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Applying the Codes of Ethics

Counseling codes of ethics establish client expectations as well as expectations among members of the profession. The most obvious expectation is that counselors must know the ethical codes of the professional groups or organizations (e.g., ACA, IAMFC, and/or AMHCA). Ethical standards, as expressed by such professional groups, represent the ideal. A professional code of ethics is a standard of conduct that a practitioner adheres to in order to affiliate with that group. This affiliation is a choice to accept the standards of the professional body and be subject to disciplinary actions of the organization if codes are violated. The ability to reason with ethical principles and to arrive at a decision for which you are accountable is what constitutes an ethical counseling practice.

The ethical codes of various professional organizations offer some guidance for practice. However, these guidelines can often leave many ethical questions unanswered and are often insufficient to explicitly deal with every situation. Students and professionals alike must ultimately resolve personal issues of responsible practice. They also should decide how accepted principles apply in specific cases. It is often difficult to interpret ethical codes for specific clients.

For this Discussion, review the Ethical Decision-Making Game media and begin to evaluate different ethical challenges presented to prepare you to complete your Discussion. Review the Learning Resources for this week and select a case study from the ACA Ethical Standards Casebook. Use the Case Analysis Worksheet for this Discussion. Do not turn your worksheet in as part of your Discussion. Then, select one of three case studies presented. Consider ethical challenges in the case related to the codes of ethics you have selected and reflect on potential strategies for preventing them.

Post by Day 3 a brief description of the case study you selected from the ACA Ethical Standards Casebook and the codes of ethics you will be applying. Explain the ethical challenges in the case related to the codes of ethics you have selected. Finally, explain how this ethical challenge might have been prevented. Then, apply the ACA 2014 Code of Ethics to one of this week’s assigned case studies and either the 2015 AMHCA Code of Ethics or the IAMFC Ethical Codes to another case study. (MCFC students must use the IAMFC Ethical Codes.)

Be sure to use the Learning Resources and the current literature to support your response.


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