from offering or providing
professional services when impaired.
They seek assistance for problems that
reach the level of professional impairment, and, if necessary, they limit,
suspend, or terminate their professional
responsibilities until it is determined
that they may safely resume their
work. Counselors assist colleagues or
supervisors in recognizing their own
professional impairment and provide
consultation and assistance when warranted with colleagues or supervisors
showing signs of impairment and
intervene as appropriate to prevent
imminent harm to clients.
C.2.h. Counselor Incapacitation,
Death, Retirement, or
Termination of Practice
Counselors prepare a plan for the transfer of clients and the dissemination of
records to an identified colleague or
records custodian in the case of the
counselor’s incapacitation, death, retirement, or termination of practice.
may be vulnerable to undue influence.
Counselors discuss with clients the
implications of and obtain permission
for the use of any testimonial.
C.3.c. Statements by Others
When feasible, counselors make reasonable efforts to ensure that statements
made by others about them or about
the counseling profession are accurate.
C.3.d. Recruiting Through
Counselors do not use their places of
employment or institutional affiliation to
recruit clients, supervisors, or consultees
for their private practices.
C.3.e. Products and Training
Counselors who develop products
related to their profession or conduct
workshops or training events ensure
that the advertisements concerning
these products or events are accurate
and disclose adequate information for
consumers to make informed choices.
C.3.f. Promoting to Those Served
Counselors do not use counseling,
teaching, training, or supervisory relationships to promote their products or
training events in a manner that is deceptive or would exert undue influence
on individuals who may be vulnerable.
However, counselor educators may
adopt textbooks they have authored for
instructional purposes.
C.4. Professional Qualifications
C.4.a. Accurate Representation
Counselors claim or imply only professional qualifications actually completed
and correct any known misrepresentations of their qualifications by others.
Counselors truthfully represent the qualifications of their professional colleagues.
Counselors clearly distinguish between
paid and volunteer work experience
and accurately describe their continuing
education and specialized training.
C.4.b. Credentials
C.3. Advertising and
Soliciting Clients
Counselors claim only licenses or certifications that are current and in good standing.
C.3.a. Accurate Advertising
Counselors clearly differentiate between earned and honorary degrees.
When advertising or otherwise representing their services to the public,
counselors identify their credentials
in an accurate manner that is not false,
misleading, deceptive, or fraudulent.
C.3.b. Testimonials
Counselors who use testimonials do
not solicit them from current clients,
former clients, or any other persons who
C.4.c. Educational Degrees
C.4.d. Implying Doctoral-Level
Counselors clearly state their highest
earned degree in counseling or a closely
related field. Counselors do not imply
doctoral-level competence when possessing a master’s degree in counseling
or a related field by referring to them-
• 9 •
selves as “Dr.” in a counseling context
when their doctorate is not in counseling or a related field. Counselors do not
use “ABD” (all but dissertation) or other
such terms to imply competency.
C.4.e. Accreditation Status
Counselors accurately represent the
accreditation status of their degree program and college/university.
C.4.f. Professional Membership
Counselors clearly differentiate between
current, active memberships and former
memberships in associations. Members
of ACA must clearly differentiate between professional membership, which
implies the possession of at least a master’s degree in counseling, and regular
membership, which is open to individuals whose interests and activities are
consistent with those of ACA but are not
qualified for professional membership.
C.5. Nondiscrimination
Counselors do not condone or engage
in discrimination against prospective or
current clients, students, employees, supervisees, or research participants based
on age, culture, disability, ethnicity, race,
religion/spirituality, gender, gender
identity, sexual orientation, marital/
partnership status, language preference,
socioeconomic status, immigration
status, or any basis proscribed by law.
C.6. Public Responsibility
C.6.a. Sexual Harassment
Counselors do not engage in or condone
sexual harassment. Sexual harassment
can consist of a single intense or severe act,
or multiple persistent or pervasive acts.
C.6.b. Reports to Third Parties
Counselors are accurate, honest, and
objective in reporting their professional
activities and judgments to appropriate
third parties, including courts, health
insurance companies, those who are
the recipients of evaluation reports,
and others.
C.6.c. Media Presentations
When counselors provide advice or comment by means of public lectures, demonstrations, radio or television programs,
recordings, technology-based applications, printed articles, mailed material,
or other media, they take reasonable
precautions to ensure that
1. the statements are based on appropriate professional counseling literature and practice,
2. the statements are otherwise
consistent with the ACA Code of
Ethics, and
• ACA Code of Ethics •
3. the recipients of the information
are not encouraged to infer that a
professional counseling relationship has been established.
C.6.d. Exploitation of Others
Counselors do not exploit others in their
professional relationships.
C.6.e. Contributing to the
Public Good
(Pro Bono Publico)
Counselors make a reasonable effort
to provide services to the public for
which there is little or no financial
return (e.g., speaking to groups, sharing professional information, offering
reduced fees).
C.7. Treatment Modalities
C.7.a. Scientific Basis for
When providing services, counselors use
techniques/procedures/modalities that
are grounded in theory and/or have an
empirical or scientific foundation.
C.7.b. Development and
When counselors use developing or
innovative techniques/procedures/
modalities, they explain the potential
risks, benefits, and ethical considerations
of using such techniques/procedures/
modalities. Counselors work to minimize
any potential risks or harm when using
these techniques/procedures/modalities.
C.7.c. Harmful Practices
Counselors do not use techniques/procedures/modalities when substantial
evidence suggests harm, even if such
services are requested.
C.8. Responsibility to
Other Professionals
C.8.a. Personal Public
When making personal statements in a
public context, counselors clarify that they
are speaking from their personal perspectives and that they are not speaking on
behalf of all counselors or the profession.
Section D
Relationships With
Other Professionals
Professional counselors recognize
that the quality of their interactions
with colleagues can influence the
quality of services provided to clients.
They work to become knowledgeable
about colleagues within and outside
the field of counseling. Counselors
develop positive working relationships and systems of communication
with colleagues to enhance services
to clients.
D.1. Relationships With
Colleagues, Employers,
and Employees
D.1.a. Different Approaches
Counselors are respectful of approaches
that are grounded in theory and/or
have an empirical or scientific foundation but may differ from their own.
Counselors acknowledge the expertise
of other professional groups and are
respectful of their practices.
D.1.b. Forming Relationships
Counselors work to develop and
strengthen relationships with colleagues from other disciplines to best
serve clients.
D.1.c. Interdisciplinary
Counselors who are members of interdisciplinary teams delivering multifaceted services to clients remain
focused on how to best serve clients.
They participate in and contribute to
decisions that affect the well-being of
clients by drawing on the perspectives,
values, and experiences of the counseling profession and those of colleagues
from other disciplines.
D.1.d. Establishing
Professional and
Ethical Obligations
Counselors who are members of interdisciplinary teams work together with
team members to clarify professional
and ethical obligations of the team as
a whole and of its individual members.
When a team decision raises ethical
concerns, counselors first attempt to
resolve the concern within the team.
If they cannot reach resolution among
team members, counselors pursue
other avenues to address their concerns
consistent with client well-being.
D.1.e. Confidentiality
When counselors are required by law,
institutional policy, or extraordinary
circumstances to serve in more than one
role in judicial or administrative proceedings, they clarify role expectations
and the parameters of confidentiality
with their colleagues.
• 10 •
D.1.f. Personnel Selection and
When counselors are in a position
requiring personnel selection and/or
assigning of responsibilities to others,
they select competent staff and assign
responsibilities compatible with their
skills and experiences.
D.1.g. Employer Policies
The acceptance of employment in an
agency or institution implies that counselors are in agreement with its general policies and principles. Counselors strive to
reach agreement with employers regarding acceptable standards of client care
and professional conduct that allow for
changes in institutional policy conducive
to the growth and development of clients.
D.1.h. Negative Conditions
Counselors alert their employers of inappropriate policies and practices. They
attempt to effect changes in such policies
or procedures through constructive action
within the organization. When such policies are potentially disruptive or damaging
to clients or may limit the effectiveness of
services provided and change cannot be affected, counselors take appropriate further
action. Such action may include referral to
appropriate certification, accreditation, or
state licensure organizations, or voluntary
termination of employment.
D.1.i. Protection From
Punitive Action
Counselors do not harass a colleague
or employee or dismiss an employee
who has acted in a responsible and
ethical manner to expose inappropriate
employer policies or practices.
D.2. Provision of
Consultation Services
D.2.a. Consultant Competency
Counselors take reasonable steps to
ensure that they have the appropriate resources and competencies when
providing consultation services. Counselors provide appropriate referral
resources when requested or needed.
D.2.b. Informed Consent in
Formal Consultation
When providing formal consultation
services, counselors have an obligation to
review, in writing and verbally, the rights
and responsibilities of both counselors
and consultees. Counselors use clear
and understandable language to inform
all parties involved about the purpose
of the services to be provided, relevant
costs, potential risks and benefits, and
the limits of confidentiality.
• ACA Code of Ethics •
Section E
E.2.c. Decisions Based on
Evaluation, Assessment,
and Interpretation
Counselors responsible for decisions
involving individuals or policies that are
based on assessment results have a thorough understanding of psychometrics.
E.3. Informed Consent
in Assessment
E.1. General
Prior to assessment, counselors explain
the nature and purposes of assessment
and the specific use of results by potential recipients. The explanation will
be given in terms and language that
the client (or other legally authorized
person on behalf of the client) can
Counselors use assessment as one component of the counseling process, taking
into account the clients’ personal and
cultural context. Counselors promote the
well-being of individual clients or groups
of clients by developing and using appropriate educational, mental health,
psychological, and career assessments.
E.1.a. Assessment
The primary purpose of educational,
mental health, psychological, and career
assessment is to gather information
regarding the client for a variety of
purposes, including, but not limited
to, client decision making, treatment
planning, and forensic proceedings. Assessment may include both qualitative
and quantitative methodologies.
E.1.b. Client Welfare
Counselors do not misuse assessment
results and interpretations, and they
take reasonable steps to prevent others
from misusing the information provided. They respect the client’s right
to know the results, the interpretations
made, and the bases for counselors’
conclusions and recommendations.
E.2. Competence to Use and
Interpret Assessment
E.2.a. Limits of Competence
Counselors use only those testing and assessment services for which they have been
trained and are competent. Counselors
using technology-assisted test interpretations are trained in the construct being
measured and the specific instrument
being used prior to using its technologybased application. Counselors take reasonable measures to ensure the proper use of
assessment techniques by persons under
their supervision.
E.2.b. Appropriate Use
Counselors are responsible for the
appropriate application, scoring, interpretation, and use of assessment instruments relevant to the needs of the client,
whether they score and interpret such
assessments themselves or use technology or other services.
E.3.a. Explanation to Clients
E.3.b. Recipients of Results
Counselors consider the client’s and/
or examinee’s welfare, explicit understandings, and prior agreements in determining who receives the assessment
results. Counselors include accurate
and appropriate interpretations with
any release of individual or group assessment results.
E.4. Release of Data to
Qualified Personnel
Counselors release assessment data in
which the client is identified only with
the consent of the client or the client’s
legal representative. Such data are
released only to persons recognized
by counselors as qualified to interpret
the data.
E.5. Diagnosis of
Mental Disorders
E.5.a. Proper Diagnosis
Counselors take special care to provide
proper diagnosis of mental disorders.
Assessment techniques (including
personal interviews) used to determine
client care (e.g., locus of treatment, type
of treatment, recommended follow-up)
are carefully selected and appropriately used.
E.5.b. Cultural Sensitivity
Counselors recognize that culture
affects the manner in which clients’
problems are defined and experienced.
Clients’ socioeconomic and cultural
experiences are considered when diagnosing mental disorders.
E.5.c. Historical and Social
Prejudices in the
Diagnosis of Pathology
Counselors recognize historical and social prejudices in the misdiagnosis and
• 11 •
pathologizing of certain individuals and
groups and strive to become aware of
and address such biases in themselves
or others.
E.5.d. Refraining From
Counselors may refrain from making
and/or reporting a diagnosis if they
believe that it would cause harm to the
client or others. Counselors carefully
consider both the positive and negative
implications of a diagnosis.
E.6. Instrument Selection
E.6.a. Appropriateness of
Counselors carefully consider the
validity, reliability, psychometric limitations, and appropriateness of instruments when selecting assessments and,
when possible, use multiple forms of
assessment, data, and/or instruments
in forming conclusions, diagnoses, or
E.6.b. Referral Information
If a client is referred to a third party
for assessment, the counselor provides
specific referral questions and sufficient objective data about the client
to ensure that appropriate assessment
instruments are utilized.
E.7. Conditions of
E.7.a. Administration
Counselors administer assessments
under the same conditions that were
established in their standardization.
When assessments are not administered
under standard conditions, as may be
necessary to accommodate clients with
disabilities, or when unusual behavior
or irregularities occur during the administration, those conditions are noted in
interpretation, and the results may be
designated as invalid or of questionable validity.
E.7.b. Provision of Favorable
Counselors provide an appropriate
environment for the administration
of assessments (e.g., privacy, comfort,
freedom from distraction).
E.7.c. Technological
Counselors ensure that technologically administered assessments function properly and provide clients with
accurate results.
• ACA Code of Ethics •
E.7.d. Unsupervised
Unless the assessment instrument is
designed, intended, and validated for
self-administration and/or scoring,
counselors do not permit unsupervised
E.8. Multicultural Issues/
Diversity in Assessment
Counselors select and use with caution assessment techniques normed
on populations other than that of the
client. Counselors recognize the effects
of age, color, culture, disability, ethnic
group, gender, race, language preference, religion, spirituality, sexual
orientation, and socioeconomic status
on test administration and interpretation, and they place test results in
proper perspective with other relevant
E.9. Scoring and Interpretation
of Assessments
E.9.a. Reporting
When counselors report assessment results, they consider the client’s personal
and cultural background, the level of
the client’s understanding of the results,
and the impact of the results on the
client. In reporting assessment results,
counselors indicate reservations that
exist regarding validity or reliability
due to circumstances of the assessment
or inappropriateness of the norms for
the person tested.
E.9.b. Instruments With
Insufficient Empirical
Counselors exercise caution when
interpreting the results of instruments
not having sufficient empirical data to
support respondent results. The specific
purposes for the use of such instruments
are stated explicitly to the examinee.
Counselors qualify any conclusions, diagnoses, or recommendations made that
are based on assessments or instruments
with questionable validity or reliability.
E.9.c. Assessment Services
Counselors who provide assessment,
scoring, and interpretation services to
support the assessment process confirm
the validity of such interpretations.
They accurately describe the purpose,
norms, validity, reliability, and applications of the procedures and any special
qualifications applicable to their use.
At all times, counselors maintain their
ethical responsibility to those being
E.10. Assessment Security
Counselors maintain the integrity
and security of tests and assessments
consistent with legal and contractual
obligations. Counselors do not appropriate, reproduce, or modify published
assessments or parts thereof without
acknowledgment and permission from
the publisher.
E.11. Obsolete Assessment
and Outdated Results
Counselors do not use data or results
from assessments that are obsolete or
outdated for the current purpose (e.g.,
noncurrent versions of assessments/
instruments). Counselors make every
effort to prevent the misuse of obsolete
measures and assessment data by others.
E.12. Assessment
Counselors use established scientific
procedures, relevant standards, and
current professional knowledge for
assessment design in the development,
publication, and utilization of assessment techniques.
E.13. Forensic Evaluation:
Evaluation for
Legal Proceedings
E.13.a. Primary Obligations
When providing forensic evaluations,
the primary obligation of counselors is
to produce objective findings that can be
substantiated based on information and
techniques appropriate to the evaluation, which may include examination of
the individual and/or review of records.
Counselors form professional opinions
based on their professional knowledge
and expertise that can be supported
by the data gathered in evaluations.
Counselors define the limits of their
reports or testimony, especially when
an examination of the individual has
not been conducted.
E.13.b. Consent for Evaluation
Individuals being evaluated are informed in writing that the relationship
is for the purposes of an evaluation and
is not therapeutic in nature, and entities or individuals who will receive the
evaluation report are identified. Counselors who perform forensic evaluations obtain written consent from those
being evaluated or from their legal
representative unless a court orders
evaluations to be conducted without
the written consent of the individuals
being evaluated. When children or
• 12 •
adults who lack the capacity to give
voluntary consent are being evaluated,
informed written consent is obtained
from a parent or guardian.
E.13.c. Client Evaluation
Counselors do not evaluate current or
former clients, clients’ romantic partners,
or clients’ family members for forensic
purposes. Counselors do not counsel
individuals they are evaluating.
E.13.d. Avoid Potentially
Harmful Relationships
Counselors who provide forensic
evaluations avoid potentially harmful
professional or personal relationships
with family members, romantic partners, and close friends of individuals
they are evaluating or have evaluated
in the past.
Section F
Supervision, Training,
and Teaching
Counselor supervisors, trainers, and
educators aspire to foster meaningful
and respectful professional relationships and to maintain appropriate
boundaries with supervisees and
students in both face-to-face and electronic formats. They have theoretical
and pedagogical foundations for their
work; have knowledge of supervision
models; and aim to be fair, accurate,
and honest in their assessments of
counselors, students, and supervisees.
F.1. Counselor Supervision
and Client Welfare
F.1.a. Client Welfare
A primary obligation of counseling
supervisors is to monitor the services
provided by supervisees. Counseling
supervisors monitor client welfare and
supervisee performance and professional development. To fulfill these
obligations, supervisors meet regularly
with supervisees to review the supervisees’ work and help them become
prepared to serve a range of diverse
clients. Supervisees have a responsibility to understand and follow the ACA
Code of Ethics.
F.1.b. Counselor Credentials
Counseling supervisors work to ensure
that supervisees communicate their
• ACA Code of Ethics •
qualifications to render services to their
F.1.c. Informed Consent and
Client Rights
Supervisors make supervisees aware of
client rights, including the protection
of client privacy and confidentiality in
the counseling relationship. Supervisees provide clients with professional
disclosure information and inform
them of how the supervision process
influences the limits of confidentiality. Supervisees make clients aware of
who will have access to records of the
counseling relationship and how these
records will be stored, transmitted, or
otherwise reviewed.
F.2. Counselor Supervision
both in-person and electronic interactions or relationships.
F.3.c. Sexual Harassment
Counseling supervisors do not condone or subject supervisees to sexual
F.3.d. Friends or Family
Supervisors are prohibited from engaging in supervisory relationships with
individuals with whom they have an
inability to remain objective.
F.4. Supervisor
F.4.a. Informed Consent for
Prior to offering supervision services,
counselors are trained in supervision
methods and techniques. Counselors
who offer supervision services regularly
pursue continuing education activities,
including both counseling and supervision topics and skills.
Supervisors are responsible for incorporating into their supervision the
principles of informed consent and
participation. Supervisors inform supervisees of the policies and procedures
to which supervisors are to adhere and
the mechanisms for due process appeal
of individual supervisor actions. The
issues unique to the use of distance
supervision are to be included in the
documentation as necessary.
F.2.b. Multicultural Issues/
Diversity in Supervision
F.4.b. Emergencies and
F.2.a. Supervisor Preparation
Counseling supervisors are aware of and
address the role of multiculturalism/
diversity in the supervisory relationship.
F.2.c. Online Supervision
When using technology in supervision,
counselor supervisors are competent in
the use of those technologies. Supervisors take the necessary precautions
to protect the confidentiality of all
information transmitted through any
electronic means.
F.3. Supervisory Relationship
F.3.a. Extending Conventional
Supervisory Relationships
Counseling supervisors clearly define
and maintain ethical professional,
personal, and social relationships with
their supervisees. Supervisors consider the risks and benefits of extending current supervisory relationships
in any form beyond conventional
parameters. In extending these boundaries, supervisors take appropriate
professional precautions to ensure that
judgment is not impaired and that no
harm occurs.
F.3.b. Sexual Relationships
Sexual or romantic interactions or relationships with current supervisees are
prohibited. This prohibition applies to
Supervisors establish and communicate to supervisees procedures for contacting supervisors or, in their absence,
alternative on-call supervisors to assist
in handling crises.
F.4.c. Standards for Supervisees
Supervisors make their supervisees
aware of professional and ethical
standards and legal responsibilities.
F.4.d. Termination of the
Supervisory Relationship
Supervisors or supervisees have the
right to terminate the supervisory
relationship with adequate notice. Reasons for considering termination are
discussed, and both parties work to
resolve differences. When termination
is warranted, supervisors make appropriate referrals to possible alternative
F.5. Student and Supervisee
F.5.a. Ethical Responsibilities
Students and supervisees have a responsibility to understand and follow
the ACA Code of Ethics. Students and
supervisees have the same obligation to
clients as those required of professional
• 13 •
F.5.b. Impairment
Students and supervisees monitor
themselves for signs of impairment
from their own physical, mental, or
emotional problems and refrain from
offering or providing professional
services when such impairment is
likely to harm a client or others. They
notify their faculty and/or supervisors and seek assistance for problems
that reach the level of professional
impairment, and, if necessary, they
limit, suspend, or terminate their
professional responsibilities until it
is determined that they may safely
resume their work.
F.5.c. Professional Disclosure
Before providing counseling services,
students and supervisees disclose
their status as supervisees and explain
how this status affects the limits of
confidentiality. Supervisors ensure
that clients are aware of the services
rendered and the qualifications of the
students and supervisees rendering
those services. Students and supervisees obtain client permission before
they use any information concerning
the counseling relationship in the
training process.
F.6. Counseling Supervision
Evaluation, Remediation,
and Endorsement
F.6.a. Evaluation
Supervisors document and provide
supervisees with ongoing feedback
regarding their performance and
schedule periodic formal evaluative
sessions throughout the supervisory
F.6.b. Gatekeeping and
Through initial and ongoing evaluation, supervisors are aware of supervisee limitations that might impede
performance. Supervisors assist supervisees in securing remedial assistance when needed. They recommend
dismissal from training programs,
applied counseling settings, and state
or voluntary professional credentialing processes when those supervisees
are unable to demonstrate that they
can provide competent professional
services to a range of diverse clients.
Supervisors seek consultation and
document their decisions to dismiss or
refer supervisees for assistance. They
ensure that supervisees are aware of
options available to them to address
such decisions.
• ACA Code of Ethics •
F.6.c. Counseling for
If supervisees request counseling, the
supervisor assists the supervisee in
identifying appropriate services. Supervisors do not provide counseling
services to supervisees. Supervisors
address interpersonal competencies in
terms of the impact of these issues on
clients, the supervisory relationship,
and professional functioning.
F.6.d. Endorsements
Supervisors endorse supervisees for
certification, licensure, employment,
or completion of an academic or training program only when they believe
that supervisees are qualified for the
endorsement. Regardless of qualifications, supervisors do not endorse
supervisees whom they believe to be
impaired in any way that would interfere with the performance of the duties
associated with the endorsement.
F.7. Responsibilities of
Counselor Educators
F.7.a. Counselor Educators
Counselor educators who are responsible for developing, implementing,
and supervising educational programs
are skilled as teachers and practitioners. They are knowledgeable regarding the ethical, legal, and regulatory
aspects of the profession; are skilled
in applying that knowledge; and
make students and supervisees aware
of their responsibilities. Whether in
traditional, hybrid, and/or online
formats, counselor educators conduct
counselor education and training
programs in an ethical manner and
serve as role models for professional
F.7.b. Counselor Educator
Counselors who function as counselor
educators or supervisors provide instruction within their areas of knowledge and competence and provide
instruction based on current information and knowledge available in the
profession. When using technology to
deliver instruction, counselor educators
develop competence in the use of the
F.7.c. Infusing Multicultural
Counselor educators infuse material
related to multiculturalism/diversity into all courses and workshops
for the development of professional
F.7.d. Integration of Study
and Practice
In traditional, hybrid, and/or online
formats, counselor educators establish
education and training programs that
integrate academic study and supervised practice.
F.7.e. Teaching Ethics
Throughout the program, counselor
educators ensure that students are
aware of the ethical responsibilities
and standards of the profession and the
ethical responsibilities of students to the
profession. Counselor educators infuse
ethical considerations throughout the
F.7.f. Use of Case Examples
The use of client, student, or supervisee
information for the purposes of case examples in a lecture or classroom setting
is permissible only when (a) the client,
student, or supervisee has reviewed the
material and agreed to its presentation
or (b) the information has been sufficiently modified to obscure identity.
F.7.g. Student-to-Student
Supervision and
When students function in the role of
counselor educators or supervisors,
they understand that they have the
same ethical obligations as counselor
educators, trainers, and supervisors.
Counselor educators make every effort
to ensure that the rights of students are
not compromised when their peers lead
experiential counseling activities in traditional, hybrid, and/or online formats
(e.g., counseling groups, skills classes,
clinical supervision).
F.7.h. Innovative Theories and
Counselor educators promote the use
of techniques/procedures/modalities
that are grounded in theory and/or
have an empirical or scientific foundation. When counselor educators discuss
developing or innovative techniques/
procedures/modalities, they explain the
potential risks, benefits, and ethical considerations of using such techniques/
F.7.i. Field Placements
Counselor educators develop clear
policies and provide direct assistance
within their training programs regarding appropriate field placement and
other clinical experiences. Counselor
educators provide clearly stated roles
and responsibilities for the student or
supervisee, the site supervisor, and the
program supervisor. They confirm that
• 14 •
site supervisors are qualified to provide
supervision in the formats in which
services are provided and inform site
supervisors of their professional and
ethical responsibilities in this role.
F.8. Student Welfare
F.8.a. Program Information and
Counselor educators recognize that
program orientation is a developmental process that begins upon students’
initial contact with the counselor education program and continues throughout
the educational and clinical training
of students. Counselor education faculty provide prospective and current
students with information about the
counselor education program’s expectations, including
1. the values and ethical principles
of the profession;
2. the type and level of skill and
knowledge acquisition required
for successful completion of the
3. technology requirements;
4. program training goals, objectives,
and mission, and subject matter to
be covered;
5. bases for evaluation;
6. training components that encourage self-growth or self-disclosure
as part of the training process;
7. the type of supervision settings
and requirements of the sites for
required clinical field experiences;
8. student and supervisor evaluation and dismissal policies and
procedures; and
9. up-to-date employment prospects for graduates.
F.8.b. Student Career Advising
Counselor educators provide career
advisement for their students and make
them aware of opportunities in the field.
F.8.c. Self-Growth Experiences
Self-growth is an expected component
of counselor education. Counselor educators are mindful of ethical principles
when they require students to engage
in self-growth experiences. Counselor
educators and supervisors inform students that they have a right to decide
what information will be shared or
withheld in class.
F.8.d. Addressing Personal
Counselor educators may require students to address any personal concerns
that have the potential to affect professional competency.
• ACA Code of Ethics •
F.9. Evaluation and
F.9.a. Evaluation of Students
Counselor educators clearly state to students, prior to and throughout the training program, the levels of competency
expected, appraisal methods, and timing
of evaluations for both didactic and clinical competencies. Counselor educators
provide students with ongoing feedback
regarding their performance throughout
the training program.
F.9.b. Limitations
Counselor educators, through ongoing
evaluation, are aware of and address
the inability of some students to achieve
counseling competencies. Counselor
educators do the following:
1. assist students in securing remedial assistance when needed,
2. seek professional consultation
and document their decision to
dismiss or refer students for
assistance, and
3. ensure that students have recourse
in a timely manner to address
decisions requiring them to seek
assistance or to dismiss them and
provide students with due process
according to institutional policies
and procedures.
F.9.c. Counseling for Students
If students request counseling, or if
counseling services are suggested as
part of a remediation process, counselor
educators assist students in identifying
appropriate services.
F.10. Roles and Relationships
Between Counselor
Educators and Students
F.10.a. Sexual or Romantic
Counselor educators are prohibited
from sexual or romantic interactions or
relationships with students currently
enrolled in a counseling or related program and over whom they have power
and authority. This prohibition applies
to both in-person and electronic interactions or relationships.
F.10.b. Sexual Harassment
Counselor educators do not condone or
subject students to sexual harassment.
F.10.c. Relationships With
Former Students
Counselor educators are aware of the
power differential in the relationship
between faculty and students. Faculty
members discuss with former students
potential risks when they consider
engaging in social, sexual, or other intimate relationships.
F.10.d. Nonacademic
Counselor educators avoid nonacademic
relationships with students in which
there is a risk of potential harm to the
student or which may compromise the
training experience or grades assigned.
In addition, counselor educators do not
accept any form of professional services,
fees, commissions, reimbursement, or
remuneration from a site for student or
supervisor placement.
F.10.e. Counseling Services
Counselor educators do not serve
as counselors to students currently
enrolled in a counseling or related program and over whom they have power
and authority.
F.10.f. Extending Educator–
Student Boundaries
Counselor educators are aware of the
power differential in the relationship
between faculty and students. If they
believe that a nonprofessional relationship with a student may be potentially
beneficial to the student, they take precautions similar to those taken by
counselors when working with clients.
Examples of potentially beneficial interactions or relationships include, but
are not limited to, attending a formal
ceremony; conducting hospital visits;
providing support during a stressful
event; or maintaining mutual membership in a professional association,
organization, or community. Counselor educators discuss with students
the rationale for such interactions, the
potential benefits and drawbacks, and
the anticipated consequences for the
student. Educators clarify the specific
nature and limitations of the additional
role(s) they will have with the student
prior to engaging in a nonprofessional
relationship. Nonprofessional relationships with students should be time
limited and/or context specific and
initiated with student consent.
F.11.b. Student Diversity
Counselor educators actively attempt
to recruit and retain a diverse student
body. Counselor educators demonstrate
commitment to multicultural/diversity
competence by recognizing and valuing
the diverse cultures and types of abilities that students bring to the training
experience. Counselor educators provide appropriate accommodations that
enhance and support diverse student
well-being and academic performance.
F.11.c. Multicultural/Diversity
Counselor educators actively infuse
multicultural/diversity competency in
their training and supervision practices.
They actively train students to gain
awareness, knowledge, and skills in the
competencies of multicultural practice.
Section G
Research and
Counselors who conduct research are
encouraged to contribute to the knowledge base of the profession and promote
a clearer understanding of the conditions that lead to a healthy and more
just society. Counselors support the
efforts of researchers by participating
fully and willingly whenever possible.
Counselors minimize bias and respect
diversity in designing and implementing research.
G.1. Research Responsibilities
G.1.a. Conducting Research
Counselors plan, design, conduct, and
report research in a manner that is consistent with pertinent ethical principles,
federal and state laws, host institutional
regulations, and scientific standards
governing research.
G.1.b. Confidentiality in
F.11. Multicultural/Diversity
Competence in
Counselor Education
and Training Programs
Counselors are responsible for understanding and adhering to state, federal,
agency, or institutional policies or applicable guidelines regarding confidentiality in their research practices.
F.11.a. Faculty Diversity
When counselors conduct independent
research and do not have access to an
institutional review board, they are
bound to the same ethical principles and
Counselor educators are committed
to recruiting and retaining a diverse
• 15 •
G.1.c. Independent Researchers
• ACA Code of Ethics •
federal and state laws pertaining to the
review of their plan, design, conduct,
and reporting of research.
G.1.d. Deviation From
Standard Practice
Counselors seek consultation and observe stringent safeguards to protect
the rights of research participants when
research indicates that a deviation from
standard or acceptable practices may be
G.1.e. Precautions to
Avoid Injury
Counselors who conduct research are
responsible for their participants’ welfare throughout the research process
and should take reasonable precautions
to avoid causing emotional, physical, or
social harm to participants.
G.1.f. Principal Researcher
The ultimate responsibility for ethical
research practice lies with the principal
researcher. All others involved in the research activities share ethical obligations
and responsibility for their own actions.
G.2. Rights of Research
G.2.a. Informed Consent in
Individuals have the right to decline
requests to become research participants. In seeking consent, counselors
use language that
1. accurately explains the purpose
and procedures to be followed;
2. identifies any procedures that
are experimental or relatively
3. describes any attendant discomforts, risks, and potential power
differentials between researchers
and participants;
4. describes any benefits or changes
in individuals or organizations
that might reasonably be expected;
5. discloses appropriate alternative
procedures that would be advantageous for participants;
6. offers to answer any inquiries
concerning the procedures;
7. describes any limitations on
8. describes the format and potential
target audiences for the dissemination of research findings; and
9. instructs participants that they
are free to withdraw their consent and discontinue participation in the project at any time,
without penalty.
G.2.b. Student/Supervisee
G.2.i. Research Records
Researchers who involve students or
supervisees in research make clear to
them that the decision regarding participation in research activities does
not affect their academic standing or
supervisory relationship. Students or
supervisees who choose not to participate in research are provided with an
appropriate alternative to fulfill their
academic or clinical requirements.
As appropriate, researchers prepare and
disseminate to an identified colleague or
records custodian a plan for the transfer
of research data in the case of their incapacitation, retirement, or death.
G.2.c. Client Participation
Researchers consider the risks and benefits of extending current research relationships beyond conventional parameters. When a nonresearch interaction
between the researcher and the research
participant may be potentially beneficial, the researcher must document,
prior to the interaction (when feasible),
the rationale for such an interaction, the
potential benefit, and anticipated consequences for the research participant.
Such interactions should be initiated
with appropriate consent of the research
participant. Where unintentional harm
occurs to the research participant, the
researcher must show evidence of an
attempt to remedy such harm.
Counselors conducting research involving clients make clear in the informed
consent process that clients are free to
choose whether to participate in research activities. Counselors take necessary precautions to protect clients from
adverse consequences of declining or
withdrawing from participation.
G.2.d. Confidentiality of
Information obtained about research
participants during the course of research is confidential. Procedures are
implemented to protect confidentiality.
G.2.e. Persons Not
Capable of Giving
Informed Consent
When a research participant is not
capable of giving informed consent,
counselors provide an appropriate
explanation to, obtain agreement for
participation from, and obtain the appropriate consent of a legally authorized
G.2.f. Commitments to
Counselors take reasonable measures
to honor all commitments to research
G.2.g. Explanations After
Data Collection
After data are collected, counselors
provide participants with full clarification of the nature of the study to remove any misconceptions participants
might have regarding the research.
Where scientific or human values
justify delaying or withholding information, counselors take reasonable
measures to avoid causing harm.
G.2.h. Informing Sponsors
Counselors inform sponsors, institutions, and publication channels
regarding research procedures and
outcomes. Counselors ensure that
appropriate bodies and authorities
are given pertinent information and
• 16 •
G.3. Managing and
Maintaining Boundaries
G.3.a. Extending Researcher–
Participant Boundaries
G.3.b. Relationships With
Research Participants
Sexual or romantic counselor–research
participant interactions or relationships
with current research participants are
prohibited. This prohibition applies to
both in-person and electronic interactions
or relationships.
G.3.c. Sexual Harassment and
Research Participants
Researchers do not condone or subject research participants to sexual harassment.
G.4. Reporting Results
G.4.a. Accurate Results
Counselors plan, conduct, and report
research accurately. Counselors do not
engage in misleading or fraudulent research, distort data, misrepresent data,
or deliberately bias their results. They
describe the extent to which results are
applicable for diverse populations.
G.4.b. Obligation to Report
Unfavorable Results
Counselors report the results of any
research of professional value. Results
that reflect unfavorably on institutions,
programs, services, prevailing opinions,
or vested interests are not withheld.
G.4.c. Reporting Errors
If counselors discover significant errors
in their published research, they take
• ACA Code of Ethics •
reasonable steps to correct such errors
in a correction erratum or through other
appropriate publication means.
G.4.d. Identity of Participants
Counselors who supply data, aid in
the research of another person, report
research results, or make original data
available take due care to disguise the
identity of respective participants in
the absence of specific authorization
from the participants to do otherwise.
In situations where participants selfidentify their involvement in research
studies, researchers take active steps
to ensure that data are adapted/
changed to protect the identity and
welfare of all parties and that discussion of results does not cause harm to
G.4.e. Replication Studies
Counselors are obligated to make
available sufficient original research
information to qualified professionals
who may wish to replicate or extend
the study.
G.5. Publications and
G.5.a. Use of Case Examples
The use of participants’, clients’, students’, or supervisees’ information
for the purpose of case examples in a
presentation or publication is permissible only when (a) participants, clients,
students, or supervisees have reviewed
the material and agreed to its presentation or publication or (b) the information has been sufficiently modified to
obscure identity.
G.5.b. Plagiarism
Counselors do not plagiarize; that is,
they do not present another person’s
work as their own.
G.5.c. Acknowledging
Previous Work
In publications and presentations,
counselors acknowledge and give recognition to previous work on the topic
by others or self.
G.5.d. Contributors
Counselors give credit through joint
authorship, acknowledgment, footnote statements, or other appropriate
means to those who have contributed
significantly to research or concept
development in accordance with such
contributions. The principal contributor is listed first, and minor technical
or professional contributions are acknowledged in notes or introductory
G.5.e. Agreement of
Counselors who conduct joint research
with colleagues or students/supervisors establish agreements in advance regarding allocation of tasks, publication
credit, and types of acknowledgment
that will be received.
G.5.f. Student Research
Manuscripts or professional presentations in any medium that are substantially based on a student’s course
papers, projects, dissertations, or theses
are used only with the student’s permission and list the student as lead author.
G.5.g. Duplicate Submissions
Counselors submit manuscripts for consideration to only one journal at a time.
Manuscripts that are published in whole
or in substantial part in one journal or
published work are not submitted for
publication to another publisher without acknowledgment and permission
from the original publisher.
G.5.h. Professional Review
Counselors who review material submitted for publication, research, or
other scholarly purposes respect the
confidentiality and proprietary rights
of those who submitted it. Counselors
make publication decisions based on
valid and defensible standards. Counselors review article submissions in a
timely manner and based on their scope
and competency in research methodologies. Counselors who serve as reviewers
at the request of editors or publishers
make every effort to only review materials that are within their scope of
competency and avoid personal biases.
Section H
Distance Counseling,
Technology, and
Social Media
Counselors understand that the profession of counseling may no longer be
limited to in-person, face-to-face interactions. Counselors actively attempt to
understand the evolving nature of the
profession with regard to distance counseling, technology, and social media and
how such resources may be used to better serve their clients. Counselors strive
to become knowledgeable about these
resources. Counselors understand the
• 17 •
additional concerns related to the use
of distance counseling, technology, and
social media and make every attempt
to protect confidentiality and meet any
legal and ethical requirements for the
use of such resources.
H.1. Knowledge and
Legal Considerations
H.1.a. Knowledge and
Counselors who engage in the use of
distance counseling, technology, and/
or social media develop knowledge and
skills regarding related technical, ethical,
and legal considerations (e.g., special
certifications, additional course work).
H.1.b. Laws and Statutes
Counselors who engage in the use of distance counseling, technology, and social
media within their counseling practice
understand that they may be subject to
laws and regulations of both the counselor’s practicing location and the client’s
place of residence. Counselors ensure
that their clients are aware of pertinent
legal rights and limitations governing the
practice of counseling across state lines
or international boundaries.
H.2. Informed Consent
and Security
H.2.a. Informed Consent
and Disclosure
Clients have the freedom to choose
whether to use distance counseling,
social media, and/or technology within
the counseling process. In addition to
the usual and customary protocol of
informed consent between counselor
and client for face-to-face counseling,
the following issues, unique to the use of
distance counseling, technology, and/
or social media, are addressed in the
informed consent process:

distance counseling credentials,
physical location of practice, and
contact information;
• risks and benefits of engaging in
the use of distance counseling,
technology, and/or social media;
• possibility of technology failure
and alternate methods of service
• anticipated response time;
• emergency procedures to follow
when the counselor is not available;
• time zone differences;
• cultural and/or language differences that may affect delivery of
• ACA Code of Ethics •

possible denial of insurance
benefits; and
social media policy.
H.2.b. Confidentiality
Maintained by the
Counselors acknowledge the limitations
of maintaining the confidentiality of
electronic records and transmissions.
They inform clients that individuals
might have authorized or unauthorized
access to such records or transmissions
(e.g., colleagues, supervisors, employees, information technologists).
H.2.c. Acknowledgment
of Limitations
Counselors inform clients about the
inherent limits of confidentiality when
using technology. Counselors urge
clients to be aware of authorized and/
or unauthorized access to information
disclosed using this medium in the
counseling process.
H.2.d. Security
Counselors use current encryption standards within their websites and/or technology-based communications that meet
applicable legal requirements. Counselors
take reasonable precautions to ensure the
confidentiality of information transmitted
through any electronic means.
H.3. Client Verification
Counselors who engage in the use of
distance counseling, technology, and/
or social media to interact with clients
take steps to verify the client’s identity
at the beginning and throughout the
therapeutic process. Verification can
include, but is not limited to, using
code words, numbers, graphics, or other
nondescript identifiers.
H.4. Distance Counseling
H.4.a. Benefits and Limitations
Counselors inform clients of the benefits
and limitations of using technology applications in the provision of counseling
services. Such technologies include, but are
not limited to, computer hardware and/or
software, telephones and applications, social media and Internet-based applications
and other audio and/or video communication, or data storage devices or media.
H.4.b. Professional
Boundaries in Distance
Counselors understand the necessity of
maintaining a professional relationship
with their clients. Counselors discuss
and establish professional boundaries
with clients regarding the appropriate
use and/or application of technology
and the limitations of its use within
the counseling relationship (e.g., lack
of confidentiality, times when not appropriate to use).
H.4.c. Technology-Assisted
When providing technology-assisted
services, counselors make reasonable
efforts to determine that clients are
intellectually, emotionally, physically,
linguistically, and functionally capable
of using the application and that the application is appropriate for the needs of
the client. Counselors verify that clients
understand the purpose and operation
of technology applications and follow
up with clients to correct possible misconceptions, discover appropriate use,
and assess subsequent steps.
H.4.d. Effectiveness of Services
When distance counseling services are
deemed ineffective by the counselor or
client, counselors consider delivering
services face-to-face. If the counselor is
not able to provide face-to-face services
(e.g., lives in another state), the counselor assists the client in identifying
appropriate services.
H.4.e. Access
Counselors provide information to
clients regarding reasonable access to
pertinent applications when providing
technology-assisted services.
H.4.f. Communication
Differences in
Electronic Media
Counselors consider the differences between face-to-face and electronic communication (nonverbal and verbal cues)
and how these may affect the counseling
process. Counselors educate clients on
how to prevent and address potential
misunderstandings arising from the
lack of visual cues and voice intonations
when communicating electronically.
H.5. Records and
Web Maintenance
H.5.a. Records
Counselors maintain electronic records
in accordance with relevant laws and
statutes. Counselors inform clients on
how records are maintained electronically. This includes, but is not limited
to, the type of encryption and security
assigned to the records, and if/for how
long archival storage of transaction
records is maintained.
• 18 •
H.5.b. Client Rights
Counselors who offer distance counseling
services and/or maintain a professional
website provide electronic links to relevant licensure and professional certification boards to protect consumer and client
rights and address ethical concerns.
H.5.c. Electronic Links
Counselors regularly ensure that electronic links are working and are professionally appropriate.
H.5.d. Multicultural and
Disability Considerations
Counselors who maintain websites
provide accessibility to persons with
disabilities. They provide translation capabilities for clients who have a different
primary language, when feasible. Counselors acknowledge the imperfect nature
of such translations and accessibilities.
H.6. Social Media
H.6.a. Virtual Professional
In cases where counselors wish to
maintain a professional and personal
presence for social media use, separate
professional and personal web pages
and profiles are created to clearly distinguish between the two kinds of virtual
H.6.b. Social Media as Part of
Informed Consent
Counselors clearly explain to their clients,
as part of the informed consent procedure,
the benefits, limitations, and boundaries
of the use of social media.
H.6.c. Client Virtual Presence
Counselors respect the privacy of
their clients’ presence on social media
unless given consent to view such
H.6.d. Use of Public
Social Media
Counselors take precautions to avoid
disclosing confidential information
through public social media.
Section I
Resolving Ethical
Professional counselors behave in an
ethical and legal manner. They are
aware that client welfare and trust in
• ACA Code of Ethics •
the profession depend on a high level of
professional conduct. They hold other
counselors to the same standards and
are willing to take appropriate action
to ensure that standards are upheld.
Counselors strive to resolve ethical
dilemmas with direct and open communication among all parties involved and
seek consultation with colleagues and
supervisors when necessary. Counselors
incorporate ethical practice into their
daily professional work and engage
in ongoing professional development
regarding current topics in ethical and
legal issues in counseling. Counselors
become familiar with the ACA Policy
and Procedures for Processing Complaints of Ethical Violations1 and use
it as a reference for assisting in the
enforcement of the ACA Code of Ethics.
erning legal authority, counselors make
known their commitment to the ACA
Code of Ethics and take steps to resolve
the conflict. If the conflict cannot be resolved using this approach, counselors,
acting in the best interest of the client,
may adhere to the requirements of the
law, regulations, and/or other governing legal authority.
I.1. Standards and the Law
I.2.b. Reporting Ethical
I.1.a. Knowledge
Counselors know and understand the
ACA Code of Ethics and other applicable
ethics codes from professional organizations or certification and licensure bodies of which they are members. Lack of
knowledge or misunderstanding of an
ethical responsibility is not a defense
against a charge of unethical conduct.
I.1.b. Ethical Decision Making
When counselors are faced with an ethical dilemma, they use and document,
as appropriate, an ethical decisionmaking model that may include, but
is not limited to, consultation; consideration of relevant ethical standards,
principles, and laws; generation of
potential courses of action; deliberation
of risks and benefits; and selection of
an objective decision based on the circumstances and welfare of all involved.
I.1.c. Conflicts Between Ethics
and Laws
If ethical responsibilities conflict with
the law, regulations, and/or other gov-
I.2. Suspected Violations
I.2.a. Informal Resolution
When counselors have reason to believe
that another counselor is violating or has
violated an ethical standard and substantial harm has not occurred, they attempt
to first resolve the issue informally with
the other counselor if feasible, provided
such action does not violate confidentiality rights that may be involved.
If an apparent violation has substantially
harmed or is likely to substantially harm
a person or organization and is not appropriate for informal resolution or is not
resolved properly, counselors take further action depending on the situation.
Such action may include referral to state
or national committees on professional
ethics, voluntary national certification
bodies, state licensing boards, or appropriate institutional authorities. The
confidentiality rights of clients should be
considered in all actions. This standard
does not apply when counselors have
been retained to review the work of
another counselor whose professional
conduct is in question (e.g., consultation,
expert testimony).
I.2.c. Consultation
When uncertain about whether a
particular situation or course of action may be in violation of the ACA
Code of Ethics, counselors consult with
other counselors who are knowledgeable about ethics and the ACA Code
of Ethics, with colleagues, or with
appropriate authorities, such as the
ACA Ethics and Professional Standards Department.
I.2.d. Organizational Conflicts
If the demands of an organization with
which counselors are affiliated pose
a conflict with the ACA Code of Ethics,
counselors specify the nature of such
conflicts and express to their supervisors or other responsible officials their
commitment to the ACA Code of Ethics
and, when possible, work through the
appropriate channels to address the
I.2.e. Unwarranted Complaints
Counselors do not initiate, participate
in, or encourage the filing of ethics complaints that are retaliatory in nature or are
made with reckless disregard or willful
ignorance of facts that would disprove
the allegation.
I.2.f. Unfair Discrimination
Against Complai…

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